ACAS was originally incorporated in December 1994, as the Australian Centre for Cross-cultural Studies Inc, a not-for-profit organisation with income-tax-exempt charitable status. It gained Deductible Gift Recipient status in 2011. ACAS is a founding partner in Worldwide University, which is incorporated in the USA.

It was originally founded specifically to support students and related organisations in East Java. During the mid 1990s, it offered units toward a Master of Arts in Cross-cultural Studies through a consortium agreement.

In 1999, it became a Registered Training Organisation in Western Australia with its own accredited Graduate Diploma in Cross-cultural Studies.

In 2000, it changed its name, direction, and structure:

ACAS then grew rapidly. Its programs presently run at various locations across Australia, with more high schools also offering ACAS qualifications and various groups of distance education students with local tutorial support. Instead of being only a graduate school, it grew to offer many programs ranging down to the lower certificates. Although specific courses vary from year to year, ACAS has offered a wide variety of study areas:

Community services Youth work
Children's services
Addiction recovery
Community services
Hospitality Introductory restaurant and cafe skills
Hospitality management
Intercultural studies Intercultural studies
Language teaching
Training and education Training, education, and assessment
Administration and management
Business and management Business
Frontline management
Community services management
Senior leadership management
Quality auditing
Recreation Outdoor education
Recreation and sports
Performing arts Music
Sound technology and engineering
Event management
Media Film and television production
Radio programming and announcing
Christian Studies Theology and ministry
Youth ministry
Graduate studies Research, mainly in intercultural studies
Education and training
Christian ministry and spiritual direction