Kwansei Gakuin University

Kwansei Gakuin University
Latin: Universitas Collegii Kwanseiensis[1]
Motto Mastery for Service (奉仕のための練達 Hōshi no Tame no Rentatsu)
Type Private
Established Founded Sep. 28, 1889,
Chartered March 1912[2]
Chartered Mar. 7, 1932[3]
Affiliation United Church of Christ in Japan[4]
Endowment US$847.8 million
(JP¥96.5 billion)
Chancellor Ruth M. Grubel, Ph.D.
President Osamu Murata
Academic staff
475 full-time,
1,045 part-time[5]
Administrative staff
279 full-time
Students 19,966
Undergraduates 18,302
Postgraduates 1,529
Location Nishinomiya, Hyōgo, Japan
34°46′09″N 135°20′50″E / 34.769187°N 135.347174°E / 34.769187; 135.347174Coordinates: 34°46′09″N 135°20′50″E / 34.769187°N 135.347174°E / 34.769187; 135.347174
Campus Suburban / Urban,
148 acres (0.6 km²)
Colors Blue, white, and yellow
Athletics 34 varsity teams
Nickname Fighters, Saints, Jayhawks
Mascot 8th Man (unofficial and historical)
Affiliations Kansai Big 6, ACUCA

Kwansei Gakuin University (関西学院大学 Kansei Gakuin Daigaku), colloquially abbreviated to Kangaku (関学), is a non-denominational Christian private and coeducational university in Nishinomiya, Sanda, Osaka City, and Tokyo, Japan. Chartered in 1932, it is the 13th institution with university status in Kansai region, the 23rd oldest outside of Greater Tokyo, and the 46th oldest in the country. Kwansei Gakuin University is one of the leading private universities in Japan. It has a relatively strong network of alumni in Kansai region and has produced a number of CEOs of Japanese companies and politicians.



Kwansei Gakuin University
Harada-no-mori Campus
Branch Memorial Chapel
Nishinomiya-Uegahara Campus (1929)

Kwansei Gakuin was founded in 1889 in Kobe, Japan by Dr. Walter Russell Lambuth (later Bishop), a missionary of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (MEC-S), USA, with the aim of training missionaries and educating young people based on the principles of Christianity. It was intended to be a small private institution with two departments, a theological school and a middle school. In 1910 the Canadian Methodist Church and the Japanese Methodist Church joined the operation, and Kwansei Gakuin opened a college with literary and commercial courses in 1912. The same year, Kwansei Gakuin moved to the rural farmland which is the site of the present campus in Nishinomiya Uegahara near Mount Kabuto. Three years later, it acquired the status of a full degree-granting university and continued as one of 54 such institutions in Japan until the end of World War II. The school, formerly all-male, opened its doors to women in 1943. In 1948, the university embraced the new 6-3-3-4 school system (6 years in elementary school, 3 in junior high, 3 in senior high, and 4 in college), based upon the American education framework.

Kwansei Gakuin University is now an independent co-educational institution offering Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees in almost 40 disciplines to around 20,000 students. There are 11 undergraduate and 13 graduate schools as well as an attached Kindergarten, Elementary School, Junior and Senior High School, Seiwa College and Seiwa Junior College. The university consistently achieves the highest academic standards among Japanese private universities and colleges.

School name

The name Kwansei (関西 Kansei) came from its founder Walter Russell Lambuth's desire to serve citizens of Kansai (関西), the western part of Japan, while the word gakuin (学院) was translated from "college" at that time. Thus, Kwansei gakuin literally means West Japan College. The name was romanized according to the vogue pronunciation among progressive students in the late 19th century. The "official" pronunciation of kwan can be heard in performances of the school song, but the modern pronunciation of kan is usual in other contexts. Thus, the abbreviated name Kwangaku is usually pronounced as kangaku, though Kwangaku would be correct in theory.

School motto

Kwansei Gakuin's school motto, "Mastery for Service", was proposed by the fourth Chancellor, Dr. C.J.L. Bates. This motto reflects the ideal for all its members to master their abundant God-given gifts to serve their neighbors, society and the world. A "master" usually means someone who directs or commands others, but in Kwansei Gakuin, it means a person who, in terms of humanity, learning, and daily life, has an accomplished character, or as Dr. Bates said, is a "Self-Master." From that base, "service" is understood as "service to God," the starting point for a life dedicated to serving neighbors, society and others.

On the basis of the school motto, Kwansei Gakuin holds up the mission statement: "Kansei Gakuin, as a learning community based on the principles of Christianity, inspires its members to seek their life missions, and cultivates them to be creative and capable world citizens who embody its motto, 'Mastery for Service,' by transforming society with compassion and integrity."

School symbol

Kwansei Gakuin's symbol, the crescent moon, represents its purpose of education, growth to fullness in knowledge and wisdom.

International relations

Kwansei Gakuin University has several agreements with the United Nations subordinates. The university and United Nations Volunteers (UNV) reached an agreement establishing the university as the first institution of higher education in Asia to form a volunteer-sending partnership with the United Nations Information Technology Service (UNITeS) in 2003.

KGU and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representation in Japan concluded an agreement to establish a special university scholarship system for refugees in Japan in May 2006. Under this agreement, Kwansei Gakuin started the UNHCR-KGU Higher Education Program for Refugees in Japan in April 2007, and two refugees were enrolled.

Academics and organization

Undergraduate units

In 1961 in commemoration of its 70th anniversary, Kwansei Gakuin established the School of Science which was composed of the departments of Physics and Chemistry. Prof. Isamu Nitta played the central role to design the department plan and recruit the new faculty members. In 2001 the School of Science moved from the Uegahara Campus to the Kobe-Sanda Campus in search for a more conducive environment for education and research. In 2002, the school was reformed when it added two new departments, the Departments of Bioscience and Informatics, along with the Division of Mathematics in the existing Department of Physics, and renamed itself the School of Science and Technology. The Department of Mathematical Sciences, which is derived from the sub-department of Mathematics in the Department of Physics, and the Department of Human System Interaction, which has expanded the field of interaction between human and machines or materials, were newly established in 2009. The school divided the Department of Bioscience into the courses of Molecular Bioscience and Biomedical Chemistry to enrich the research related with Medical Science and Pharmacology.

Postgraduate units

Graduate schools

Professional schools (KGPS)

Centers and institutes

It was created in 1934 to carry out economics and industrial research, and also functions as the administrative office of EUIJ Kansai, which carries out research and teaching about the European Union. It collects and provides basic economic and industrial statistical materials, along with related journals, OECD materials, and Nikke NEES data.
A center for students who want to be qualified as teachers, school librarians or museum curators. It holds briefings, one-on-one meetings, training, and guidance for hands-on training in areas such as nursing. It also carries out research on practical school education.
It carries out human rights education and research activities that deal with a wide range of discrimination issues from the perspective of human rights. It holds research seminars, and publishes a research journal and educational pamphlets.
The center was created in April 2010 to improve faculty teaching skills and student learning skills. It covers education development/support using faculty development (FD) and information communication technology (ICT) and creation and augmentation of educational environments. It promotes the LMS (Learning Management System).
It offers several Christian education programs in line with the school's mission. The Center's Chapel Hour program offers practical Christian education. Its other programs include the Early Morning Prayer Meeting, United University Worship, concerts and Christmas Chapel.
This office hold the records that document the history of Kwansei Gakuin and its management, staff, and students from its foundation in 1889. It publishes the Journal of Kwansei Gakuin History annually and the Archives Newsletter semiannually.

University libraries

University Library (Nishinomiya Uegahara Campus)
It has a collection of about 1.6 million volumes, 1790 seats and 120 PCs. In addition to books, periodicals and audio-visual materials, the library provides access to web databases and electronic journals.
It has a collection of about 200,000 books and over 1,900 different academic journals, mainly related to the School of Policy Studies and School of Science and Technology. The Media Forum has about 110 PCs and assists the education and research activities of the Kobe Sanda Campus.
The more than 200,000-volume collection of the library supports self-directed research activities. In addition to books specific to the field of education, it houses valuable works and a large number of journals in related areas.

University press

Educational facilities

Extramural study

Credit courses

Non-credit courses

Faculty and students

Kwansei Gakuin University hosts more than 300 international students from other nations.

Judith May Newton (born March 23, 1939, died May 21, 2011) a Methodist missionary and published writer of songs and books[9] taught at Kwansei Gakuin University from 1988 to 2005 in the fields of English and American Literature to undergraduates and graduate students.[10] She was commissioned a missionary in 1976 and was assigned to Sendai, Japan where she taught full-time at Tohoku Gakuin University for 10 years.


Kwansei Gakuin has six campuses: Nishinomiya Uegahara, Nishinomiya Seiwa, Kobe Sanda, Osaka-Umeda, Tokyo Marunouchi and Takarazuka.

Since 1929, the flagship campus has been in Nishinomiya, Hyōgo. In 1995, the university opened a larger campus in Sanda, Hyōgo.

There are two satellite campuses in downtown Osaka City (Umeda) and Marunouchi, Tokyo. Lectures are mainly conducted at the Nishinomiya Uegahara, Nishinomiya Seiwa and Kobe Sanda campus.

Nishinomiya Uegahara Campus (1929–present)

The Nishinomiya Uegahara Campus is about halfway between Kobe and Osaka in the city of Nishinomiya. In 1929, Kwansei Gakuin moved to this campus, which is designed in a "Spanish mission style" by William Merrell Vories (1880-1964), a missionary, architect, educator, and entrepreneur born in the United States, who worked mainly in the Kansai area in Japan. The total area is 195,637m2.

This campus houses the Schools of Theology; Humanities; Sociology; Law and Politics; Economics; Business Administration; Human Welfare Studies; and Language, Communication, and Culture. It houses the Law School, Institute of Business and Accounting (Business School, Accounting School), and most of the administrative offices of Kwansei Gakuin.

Nishinomiya Seiwa Campus (2009–present)

This campus houses the Schools of Education, the Junior College, and Kindergarten. It is 10 minutes from the Nishinomiya Uegahara Campus on foot.

Kobe Sanda Campus (1995–present)

This campus houses the School of Policy Studies and School of Science and Technology. It has the same architectural style as its Nishinomiya-Uegahara predecessor. This campus is in the city of Sanda, about an hour to 70 minutes from Nishinomiya by shuttle bus.

History of Sanda Campus

In 1989, the year of KGU’s 100th anniversary, they acquired about 1 million tsubo (1 tsubo is about 3.3m2) of land in Sanda, Hyogo. In April 1995, the SPS was established as the eighth department of KGU. In 2001, The School of Science and Technology relocated to Sanda Campus. In 2002, the SPS added the Department of Applied Informatics. In 2009, the SPS also added another two departments, the Department of Urban Life Studies, and the Department of International Policy Studies.[11]

Sanda Campus life

Research Fair

A Research Fair was established in 1998 and takes place every autumn. It includes presentations, poster sessions, a business plan contest and debating. Some parts are done in English. Students in all Policy Studies undergraduate and graduate majors are encouraged to participate. It aims to help students clarify their thinking through research and discussions with the audience.[12]

Students’ clubs and activities

About 24 registered activities are organized on Kobe Sanda Campus. These include tennis, soft tennis, soccer, volleyball, basketball, dance, orchestra, and Gospel.

School festival

The school festival is known as Shingetsu Sai (新月祭) and is held at Kobe Sanda Campus on the last weekend in October each year. Activities include food and drink stands, dances, concerts, and plays, which may be performed by individual volunteers or by clubs such as the dance, the orchestra, the band, and the drama clubs. This event is managed by the KGU school festival executive committee.


KSC has two faculties; SPS (School of Policy Studies) and SST (School of Science and Technology). The SST has 9 departments; Mathematical Science, Physics, Nanotechnology for Sustainable Energy, Chemistry, Applied Chemistry for Environment, Bioscience, Biological Chemistry, Informatics, Human System Interaction. At first, SST was located at the Uegahara campus, but in 2001, the SST moved to the Kobe Sanda campus.[13]

Notable staff


The English Language Program (ELP) started in 1995, the same year the KGU School of Policy Studies (SPS) was established. The purpose of this program is to provide exceptional English language instruction to SPS students so that the students can be successful in their careers.[14]

Today, the ELP has over 40 English instructors who teach in the ELP,[14] which includes a mix of full-time instructors and part-time instructors.[15] They are from many countries, including the UK, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.

The ELP is divided into six English Course (EC) levels. Students mainly start from either EC1 or from EC3, depending on the TOFEL-ITP score they achieve before the program starts. After each semester, they may go on to the next level. Students spend two years studying reading, writing, speaking, listening, and presenting. Students starting from EC1 usually end at EC4 and those starting from EC3 typically end at EC6.[16]

There are two exceptional activities which EC students can complete. The first is the poster presentation, where students taking the EC5 presentation class do a presentation based on a topic relevant to policy studies. The other one is the Research Fair. The best presenters chosen from the EC5 presentation class do a 20-minute presentation, using PowerPoint slides and a topic based on policy studies. This presentation will be seen their classmates, and students from other classes, other grades, and even those from outside of the school.[17]


At KGU, there is a “Career Center”, established to help students with job hunting. On the Sanda Campus, it is located on the second floor of the Academic Commons building.

In the SPS, more than 90% of graduates find immediate employment. The largest destination for graduate employment is the banking sector, but students find work in a wide range of fields. One notable aspect of the SPS, compared to other departments, is that a lot of graduates go on to work in architecture.

Vocational Qualifications In the SPS, students are able to complete courses which can be used to gain Vocational Qualifications in areas such as Education, Librarianship, Museum Curatorship, Social Research, and Network Architecture.[18]

Entrance information

The following is a table concerning the entrance exams for the SPS in 2106:

1 Feb Number of examinees 133 Number of successful candidates 42

2 Feb Number of examinees 782 Number of successful candidates 243

3 Feb Number of examinees 116 Number of successful candidates 44

4-6 Feb Number of examinees 1343 Number of successful candidates 521

The number of examinees is over 2,300 in 5 days. There are other ways of completing entrance requirements of KGU, but exams are a popular way. Typically, about 1 examinee in 3 passes the examination for the SPS.[19]

Living and learning

There is no residential accommodation on campus. In Sanda City a facility provides share housing for KGU students. KGU has four residences in Nishinomiya City that are available for use by students studying at Kobe Sanda campus.[20]

Chapel Hour The purpose is to practice Christian policy as a KGU education ideal. It is a very important vocational program as well as a Christian class. In the SPS, Chapel Hour is held every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, from 10:35 am – 11:05 am, between the first and second periods, in Building 2, Room 101. It is held every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday in the SST.[21]

Access It takes about 15 minutes to drive from Shinsanda Station to the Sanda Campus. At peak times, there are usually about 10 buses per hour. At other times, the service is infrequent. It takes about 47 minutes from Sannomiya Station to Sanda Campus by bus. At peak times, there are usually about 4 buses per hour. At other times, service is infrequent.[22]

Unlike other campuses, student access by car is permitted. Parking is regulated, but there is a large parking area for students and staff.

Facilities The campus has sporting facilities. There is a sports gym, an athletic track, playing field, tennis courts, and a small golf driving range.

The University Library and Media Center at KSC is open from 8:50am to 10:00pm from Monday to Friday. On Saturday, it opens from 8:50am to 6:30pm, and on Sunday from 12:00pm to 6:00pm. Students of this university can use the library for free. To use it, they should possess their own student card. Students are allowed to borrow a maximum of 10 books, for 14 days. If they do not return the books before the deadline, they will be sent an e-mail that asks them to return the overdue books. The library has a lot of computers so students can use them to study at any time. Making noise, eating, and drinking are not permitted in the library.[23]

There is a large cafeteria, housed in several buildings with indoor and outdoor eating areas. The cafeteria serves Japanese and international food. One section of the cafeteria is named “Lunch Box”. The other is named “Fresh Box”. Lunch Box is open from 8:30am to 9:30am, and from 10:30am to 7:00pm on weekdays. On Saturday, it is open from 11:30am to 2:00pm. Fresh Box is open from 11:30am to 2:00pm, on weekdays only. In Lunch Box, a new stand featuring international cuisine is open every week in turn. Both parts of the cafeteria have typical lunch menus. Most food costs around 500 yen.[24] There is also a large area for students to eat their meals, and chat. On the second floor, there is a convenience store and a stationery store selling student supplies. The convenience store is named “Colorful Box”. The stationery store is named “Toy Box”. Students can not only buy books, stationery, and food, but also book tours, and sign-up some extra courses for acquisition of a qualification.[25]

The new Academic Commons building opened in 2013. It houses many meeting rooms, a cafe with all-you-can-drink coffee and a variety of cakes, and a reading room featuring a wide selection of books and manga, some of which are in English. Academic Commons also houses the KSC Administrative Office, Healthcare Center, Disabled Student Independence Support Section, Student Support Section, Center For Career Planning And Placement, Organization For Worldwide Collaboration, and the Organization For Academic Affairs.

There is student support available in the Academic Commons at KSC. Students can visit the Career Center on the second floor. The Career Center helps students to get a job, in many ways, such as checking their entry sheets, holding interview training, and giving a lot of information about companies and jobs. They also help international students to find employment. Students can also use the Counseling Room. Academic Commons has a Counseling Room for students on the second floor. Clinical psychologists and legal advisors are available to help students have a better school life. On the first floor, there is a Health Care Center. Students can take a break if the feel unwell. Also, students can take a physical check-up, and get medical certificates when needed.

There are three ATMs on campus: Japan Post, SMBC and SIHD.

Smoking areas KGU has 11 places where smoking is permitted for students over the age of 20: west of Building 1, east of Building 2, near the Cafeteria, outside Student Hall 2, outside the Academic Commons, outside Building 6, outside Building 4, near the Club House and KSC Training Room, and between golf practice range and the tennis court.[26]

Osaka Umeda Campus (2004–present)

The Osaka Umeda Campus is in the Applause Tower, a short walk from central stations of Osaka city, such as Hankyu Umeda Station, Osaka City Subway Umeda Station, and JR Osaka Station. Besides holding graduate school classes for working people, the campus offers support for lifelong learning and student job placement. It is a base for industry-academia linking and PR activities.

Tokyo Marunouchi Campus (2007–present)

The Tokyo Marunouchi Campus is on the 10th floor of the Sapia Tower, next to Tokyo Station. This campus is a base for information gathering and provision, the furthering of lifelong learning, and job placement support in the Tokyo metropolitan area. It is also the base of the Tokyo Alumni Association. Alumni give courses like the Crescent Moon Class and the New Moon Class for KGU students. Also popular is the Marunouchi Course of lectures by prominent figures working on the front lines of the business world. The Tokyo Marunouchi Campus staff help KGU students find work in Tokyo. KGU graduates living in Tokyo are there to support current students.

Takarazuka Campus

This campus houses the Elementary School. The site of this campus was former Takarazuka Family Land amusement park.

Student life


Kwansei Gakuin holds a school festivals every autumn in each campus, called Shingetsu Sai.


Kwansei Gakuin has one of the most diverse varsity athletic programs in Japan, with 34 varsity teams that compete in regional collegiate leagues. Although the school, unlike other private universities in the country, does not offer specific scholarships for student-athletes, it is still competitive with the top echelon of Japanese collegiate teams in the sports of American football, basketball, lacrosse and soccer.

Kwansei Gakuin University is a member of Kansai Big 6 Baseball League (関西学生野球連盟 Kansai gakusei yakyū renmei), which was restructured in 1982. The school was recognized as one of Kansai Big 6 schools (関西六大学 Kansai roku-daigaku) for about three decades, until KG was often excluded from the League, then Kansai Region's premium collegiate baseball league, in the 1970s.

KG is currently best known for its American football team, the Fighters, dominating the Division I League of Kansai Collegiate American Football League with 46 league titles, 22 national collegiate titles, and one national title from the 1948–2005 seasons. Kwansei Gakuin, Kyoto and Ritsumeikan have battled for American football dominance in the league for the last 15 years.

The school's traditional athletic rivalry with Kansai University is intense in every sport since the two institutions started All Kan-Kwan Games (総合関関戦 Sogo kankan sen), in 1978. (It is less known than the KeioWaseda rivalry in college athletics.) Kwansei Gakuin has tied the series, 14–14, for the past three years running.

Kwansei Gakuin has several athletic facilities including the 3rd Field, one of the first American football fields in the country, the Soccer Field, and the General Gymnasium.

KG athletics are supported by the Traditional Cheerleading Team, the Brass Band, and the Cheerleading Team of Kwansei Gakuin University Cheerleading Division. The division's three teams attend every American football game throughout the fall, as well as most baseball games throughout the spring.

The school's unofficial mascot used to be Kwangaku eitoman, the popular cartoon/animation character 8th Man in the 1960s.

Kwansei Gakuin has several fight songs, the most played of which, especially at American football games, are "Shingetsu-ki no moto ni", "Fight on Kwansei", and "I'm Popeye the Sailor Man".

In addition to KG's varsity athletics, a wide variety of clubs and intramural sports teams have been organized as student organizations under the auspices of the Division of Students. Most of the clubs and intramural sports are coed.

Noted faculty and alumni


  1. Universitas Collegii Japonicum Occidens in literal
  2. as West Japan College, a non-degree granting professional school
  3. as Kwansei Gakuin University
  4. historical ties to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South and the Canadian Methodist Church, but independent in its governance since 1941
  5. As of May 1, 2007
  6. Division of Research Development and Outreach (ja)
  7. Kwansei Gakuin University Library
  8. "関西学院大学図書館". Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  9. Newton, Judith May; Tabuchi, Mayumi (1991). Haiku, origami, and more : worship and study resources from Japan. New York: Friendship Press. ISBN 0-377-00217-8.
  10. "Judith May Newton".
  11. "HOME-総合政策学部・総合政策研究科-総合政策学部のあゆみ". Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  14. 1 2 SPS school information handbook
  16. "Goals & Objectives - SPS ELP". Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  17. "Activities - SPS ELP". Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  18. "HOME-総合政策学部・総合政策研究科-総合政策学部で取得できる資格". Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  19. "HOME-入試課 HOME-入学試験データ 2016". Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  20. "Daily Life Support - KWANSEI GAKUIN University. - Mastery for Service". Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  21. "チャペルってなに? - チャペルアワー". Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  22. "神姫バス株式会社". Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  23. "関西学院大学図書館". Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  24. "食堂/喫茶のご案内|関西学院大学生活協同組合". Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  25. "旅行・サービス|関西学院大学生活協同組合". Retrieved 29 July 2016.
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