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I have been chosen to serve as the 19th Aoyama Gakuin University president for a term of 4 years. With kind cooperation and support from all of you, I hope to help the University grow during these years.
Many demands for innovations and improvements are being made of the University today, but I believe that, during such a period of change, one must look back to the institution's roots. Aoyama Gakuin was established during the early Meiji Period (late 19th century), originally set up as three schools by three American missionaries from the Methodist Episcopal Church. Throughout our history we have aimed to carry out education based upon the Christian faith in our educational efforts, and for each innovation and transformation we make at the University we must never fail to preserve our 148 years of history and tradition.
Our goal at Aoyama Gakuin University is the building up of persons who live in sincerity before God, who seek for truth with humility, and who actively take responsibility for all people and for society in a spirit of love and service. We create curricula tailored to the needs of the times in each undergraduate school and department as well as each graduate school, and through these convey advanced, specialized knowledge founded on the latest research while also promoting student research.
However, a university striving to cultivate educated, skilled people through its education system must not stop at the provision of specialized knowledge alone. By harnessing our University-wide education system, known as The Aoyama Standard, we work to ensure that society highly values all graduates, no matter their chosen academic school and department, for meeting a certain standard for knowledge and refinement while also exhibiting a certain level of skill and ability. This includes subjects related to understanding Christianity taught at the University, which together form the central pillar of our education system. We strive to inherit and preserve the principles of our predecessors while strengthening educational and cultural refinement efforts even further.
When discussing traditions that must be preserved, one must not forget about internationalization. During the Meiji Period, students with a strong desire to learn English and study Western educational fields came together here, thus forming the Aoyama English-language education tradition. Here at Aoyama Gakuin University, we hope to preserve this tradition while furthering our efforts in the area of internationalization.
We have also set up chat rooms led by international students, which serve as places for international exchange in other languages. Participants can learn about the cultures and lifestyles of people from other countries through chat sessions, thus making new discoveries and gaining knowledge through their experiences.
Furthermore, we offer preparatory seminars for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), held for the sake of Aoyama Gakuin University students who want to join exchange study programs. Moving forward, we hope to further strengthen our exchange-study support framework in order to help as many students as possible successfully join exchange programs.
In research-related endeavors, we make use of the global network provided by the International Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges and Universities (IAMSCU) in order to promote further internationalization efforts.
It is our hope that Aoyama Gakuin University students who study under our school motto, "The Salt of the Earth, The Light of the World," will become persons who actively take responsibility for all people and for society. Salt is not an extraordinary seasoning, and one might go so far as to say that it's quite plain; however, it is an ingredient that helps to prevent food spoilage, and it also adds flavor. Light, on the other hand, brings down the rule of darkness, illuminates the world, and helps to lead us much like a lighthouse leads a ship.
Here at Aoyama Gakuin University, it is my hope that our institution will be able to serve people everywhere while continuing to be a joint education and research organization that serves God and persons, and contributes to society.
Professor SAKAMOTO Hiroshi
President, Aoyama Gakuin University
Welcome to Aoyama Gakuin University International Centre (AGUIC)!
AGUIC plays an invaluable role in supporting international students who hope to study at AGU and AGU students who wish to study abroad. We live in very challenging times. People are suffering from wars, poverty, and persecution. Our daily life is affected by natural disasters, the result of environmental destruction. Those issues cannot be solved by one country alone. It is crucial to understand different cultures at this critical time in order to achieve global international cooperation. Located in the heart of Shibuya, where diverse cultures thrive, AGU offers a unique, in-depth experience of multiculturalism. AGU is also a gateway to international opportunities, as it has cultivated strong partnerships with universities across the world since it was established.
Taking advantage of a privileged location and vast network, AGU provides you with the best environment to explore Japanese culture in a global context. As a professor of Japanese literature, I found AGU an inspiring academic institution that creates opportunities to experience the latest cultural trends in Japan at first hand, and understand Japanese culture in depth through an interdisciplinary approach. I hope that the experience at AGU helps both international students and AGU students acquire a deeper understanding of Japanese culture, and equip themselves with knowledge and open-mindedness.
We believe that international and AGU students will overcome difficult problems through cooperation and build a better world. We hope to help you become one of them.
KOMATSU Yasuhiko, Director of International Center
Professor, College of Literature
Welcome to Aoyama Gakuin University. New discoveries and new encounters await you at the Aoyama Campus, just 10 minutes’ walk from Shibuya. While you walk around this neighborhood, you can learn contemporary Japanese culture in a broad sense, from art to music, from design to fashion, from popular culture to sports. I wish you a fruitful time in the international atmosphere of our campus.
MERKLEJN Iwona, Associate Director of International Center
Professor, School of Cultural and Creative Studies
International exchange experiences in your university life, such as studying abroad, short-term overseas training, and others, have enormous potential. The experiences may completely change the way the world looks to you. They can also lead you to discover new interests, and, by pursuing them, you will expand the opportunities for the future. If you feel interested in such experiences even a bit, please come and visit the International Center. You will surely find a suitable first step to the world. I hope that many students will have meaningful and enjoyable international exchange experiences. It is the role of the International Center to support them. I would like to do my best for that.
MIZUYAMA Hajime, Associate Director of International Center
Professor, College of Science and Engineering