Kwansei Gakuin University

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Kwansei Gakuin University
Kwansei Gakuin University seal.png
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 Musubi Tabuchi
President Osamu Murata
Academic staff
706 full-time[5]
Administrative staff
478 full-time
Students 25,505
Undergraduates 24,180
Postgraduates 1,025
Other students
728 (international students)
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
Affiliations Kansai Big 6, ACUCA
Mascot Soraran [6]
Website [1]

Kwansei Gakuin University (関西学院大学, Kansei Gakuin Daigaku), colloquially known as Kangaku (関学), is a non-denominational Christian private and coeducational university in Japan. The university offers Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees to around 25,000 students in almost 40 different disciplines across 11 undergraduate and 14 graduate programs. The university has a central campus in the city of Nishinomiya, and also has satellite campuses in Nishinomiya, Sanda, Osaka, and Tokyo. Kwansei Gakuin University has been selected for inclusion in the Japanese government's Top Global University Project as a Type B (Global Traction) university.[7] The university is often referred to as one of the four leading private universities in the greater Kansai region.


School name

The clock tower on the Nishinomiya Uegahara Campus, the symbol of Kwansei Gakuin University
The former Kobe Harada-no-Mori Campus
Branch Memorial Chapel
The Nishinomiya Uegahara Campus in 1929

The name Kwansei Gakuin (関西学院, Kansei Gakuin) originated from the desire of Walter Russell Lambuth, the university's founder, to serve citizens of Kansai (関西), the western part of Japan, while the word gakuin (学院) means "college." The unusual romanization of Kansai as Kwansei is due to the way it would have been pronounced by 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 the standard in other contexts. Though the university is commonly referred to as Kangaku, it would also be correct to say Kwangaku.[8]

School motto

In the context of "Mastery for Service," a "master" is an accomplished person in terms of their humanity, learning, and daily life. Kwansei Gakuin's avowed goal is to help students "master their God-given gifts in order to serve their neighbors, society and the world."

School symbol

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

International relations

Kwansei Gakuin University has agreements with several United Nations organizations. 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 departments

  • School of Theology (established in 1952)
  • School of Humanities (1934)
  • School of Sociology (1960)
  • School of Law and Politics (1948)
  • School of Economics (1934)
  • School of Business Administration (1951)
  • School of Science and Technology (1961–2000 Nishinomiya Uegahara Campus, 2001–present Kobe-Sanda Campus)
  • School of Policy Studies (1995, Kobe-Sanda Campus)
  • School of Human Welfare Studies (2008)
  • School of Education (2009)
  • School of International Studies (2010)

Postgraduate departments

Graduate schools

  • Graduate School of Theology (1952)
  • Graduate School of Humanities (1950)
  • Graduate School of Sociology (1961)
  • Graduate School of Law and Politics (1950)
  • Graduate School of Economics (1950)
  • Graduate School of Business Administration (1953)
  • Graduate School of Science and Technology (1965, Kobe-Sanda Campus)
  • Graduate School of Policy Studies (2001, Kobe-Sanda Campus)
  • Graduate School of Language, Communication, and Culture (2001)
  • Graduate School of Human Welfare Studies (2010)
  • Graduate School of Education (2009)

Professional schools (KGPS)

  • Law School
  • Institute of Business and Accounting

Study abroad agreements

Kwansei Gakuin University has over 140 partner institutions overseas, and accepts more than 700 international students each year.[9]


Nishinomiya Uegahara Campus (1929–present)

Since 1929, the university's flagship Uegahara campus has been located in Nishinomiya, Hyōgo. The Uegahara campus was designed in a "Spanish Mission" style by William Merrell Vories (1880-1964), an American missionary, architect, educator, and entrepreneur. In 2017, the campus won an achievement award for its design from the Architectural Institute of Japan. [10] This campus is home to most of the administrative offices of Kwansei Gakuin.

Nishinomiya Seiwa Campus (2009–present)

This campus is home to the School of Education and Seiwa Junior College. It is 10 minutes away from the Nishinomiya Uegahara Campus on foot.

Kobe Sanda Campus (1995–present)

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

Osaka Umeda Campus (2004–present)

The Osaka Umeda Campus is located a short walk from the main public transport cluster of Osaka City. It holds graduate school classes for working people, and offers support for lifelong learning and student job placement.

Tokyo Marunouchi Campus (2007–present)

The Tokyo Marunouchi Campus is on the 10th floor of the Sapia Tower, next to Tokyo Station. In addition to serving as an information hub and offering lectures, the campus provides job placement support for alumni in the Tokyo metropolitan area.


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.

The Fighters are one of the most decorated American football programs in Japan at the university level, with a record 28 national championships.[11]


  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, 2017
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^

External links

  • Official English site (in English)
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