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Conscience Education and Educational Philosophy

Aiming for the Education of Conscience



‘Conscience’ is the principle that underpins Doshisha’s educational philosophy. Our founder, Joseph Neesima, through his nine years spent in Western countries, realized that Christianity, especially Protestantism, significantly influenced the Western culture and mind. For Neesima, an important aspect of Christianity was that conscience grows not before the eyes of humans but before the eyes of God. He believed that one can become a true human being by cultivating conscience, and that conscience can be effectively inspired through an education based on Christian principles. It appeared to Neesima that education in Japan emphasized intellectual development more than the cultivation of the mind. Thus, his educational goal was not to produce ‘specialists without spirit’ (Max Weber), or ‘talented individuals without conscience’, but instead-as Neesima wrote in ‘The Purpose of the Establishment of Doshisha University’- to raise people who will be ‘the conscience of a nation’. He also wrote in a letter to one of his students, ‘I earnestly desire that many young people filled with conscience will be raised and sent out by our school.’
These words are engraved on nine memorial monuments located both in Japan and the US, including one at the main gate of Doshisha University.

We share the aspiration to realize our distinct educational philosophy which has been cultivated and passed down over the years.

‘Conscience of a Nation’
Christian principles, liberalism and internationalism lie at the heart of our educational philosophy. From its inception, Doshisha aimed to nurture individuals who would become the ‘ conscience of a nation’. Even though times have changed, our educational philosophy has remained solid and true, and has become even more unshakable through deeper insight into its significance and value.

Precisely because we are in a rapidly changing society, we at Doshisha strive to step into the future with a unified mission to realize our educational ideals and achieve our aspirations.

Christian Principles

Instilling conscience in students, as well as providing academic knowledge and professional skills, by building a strong mentality and morality

The founder, Joseph Neesima, aimed to nurture individuals who can think independently without being influenced by external forces and create change on their own initiative through the guidance of their conscience. With a strong belief that such individuals could be produced on Christian principles, Neesima implemented a Christian-based education, convinced that as a result, those who studied at Doshisha would become the ‘conscience of a nation’.


Nurturing students’ ability to act independently and helping them to realize their full potential

Doshisha has long respected the independent and unconventional mind. We trust students’ growing capabilities, respect their individuality, and encourage them to act on their own initiative by fully exercising their abilities.


Developing individuals who are not only competent in foreign languages, but can also accept the different values of other cultures and discover something meaningful from them.

On awakening to the importance of education after visiting America and studying there, Neesima decided to establish an institution of higher learning, Doshisha University, in his homeland. We, as a successor to his aspirations, have placed emphasis on fostering a global outlook and perspective in learning. We provide students with the opportunity not only to learn a foreign language as a communication tool, but also to become immersed in a different culture, understand the similarities as well as the differences of other cultures compared to our own, and learn to respect these diversities.