Offering a wide variety of programs to provide students with the essence of Doshisha’s education based on Christian principles
‘Education based on Christian principles’, which constitutes the foundation of Doshisha University, was introduced and practiced by Joseph Neesima through his liberal and global perspectives. There are a number of tangible and intangible assets on Doshisha’s campus which serve as a gateway to Christianity and Christian culture. Students become familiar with them through activities conducted by the Center for Christian Culture.
Doshisha University is not a so-called ‘missionary university’ established by a particular missionary group for the purpose of disseminating Christianity. Joseph Neesima, who was a Japanese Christian and missionary, established the foundation of Doshisha University independently from any religious groups and under the spirit of autonomy and independence. Neesima wanted to use Christianity as a basis for moral education to educate Japan’s young people - the very people who would be responsible for Japan’s future. Neesima stated in The Charter of the Founding of Doshisha University, “The purpose of establishing a university is not to expand Christianity or nurture missionaries. My aspiration is higher and goes beyond that.”
His aspiration was to nurture young people who can discipline their mind and behaviors through an education based on Christian principles and to send out into the world people who will become pillars of society, helping to build a national spirit and reviving the nation in the process.
In the US, Neesima belonged to the Congregational Church. One of its characteristic is to emphasize the necessity of conscious faith and the importance of intentional commitment of each church member, and accordingly to respect the autonomy and independence of each church comprising people deeply committed to their faith. It can be said that ‘liberalism’, which Neesima advocated with a passion and which became one of the three pillars of Doshisha’s educational philosophy, came from the Congregational Church’s way of thinking and has been passed down through the generations at the university. Neesima’s Christian-based life in America also helped him to form the ideas behind what eventually became Doshisha’s founding spirit of ‘education of conscience’. What is it about Christianity that continues to awake the conscience in students? Today Doshisha University provides students with various opportunities to learn widely about Christianity and Christian culture centered around the Center for Christian Culture.
|Founding Spirit and Joseph Neesima
Joseph Neesima and Doshisha, the origin of Doshisha, Neesima’s aspirations, etc. are described.