The purpose of Shigakukai and its founding
The purpose of Shigakukai is to encourage and support young scholars and graduate students (also undergraduate students) professing a Christian faith who aspire to become academics or equivalent professionals, through providing opportunities for fellowship and research grants.
In English, Shigakukai translates as “Fellowship of those aspiring to study.”
<Who We Are>
Shigakukai is a fellowship of Christian undergraduate and graduate students and scholars. We welcome the participation of anyone who affirms its purpose.
・Our vision is to see Christian scholars abound in good works generated by their faith in research, teaching, and other professional capacities.
・We encourage Christian students to understand the meaning of university education and use their opportunity in a meaningful manner. We support especially those aspiring to become scholars and professionals.
・We provide material support for Christian graduate students and young scholars aspiring to become scholars and professionals.
・We provide fellowship and learning opportunities for Christians who are currently scholars and professionals to be increasingly fruitful in their work.
In order to achieve the aforementioned mission, we offer the following activities:
・Connecting people (Opportunities to meet one another)
・We develop a website and an e-mail list (not public) in order to create a network of Christian undergraduate & graduate students and scholars, and others who affirm the vision of Shigakukai.
・We host regular retreats and lectures for students and scholars to meet with, learn from, fellowship with, pray with, and encourage one another.
・We send and introduce speakers to organizations and events that plan courses and lectures on Christian faith and academic study.
・Material support for the younger generation
・We provide grants for Christian graduate students and young scholars embarking on groundbreaking projects.
・We introduce members who can counsel young scholars regarding their research and career.
・Publishing and sharing knowledge
・We publish and post online material offered at retreats and letures to help many people understand deeper the relationship between faith and scholarship.
<Statement of Faith>
Shigakukai assumes the following faith position.
・The Lord God, revealed as Triune, created and sustains all things in this world, and Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is our Savior.
・The Bible is God’s Word and is our final authority in faith and conduct.
・(About academic achievements) All scholarly truth comes from God; since then, it will never contradict God’s work in creating and sustaining this worl.d. Therefore, the achievement of scholars seeking academic truth must be esteemed to the fullest.
・(About the responsibility of scholars) scholars engage in their individual projects as God’s servants. They do this by fully accepting their responsibility as God’s servants in for the betterment of this world, including humanity and environment, in the application of their research results.
・(About the mission of the scholar) scholars are to apply the insights gained from a Biblically-based Christian worldview about nature, society, humanity, etc; to make contribution in the dialogue between research and faith; and to work towards sharing the possibilities of dialogue and its results with others.
・(About the need of mutual encouragement) We encouragement and help one another in order to maintain a vibrant faith as Christian scholars.
How Shigakukai was founded
The origin of Shigakukai goes back to January 2002. With the intention of encouraging Christian students to have an aspiration to live out their faith as researchers and teachers in universities and other research institutions, Mr. Hisashi Ariga (former General Secretary of KGK and former owner of Sugu Shobo publishing) invited Dr. Wataru Mizugaki (Professor Emeritus, Kyoto University), Dr. Yoshihiko Otani (Professor Emeritus, Tsukuba University), Dr. Akira Arai (Professor Emeritus, Nihon Women’s University) and others for the first round-table discussion. As a result, from 2003 to 2005, a guidance seminar for freshmen was held, and from 2006, an annual retreat for undergraduate & graduate students and young researchers was started.
In September 2006, an inaugural meeting was held, appointing Mr. Ariga as the first president and forming an executive committee. From 2008, research grants and regular lectures were started. In 2011, Dr. Otani was appointed the second president and Mr. Yoshiki Tsukamoto (dual appointment with KGK) became the first staff.