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, by providing opportunities for fellowship and research grants.
In English, Shigakukai translates as “fellowship of those aspiring to do research.”
<Who We Are>
Shigakukai is a fellowship of Christian undergraduate and graduate students and scholars. We welcome the participation of anyone who affirms the purpose of our fellowship.
- Our vision is to see Christian scholars propelled by their faith abound in good works in their 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 academics and equivalent professionals.
- We provide material support for Christian graduate students and young scholars aspiring to become academics and equivalent professionals.
- We provide fellowship and learning opportunities for Christians who are currently academics and equivalent professionals to be increasingly fruitful in their work.
In order to achieve the aforementioned mission, we provide the following activities:
- Connecting people (Opportunities to meet one another)
- We have developed and maintain a website and an e-mail mailing 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 or research.
- 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 research and careers.
- Publishing and sharing knowledge
- We publish and post online material offered at retreats and lectures 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; therefore, it will never contradict God’s work in creating and sustaining this world. The achievement of scholars seeking academic truth must be esteemed to the fullest.
- (About the responsibility of scholars) Scholars engage in their individual research as God’s stewards.. They do this by fully accepting their responsibility as God’s stewards for the betterment of this world, including humanity and the 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 contributions to 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 encourage 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 house) 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 first-year university students was held, and from 2006, an annual retreat for undergraduate & graduate students and young researchers was started.
In September 2006, the inaugural general meeting was held, Mr. Ariga was appointed as the first president and an executive committee was formed. From 2008, the awarding of research grants and hosting of regular open lectures were started. In 2011, Dr. Otani was appointed the second president and Mr. Yoshiki Tsukamoto (dual appointment with KGK) became the first secretariat. In 2015, Mr.Yasuyuki Kamata (dual appointment with KGK) became the second secretariat. In 2020, Dr. Mime Morita was appointed the third president.
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.