International Christian University

For the private university in Ukraine, see International Christian University – Kiev.
International Christian University
Type Private, liberal arts college
Established June 15, 1949
Affiliation Non-denominational, Ecumenical
President Dr. Junko Hibiya
Academic staff
Undergraduates 2,934
Postgraduates 237
Location Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan
Campus Suburban
Nickname ICU
The Front Gate of ICU

International Christian University (国際基督教大学 Kokusai Kirisutokyō Daigaku) is a non-denominational private university located in Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan. Commonly known as ICU (in Japan and abroad), the university was founded in 1949. ICU offers 32 majors in undergraduate program as the liberal arts college in Japan. It is one of the most selective universities in Japan.



International Christian University in 1950s. The main building was used by Mitaka Institute of the Nakajima Aircraft Company.[1]

ICU was founded in 1949. With an emphasis on reconciliation and peace, ICU was envisaged as a “University of Tomorrow,” a place where Japanese and international students would live together and learn to serve the needs of an emerging, more interconnected world. When students enter ICU they sign the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights[2] and they are challenged to commit themselves to help bring about social justice and world peace. Due to this commitment to human rights, Eleanor Roosevelt delivered ICU's first convocation address.

According to JICUF (Japan ICU Foundation),

"Concerted fundraising campaigns were initiated in both Japan and in North America. Hisato Ichimada, the Governor of the Bank of Japan who was Buddhist, headed the Japan campaign that raised the funds necessary to purchase a large tract of land for the university. The Honorary Chair of the US fundraising campaign was General Douglas MacArthur, and the North American public responded with generous contributions as well."[3]

The third son of Emperor Taishō and a younger brother of Emperor Shōwa, Nobuhito, Prince Takamatsu officiated the Honorary President of the Preparatory Committee for founding ICU.


ICU's main campus of 150 wooded acres is in west Tokyo. Downtown Tokyo is half an hour's train ride away. Computer and internet access is available throughout the campus.

The campus sits on ancient pre-Jomon and Jomon archaeological remains, which gives students the opportunity to participate in archaeological fieldwork. Excavated items found on the campus are on permanent display in the Hachiro Yuasa Memorial Museum. In addition, the campus is directly on the former location of a Nakajima Aircraft Company factory, which came close to producing a long-range bomber capable of flying from Tokyo to New York and back during World War II.

In a quiet wooded area of the campus and through a large thatched gate is the Taizanso Garden. Built in the 1920s, the garden includes a traditional Japanese tea house and the historically significant One-Mat Room constructed out of wood gathered from sacred and historic sites throughout Japan.

ICU owns a 240-acre (0.97 km2) campus in Nasu and a 13-acre (53,000 m2) retreat center in Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture.


ICU offers bachelor's degrees in liberal arts fields, as well as master's and doctoral degrees in education, public administration, comparative culture and natural sciences. About 18% of the faculty come from overseas (primarily English-speaking countries). There is a strong English language program (ELP), taught by tenured and contract faculty English teachers, which was embroiled in a contentious curricular reform in 2010[4] leading to the name being changed to the ELA (English for Liberal Arts program) in April 2012.[5] Academics who aspire to teach at ICU are required to submit a reference who can testify to their commitment to Christianity, despite the university' stance that increasing adherents to the Christian faith is not its primary goal.

Students choose one or two majors as single major, double major or major/minor. In 2012, there were 31 majors.[6]

ICU houses one of the Rotary Centers for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution, partnering with Rotary International.

Japan ICU Foundation

The Japan ICU Foundation[7] was incorporated in New York State on November 23, 1948 and helped to establish ICU in 1953. Today, the foundation maintains two non-profit corporations: The Japan ICU Foundation, Inc. and the JICUF Endowment, Inc.

The Japan ICU Foundation supports ICU in a variety of ways, including providing scholarships, running a faculty exchange program, providing funding for international programs and projects and helping to fund new buildings on campus. The Foundation has offices in New York City. The current president of JICUF is Dr. David Vikner.

Student life


As of 2011, ICU had 2851 undergraduates studying in the College of Liberal Arts, with a 1041 male students and 1810 female students. The ICU Graduate School had 150 students, with 64 men and 86 women. 90.5% of ICU's undergraduate and graduate students are Japanese citizens, and the remainder represent 44 countries.

The majority of ICU students live off-campus, either at home with their families or in apartments. As of 2010, about 600 students were living on campus.

ICU Dining Hall

The ICU Dining Hall, also known as Gakki (ガッキ), is the official cafeteria of International Christian University. Rebuilt in 2010, Gakki is a public, self-service cafeteria and is one of the newest and most renowned buildings on campus.

Student clubs/circles

ICU students are known for their remarkable energy and initiative in creating a kaleidoscope of student-led and student-managed co-curricular activities. There are about 100 student-led clubs and organizations in the arts, sports, academic and social fields. New clubs are formed as student interest dictates, and most ICU students participate in one or more of these organizations.


Accreditation actions had been taken at the American Academy for Liberal Education Board of Trustees Meeting at November 2005.[8]

Academic rankings

University rankings (overall)
WE National[9]Employment 24
NBP Greater Tokyo[10][11]Reputation 10
Shimano National[12]Selectivity SA
QS Asia
(Asian Ranking version)[13]
General 151

There are several rankings related to ICU, shown below.

General rankings

QS World University Rankings ranked ICU as 151st in Asia in 2010.[13]

Alumni rankings

According to the Weekly Economist's (Shūkan ekonomisuto) 2010 rankings and the (PRESIDENT inc.) article on 2006/10/16, graduates from ICU have the 24th best employment rate in 400 major companies, and their average graduate salary is the 4th best in Japan.[14][15][16]

Popularity and selectivity

ICU is one of the most selective universities in Japan. Its entrance difficulty is usually considered as one of the top among 730 private universities. National and public universities use different kinds of exams. Thus it's only comparable between universities in the same category, e.g., Yoyogi seminar published Hensachi (the indication showing the entrance difficulties by prep schools) rankings.[17] Japanese journalist Kiyoshi Shimano ranks its entrance difficulty as SA (most selective/out of 11 scales) in Japan, which includes only four private universities and 11 national universities.[18]



See also


  1. "中島飛行機株式会社その軌跡" (in Japanese). Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  2. "Student Pledge - ICU - INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY". Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  3. History - Japan ICU Foundation
  4. Hale, C. (2010). "Change, Conflict and Conant: ELP Reform and ICU's Liberal Arts Heritage. Language research bulletin. 25" (PDF). Tokyo: International Christian University.
  5. "HTTP 404 error|国際基督教大学". Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  6. "HTTP 404 error|国際基督教大学". Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  7. "Home Cover Page". Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  9. "Employment rate in 400 major companies rankings" (in Japanese). Weekly Economist. 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  10. "Nikkei BP Brand rankings of Japanese universities" (in Japanese). Nikkei Business Publications. 2010. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  11. "Nikkei BP Brand rankings of Japanese universities" (in Japanese). Nikkei Business Publications. 2009. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  12. "GBUDU University Rankings" (in Japanese). YELL books. 2009. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  13. 1 2 "QS Asian University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2013. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  14. "Employment rate in 400 major companies rankings" (in Japanese). Weekly Economist. 2011. Retrieved Apr 29, 2011.
  15. 大学偏差値情報局 (1999-02-22). "年収偏差値・給料偏差値ランキング(2006・10・16):稼げる大学はどれ?". Event occurs at 02:51. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
  16. This 400 major companies exclude foreign companies, thus the ranking position tends to be lower for ICU which has many alumni who work in foreign companies
  17. "代々木ゼミナール(予備校) - ご案内". Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  18. 危ない大学・消える大学 2012年版 (in Japanese). YELL books. 2011.
  19. "陳新滋獲委任為香港浸會大學校長 (Chan Sun-Chi appointed as Hong Kong Baptist University president)". China Review News. 2009-10-19. Retrieved 2013-04-09.
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Coordinates: 35°41′15″N 139°31′46″E / 35.68750°N 139.52944°E / 35.68750; 139.52944

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