Experiencing Christianity

Music, socializing, international exchange, food -Christianity is present in various aspects of student life at Meiji Gakuin University. These personal connections enable wonderful experiences and encounters.

Worship (Chapel Hour)

Chapel Hour continues to be an important time observed by the university.
It is conducted at weekday lunchtimes during the school term, on both the Shirokane and Yokohama campuses.
We invite university ministers and faculty, as well as local church ministers, students and social activists connected to the university, to offer messages based on personal experience regarding studies, faith or lessons gained from the Bible. Come and spend a moment of your day in quiet introspection.
The Chapel Hour schedule is published on the university website and Port Hepburn on a weekly basis.

View the Chapel Hour schedule (weekly) here(Japanese)

Vespers (evening prayer)

A moment to reset at day’s end. Take time for self-assessment by joining in prayer hymns and reflecting on the day in meditation. When: Twice a month (held irregularly, schedule notified separately)

Chri-Can (new student welcome event)

All new students are welcome to attend. Held every year in May, this event features a fun-packed program with buffet-style dinner, club showcase and live performances. Also includes advice about student life from seniors and teaching staff, as well as meditation and Christianity question sessions. An opportunity to meet new friends and make connections.

Easter Service

Easter is an important occasion celebrating Christ’s resurrection. It is marked by special church services and egg-hunts that symbolize Christ’s death and resurrection. At the Yokohama Campus, third-period classes are shortened, and Chapel Hour extended by 30 minutes.

Chri-Ko Kai (summer gathering, graduate reception)

The summer gathering is scheduled to be held in early August. An opportunity to come together with hymns and the Bible, to make friends and deepen relationships through Christianity. In late January, students involved with the Center for Christian Activities farewell their graduating companions.

Food for Thought Camp

Instead of simply buying and microwaving as usual, creating food by hand from scratch places the emphasis on experiencing the processes that transform living creatures into meals on our plates. Under the direction of Ken Ueki (Associate Professor at the Center for Liberal Arts) in Karuizawa, students focus single-mindedly on preparing and enjoying food, with time for morning and evening meditation. When: Late August (2 nights, 3 days)

Asian Rural Institute Work Camp

Located in Nasu-Shiobara, Tochigi, the Asian Rural Institute is a Christian facility for training agricultural community leaders. Students from more than twenty countries practice food self-sufficiency as part of a lifestyle focused on sustainability and the environment. Through agricultural experiences and interaction with trainees, work camp participants learn how to coexist with others while recognizing differences in nationality, religion, ethnicity, customs or values.
When: Early August (2 nights, 3 days)

America Home-stay Study Tour

A home-stay of around two weeks with Christian families in the American state of Pennsylvania, the home of our university’s founder, Dr. Hepburn. This fulfilling tour involves participation in English classes, viewing musicals and volunteer activities, all while interacting with local people.

Christmas Tree Illumination

In late November, students and local residents gather on both campuses to light Christmas trees, accompanied by songs and performances. This event celebrates the beginning of the Christmas season. Advent is also observed from this day, with one of the four candles on the chapel altar lit each week.

Christmas Service (candlelight service)

In mid-December, worshipers offer up prayers in the Chapel by candlelight. Alongside Bible readings, music and Christmas messages, the service also includes performances by student groups.

Meiji Gakuin Christmas Music Service

Prior to Christmas in late December, a service is held to celebrate the season through music, with handbell and choir performances by students and graduates. Due to the number of students, graduates and local residents that attend each year, the event is split into afternoon and evening sessions.

Monastery Retreat

A retreat for quiet self-reflection at a monastery in Kamakura.
Late February (2 nights, 3 days)