Message from The Chancellor
Fr. Tsutomu Sakuma, S.J.
An attitude of ceaseless pursuit and nurturing of the truth, constitutes the genuine essence of Sophia.
As I am sure you are all aware, Sophia is a university founded on the tradition of Christianity. Just next to our campus lies the St. Ignatius Church. This is a Catholic place of worship run by the Society of Jesus, a group also popularly referred to as the Jesuits. Yet, as you look around you, you will notice that not many crucifixes or chapels are visible in our campus, and the prime reason for this is the fact that what we wish to convey to our students, is not just the Christian doctrine in a narrow sense of the term, but rather, an approach to education, that is wide-ranging and unbiased. Education is a process of nurturing human beings, an activity whereby people assist each other to develop and grow. In Sophia, we are of the firm belief that education transcends knowledge and skills, and our approach is based on a Christian outlook and culture, that are both comprehensive and amicable. For instance, we trust in exchanges that permit the mutual encounter of people, encounters that will enable them to inspire each other at a deeper level, for we believe that such encounters will in time lead them on to a devoted search for truth, regardless of where that truth might lie.
Our comparatively lesser number of students enables us to mutually cultivate firmer links with all in our campus. A distinctive feature of Sophia lies in the intimate bonds the students build up, not just with their peers but with members of the faculty as well, and a fervor for learning permeates this ambience of interaction and dialogue, within which we live.
As a high proportion of our students hail from abroad, Sophia offers them an international cultural milieu, thereby enabling them to forge links with the wider society, within the Japanese capital. Central to this issue is our faith in our university’s foundational ideals, which are rooted in Christian humanism. In this age of diversity and globalization, evidence of what I say may be observed in our vast numbers of Sophia alumni, who are currently active in the frontlines of academics, culture, business, and diverse other fields, both nationwide and internationally.
Sophia’s approach to education and academics may be outlined in the diversity of multidisciplinary courses the university offers. Such courses are by no means limited to narrow academic specializations. Rather, they include programs like the study of life and death, which combine insights from a multiplicity of scholarly fields. Such fields may include Theology, Religious Studies, Philosophy, Comparative Thought, Literature, Arts, the findings of clinical care, and Area Studies programs, which probe a wide variety of societies and cultures from a practical standpoint, as well as international contributions made at the grassroots level.
In today’s society we notice a rise in the diversity of values, which we have never seen before. We seek to grant our students an international perspective with reference to society and the world, an ability to perceive the genuine needs of the people around them, and a readiness to respond to those needs. It is my sincere hope that values such as these may be imbued within your hearts, in the course of your study at Sophia University.
Chancellor of Sophia School Corporation
Professor, Faculty of Theology
Fr. Tsutomu Sakuma, S.J.
Fr. Sakuma earned a bachelor’s degree from Kyoto University, Kyoto in 1975. In 1980, he earned master’s degree in Philosophy from Sophia University. He also received Diplom Theologie Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule Sankt Georgen, Frankfurt am Main in 1984 and Licentia in re Biblica Pontificio Istituto Biblico, Roma in 1988. He received a doctorate in Theology Pontifical Gregorian University, Roma in 1995.
He became an associate professor of Faculty of Theology in 1997 and was promoted to full professor in 2001. From 2011 to June 2014, he served as the President of Seibo College. He also served as the Director of Sophia School of Social Welfare from 2011 to March 2012. From October 2016 to March 2018, he served as the Trustee for General Affairs.