• Each fall semester, the East Asia Institute offers four primary courses (subject to change, though unlikely). However, students may replace primary courses with electives listed below. Please see the EAI Curriculum Rules for more information.
  • Syllabi for TCU courses (all of the “primary courses” as well as a number of electives) can be viewed online.
  • Students who need more information about the courses offered should contact the Admissions Office.

Primary Courses (Fall 2024)

SGS203E Global Studies III: Japanese Arts and Aesthetics (3 credits)

In this class, students learn about Japanese art and aesthetics culture from a Christian perspective. Students will focus on Ghibli animation as an art form in which contemporary Japan influences the world. Ghibli works also depict Japan's native natural religions, such as the worship of spirits in the forest. I would like to see some of Ghibli's most important works in class, discuss them, and study them. Students will read "Miyazaki World: Hayao Miyazaki's Darkness and Light" (Hayakawa Shobo) by Professor Susan Napier, a researcher at Ghibli, as a textbook and learn about contemporary Japanese art from an international perspective, together with appreciating the works.
This class is a 3 credit subject, 140 + 70 minutes per week. While reading as a subtext Chie Nakane's "Human Relations in a Vertical Society," a classic work on the study of Japanese society, you will also learn about the distinctive human relations of the Japanese. This is because Japanese human relations are a major theme in regional cultural theory.
This class is offered in both Japanese and English by an interpreter in conjunction with Global Studies III: Theory of Japanese Culture.

SGS307E Global Studies VII: Religion and Society in Japan (3 credits)


This course aims to understand and analyse how religion functions as social systems in contemporary Japan. Although Japan is considered as one of the least religious countries in the world, it can be argued that religion still plays a significant role in Japanese people’s private and public lives. This can be observed in the intersections of various themes such as Shinto and politics, Buddhism and views of life and death, New Religions and social engagement, and the Aum Affair and violence. Through readings, lectures, student presentations, weekly discussions, and field trips, students are expected not only to gain knowledge about relationships between religion and society in Japan and achieve a necessary familiarity with the religious landscapes in the contemporary Japanese society, but to develop critical skills for examining their own views of religion itself. The course will also provide an opportunity to visit local religious sites. Class preparations and active participation in the weekly discussions and lectures constitute a major part of the student’s grade for the semester.

SGS316E Global Studies ⅩⅥ : Japanese Culture and Society (3 credits)


This course introduces Japanese culture and society through studying forms, patterns, and expressions of life in Japan today. Students will get a broad overview of Japanese forms of government, economic life, family and community life, Japanese religions and worldviews, and forms of education. While the focus will be on contemporary Japan, students will also learn about historical forms and expressions of Japanese culture that have led up to the present day. Students will learn through classroom lectures, readings, and discussions, of course, but also through meeting and interviewing local Japanese people about their own understanding and experiences in various areas of life, and through reflecting together on what they have seen and learned during their experiences in daily life. Throughout the course, students will have many opportunities to reflect on what it means to live as a Christian in Japan today, whether as a Japanese citizen or as an expatriate. The course's broader aims are for students to learn how to become critically minded and compassionate interpreters of their own and other cultures to live and act in ways that lead to the flourishing of life both locally and globally.

LJA110E-210E Elementary – Intermediate Japanese Language and Culture (4 credits)

The elementary and intermediate courses help students to build a strong foundation in the Japanese language, aiming for the ultimate goal of being a true bridge person between Japan and their home countries. In order to be such a bridge person, the students should be able to use the Japanese language as their tool, being fluent in reading and writing as well. All four skills speaking, listening, writing, and reading will be covered.
Students will be assigned to the course below that best suits their level:
LJA110E Elementary Japanese Language and Culture I
LJA210E Intermediate Japanese Language and Culture I

Electives Courses

Elective (Fall 2024) *Elective courses vary from 1 to 2 credits.

CCW110E Christ and the World I: Issues Facing the Church Today (2 credits)

This course guides students in understanding some of the most pressing conundrums and challenges the church is facing today, especially in Japan but also around the world. In weekly readings and class sessions, students will consider a range of topics, such as Christian responses to: social justice issues such as poverty, gender discrimination, and other inequalities; misconduct, abuse, and other toxic beliefs and practices in religious communities, including special problems faced by people raised in religious families (shūkyō nisei); the aging of Japanese society; ethnocentrism and xenophobia; the impact of AI on religious beliefs and practices; environmental destruction and stewardship. While considering these and other issues, students will reflect on questions among people of faith about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); interfaith dialogue and cooperation; religion and politics; religious misconduct and abuse; and gender roles. While fostering critical thinking and respectful dialogue, the course aims to invigorate students' pursuit of a Christian liberal arts education in order to equip themselves with the ability to identify, analyze, and communicate the nature and scope of issues facing the church today.

RGB240E Great Books Ⅳ: Social Sciences (2 credits)

In this course, we will cover Hannah Arendt's "The Human Condition," a classic in political philosophy. Through the Socratic method of questioning and promoting deeper thought, professors and students will explore themes related to human society and economics that Arendt addresses, such as labor, work, and action. Materials are provided in both English and Japanese, encouraging participation from students with diverse backgrounds. Although the course is primarily conducted in English, extensive support is available for non-native speakers, aiming to improve communication skills across language barriers. This course presents an excellent opportunity for students interested in sociology, political science, and philosophy to deepen their understanding of theoretical frameworks that enhance comprehension of contemporary society. The learning method, where professors and students seek new insights together, stimulates academic curiosity and cultivates critical thinking skills.

SBS220E Biblical Studies II: New Testament Survey (2 credits)

This course is designed to provide students with a basic knowledge of New Testament, which is required prior to their pursuit of theological studies at TCU. We will make a survey of New Testament books chronologically rather than the order of books in the New Testament. We will study not only books of New Testament, but also its historical background since historical background information is indispensable for us to interpret and understand New Testament properly. New Testament world was different from ours in every respect. 'Christianity' started as a sect within Judaism, which was the religion of Jewish people. However, 'Christianity' has soon outgrown Judaism once non-Jewish Christians were accepted as full members of the Church. Since acceptance of non-Jewish Christians was the biggest issue for the first Christians, Paul argued for justification by faith without observance of the Mosaic law, and Luke recounts how first church has expanded not just geographically, but also trans-ethnically and trans-culturally.

SCH450E Christian History and Tradition V: Systematic Theology (2 credits)

The course introduces basic concepts about systematic theology. There is much common ground on these topics with the Lutheran, Reformed/Calvinist, and Wesleyan/Arminian theological traditions that inform much of modern evangelicalism. Yet evangelicals even within these traditions debate many issues. The course explores the coherence and interrelation of doctrinal topics, their roots in biblical sources, and their expression and development within the wider church. The course is focused specifically on doctrine and not on practice or ethics, but with the assumption that the knowledge of God and oneself is integral to Christian living. 

LJA350E Japanese Extensive Reading and Listening 1 (2 credits)


This course aims to help students acquire and effectively use Japanese through Extensive Reading and Listening, which we call Tadoku. A large amount of Japanese input through Tadoku helps students to improve their output by speaking and writing more fluently. In order for students to be successful at Tadoku, they are encouraged to keep the following four rules: (1) Start with simple and easy materials. (2) Read without using a dictionary. (3) Skip unknown words. (4) When stuck, or when something becomes uninteresting, find something else. Students are required to keep a Tadoku log, write brief reflections about book they read, and share their Tadoku experience with other students.

Prerequisites and Other Notes: Ability to read Hiragana (+Katakana) is the minimum requirement. Students must be willing to spend a large amount of time reading, listening, and enjoying a variety of materials for Japanese input throughout the term.

SGS101E Global Studies I: Intercultural Communication (2 credits)


The need to acquire the knowledge and skills in intercultural communication is growing in the globalized word. Developing the ability and competence in cross-cultural communication is not simply relevant but crucial today. This course aims to introduce the basic knowledge and skills necessary for developing healthy intercultural relationships. To archive this goal, this course will explore the fundamental concepts and variables in cross-cultural communication. In addition, students will learn cultural patterns that help students to objectify both their own and other cultural ways of communication in order to foster healthy intercultural relationships. The cultivation of positive attitudes towards different cultures is essential. The necessary components and basic skills for effective intercultural communication will be discussed. In this course, a special emphasis will be given to the intercultural communication in the Japanese context. This specific emphasis is intentional and it aims at helping students for their cultural adjustment in the Japanese culture and society.


Elective (Winter 2024) *Elective courses vary from 1 to 2 credits.

LJA120E Elementary Japanese Language and Culture 2 (4 credits)

A continuation of JPN 101E. Following the fall term, this course will continue to provide a basic foundation in the Japanese language. All four skills -- listening, speaking, reading, and writing -- will be covered. Always keep in mind your ultimate goal, i.e., to be a bridge person between Japan and your home country. Again, in order to be such a bridge person, you should be fluent in reading and writing as well. We will continue to build on kanji and by the end of the term, about 100 kanji will be covered. From this term on, an oral exam will be introduced. The students will continue to be encouraged to use their learning outside of the class, taking advantage of the Japanese-speaking environment. Detailed schedule will be provided in class. 

LJA220E Intermediate Japanese Language and Culture 2 (4 credits)

Following the previous semester, this course will continue to enhance the students' ability in the Japanese language, as they aim for the ultimate goal of being bridge people between Japan and their home countries. During this semester, more colloquial expressions and casual styles will be introduced. The students will also learn how to respond appropriately so that the conversation will flow more smoothly. The process from input, in the form of audio recordings, to oral output is taken into consideration, so that ability in oral output can be increased. Grammar practice is designed so that, through "Notice and Discover" activities that take place within real communication, grammar can be learned within a meaningful context. The students continue to be encouraged to be independent learners, especially as they work on their reading and writing assignments. By the end of this semester, the students are expected to have a good awareness of the culturally-appropriate language use and also to demonstrate such ability in a variety of real-life contexts. A detailed schedule will be provided in class.

LJA360E Japanese Extensive Reading and Listening 2 (2 credits)

This course aims to help students acquire and effectively use Japanese through Extensive Reading and Listening, which we call Tadoku. A large amount of Japanese input through Tadoku helps students to improve their output by speaking and writing more fluently. In order for students to be successful at Tadoku, they are encouraged to keep the following four rules: (1) Start with simple and easy materials. (2) Read without using a dictionary. (3) Skip unknown words. (4) When stuck, or when something becomes uninteresting, find something else. Students are required to keep a Tadoku log, write brief reflections about book they read, and share their Tadoku experience with other students.

RGB120E Great Books II: Japanese Literature (2 credits)

Expanding students' exposure to seminal literary works across time, space, and culture, this course focuses specifically on important works of Japanese literature. Literature nurtures your inner self by exposing you to human reality. Experiences in the literary world broaden your worldview, which helps you to grow in your understanding of other human beings and relate to them in the real world. Being informed of Japanese mentalities through pivotal modern/contemporary works helps Christians deepen their understanding of Japanese people outside of Christian communities. Each literary work in our selection offers unique and important insights into Japanese culture and its core values, which have been intricately cultivated under internal and external influences throughout history. Students may read the selections in English, Japanese, or any other available translation. We will learn from each other as we share and discuss each other's discoveries in class. 

SPT210E Practical Theology I: Missiology (2 credits)

Missiology (the study of mission, mission studies, or intercultural studies) is an area of theological discipline that considers the mission of the Church. In a biblical sense, "mission" and "church" cannot be understood separately. In addition, missiology is a field of study that lies between "Two W," namely the study of “the word” (the bible) and the study of “the world” (culture). 
The purpose of this course is to provide a general introduction to the discipline of missiology. This course seeks to provide a foundational framework for the mission of church. We will examine both the gospel mandate (the Great Commission) and the cultural mandate. 
This course also aims to examine cultural issues in relation to Christian mission. Since culture is central part of human being and society, the study of culture is crucial for any Christian ministries. Therefore, this course will explore anthropological issues for the mission of the Church. In this course, a special attention is given to the Japanese context. 

SPT350E Practical Theology V: Christian Apologetics(2 cerdits)

 To be updated soon

CCW120E Christ and the World II: Issues Facing the Church through Time  (2 credits)

This course introduces students to Christ’s relevance in their contemporary context by exploring the church’s call to perceptive biblical engagement in the most pressing conundrums and fractures besetting all corners of culture, local and global. From the impact of religious extremism, to the rise of naturalistic atheism, to the popularity of pluralism, the church’s concept of God continues to require reevaluation and articulation. Simultaneously, the church grapples with embodying a biblical concept of community that dignifies all image-bearers. For instance, presently salient—particularly for Japan—is navigating issues of gender and sexuality. The church faces fresh challenges in its relation to power as structures consolidating influence now incorporate complex international and economic dynamics. As technological advancement ushers in an unprecedented information age and exposes environmental crises, the church encounters a new set of hermeneutical hurdles, considering if and how the Bible speaks to such matters. With issues multiplying and modulating at a dizzying pace, this course seeks to invigorate students’ pursuit of a Christian liberal arts education as an invaluable asset for coming to think and relate in redemptive kingdom-oriented ways that bear the life-renewing presence of Christ into His world today.

SGS310E Global Studies X: Japan Encounters the West (2 credits)

"Japan Encounters the West: Leadership, Management, and Societal Transformation" explores leadership and management in modern society from a sociological perspective, examining the interaction between individuals and groups, organizations, and society. To live better within relationships and organizational structures, it is essential to understand how our individual choices impact organizations and society, the role organizations play in forming individual identities, the meaning of organizational culture, and the challenges of multicultural societies under globalization. This course unravels the dynamism of "individual, organization, and society" that created modern Japanese society, while considering the impact of Western values that produced rational organizations and Peter Drucker's organizational management theories, known as the father of management, on Japan and other cultures. We will also understand the unique structure of Japanese society, examining the relationship between "private and public" and post-war social changes, to contemplate what organizations in the 21st century entail, regardless of whether one holds a leadership position, and how Christians can play a role within organizations. Through case studies, group discussions, and examples from special lecturers, students will be challenged to integrate theory and practice and develop skills to explore effective organizational management methods in an increasingly complex society. Through this course, students will enhance the leadership and management skills required in today's society. 

SGS412E Global Studies XII: Religion and Public Policy(2 credits)

While some defend so-called ‘secularization theory’ on the basis of a decline in church attendance, others counter this hypothesis by claiming that religion is still deeply rooted in people’s moral and political lives. Moreover, some contemporary social theorists, who previously thought religion does more harm than good for liberalism, have reconsidered their position. They now believe that religion contributes to a retrieval of our sense of citizenship and provides cultural resources for social diagnosis.
With these discussions in mind, this lecture will use the case study of World Vision. World Vision is a Christian humanitarian and development organisation dedicated to working with children, families and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice. Majority of the lectures will be led by active international NGO staff working in the field in developing countries and Japan, who will explain the current situation, approaches to solving issues, and the role of NGOs from the perspective of each specialised field.
Through the lecture, students will deepen understanding of the specific knowledge and abilities needed to embody faith in contemporary society.

SGS414E Global Studies XIV: TESOL(2 credits)

This is a practical course for those interested in teaching English in the EFL (English as a Foreign Language) setting. Students taking the course will self-study basic theories and skills through video clips and articles given as assignments. In class participants are expected to discuss findings and questions from the assignments, with insights from one’s own learner experience in language courses. Toward the end of the course the participants will lead a 15-minute language activity in the real classroom at TCU so that the “mini-teachers” can learn from actual teaching. Learning how to teach with textbooks, the participants will study learner materials available in Japan, then choose a topic to make a mock teaching plan. Through taking the course the students will come to grasp what EFL learners’ needs and motivations are, yet also how varied individual classrooms are.