Our University , Open to the World
As a liberal arts university we encourage students to broaden their horizons, and develop critical and creative thinking skills as well as compassionate and understanding hearts, following the educational principles set forth by St. Julie Billiard, the foudress of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.
Notre Dame Seishin University, a liberal arts and sciences university, seeks truth, goodness and beauty with its educational ideals informed by the Christian spirit. We are committed to giving students an education in an academic community rooted in the liberal arts and sciences, to challenge them to become true, free women through learning and research, to encourage them to succeed personally and professionally in society, and above all, to encourage them to continue seeking the meaning of life.
In the context of the great confusion generated by the French Revolution, and in spite of her ill health, St. Julie Billiart (1751-1816) dedicated herself to reestablishing Christian belief. After making strenuous efforts with her supporters, she succeeded early in the 19th century in founding a Catholic educational order in France, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, whose mission was to educate poor women and children. She always gave her blessing by saying, “Ah! qu’il est bon le bon Dieu!” (“Ah! How good is the good God!”) With these words in mind, since then, more than 2,100 members of the sisters of Notre Dame de Namur have been engaged in education in 8 countries and regions of the world (the U.S.A., Italy, the U.K., Belgium, France, Japan, Africa, and South America) to communicate the goodness of God to students. We have always called St. Julie “Mother Julie” out of deep love for her.
Six members of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur from Waltham Province, in Massachusetts, the U.S.A., were sent to Okayama city in the west of Japan in August of 1924 in order to educate young Japanese women. The six sisters took over the management of Okayama Women’s High School, and did their best to give young women better and higher education, working with teachers who shared the same Christian aims in education. Their long efforts resulted in the foundation of Notre Dame Seishin University in 1949. Sr. Aimee Julie, the second President of Notre Dame Seishin University, had been one of the original six sisters.
Notre Dame Seishin University, which was the first and the only women’s university in Okayama Prefecture in 1949, has already celebrated its 60th Jubilee. We now have 8 sister universities or colleges in the U.S.A., the U.K. and Belgium, and have agreed to collaborate with 12 others in Europe, North America, Australia and Asia regarding study abroad programs. We are eager to further our endeavors to provide an academic background for young people to become leaders in the 21st century.
In line with our commitment to the liberal arts, and to cultivating truly liberal human beings, there are plenty of chances for students to attend Catholic masses and receive instruction in Christian culture.
One of the unique classes which we are proud of, is “On the Human Being,” which all the freshmen must take. They learn the essence of being human through Christian spirit based on the ideas of St. Julie Billiard. In addition, they may attend a wide variety of other classes according to their interests, called “open classes,” conducted by departments other than their own.
Students can enjoy their lessons in small-sized classes in which they have close contact and frequent communication with their teachers. Teachers are committed to finding the best methods of imparting their knowledge and also of creating mutual learning environments. To do this, students are encouraged to share their opinions with others and to take an active part in discussions. The university regards developing strong and respectful communicative abilities as an essential task to meet the needs of society.
There are also opportunities, both nationally and internationally, for students to explore local-global interdependence for themselves by joining volunteer activities.
In response to the rapid development of digital media, the university hosts a LAN network on campus and all students have access to computer facilities. In addition to internet facilities there are two sophisticated ‘Computer Assisted Language Learning’ (CALL) laboratories which offer a convergence between language learning and information science.
The circles of friendship reach overseas.
The curiosity of youth knows no boundaries.
The University, whose history began with six American sisters coming to Japan, represented the beginning of a strong tradition of international friendship which has lasted more than 50 years. We have eight sister colleges or universities around the world and have collaboration agreements for study-abroad programs with 14 colleges or universities. Many students from NDSU have been abroad to be hosted by our worldwide family network and have returned enriched by the new dimensions of friendship and knowledge they have gained through the experience.
Study Abroad Programs
There are two kinds of study abroad programs. One option is to study abroad for half a year or a full year at a foreign institute with which NDSU has a collaboration agreement. Below is a list of the 14 institutions NDSU has these agreements with:
In the U.S.A: Notre Dame de Namur College (Belmont, California), Concordia University (Irvine, California), Emmanuel College (Boston, Massachusetts), Trinity College (Washington DC), Salve Regina University (Newport, Rhode Island), St.Mary's University (San Antonio, Texas）
In the U.K.: Liverpool Hope University（Liverpool, England）
In Canada: University of Victoria（British Columbia）
In China: Fu Jen Catholic University (Taiwan), Dalian University of Foreign Languages (Dalian), Providence University (Taiwan), Beijing Foreign Studies University（Beijing）, Catholic University of Korea (Korea）
In Australia: University of Notre Dame Australia (Fremantle, Western Australia)
The other option is to study abroad at the University of Victoria for about a month during summer vacation.
University Club Activities
There are about 50 groups, circles and clubs open to student participation. These include a variety of multicultural activities, for example, Japanese tea ceremony, flower arranging, ‘koto’ (Japanese harp), hand bell, orchestra, Glee and ‘shodo’ (Japanese calligraphy). Also there are both Japanese and English drama clubs. If you prefer athletics, there are several to choose from, including kendo (Japanese fencing), volleyball, and cheer-leading.
Notre Dame Seishin Schools
- Notre Dame Seishin University Attached Kindergarden (Okayama)
- Notre Dame Seishin University Attached Elementary School (Okayama)
- Seishin Junior High School / Seishin Girls’ High School (Kurashiki)
- Notre Dame Seishin Junior & Senior High School (Hiroshima)
- Notre Dame Seishin University (Okayama)
Notre Dame Seishin University
2-16-9 Ifuku-cho,Kita-ku, Okayama City 700-8516 Japan