General Information

About Us

St. Thomas University, Japan is a Catholic University located just outside Osaka in Western Japan. Our student body comprises roughly 130 men and women, divided between three undergraduate departments and two divisions in our graduate school. Our faculty is drawn from a number of countries and we have extensive links around the world. The language of instruction is Japanese for the most part, although a number of courses are available in English.


A Message from the President of STU, Japan

St. Thomas University was founded in 1963 and has since been conducting its own unique education and research activities with an international perspective. The University has expanded its circle of education abroad by establishing sister-school relationships with Loras College (Dubuque, Iowa, USA) in 1983, the Université Catholique de L’Ouest (France) in 1997, and Suzhou Railway Teachers’ College (China) and the Universidad de León (Spain) in 1998. In recent years, we have enjoyed close exchange relationships with Washington State University (USA), Aquinas University (Philippines), and Australian Catholic University. Since the establishment of the International Language Education Center in 1994, and the Institute of Humanities and the International Language and Culture Institute in 1997, we have realized considerable achievements in helping Japanese and international students develop into well-rounded individuals who possess a global perspective and effective communication skills.

We changed the name of our institution to St. Thomas University after it was admitted to the International Council of Universities of St. Thomas Aquinas (IC-USTA) as an official member in 2007.

In addition to providing educational activities that are carried out in the framework of cutting-edge global education, our faculty and researchers have participated in research activities in their specific discipline and have accomplished some exceptional results. At the base of these achievements lies our sense of mission to be the foremost educational institution in the disciplines of our expertise and the quest for truth that can be found in the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas. The footprints of these academic accomplishments have been published in many scholarly journals including the annual journal of the University, “SAPIENTIA.” Our university library houses over 270,000 volumes, with 42,000 on theology, which have contributed to supporting educational and research activities.

2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the University. Since its founding in 1963, it has educated more than 10,000 students and helped them develop into global citizens. Our graduates have spread out into all sectors of society, working within the international community promoting mutual harmony and benefit. It has been over a decade since we have entered the 21st century. With wide ranging changes in international affairs, the functions that are expected to be carried out by universities in Japan have diversified and we are seeing increasing demands for higher education that is distinct and one of a kind. Utilizing half a century of experience in educational research, we seek to nurture internationally-minded individuals who have a strong sense of humanity on a global scale that has never been seen before.

In accordance with the University’s educational mission for a new era, we will reshape the current platform of global education into something more unique while ensuring that it is up-to-date with the changing landscape of the international community. One of the most important roles of higher education in Japan is to cultivate human resources who can make a substantial contribution in global competition so that Japan can maintain and advance its status as a “nation built on scientific and technological creativity.” Through the Laureate International Universities worldwide network, we will provide students – not just in Japan but in all parts of the world - with education that embodies two fields of expertise Japan boasts to the world – “creation of technology” and “creation of knowledge.” We will impart Japan’s “Eichi (wisdom)” and “Souzou (creation)” to students from abroad and provide Japanese students with global education that enables them to develop and disseminate their knowledge to the world.

「Endurance makes you stronger」 Our University hopes to contribute to the strengthening of Japan’s leadership in the world community by utilizing our 50 years of experience in global education.


The History of Our University

Our university was founded by the Catholic Archdiocese of Diocese in 1962 as Eichi University. Originally a junior college, Eichi quickly grew into a vibrant four-year university with a Faculty of Arts housing five departments. Eichi ("Sapientia" in Latin) University developed a strong reputation for theology and foreign language education, establishing three research institutes on our campus and active links with many universities overseas. In 1994, the Sapientia International Language Education Center was opened to support the teaching and study of foreign languages as well as study abroad. Two years later, Eichi University opened a graduate school with two programs of study.

In 2007, Eichi University was invited to become the first Japanese member of a worldwide association of Catholic universities, the International Council of Universities of St. Thomas Aquinas (IC-USTA). We officially changed our name to St. Thomas University, Japan in recognition of this new affiliation and in anticipation of our new program of study beginning in April 2008. We hope to welcome many students from outside of Japan to study in our Faculty of Interpersonal and Cross-cultural Understanding in the coming years.


Our Campus

St. Thomas University is a small, friendly college that takes pride in its international flavor. The STU campus is a 30-minute commute from the hustle and bustle of downtown Osaka. At the heart of our campus is the Augustine chapel where mass is held twice weekly. The Sapientia Tower, which houses lecture halls and seminar rooms, is a local landmark which can be seen from afar. Our library, a favorite study spot for STU students and professors alike, houses over 270,000 volumes written in many different languages. Our students spend much of their day in the classrooms, computer center and CALL lab. Between classes they can often be seen hanging out with their friends at the Club House, Student Support Center, Café or outside at the tables.

Takehiko Oda


Academic Calendar

  • Entrance Ceremony
    Spring semester classes begin
  • Extra-curricular English conversation class begins
  • Sports Festival
  • Career Placement Seminar
  • Final examinations for first semester courses
  • Summer vacation
  • Overseas study trips
  • Fall semester classes begin
  • School Foundation Day
  • School Festival
  • Christmas Party
  • English Speech Contest
Early February
  • Final examinations for fall semester courses



Laureate International Universities

Amagasaki International Association

Japan University Accreditation Association

The Japan Association of Private Colleges and Universities

The Japan Federation of Catholic Schools

Japan-China Economic Relations and Trade Centre

International Federation of Catholic Universities

Association of Southeast and East Asian Catholic Colleges and Universities




St. Thomas University, Japan, is located in Western Japan between the cities of Osaka and Kobe. It is easily accessible from Kansai, Osaka and Kobe airports and from all parts of Japan by rail.

To reach the university from either Osaka or Kobe, take a train on the Hankyu line to Sonoda Station, or on the JR line to Amagasaki Station. A bus runs between the two stations and stops outside St. Thomas University on the way. Alternatively, the campus is a 15-minute walk from Hankyu Sonoda Station.

access map


access map from KANSAI AIR PORT

To contact us:
Or: St. Thomas University
2-18-1 Nakoji
Amagasaki City
Hyogo Prefecture


The Kansai Area

St. Thomas University is located in the heart of the Kansai region, three hours west of Tokyo on the main island of Honshu. Our campus is conveniently situated in Amagasaki City, in Hyogo Prefecture. We are only 30 minutes from downtown Osaka, a bustling shopping and entertainment area popular with people of all ages. A short distance to the west of our campus is the beautiful city of Kobe, blessedly situated between the mountains and sea. The city of Kyoto, known for its historical flavor and home of many of Japan's most famous temples and shrines, is also within easy reach. The ancient capital of Nara, famous for its deer part and the giant Buddha of Todaiji Temple, is 90 minutes from St. Thomas by train.

There is a lot to do and explore in Kansai. This area of the country is known for its warm-hearted, open people and its fun-loving spirit. The local people are proud of their special forms of entertainment, special foods, and unique Kansai dialect. Many foreign residents of Kansai say that they wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Come and see for yourself!