Office of the Chancellor Kobe College

A Message from the Chancellor

Koichi Mori, Th. D.

Love thy God, Love thy Neighbor

Established on October 12, 1875 as the first educational institution for women in western Japan, Kobe College was founded by two missionaries, Eliza Talcott and Julia Dudley. They were sent to Kobe, Japan by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. Over the ensuing 140 plus years, Kobe College received accolades as a premier educational institution for its rich tradition born of adherence to the school motto of “Love Thy God, Love Thy Neighbor”, the beautiful campus, and its rich educational philosophy and content.

It was in spring of 1873 that Ms. Talcott arrived in Japan. In her first letter back to the US, she wrote that she wished to learn the language quickly so that she will be able to talk with the young women in Kobe. Her strong desire to communicate, which will lead to mutual understanding, clearly shows in this passage. At Kobe College, this Christian spirit of forgiveness, mutual acceptance and support is prized, promoted and is at the foundation of its rich tradition.

The tradition has continued on as the school relocated to the current Okadayama campus upon its completion in 1933. The architect was William Merrell Vories, who has received much attention, renown and accolades in recent years. He was known to state that “the school buildings educate”. The word “educate” in the European languages has the equivalent meaning to “draw out (one’s ability)” or “build”. While Dr. Vories meticulously designed and supervised every detail down to the roof tiles and hand rails, he worked to encourage students and others who would occupy the buildings to participate in planning as well. He also included in his design of classrooms and hallways “play” areas. This campus was truly built to promote student-motivated learning.

The Christian based educational philosophy being followed since the school’s founding, consists of “Internationalism” for mutual understanding; “small community” for close relationship building; “women’s education” for liberated self-reliance; “liberal arts” to promote independent pursuit of knowledge. These elements have combined to nurture rich and rounded personalities in the students. We strive to realize this philosophy using progressive methods, of course. Leading edge research, high quality curriculum, continuously reviewed and updated language programs and overseas exchange opportunities, maintaining the student and faculty ratio that encourages individual contacts, and the wonderful and charming space of Vories’ making all contribute to enable those that study here to deepen the self-knowledge and to take their flight out into the world.

Efficiency is much valued in our modern society, with the unfortunate consequence of increasing tendency of human values being measured by the level of expertise and knowledge in a specific field a person may possess. It is regrettable that we all easily seem to succumb to this pitfall without realizing it. Here at Kobe College, it is our resolve to be true to our Christian principle, continue to fight against the tide of dehumanization and see the humanity in all. We continue to work with Megumi-Kai, our alumnae association, to remain engaged with those who have graduated. Along with the student body, graduates and the faculty, we will continue to strive to send this message and to live this message.

Ken Ii, Ph. D.
Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chancellor, Kobe College

Chancellor's Biography


BA in Sociology, Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo (1977)
BA in Theology, Doshisha University, Kyoto (1979)
MA in Theology, Doshisha University, Kyoto (1981)
PhD in Theology, Doshisha University, Kyoto (2005)

Professional Appointments

Kobe College, 1983-2018, Assistant, Lecturer, Associate Professor, Professor
1983-2017, Assistant Chaplain, Senior Chaplain
2000-2003, 2007-2009, 2015-2018, Dean of Students
2009-2015, President

Member of the Board of Councilors, Shoei Childcare Gakuin, 2013-present
Member of the Board of Councilors, Kobe College, 2000-2008, 2015-2018
Member of the Board of Trustees, Kobe College, 2004-2008, 2009-2015, 2018-
Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chancellor, Kobe College, 2018-

Field of Specialization

Theology, Old Testament Studies



A Literary Study on the first Davidic Psalter (PSS.1-41), Shinkyo Pub., 2006


Missionaries in Kobe College, Kobe College, 2017

Kobe College in Yamamoto-Dori Period, Nihon Kirisuto Kyodan Pub., 2015

For the Old Testament Students, Sekaishisosha, 2012

An Introduction to the Old Testament Studies, Nihon Kirisuto Kyodan Pub., 2007

On the Evil, Shinkyo Pub., 2004

One Volume Commentary on the Old testament, Nihon Kirisuto Kyodan Pub., 2001

Analytical Methods and Some Problems on the Old Testament, Nihon Kirisuto Kyodan Pub., 1996

(Books written in Japanese language)