The International Federation of Catholic Universities today brings together nearly 250 universities worldwide. Created in very diverse conditions, with a variety of religious sensibilities, our universities also evolve in extremely different contexts. One of the constants of their work, however, is always to question their Catholic identity, which is a matter of constituted traditions as well as of constituent traditions.

IFCU presents a series of interviews with Catholic figures who come to bear witness and share their reflections and experiences on what it means to be a Catholic university today.

Save the Date – September 15th, 2021 – 1.30 PM (Paris Time)

Catholic Identity in a University in Japan
Fr. Robert Kisala, SVD

 The Catholic identity of universities in Japan is an important issue for two reasons: since the Catholic population of the country in general is less than one half of one percent, Catholic staff and students are an exceedingly small number; and in recent years the founding congregations have seen a steep decline in their membership, thus reducing their presence and influence in the universities. I will present how we try to maintain our Catholic identity at Nanzan University, particularly in light of the 2013 document from the Congregation for Catholic Education, “Educating for Intercultural Dialogue in Catholic Schools: Living in Harmony for a Civilization of Love.”

Robert Kisala was born in 1957 in Chicago in the United States of America. After graduating from the Department of Mathematics at Divine Word College he earned an M.A. Theology from the Graduate School of Theology and Ministry at Catholic Theological Union and then Masters and Doctoral degrees in Literature from the University of Tokyo. In 1985, Kisala was ordained as a priest and in 1995 he began teaching at Nanzan University, becoming its president in April 2020. He has served in a range of positions within the Society of the Divine Word in Japan and worldwide such as provincial superior, admonitor, and vice superior general.