University Information


St. Luke’s International University has developed from the High Grade Nurse Training School attached to St. Luke’s International Hospital, which had been founded in 1920 by the Christian missionary physician, Dr. Rudolf Bolling Teusler. His vision for nursing education was not only to provide high-quality professional training, but to also nurture nurses who would understand and appreciate human beings and their place in society, nurses who would have public awareness while embodying the Christian faith. Mrs. Alice C. St. John, an American with abundant teaching experience, was invited to direct this school, and it was founded with the aim of raising the level of the nursing profession and developing skilled nurses who can take leadership. Right from the beginning, the high standards set at this school created an educational environment completely unlike that at any other existing institution involved in women’s or nursing education in Japan at the time. Apart from clinical nursing, the curriculum also covered general health issues and included such courses as home-visit nursing, school health, and health education.
Since then, the school’s history followed a steady course of unremitting effort which has now evolved into the present university.

  • 1920
    The High Grade Nurse Training School attached to St. Luke’s International Hospital is founded under the directorship of Dr. Rudolf Bolling Teusler, in cooperation with Mrs. Alice C. St. John.
  • 1927
    St. Luke’s Women’s College is the only nursing school in Japan that is approved as an institute of higher education to provide an extra 4th year diploma course after finishing the basic 3-year course.

Christmas Eve 1939

Christmas Eve 1940

  • 1946
    St. Luke’s International Hospital is requisitioned by the US Occupation Forces (GHQ). Nursing education is continued jointly with Japan Red Cross Women’s College as the Model Demonstration School of Nursing during this time.
  • 1954
    The school buildings are returned, and are now used to house St. Luke’s Junior College of Nursing (3-year course).


  • 1964
    As St. Luke’s College of Nursing, it becomes the first private nursing school in Japan to provide a 4-year basic course.
1966 capping

1966 capping

  • 1976
    It becomes the first College of Nursing in Japan to accept transfer of students who have graduated from other junior colleges of nursing (to 1988).
1973 Old building 7th floor cafeteria

1973 Old building 7th floor cafeteria

1978 Graduation ceremony

1978 Graduation ceremony

  • 1980
    It becomes the first private and second of all nursing universities in Japan to offer a graduate master’s course (Master’ degree)


  • 1988
    It becomes the first Nursing College in Japan to offer a graduate doctoral course (Doctor of Nursing Science).
1995 Old building under construction

1995 Old building under construction

Old practice clothes last student (Class of 1998)

Old practice clothes last student (Class of 1998)

  • 1996
    A new college building is completed.

New college building

  • 1997
    The college starts accepting transfer of undergraduate students for the bachelor degree.
    The Clinical Nurse Specialist course is established as part of the master’s course.
  • 2002
    The Research Center for Nursing Practice Development is established.
  • 2003
    It is chosen as a nursing “center of excellence” (COE) of the “Nursing for People-Centered Initiatives in Health Care and Health Promotion,” under the 21st century COE program of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
    The building No.2 of the nursing college is completed, and is used to house the Graduate School and the Research Center for Development of Nursing Practice.
  • 2004
    A (long-term) graduate master’s course for working people (lifelong learning) is established.
  • 2005
    The specialty graduate master’s course in Women's Health / Midwifery (Master of Nursing) is established.
  • 2014
    The name is changed to St. Luke’s International University.