We are actively looking for organizations that can benefit from our Rural Leaders Training Program: grassroots organizations in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Near East, and the Pacific that work directly with rural communities and who are willing to invest in valuable training for their key staff.

We also welcome inquiries and applications from such organizations and communities themselves. We are waiting to hear from you!

On this page, you can find out how your organization/community can partner with ARI and what the steps are to send a Rural Leader for the ARI Training.

The organization may be an international, national or local NGO; religious organization; or other organization based in a rural area, with a clear history of working for at least 3 years with marginalized people in the local community, and a commitment toward self-sustainability .

Anyone interested in taking part in the ARI Rural Leaders Training Program must be employed or actively involved in an organization that will serve as her/his Sending Body (SB). Private persons cannot apply. 

until June 30

Complete the Sending Body Application to register your organization


ARI reviews the Sending Body submission


Upon approval, we send you the Individual Application materials

until July 31

Your nominated individual submits the ARI Individual Application form


ARI reviews the applicant’s submission


We inform the applicant and SB of the result

November to March

Prepare visa & air ticket

Last week of March

Travel to Japan

April 1

Training starts

Stage 1

Apply for Sending Body (SB) Registration

ARI views grassroots organizations as partners toward a common mission: to build an environmentally healthy, just, and peaceful world.
In order to form a productive partnership, it is essential to begin with a mutual understanding of each other’s work and mission. This is why we carefully review each organization’s work and goals to determine whether they are compatible. Upon approval of your application, your organization will be registered as a potential Sending Body.

Stage 2

Apply for the Training

Upon approval of your Sending Body registration, we will send you an official ARI Individual Application form for the nominated individual from your organization. 

Stage 3

Prepare for the Training

Once an applicant has been officially accepted as a participant of the training program, they must coordinate with ARI through several steps. The Admissions team will guide them throughout the process until they arrive at ARI.

Every training year begins in April and ends in December. Participants are scheduled to arrive in Japan in late March so that they have time to adjust, and return to their home countries before Christmas (25th Dec).

Contact & Download

For any questions about the admissions process and the Rural Leaders Training Program, please contact the Admissions Coordinator, Mr. Kai Shinoda.

You can find the above instructions and further details in our Admissions Brochure.

Potential Sending Bodies can download and fill out the application form.

Application Form

(PDF, 3.5MB)

To learn more about ARI, please read our School Guide.

School Guide

A great overview of ARI and our Rural Leaders Training Program. (PDF, 8MB)

Frequently Asked Questions

About ARI

Is ARI an agricultural training institute?
ARI is first and foremost a Rural Leaders Training Institute. In order to equip Rural Leaders, we use agriculture as a method for learning.

Is ARI a Christian institution? Is it only for Christians?
ARI is an ecumenical Christian institution. It is a member of the United Church of Christ in Japan’s Mission School Council. Participants are expected to attend Christian worship and ceremonies during the training, but we welcome people of all faiths and backgrounds. We strive for a diverse community in which we learn to respect other faiths and learn from them.

Does ARI give diplomas or academic degrees?
No. We offer a certificate of completion for the training upon graduation. Our training is about community benefit, not individual prestige.

Qualifications for the Training

Do I need to be the head of my organization to be a Rural Leader?
No. When using the term “Rural Leaders” we do not mean they have to be village chiefs, or directors of organizations. live and work in grassroots rural areas.

Do I need to have an advanced educational degree?
No. Our participants come from various educational backgrounds. We hope to support Rural Leaders regardless of their educational qualifications. 

My English is not so good. Can I still attend the training?
ARI’s training is conducted exclusively in English. But we accept candidates with weak English skills if they match other criteria of our selection standards. We recommend such applicants to take English classes before coming to ARI.

Do I have to learn Japanese to attend the program?
No. We offer basic Japanese language classes. 

I have a physical disability. Can I still attend the training?
The training requires you to be physically fit for farm work, punctual attendance of classes and manual labor. Admission will be considered with care.

Life & Training at ARI

Where will I be living?
We have separate men’s and women’s dormitories where all participants and volunteers live. Additionally, participants will share a room with one other participant, who will be from a different country, and perhaps a different religion. opportunity to practice the ARI motto “That We May Live Together”.

Will I be able to take part-time work during the training?
No. Part-time work is not permitted under participants’ student visas. 

Will I be able to attend religious services?
There are Catholic and Protestant churches, as well as Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines in the area. There are no Islamic mosques, or temples for Hindus, Jains, or Sikhs in the city. participants, and the availability of space, we provide a prayer room in the dormitories.