Rural Leaders Training Center

Rural Leaders
Training Center

leadership for rural communities

Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable agriculture in theory and practice on ARI's organic farm.

Servant Leadership

Leadership that puts serving people at the center.

Community Building

Unlocking the full potential of grassroots communities.

ARI provides powerful leadership training for grassroots community leaders through the annual Rural Leaders Training Program.

Every year, we invite such leaders from organizations in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Pacific to our campus in Japan. 

The 9-month training is guided by our motto, ‘That We May Live Together.’

Our Rural Leaders Training Center empowers some of the most marginalized communities on earth, so that they can enjoy and share the wealth of food, land, and community. 

Rural Leaders Training Program

Our Rural Leaders Training Program is a rare combination of daily practice, theory, and encounter that takes place in ARI’s international farming community. 

Our program has evolved over the course of around 50 years to help leaders immerse themselves in an integrated learning experience.  

Participants are deeply transformed as they live and study in a diverse Community of Learning for 9 months. 

Surrounded by forests and fields, ARI’s Rural Leaders Training Center is a special place to find inspiration and change. It features classroom facilities, an organic farm, livestock facilities, dormatories, and more. 


Meaningful knowledge, values, and skills to give each leader a power-up.

Our curriculum offers participants classroom lectures, farming practice, study trips, paper writing, community events and other activities. It is built upon profound educational values that broaden their perspective. 


All topics and experiences serve the participants’ growth but also to discover the meaning of our motto: ‘That We May Live Together.’ 

Who is it for?

Every year, we select about 30 leaders from rural community organizations as participants. 

We make sure that candidates are of high personal integrity and work in organizations that work directly for the benefit of the people.  

Rural Communities

Our training benefits some of the most marginalized communities on earth: war widows in Liberia, outcast groups in India, remote villages in South East Asia, and schools in Papua New Guinea, to mention a few.

Dedicated Local Organizations

We partner with organizations that work directly with their people. They are often orphanages, NGOs, churches, farmers cooperatives, and disaster relief groups. They send their promising staff for training at ARI.

Grassroots Leaders

Farmers, teachers, social workers, and community organizers—we directly train a diverse international group of grassroots leaders who have high motivation to improve the lives of their people.

How does it work?

ARI reverses the common model of international development aid by which resources are sent from ‘rich’ to ‘poor’ countries. Rather, grassroots people should activate their own abilities and resources as servant leaders  who have high integrity and skill.  

Selection in Home Country

The local community or organization nominates a rural leader for training. ARI screens the candidate and invites her/him to Japan.

Training in Japan

At ARI, the leader gains new knowledge, values, and skills.
After 9 months, s/he goes back home with a long-term vision for the community.

Transformation in Home Country

The organization and community work together to make change based on the leaders' new learning and vision.

What is the impact?

ARI graduates act in important leadership roles, building resilience and sustainability for community and planet.

Be it in farming, education, gender equality or climate action—ARI graduates and their communities achieve remarkable progress. In over 57 countries, our spirit of sharing life inspires them to find better solutions for peace, wealth, and people’s livelihoods.

We stress that our training is not to advance the individual’s career or position but for the benefit of rural community people.

Rural Leaders have taken part since 1973

Get Leadership Training

Do you want to send a member from your organization to our training? Our program can greatly enhance the capacities of your key leaders.

We will help you on every step of the process.

our Students

Our students come from the most marginalized communities on Earth. They need financial support to come to Japan and take part in the Rural Leaders Training Program.

Your assistance can help rural communities for decades to come.

Download the
School Guide

School Guide

A great overview of ARI and our Rural Leaders Training Program.

50th anniversary

ARI celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2023. Our Rural Leaders Training Program has supported rural leaders, who come from the most marginalized communities on Earth. You can donate and join us for this commemorative under the theme of "learning together for the rural future".

Your assistance can help rural communities for decades to come.