What We Value

What We Value

Everything at ARI is built on concepts that reflect our focus of community, service, and food. We are proud to promote these values as an alternative foundation for building a sustainable society. They are all based on our guiding motto,

That We May Live Together

As our school has deep historical roots within church institutions in Japan and overseas, our values are shaped by Christian concepts, such as the Three Loves (love for God, soil, and neighbor).
We are also influenced by traditional Japanese values and Zen traditions.

Three Pillars

Life and learning at ARI revolves around these three ideas.  


Foodlife is a concept that expresses that food and life cannot be separated; both depend upon each other. 

Foodlife means making food together, sharing meals together, and giving thanks to all people who labor. And it means appreciating all the life that is given in the process. 

Foodlife describes to live in a way that coming generations will have food abundantly as well. 


Our lives are sustained through a healthy relationship with nature. We strive for a sustainable Foodlife in which the soil becomes richer as we produce food, and human relationships become more beautiful.

Foodlife creates learning opportunities: to deepen our understanding of organic farming, the importance of food, the dignity of labor, and the necessity of food self-sufficiency for people’s self-reliance.

Servant Leadership

Leadership at ARI is based on the example of Jesus Christ. He served the sick, poor, and powerless with humility and love. As a servant leader, Jesus willingly took up the work to serve others, beginning with tasks that are most needed or most hated. He set an example of giving up one’s own life so that others can live with dignity and justice. 

Together with Christ, we at ARI place emphasis on reaching the most marginalized and oppressed peoples in the world, especially women, tribal minorities, and those of so-called “low castes” and “untouchables.” 

Servant Leaders do not need to command others or assert authority through force. They earn respect through their hard work, their integrity, and their care for others. Servant Leaders know that their position is among grassroots people, not working for them but with them . They see their job fulfilled when people thrive without their help. 

The ARI community is a place where people are committed to learning such a life of service. Members practice daily through taking part in all work: from cleaning toilets and shoveling soil to serving food and listening to others, we do our part so that we can live together.

Community of Learning

Learning and training at ARI is based on practical communal life with people from around the world. It makes ARI not just a school but a Community of Learning

ARI is dedicated to help rural communities become self-determined and sustainable. Our Community of Learning is the training ground for members to examine the way forward. It is a dynamic and diverse setting in which we come together as people of different cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds. We dare to live together with these differences, vulnerability and conflicts while growing and sharing food. 


At ARI, members reflect on their values and gain a new perspective of their people and their role in it. We learn what to sacrifice in order to live and prosper together so that each member and the community as a whole can reach their full potential. And it is in this experience that lasting personal transformation can happen and the principles of Servant Leadership and Foodlife are acquired. 

ARI’s Community of Learning goes beyond the campus and includes our global network of supporters and partners with whom we share what is important to us. 

Key Concepts

The Key Concepts build a wide conceptual circle that inform all lectures of the  Rural Leaders Training Program.

Life of Sharing

Living in Harmony with Nature

Empowering the Marginalized

The Value of Rural Life

Awareness (Mindfulness)

Independent Learning

Learning by Doing

Community Building

Dignity of Labor

Food Sovereignty

Personal Growth



Spiritual Growth