Seinan Gakuin is located in the commercial center of Fukuoka City– the “Gateway to Asia”– on Kyushu, the southernmost island of Japan. Samford president Andrew Westmoreland was already familiar with the university due to its partnership with Ouachita Baptist University, Westmoreland’s previous presidential post. He wanted Samford students to have a similar opportunity, and was able to provide that starting with his 2014 agreement with Seinan Gakuin president and Samford alumnus Gary Barkley ‘77.
Under the agreement, students of both universities can choose to study abroad for either one or two semesters, with full transfer of those earned credits. The courses at Seinan Gakuin focus on Japanese language, culture, history, tradition, business and politics. A minimum of 14 credits over each semester is required. For Samford students unable to spend the entire year abroad, Seinan Gakuin also offers a four-week intensive Japanese language and culture program in the summer.