How to apply

ARI is looking for grassroots rural leaders, who are living and working with their people in their rural communities. We are seeking local leaders who have demonstrated through their actions their commitment to serve their people and act as conduits for positive change within their own communities.

We place emphasis on reaching the most margin-alized, poor, and oppressed peoples, such as women, tribal minorities, and those of low castes or so-called untouchables. We follow the ideal that all people are equal in God’s eyes and all are welcome regardless of ethnicity, religion, class, sex, age, or profession, as long as they are willing to share in ARI’s vision. In the past we have trained clergy and church leaders, agricultural trainers, community and village leaders, NGO personnel, teachers, orphan-age staff, and many more.

To make the most of the ARI experiential learning process, you should be ready to take initiative, challenge yourself, and assume responsibility while at the same time exercising flexibility and self discipline.

What is the ARI Training program?

If you are interesting in determining if ARI Training can help someone in your organization, click on the ARI school guide below and see if ARI will meet your needs. We welcome your interest.

School Guide



Those invited for training must be employed or actively involved in a local organization that is working within their communities to affect positive change. This organization will serve as the candidate’s Sending Body. It is expected that the Sending Body will work with ARI to carefully select the appropriate candidate and will assist their candidate through the application process and during the training program. The Sending Body must also sign a written agreement that they will receive the candidate back into their organization upon completion of the program.

Qualifications of an Applicant

1 ) The Applicant should be a woman or a man dedicated to serving people at the grass-roots level in rural areas.

2 ) The Applicant must have at least 3 years of experience as a leader in her/his rural community.

3 ) The Applicant must be nominated by a Sending Body (SB) – a specific organization within which she/he is carrying out her/his work. The Applicant together with the SB must be able to provide a clear objective or plan for use of this training and the SB must pledge to receive the applicant upon completion of this program.

4 ) Preference is placed on field staff who are working directly with the people. Those working primarily in administration or in the directorship position will not be considered.

5 ) ARI places high priority on the training of women, that they may participate more fully and equally in all aspects of society. We strongly encourage the SB to select qualified women leaders to apply for this training program.

6 ) The Applicant should have a motivation and conviction which is basically spiritual. We welcome people of all faiths as well as those without any particular religion.

7 ) ARI accepts overseas applicants between the ages of 25 to 45. The Applicant must be prepared to live a simple and demanding life. Daily manual labor on the farm and campus is a requirement for all community members.

8 ) English is used for all program events and also in daily life. The Applicant should have sufficient ability to communicate in English.

How to apply

Step 1: Approval of the organization as a Sending Body

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). 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.

ARI does NOT promote church planting evangelism, large-scale agriculture and industrial development, and will not consider organizations with these goals. Single church organizations should apply through their regional association or Diocesan authority. Government offices or departments are normally not considered as SBs. Exceptions are made for countries without NGOs or church organizations.

ARI views SBs as partners toward a common mission.In order to form a productive relationship, it is essential to begin with a mutual understanding of each other’s work and mission.

If you are interested in sending a representative from your organization, please submit the following information to ARI by email:

(1)  Organization Profile
(2)  Detailed answers to the “Six Questions” (below)
(3)  Informational materials about your organization, such as brochures, annual reports, and project descriptions
(4)  Financial statements, such as recent details of income, expenditures, assets, liabilities, and capital
(5)  Organization Chart listing the names and positions of your organization’s officers, management, staff, and volunteers, in order of responsibility

You may send items (1) – (5) to ARI via:
e-mail: or
fax: +81-287-37-5833 or if no email, please send by post.
post: Asian Rural Institute | 442-1 Tsukinokizawa, Nasushiobara | Tochigi 329-2703 | JAPAN

Coordinator Mr. Cody Kiefer

Please note that all material sent will be held in strict security as confidential.

The deadline to submit these documents is July 1 of each year.

The Six Questions

1) How did you learn about the ARI Training Program and why are you interested in it? Do you know any ARI graduates? Please tell us their names and how you know them.
2) Please describe in detail the community and the people that you are serving. Where exactly does your organization operate? Who are the people you are serving? Describe the cultural, historical and environmental situations of your community.
3) Please provide a brief history of your organization. Include how and why it began. What is the mission of your organization?
4) Provide detailed descriptions of 3 projects or activites that your organization has completed or is currently carrying out. Choose both successful and unsuccessful projects and provide reasons you feel your projects succeeded or failed. Within your descriptions include the project goals, target people, activities, duration, challenges, results and reasons for success or shortfalls.
5) Tell us about the applicant. Please provide the name, work status (full time, part time, volunteer, # of hours each week, how long worked with organization) and work activities of the person you would like to send to ARI. Explain why you feel she/he is suitable for ARI training.
6) Describe your future plan concerning the applicant. What will she/he do when returning to the organization after ARI training? Specifically, how will the ARI training be utilized?

7) Map of your region showing work areas and office location.

Step 2: Submission of the individual’s application

ARI will carefully review the materials sent by the organization. If the information received is not sufficient, we may ask you some additional questions. The process may take a few weeks or even longer.

Upon approval of your organization as a Sending Body, we will send you an official ARI Application Form for the individual applicant. This application is to be filled out by the individual applicant. The deadline for submission of this application together with all supporting materials is August 31st. Screening is carried out by ARI in September and you will be notified of the results in October. The training program begins in April the following year.


You can find the above instructions in our Admissions Brochure, click here to download the PDF