Between 1984 and 2001 the number of graduates from UCCJ pastoral training schools remained fairly consistent.
In addition, the number of students enrolling in UCCJ seminaries and theological departments for the purpose of seeking ordination has recently been declining.
For example, there has never been a full-time female faculty member at any UCCJ seminary, despite the fact that 67 percent of the communicant members and about 20 percent of the clergy in the UCCJ are women.
TUTS makes a clearly articulated sense of ministerial vocation a prerequisite for admission, and with the exception of those who are assigned to teach at Christian schools, virtually all new TUTS graduates who are members of the UCCJ are immediately assigned to pro-TUTS UCCJ congregations.
One specific issue facing the UCCJ is a dramatic decline in attendance in its church schools (i.
The decline in church school attendance within the UCCJ has been dramatic.
The shrinking number of children casts a huge question mark on the future leadership of UCCJ congregations.
A second, related issue involves the relationship between UCCJ congregations and affiliated schools, which has become more distant.
While some point to the "bitter dispute" as the cause of the disjunction between the schools and UCCJ congregations, other factors include reliance of the schools on government subsidies and control, the decline in the number of qualified Christian teachers, widespread distrust of established religions among youth, and the increasingly materialistic ethos of Japanese society.
He criticized UCCJ congregations for paying too much attention to evangelism and too little attention to nurturing the faith of their lay membership.
In the face of these gloomy trends, we should note that attempts are being made by the UCCJ, and also the NSKK, to address the serious decline in ministerial vocations.
There has been an attempt to develop and strengthen grassroots youth associations within the UCCJ churches.