Founded by Anglican missionaries in 1879, the school was named after Arthur William Poole, the first Anglican Bishop of Japan, in 1890. In 1950 Poole Gakuin added a women’s college with a program in English language and literature to its junior and senior high schools. The college moved to Sakai in 1982 and two years later a program in secretarial studies opened. In 1995, Poole Gakuin College was granted university status and the following year it inaugurated its co-educational four-year Bachelor of Arts program in Intercultural Studies.
The establishment of the Graduate School of Intercultural Studies ensued in April of 2000. In March 2001 Poole Gakuin University received formal accreditation from the Japan University Accreditation Association.