A non-linear time-domain strip theory for vertical wave loads and ship responses is presented. The theory is generalized from a rigorous linear time-domain strip theory representaton. The hydrodynamic memory effect due to the free surface is approximated by a higher order differential equation. Based on this time-domain strip theory, an efficient non-linear hyroelastic method of wave- and slamming-induced vertical motions and structural responses of ships is developed, where the structure is represented by the Timoshenko beam theory. Numerical calculations are presented for the S175 Containership and are systematically compared with the experimental results given by Watanabe et al. and O'Dea et al. The agreement between the present predictions and the experiments is very encouraging.