Yihua Xu - St. John's University, Shanghai as an Evangelising Agency - Studies in World Christianity 12:1 Studies in World Christianity 12.1 (2006) 23-49

St John's University, Shanghaias an Evangelising Agency

China's Christian colleges and universities can be viewed as the outcome of the late nineteenth century revised evangelical strategy of the Protestant missionary societies in China. Following slow progress and meagre results of direct evangelical work, some missionary societies departed from the strategy of working from the bottom of society upward, and shifted their attention to the Chinese youth and gentry. They hoped that by winning the support of these groups, they would eventually capture the masses. As a consequence, missionary education was developed and began to achieve an independent status in the missionary enterprise in China.

Missionary education, especially higher education, became such a prominent feature in the missionary movement in China that researchers tended to emphasise the secular impacts of these institutions. They have been viewed, in the West as well as in China, as vehicles for transmitting western learning and forerunners of China's modern education. Additionally, they have been criticised as instruments of western imperialism, but their original purpose and basic function as agencies for evangelisation have been more or less neglected.1

As early as 1925, Dr Hu Shih is reported to have said, 'Jesus Christ speaks it well, you can not serve both God and money. We educators would say along the same line: you can not serve both education and religion.'2 Dr Hu Shih's view on education and religion represented that of his many fellow intellectuals. According to them, education and religion apparently cannot coexist under the same roof and the two should be completed divorced.

Thus we have to ask, what kind of relationship existed between religious and academic works in the missionary educational institutions in China? Did they conflict, or were they interdependent? To what extent were the original purposes of Christian colleges realised? And what kind of role was played by Christian educational work in the development of [End Page 23] an indigenous Church? This paper, taking St John's University in Shanghai as an example,3 attempts an inquiry into these questions.

Twin Goals of Religious Education

St John's University, founded by the American Protestant Episcopal Church in 1879, was the first modern higher educational institution in Shanghai. Three clergymen played a major role in its founding.

The first was the Rt Rev. Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky, thethird missionary bishop of the American Church Mission in China.4 Asa missionary in China for twelve years before his consecration, he had developed a strong conviction from his own experiences that without education as a foundation, 'our endeavour to propagate the Christian religion among such a people as the Chinese, would be most unwise'.5 However, as the founder of St John's, Schereschewsky was more interested in literary pursuits than administrative affairs. He devoted most of his time and energy to the translation of the biblical scriptures and left China soon after the founding of the college because of sickness.

The second was a Chinese priest by the name of Yung King Yen. Yen, an early student of the mission school of the American Church Mission, went on to study in Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio and became one of the earliest returned students in China. He helped Bishop Schereschewsky set up the college, and presided over it for nearly eight years, paving the way for the later development of St John's.6

The third clergyman was the Rev. F.L. Hawks Pott who arrived in Shanghai at the end of 1886.7 He headed St John's University for fifty-two years and became one of the most prominent figures in the history of missionary education in China. Pott and his colleagues at St John's were fully convinced that the objects of education and religion of a Christian college could go hand in hand.

Pott came to China with the desire of doing evangelical work, but he soon changed his mind and was 'converted' to missionary educational work. He compared the importance of a missionary school with that of West Point and Annapolis academies in the US, regarding missionary education not merely as a means to an end, but an end itself.8

During his long educational career, Pott spoke on many occasions about the objects of a Christian college. Pott thought that a Christian college ought to serve not only as 'a feeding-school to the work of our own church', but also 'a feeding-school to the future Christianisation of China'.9 He criticised previous missionary work for overlooking 'the practical application of our Christianity', for he believed strongly that the [End Page 24] Christian Church in America should offer to China not only the religion of Jesus Christ, but as far as possible 'all the blessings of Christian civilisation'.10 In his 1916 report to the Department of Missions, Pott argued that the missionary must help to remove poverty, disease and ignorance, as well as labour for saving the souls. 'We cannot divide man up into compartments and save one part of his nature and neglect the other. … The development of a school of political science or of a school of engineering at first sight might seem to have little to do with the missionary's program, but when we look below the surface, we see it may play in the uplift of the nation that will greatly advance the cause of Christ.'11 The development of a Christian college would only be limited by the financial resources of the Mission. Ironically, the financial stringency and half-hearted support of the Home Church, as we will see, was also a factor behind St John's expansion.

In its early years St John's carried out a policy of vigorous expansion. But even in its heyday of development there were still missionarieswho had reservations about this policy. Some were very suspicious of the compatibility of the institution's ultimate purpose – to spread Christianity in China – with its immediate purpose – to raise educational standards. Two missionary teachers warned school authorities in 1910:

As the University widens it tends inevitably to become secularised – to lose its central compelling missionary motive. The wider become scholastic aims, the more immersed the teachers become in increasing professional duties, the more difficult to keep alive missionary ardour. As it is, practically all the teachers are absolutely out of personal touch with the boys, and the difficulty of exercising personal influence is slowly increasing. The day when St John's will be a mission of the church only in name is yet far off, but that is only because the day when St John's will become a real university is equally far off.12

This prediction was quite accurate as proved by the later developmentof the College, but it was largely ignored, at least before the mid 1920s,by school authorities. Under the expansion policy, St John's started its collegiate course in 1892, was incorporated in New York as a university in 1906, and conferred BA degrees for the first time in China in 1907. The number of departments and schools increased, the campus was enlarged, and St John's became a leading Christian college in China. It became known in some circles as 'the cradle of diplomats in China' or even 'Harvard in the Far East'. [End Page 25]

English education was St John's formula for success in its early development. In October 1881, at 'the pressing demands' of some Cantonese merchants doing business in Shanghai, St John's set up the English Department. Its long tradition of teaching English was thus begun. After joining the faculty, Pott vigorously supported this 'Anglican Movement' in missionary education. By the mid 1890s, English became the medium of instruction at St John's.

St John's emphasis on English enhanced its prestige, but also created problems for its evangelical goals. After English was introduced, the composition of the student body and motives for education changed.For students from well-to-do merchants' families in the treaty ports, the English language was the object of their education, 'with the majority a business knowledge of it is all they care for'. By teaching English St John's reached 'a class to which access is gained in no other way in China, butit is confessedly a hard class to make converts from'.13 In 1902, St John's had twenty-five graduates in its Collegiate Department, of whom sixteen were Christians; in the Preparatory Department, only thirty out of seventy graduates were Christians.

St John's students were known for their fluency in English, but their inadequacy in their own language became a cause for reproach. Former student Dr Lin Yutang later said that before his teens, he knew that Joshua blew down the walls of Jericho. But he did not know until he was thirty that when Mengjiangnu cried over the bones of her husband, the torrent of her tears washed away a section of the Great Wall. 'This is a type of ignorance that cannot be found among the illiterate Chinese,' Lin wrote in his famous book My Country & My People.

Although all missionaries at St John's agreed to emphasise English, most of them also recognised the importance of good training in Chinese. If the students of mission schools ignored their own language and literature, they believed, it would be impossible for them to obtain respect from their countrymen, thence 'the value of their evangelistic work would be greatly reduced'.14

The inadequate Chinese training at St John's, therefore, was more a matter of emphasis than a matter of contempt on the part of missionaries. From the beginning of the twentieth century, St John's tried to improve its Chinese program. Its Chinese Department was headed by well-known Chinese scholars such as Mr H.C. Meng and Mr. Qian Ji-bo. Pott even tried to invite Mr Liang Qi Chao to teach Chinese philosophy at St John's in the mid 1920s.

The school authorities recognised, however, that in a missionary college [End Page 26] like St John's, it was almost a 'pedagogical impossibility' to train the students so that they would have good Chinese scholarship as well as good English scholarship. If emphasis was placed on the study of Chinese, Pott said, that 'would be suicidal for St John's' and 'injure our influence as an institution which has won prestige and reputation for promoting liberal education through the medium of English'.15

The growth of the institution, which was known in its early years as 'the benevolent octopus from its habit of laying hold of every new member of the Mission', also led to the specialisation and regularisation of the faculty. As late as the 1910s what St John's asked from the Mission was for all-around men, rather than specialists. After that, the University required at least three years of teaching experiences and Master's degrees for professors (the St John's faculty was further classified into six ranks in 1926). In the academic year of 1936–7, there were fifty-four faculty members in the School of Arts & Science at St John's, of whom ten held PhDs and sixteen Master's degrees.16

The mission authorities had mixed feelings about the rising standard for faculty, for it was becoming increasingly difficult for St John's to find men 'with the combination of real missionary spirit and professional capacity'. More generally, the rising standard of higher education in China meant that faculty had need for extensive social and academic contacts, a free spirit of criticism and enough time to engage in research.

In 1914, a group of missionary teachers presented a joint petitionto Bishop F.R. Graves, asking that rules forbidding outside work by professors and criticism of work under the Mission's charge be removed.The petition stated that the 'ecclesiastical control in such matters is inconsistent with and distasteful to our modern ideals of criticism and scholarship'.17

St John's encountered even more difficulties in finding Chinese teachers 'who were holders of both PhDs and baptism certificates', a reflection of the reality of a Chinese society in which only a few Christians received higher education. As the number of Chinese faculty increased, the percentage of Christian teachers decreased, a development experienced by almost all Christian colleges in China. With foreigners comprising a high percentage of the faculty the percentage of the Christian teachers in the School of Arts & Science was still as high as 81.5% in 1924 and 71% in 1934. By 1948 the University had 163 faculty members, of whom eighty-six were Christians, about 52% of the total.18

Some members of the faculty were only nominal Christians. Mr K.S. Lee, once a science teacher at St John's who was baptised when he was [End Page 27] studying in the US, said in 1936 that for the past seventeen years, he never read the Bible by himself and never prayed, though he had served both as a member of the Board of Directors of the Chinese YMCA and a church official. 'I heard sermons once in a while at irregular interval,' he recalled, 'I learned the Ten Commandments from the movies! Once I heard the Secretary asked us to raise money for a new YMCA building, using the illustration of Moses leading the Jews to Canaan with the Red Sea in the front and the Egyptian army behind. We were told just to have faith in God and cross over. I could not understand him but I thought this must be just his plan to draw us into the campaign to raise $350,000.000 for a new building.'19 The Rev. K.T. Chung and the Rev. T.K. Shen, two graduates of St John's Theological School, attributed 'the low ebb' of religious life at St John's to their teachers. They said that they passed eight to nine years at St John's, but during that period 'no teacher ever tried to ask us personally of our religious life'.20 History professor Harley H. MacNair also admitted the lack of religious atmosphere at St John's was 'largely a faculty matter'. It wouldn't do any good to the Christian cause of the University when'the students look at the empty seats of the faculty at Church … and that many of us teachers prefer to lie in bed rather than get up to go to the Communion Service', he wrote.21

The growth of the University highlighted the financial problems of the Mission. In the early years St John's was supported almost entirely bythe Mission and its constituents in America. With the development of the institution, the gap between the limited resources of the Mission and the increasing financial demands of the School was widening. The American Church Mission was running a hierarchical educational system in China, which included at the top St John's University in the District of Shanghai and Boone University in the District of Hankow. In meeting this increasing economical challenge, the Mission could either allow the amalgamation of St John's and Boone with other Christian universities, or obtain more local support and raise tuitions.

As to the former, St John's had taken part, though reluctantly, in various union schemes with other Christian universities in East China. But all these schemes yielded little permanent results, due in a large measure to the persistent efforts of the Mission to keep 'the gloriously denominational nature' of the institution, and the opposition of the faculty and alumni. In a sense St John's was the victim of its early success. As to the latter, from 1894 when St John's received the first large donation from the local source to 1935, the Chinese, especially the alumni, contributed $374,000 to the University coffer.22 But these donations usually were assigned to certain [End Page 28] special purposes, and could hardly be used as running expenses. The mission authorities also worried that the Chinese would ask more control of the institution because of their financial contributions.23 The raising up both the number of students and their tuitions, therefore, became the main approach for St John's to increase its revenues.

Following the establishment of the English Department (also known as the Paying Department), the tuition was steadily increased. Pott's 1919 annual report declared that 'St John's is supported largely by the paid students. It is safe to say that no university in the United States is so nearly self-supporting as is St John's'. By the mid 1930s, the tuition fees exceeded the total grants of the Mission. Excluding salaries of missionary teachers paid by the Mission, tuition fees amounted to almost 90% of the institution's total income in the early 1940s.24 The result of this dependence on tuition fees was an aristocratic tendency of the institution. Mr WilliamZ.L. Sung, Vice-President of the University, admitted in 1940 that 'StJohn's already has the reputation of being the most expensive school in China, and it would be unfortunate and contrary to our mission ideals to make it an institution which only wealthy students could attend'.25 From the mid 1920s, the school authorities tried repeatedly to limit student numbers, wishing to promote personal contacts between students and faculty. But these attempts had to yield to the economical consideration of increasing the income. In fact, a small college would tap the Mission for more money than a big university. From 1926 to 1936, the student faculty ratio at St John's increased from 1:7.6 to 1:13.3, the highest increasing rate in all Christian colleges in China.26 After the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War, St John's depended almost entirely on its tuition fees, because ofthe suspension of the appropriations from the Mission. The number of students also increased from 568 in 1937 to 3,554 in 1945.27 The growth of the institution by far surpassed the limits allowed by the financial ability of the Mission.

The problem of registration with the Chinese government also reflected the conflicts between the educational and religious objects of a Christian college. Like other Christian schools, from the beginning St John's was part of an educational system separated from that of China's. Officially, St John's was under the control of the Department of Missions and Board of Founders, but real power was in the hand of the Bishop of the Missionary District of Shanghai. There were other consulting bodies such as the Council of Advice of Alumni Association, the University Council, the Board of Directors, but they had only a symbolic role to play in the running of the University. On 3 May 1919, Mr David T.Z. Yui, President of the [End Page 29] Alumni Association, presented an open letter to John Wood, Secretaryof the Department of the Missions (visiting Shanghai at the time) again complaining that the alumni and the students had no chance to render service to their Alma Mater. 'Without ample opportunity,' said Yui, 'they will be like a daughter-in-law who is asked to prepare a meal without rice.'28 This and other demands for participation were generally ignored by the Mission, usually on the ground of 'no taxation, no representation'.29 The Council of Advice of the Shanghai District even believed that 'no Chinese can be trusted and that if you grant them the slightest measure of influence they will demand the whole thing'.30

Mission authorities also thought that the registration would compromise the principles of religious and academic freedoms, and lead tothe secularisation of missionary schools. Bishop Graves and his Council of Advice decided to disobey the government regulations for registration and even threatened to close the University, disregarding the different opinions on this matter expressed by Pott and the alumni.

By consequence of the postponement of registration until 1947, the University paid a heavy price. St John's became a ready target for various nationalist movements and also suffered from the limitations put on the unregistered schools by the Chinese government. The mission control and non-registration policy handicapped St John's in its later years. 'St John's,' wrote William Sung in a confidential memorandum in 1938, 'has in the past served not only as an educational center of the mission in China, but also served as the center of the mission. The mission has been in very close touch with the institution and has exercised very close control also. Such a state of affairs was quite understandable, but the continuation of such a policy may do harm to both the mission and the institution in the future.'31

In fact all Christian colleges in China were, in the words of Prof. T.H.P. Sailer, 'pulled in two directions' in the course of their development.32 Dr C.S. Miao, Religious Secretary of the China Christian Education Association in the 1920s, likewise believed that because of excessive expansion of the Christian colleges and universities, their religious work was in danger of becoming paralysed and, as a consequence, 'the very end they were established to fulfil is missed'.33 Dr Timothy Ting-fang Lew of the Yenching University School of Religion also questioned the supporting missions' ability to keep 'religious soul' in the Christian schools. Inan article published in 1939, he illustrated in great detail the difficultiesof 'developing according to the educational principles, and at the same time maintaining the original purposes of the founders' of the Christian colleges in China.34 Indeed the incompatibility of educational and [End Page 30] religious objects of Christian educational institutions was not a unique phenomenon in China, rather it was a world-wide tendency. Prof. Kenneth Scott Latourette pointed out that the college and university were one of the greatest contributions of the Church to American life. But he said that the majority of these institutions became less and less avowedly Christian, due to the coming of specialisation and the rise of secularising forcesin the society.35 Church historian George Marsden even argues that the leading universities in the US have transformed through the years from a part of Protestant establishment to the centres of established non-belief.36 In countries like China, where no Christian background existed and where the nationalism was on the rise, this de-Christianising tendency inevitably developed in an accentuated form.

Religious Instruction at St John's

St John's was set up for an evangelical purpose, and religious instruction was an important part of its overall educational programme. The atmosphere of St John's in its early years was simple, prudent, and some may even say Spartan. The institution often impressed the visiting missionaries, including Timothy Richard, with its 'high Christian tone of reverence'.37 Up to the 1910s, the University still required the residence of its students, and smoking and drinking were strictly forbidden on campus. In addition to the daily religious services and compulsory classes of religious instruction, there were also religious societies modelled after those in denominational colleges in the US. 'Every man and boy at St John's,' claimed the Rev. J.W. Nichols, Dean of the Theological School, 'comes under the influence of Christianity.'38

Pott was a theological modernist. He opposed the religious obscurantism such as 'the verbal inspiration of the scriptures or any kind of infallibility', and strongly believed that religious education should appeal to reason and intelligence rather than to feeling and emotion. He also advocated 'the separation of teaching and preaching'.39 Therefore the classes of religious instruction and chapel services became the main features of religious education at St John's.

As the time went by, and with the increasing number of students, especially the non-Christian students, the religious education at St John's was becoming more and more a mere matter of form without its real substance. To most of the students, the procurement of a diploma usually meant the end of their connection with the Christian religion, and 'out of school, out of church' became a common phenomenon. 'We are afraid,' said Pott, 'that many of the students go through the college, but the college [End Page 31] does not go through them.'40 A 1924 editorial in The St John's Dial, a student English weekly, recorded that contrary to the image of a Christian institution 'supported by the American Church Mission', St John's students were rather indifferent to religion, and 'it is a very common thing that a student will spend his entire years in college without having been touched by any religious organisation'. 'The recent policy in St John's,' a former student wrote to Prof. MacNair in 1926, 'seems to have been what we Chinese say, "neglecting the essential to pursue the trivial". Money, not man, becomes the paramount consideration. New buildings and new premises! These overshadow everything!'41

There was also a widespread resentment against compulsory religious services and instruction. The students were puzzled: the forefathersof Americans moved to the new continent to escape the religious persecution; why then would they do unto others what they would not wish to be done to themselves? It was even harder to understand that for the sake of not having a word of 'Christian' in the statement of purpose of the University, the Mission refused to register with the government, regardless of the consequences for the futures of thousands of students and alumni. A prominent alumnus Mr Pan Shu-lun criticised the St John's policy of making the propagation of Christian doctrine in China its chief aim. 'If education should be the secondary aim of a school, then I really have no choice between one which is established by some notorious political faction or Communist Party, or one which is established by some church mission, viz., propaganda work,' he wrote.42 The resentment against the compulsory religious education was not confined to St John's. In thewords of Prof. William Hung of Yenching University, the studentsobjected to religious class either because it was religious or because it was compulsory.43

Pott himself admitted that compulsory religious services and instruction might be unwise or even counter-productive, though as a private school St John's had every right to insist on this. In 1925, as most of the Christian colleges and universities in China abandoned the practice of compulsory religious instruction, St John's also adopted a so-called 'two-way system', allowing non-Christian students to choose either church service or ethical lectures. In 1931, the University further accepted the idea of voluntary church service. Students were still required to attend religious classes, but they also became voluntary sometime later.

The end of compulsory religious services emptied the university chapel. Some students dropped by only once during their entire college years for the sake of getting an English Bible. In his 1933–4 annual report, Pott [End Page 32] wrote that 'on the whole we have felt there was considerable apathy in regard to religion'.44 He even compared the attitude of those 'nominal Christians' with that of the Communists towards their own beliefs. 'If the Christians were half as zealous as the Communists are in the spread of their movement, the world would be very different from what it is,' he said.45

St John's had never been very successful in converting its students to the Christian religion, despite claims of authorities that 'the mode of thinking of the students is basically Christian', and 'they have received a better religious education than the students at home'. The great majority of non-Christian students, as the authorities often admitted, went through the University without connecting themselves with the Church. The average graduates, a missionary teacher concluded, seemed to be more spectator than rigorous supporter of the Christian religion.46 Pott also confessed that in regard to the spreading of Christianity, 'the indirect results in such an institution as St John's were greater than the direct ones. That is, but a few converts are made from the non-Christian students.'47 From 1906 when the University was incorporated in the US to 1926, there were 1,448 students registered in the Collegiate Department of the University, of whom 194 were baptised during their college years, an average of ten baptisms each year.48 'St John's in the past,' remarked the Committee of Educational Policy at St John's in its report of 1926, 'has not completely fulfilled its function as a "department" of the Board of Missions. That while the University has rightly maintained high educational standards in its secular courses, it has not been as successful in maintaining its religious policy.'49

To some students in mission schools, the acceptance of western education coincided with the acceptance of 'western religion'. When a western education became the symbol of social status and recognition, the social benefits of conversion were raised accordingly. Many St John's students went to the US for their further studies, and, under the influence of foreign culture and religious practice, it was inevitable that these students were more deeply affected by the Christian religion. Mr Y.S. Tsao, a former student who was studying at Williams College, wrote to Pott in 1912 that 110 Chinese students attended the famous Moody's Northfield Conference and the Lake Geneva Students' Christian Conference, of whom many were St John's alumni; at least two of them were baptised shortly afterwards.50 A former student who had regarded Christianity as 'a big fake', and missionaries as 'agents of their governments', changed his position completely and was baptised after a few years in the States. In a [End Page 33] 1915 article in The St John's Echo, a student English journal, he suggested Chinese students in the States should at least attend one of Christian students' conferences there; if they did so, he wrote, 'they cannot fail to open the eyes of an outsider to the influence that Christianity exerts on the flower of the American nation'.51 'I strongly believe,' a student wrote to Pott in 1921, at the time he was studying engineering in Minnesotaand was apparently impressed by the industrial development of American society, 'that Christianity is the best for everybody to follow. But my dear Doctor, don't you believe that the country who owns more iron and steel always has a better God? I am sure the God of the British Empire and the God of the United States are better than the one we have in the Great China.'52

Some students rejected Christianity because it was a 'foreign religion', just as others accepted it for its foreign nature. The attack on foreign aggression in China sometimes turned to the Christian religion – 'the moral equivalent of imperialism'.53 Missionary apprehension for damages caused by the policies of their own governments to the Christian cause in China was quite warranted. 'Robbery and preaching! What an antithesis,' wrote a St John's student.54 'We like to see those nations act up to their profession. To be a Christian nation and treat others with brutality and barbarism, thinking only of self-interest and self-aggrandisement, are blots which candid historians must never forget, and which will not advance but hinder the civilisation of the world.'55 Some students didtry to separate the Christian religion from the western powers, but they also felt that Christianity, or rather the Christian religion preached by their western teachers, emphasised too much of love even at the price of justice.56

While some students had favourable personal experiences in the 'Christian countries', others did not. A former student studying at Oregon University in the 1920s discovered that 'in America, as well as in China people think missionaries were doing it simply for a commercial purpose; at the same time, 2,500 students out of 3,500 in the College have a bad sentiment against Church'.57 Pott was very sensitive to the criticisms of America. 'I am afraid,' as he wrote to a student, 'if someone should tell about the bad things in America, people might think it was not a Christian country at all.'58 He often asked his students who were studying in the States to see 'the best side of American life' and to know 'active Christian men and women', and suggested them to hear 'the greater preachers, especially such men as Fosdick'.59

Because St John's students mainly came from non-Christian families [End Page 34] and because only a few of them were baptised during their college years, the proportion of Christian students in the whole student body waslow, and tended to decrease through the years. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Christians numbered about one third of the total students; by the 1930s they represented one fourth, and by the end of the 1940s the number was down to only one fifth of the student body. Compared with other Christian colleges and universities in China, the statistics show that St John's students had no greater religious disposition, at least in terms of the percentage of the Christian students in the whole student body, even though the school refused to register with the government on religious grounds:

Percent of Christian Students in the Christian Colleges and Universities in China (1924–1936)
Click for larger view
Table 1
Percent of Christian Students in the Christian Colleges and Universities in China (1924–1936)

From 1924 to 1936, the percentage of Christian students, as the above chart indicates, dropped significantly in all Christian colleges and universities in China. In older or larger Christian universities in East China and Yenching University, which had higher academic standards, Christian students were overwhelmed by non-Christian students.60

In the mid 1920s, Dr J. Leighton Stuart, President of Yenching University, noticed there was a mood of religious indifferentism on the part of the great majority of students in the Christian colleges, 'they prefer to ignore the whole issue and to concentrate on their studies with view to improving their economic status'.61 In a 1926 open letter to the members [End Page 35] of the Council, Mr E.H. Gressy, Secretary of Council of Higher Education of the China Christian Educational Association, admitted that there was 'a general feeling of failure' in regard to the religious education in the field of Christian education.62 Mr T.Z. Koo, then Secretary of the Chinese YMCA, also noticed that there was 'an atmosphere of very great contempt for Christianity and Christians on the part of many students' in the Christian colleges.63

The non-Christianising tendency of the Christian colleges and universities intensified after their registration with the government. In the opinion of the Rev. E.S. Yui, who would become the first Chinese Surrogate Bishop of the Diocese of Kiangsu of the Chung Hua Sheng Kung Hui (the Chinese Anglican Church), the registration and the religious education 'excluded each other like fire and water'.64 When the Laymen's foreign Mission Commission of the United States visited China in 1931 it was apparently 'unprepared' for the marked tendency to secularisation of Christian colleges.65 Mr Kiang Wen Han, a Christian student leader, concluded in 1937 that the Church was no longer an important element on the campuses of the Christian colleges in China.66

St John's Theological School

The embodiment of the nature and purpose of St John's was also founded in its Theological School. Pott once swore that one of his greatest ambitions was to make St John's Theological School 'the crown of the whole work'.67 But things did not turn out the way he wished. The Theological School's off-and-on and slow development was in sharp contrast to that of the institution as a whole.

Compared with other theological seminaries of the same grade, St John's Theological School was relatively small. It claimed no famous theologian on its faculty, and published no journal of its own. But its policy of offering a combined college and theological course, and using of English as medium of instruction, had produced a group of highly educated clergy and lay leaders in China. This group of Christian leaders includes eleven bishops of the CHSKH and some of the most prominent leaders of the Chinese YMCA, such as David Yu and T.Z. Koo. It is not incidental that quite a number of top leaders of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China came from St John's.68

In the beginning, St John's did not have a well-defined policy for its theological education. The Theological Department was one of the first departments of the College set up for the training of native helpers, and its students came from Shanghai and Hankow, two centres of the Mission [End Page 36] at that time. In 1888, it was moved to Hankow by Bishop William Boone, Jr., for the Mission feared that the commercial life of Shanghai would have a bad influence on its theological students.69

In 1893 it returned again with Bishop F.R. Graves. In his 1893–4annual report, Pott described the primary purpose of the Department as the preparation of evangelists or catechists, not the training of men for the Diaconate. The idea of the Mission was to give the students a practical, rather than a theological, course of study. After two years of training, they would be sent out as evangelists. Those who proved worthy would be recalled, after a few years of work, for another year of study, and then admitted to the Diaconate.

Pott changed his own view about theological education. He criticised previous policy for laying too much emphasis upon training evangelists, where the present situation in China 'calls for men of the highest training'.70 In 1896, St John's was reorganised as a Collegiate Department, consisting of the Departments of Arts & Science, Medicine and Theology. The standard of the Theological Department was raised as the two-year course of theology became a three-year course, and the students whotook the course were required to have completed two years of college course. Beginning in 1896, English became the medium of instruction for theological students.

The lack of theological students had always been a problem for the Theological School. Despite the free education provided by the School, applicants were few. Some students took advantage of the divinity scholarship to gain access to a St John's education. Their attitude to theological studies, as a former theological student put it, was 'similar to that of an old Buddhist monk chanting a liturgy, murmuring what he does not mean'.71 Indeed it was quite common in those days for students to abandon the ministry for some business after a few years of study at the School. From 1896 to 1946, St John's Theological School had about 60 graduates, fewer than two graduates per year on average. In his 1933 report, Theological School Dean J.W. Nichols even suggested the School be closed for lack of students.72 Pott himself became more and more pessimistic. 'How much,' he revealed to Dr Y.Y. Tsu, a former student, 'I regret that in my work at St John's I have been able to inspire so few with the desireof doing the highest work for Christ and His Church.'73 He cautioned in his 1910–11 annual report that people 'must not look to St John's forthe present time as the principle means of obtaining candidates' for the ministry.

In make up for the shortage of candidates for the ministry, the CHSKH [End Page 37] established the Central Theological School in 1922, which was planned to serve all dioceses of the Anglican Church in China. The instruction in this institution was given in Chinese. The maintenance of the 'triplicates' (St John's Theological School, the Central Theological School and Boone Theological School, another divinity school of the same mission) dearly cost the Mission both in terms of finance and personnel. There would be no question that 'one school with a staff of six or seven could do much better work at less cost of time and money than three half-staffed schools now do'.74 The schools were not unified until 1946, when St John's Theological School merged with the Central Theological School. The amalgamation marked the end of providing theological education entirely in English on the Chinese mainland.

The achievements and high visibility of the St John's educated Christian leaders led some researchers, such as Dr C. Stanley Smith of Nanking Theological Seminary, to conclude that the Dissenting Academy or the English university system of theological education, represented by St John's Theological School in China, was more practical and suitable for China, than the American system of theological education which requires a three-year separate theological course based on a full college education.75

This classification of the advanced theological education in China overlooks the similarities between these two systems. The latter was represented by the Yenching University School of Religion, the first and foremost graduate school of theology in China.76 The low production of theological students, for instance, had always been a serious problem for St John's as well as for Yenching, even more so for the former than the latter. By 1931, St John's had altogether 864 graduates, of whom only thirty-five were classified as ministers and social or religious workers, about 4% of the total. This percentage was lower than the average of 8% for all Christian colleges and universities in China.77 The number of clergymen trained by St John's was so small that the Missionary District of Shanghai, the principle district served by St John's Theological School, often felt the shortage of the Chinese clergy, and appealed to the Home Board for more workers.

Actually, the low turnout of clergymen was a common problem for all Christian colleges in China. In 1921, the Burton Education Commission reported that all the mission colleges, for all their heavy capital invest-ment and annual budgets, their administrative and teaching forces, their absorption of time and energy in the homeland and in the field, they were after all these years actually sending only thirty-two men annually into theological training. 'The churches,' concluded the Commission, 'are [End Page 38] Christianity's weakest asset in China and this is due in part to the failure of the mission to train an educated ministry.'78 The surveys of all theological schools in China indicated that there were 128 theological students of college grade in 1917(Price's Report), this figure was ninety-six in 1921 (Burton's Report), and by 1935 the number was reduced to thirty-five (Weigle's Report). The theological students who had already graduated from the college were much less in number.79 There were twenty-sixsuch students in 1920, and twenty-seven in 1945. Whereas all twenty-six students in 1920 were male, seven out of twenty-seven in 1945 were female. As female students would have no chance to be ordained after graduation, there were actually twenty advanced students who were likely to join the ministry in 1945, which was about the number of college graduates enrolled 'in a single seminary of one of the denominations in the United States'80 at the time.

The economic problem, as pointed out by all the observers, was a major problem confronting all the advanced theological educational institutions in China, St John's Theological School included. In those days, said the Rev. T.K. Shen, a college student who wanted to study theology 'wouldbe accused by his parents of not fulfilling his filial duties, mocked by his relatives as an idiot, ridiculed by his classmates as a foreign monk, and even his wife would be sneered at by her friends'.81 In order to attractthe educated men to serve the ministry, the American Church Mission provided relatively higher salaries and other financial benefits for its Chinese clergy. Bishop Graves once boasted that 'no body of Chinese ministers has been so liberally supported as the clergy of this Mission'. The English educated clergy received even better treatment than the Chinese educated clergy. The entry level salary for a Chinese educated deacon, for instance, was about 70% of the salary received by his English educated counterpart.82

In addition to the salaries of the Chinese clergy, the Mission was also responsible for the education of their children. According to a survey of 195 clergy families in all thirteen dioceses and a missionary district of the CHSKH in 1950, the average number of children per family was 4.35.83 The Mission would provide scholarships for their education from primary school to university if they were qualified. In 1949, the American Church Mission paid $158,000, an enormous sum of money at that time, for the salaries of Chinese clergy and the carrying on the other works in its three missionary districts in China (Shanghai, Hankow and Anking).84

One of the ironies of theological education in China was that the higher theological education the clergy received, the heavier burden the Chinese [End Page 39] Church would have to bear; the greater number of clergy produced, the more dependent the Chinese Church would be on the Mission. To call upon the impoverished Chinese Church to pay its educated clergy a reasonable salary, in the words of Mr T.C. Chao, was 'to press oil out of chaff or to pluck flowers from stone pillars'.85 Even the Mission authorities felt that it was financially impossible to assume the full responsibility of paying the salaries of Chinese workers. 'Each Chinese man or women employed,' wrote Bishop Graves in 1927, 'has meant an additional burden on the Home Board for salary and rent and the prospect is that the present salaries will have to be increased to meet the cost of living … are we justified any longer in increasing the burden of the Home Church by employing new workers, and in particular is it right that the Bishop should continue to ordain Chinese clergy unless their support is guaranteed by the Chinese Church?'86

The problem of self-support was not only an economical problem, it was a political one as well. The issue of the priority of self-support over self-government (or vice versa) had always been a controversial issuefor the Christian movement in China.87 The missions emphasised self-support as the essential criterion to judge whether the Chinese Church had come to age, and their policy was described by some as 'no money, no control'. 'As long as the Church at home sends men and money to China,' said the Bishop Graves, 'the Mission cannot devolve on anyone else ultimate responsibility for the use of the mission property and expenditure for mission funds.'88 Chinese Christians, on the other hand, were more concerned about self-government, and their position sometimes was described as 'no control, no money'. This was truly a 'vicious circle' for the development of the Christian Church in China, in which dollars and pounds, not the spiritual fellowship, were granted too high a position.

To be fair to the missions, there had to be accountability. It was reasonable and natural for them to pay more attention to the problem of self-support and to demand some measure of control over the men and money provided by them, even though it might be argued that foreign control was, in itself, no guarantee that monies provided would be well spent. The problem, therefore, was not the policy of 'money control' itself, but the activism of the missions which created this vicious, or unwise, circle in the first place. Most of the missionary societies took self-support as something to be aimed at, not as something to begin with. They developed Christian institutions to such an extent that it was impossible for the Chinese churches to take over their support, so that they had to depend financially on the foreign missions and accept their control as a consequence. [End Page 40]


As Prof. John F. Fairbank wrote, Protestant missions in China displayed a decidedly secular trend, focusing on problems of society, rather than spirit.89 The general impression of the Chinese people about Christianity 'is not its teachings and devotional experiences, but its numerous social activities'.90 As the forerunners and pace setters of modern higher education in China, the Christian colleges exerted a significant influence on many aspects of Chinese society. Their positive role in the modernisation process of China was significant and self-evident.

However, with rising competition from China's own modern educational institutions, Christian schools were transformed from leaders or pioneers to followers or supplementaries. 'In view of the fact that the major part of education must necessarily be done by the government of China,' asked the China Educational Commission in 1922, 'what is the specific and distinctive contribution which Christian schools in China ought to make to the total educational task?'91 James B. Webster, a professor of education at Shanghai College, was even franker. He said that if Christian education only offered modern scientific knowledge, its days were numbered, for the government would supply the knowledge of modern physical and social science without special consideration of spiritual interpretation and values.92

Chinese Christian leaders argued that the Christian Church in China should be judged not only by its many institutions and activities, but by 'its spiritual life and its capacity to preach the Christian religion'. 'What is the real contribution of Christianity to China and Chinese life?' asked Mr T.Z. Koo, at a conference on church and mission administration in 1927. 'It is easy to answer the question in terms of educational, medical or other institutional work. But this is not the kind of answer we are seeking. What we desire to know is what religious (spiritual) contribution Christianity can make?'93

The Christian missionary movement, through its educational andother institutions, created a survival environment for Chinese Christians, and extended the social influence of Christianity in China. This indirect spiritual influence, however, was limited, and at times unfavourable. Compared with the other many 'isms' and ideologies introduced into China since the 1840s, the Protestant Church had the largest material investment in China. But its impact on the sphere of Chinese thought was only mild. Chinese pursued material benefits from Christian schools, but sought their spiritual guidance elsewhere. Indeed, the excessive expansion [End Page 41] of the Christian educational establishments provoked such a strong reaction from Chinese society that they were often criticised as tools of western cultural invasion and institutionalised efforts by western missionaries to proclaim not only the supremacy of 'their God', but also the supremacy of 'them'.

The Christian colleges contributed directly to the Chinese Churchbut also with mixed results. They were far less successful as evangelising agencies than as secular educational institutions. As at St John's, educational aims of Christian schools were often achieved by compromise of religious goals; a first rate educational institution could hardly become an effective evangelical agency at the same time.

Despite the fact that the Christian educators tried to strike a balance between the twin goals of religion and education, most Christian colleges experienced a transformation of their basic functions from being more evangelical to being more educational, just as a great number of missionaries underwent a change of status from a preacher to a teacher in spite of themselves. For better or worse, the means became the end, and the lesser goal became the greater one.

The Christian schools were founded to serve the interests of the Church. Ironically, in order to make a significant social impact upon China, the Christian movement in China became a movement with far-reaching radii but with a weakened centre. Christian educational work competed with evangelical work for money and personnel. In 1920, the expenditure of the educational work of fourteen major mission societies in China was almost double of that for evangelical and medical work. By the early 1930s, almost half the funds and personnel of all mission societies in China, Japan and India were used by the Christian schools in the three countries.94 The Christian schools and colleges also employed a great number of educated Chinese Christians. In 1949, for instance, 1760 or 57% of the Chinese staff members of the CHSKH were engaged in educational work, among them 272 (all male) in colleges, 774 (611 male and 163 female) in middle school, and 714 (558 male and 156 female) in primary schools.95

Christian colleges could hardly, as admitted by both western and Chinese Christian educators, be self-supporting in countries like Chinaat that time. It was relatively easier for Chinese Christians to take over the support of a church than a college. Since the issues of self-support, self-government and self-propagation are closely connected those churches that were involved more extensively in educational work usually had a lower level of self-support, and a correspondingly lower level of self-government. [End Page 42] The Christian colleges and universities, representing so much property, were organised on a basis far beyond anything the Christian community in China could support. They were simply luxuries the Chinese Church could not afford. Even Pott confessed on many occasions during the 1920s that for the western churches to developthe Christian colleges to such an extent was a mistake, for it 'hindered Christianity from becoming indigenous'.96

Professor K.S. Latourette also argued in the 1930s that the missions should rethink their strategies. The professed theory of the missions, he pointed out, was to bring into existence self-supporting, self-governing and self-propagating churches. In practice, however, they often allowed their energies to be diverted to institutional work, which deepened rather than reduced the dependence of the young churches. It would have been a wiser missionary strategy, therefore, to concentrate the efforts of the missions not upon the institutions and movements that were the offspring of the Church, but upon the Church itself.97 By the 1920s, the Christian Church had already obtained a relatively safe or even comfortable position in Chinese society. It no longer depended upon its educational institutions for spreading its messages. The numerous Christian schools and colleges had become liabilities rather than assets to the Christian churches in China.

The theoreticians of the Christian Church in China today look at these Christian schools with a critical eye. They regard the separation of the Church from these educational institutions as one of the reasons for the growth of the Christian Church in China in recent years. The Christian Church in China before 1949, some argue, was like a patient suffering from oedema, swollen outside and rather weak inside. One even wrote that the Three-Self Movement under the control of the government was God's judgment on the Chinese Christian Church for its being too dependent upon the foreign missions.98 Bishop K.H. Ting, a former theological student of St John's and the top leader of the Protestant Church in China, said that it was a 'great relief' for the Christian Church to free itself from all the educational, medical and philanthropic institutions after 1949, and he tried to provide this forced separation with a theological interpretation. 'We have discovered,' he wrote, 'that the Chinese Church, on a small scale, has fulfilled its missions in four respects: worshipping, ministering, caring about people's fortunes and misfortunes and bearing witness to Christ. In a sense, the Church has lost its power, but the Gospel can be propagated more effectively just because of it. … The fact demonstrates that the Gospel of Jesus Christ shows greater might in the poverty and powerlessness [End Page 43] of the Church.'99 On another occasion he wrote, that

since the Liberation 37 years ago, Chinese Christians have seen more and more clearly that the Church shows its might in powerlessness, and its authority in its weakness, just as Jesus Christ shows the resurrection of life in the sufferings, crucifixion and tomb. In the past, we had thousands of foreign missionaries, numerous primary schools, middle schools, colleges, hospitals etc., but we were unable to persuade people to believe the Christian religion even though we enjoyed the freedom of religion. Only now, without foreign missionaries, schools and hospitals, we are able to use this freedom in a more effective way to bear witness to Christ and to build His Church. In the words of a prophet, 'not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit
(Zechariah 4:6)'.100

No matter how debatable this interpretation, the rapid growth of the Christian Church in China in recent years has occurred without any significant educational institution of its own. One of the basic characteristics of the Christian Church in China today is that church activities are almost entirely confined to religious functions. The government has taken responsibility for school, hospital, and other philanthropic and welfare institutions, which were once the hallmark of the Christian Church in China. The Church might not do without education, but it certainly can do without its own schools. In a developing country where the Christians are only a small minority of the population, it is impossible for a self-supporting church to maintain its educational work on the level of those schools run by the government, unless it charges tremendously high fees and serves only a few people.

In the early 1950s, the Communist government closed the doors of all Christian colleges in China. This unfortunate event, however, actually helped to relieve a heavy burden from the Chinese Church. In this sense, the Chinese Christians really should not feel that they 'have lost something'. Communism, predicted Dr Frank W. Price, a former Presbyterian missionary in China, 'may in unexpected ways bring about what we have long hoped for – a Christian Church rooted in the soil of China, andnot dependent on the missionary finances and personnel of western countries'.101 Some may argue that the Christian mission was unconscious of its role as a historical tool in the social development of China. The same thing may also be said about Communism in the development of the Christian Church in China. [End Page 44]

Xu Yihua is a professor in the Center for American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and editor of Christian Scholarship and Religion in America (both in Chinese). He also serves as director of the Center for the Study of Religion and International relations at Fudan University. He received his Master's in history from Wuhan University and his doctorate in religion from Princeton University.


1. For the general history of Christian colleges in China see Jessie G. Lutz, China and the Christian Colleges, 1850–1950 (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1971); Peter Tze Ming Ng, Changing Paradigms of Christian Education in China (1888–1950) (New York: The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd, 2002).

2. Hu Shih, 'Jinri Jiaohui Jiaoyu Zhi Nan-guan [The Impasse of Today's Christian Education]', Jiaoyu Jikan [Educational Quarterly], no. 1 (1925), 12.

3. For the history of St John's University see Mary Lamberton, St John's University, Shanghai: 1879–1951(New York: United Board for Christian Colleges in China, 1955); Xu Yihua; Jiaoyu Yu Zongjiao: Zuowei Chuanjiao Meijie De Shengyuehan Daxue [Education and Religion: St John's as Evangelizing Agency] (Zhuhai: Zhuhai Publishing House, 1999).

4. For the life and work of S.I.J. Schereschewsky see James Arthur Muller, Apostle of China (New York: Morehouse Publishing Co., 1937); Irene Eber, The Jewish Bishop and the Chinese Bible: S.I.J. Schereschewsky, 1831–1906 (Leiden: Brill, 1999).

5. 'The Rev. Dr Shereschewsky's Appeal for Funds to Establish a Missionary College in China', Spirit of Missions (1877), 307.

6. For a complete biography of Y.K. Yen see Xu Yihua: 'Yanyongjing Yu Shenggonghui [Y.K. Yen and the American Church Mission in China]', Jingdai Zhongguo [Modern China], vol. 10 (2000), 193–215.

7. For Pott's career as a missionary educator in China see Xu Yihua: 'Bufangji Yu Ta De Zishu [F.L.H. Pott and His Autobiography]', Jindai Zhongguo [Modern China], vol. 6 (1996), 262–68.

8. Reports of St John's College and Preparatory Schools, 1890; Records of the General Conference of the Protestant Missionaries of China held at Shanghai, May 7–20, 1890 (Shanghai, 1890), 696–97; F.L.H. Pott, Letter to James L. Barton, Sept. 10, 1934 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/114), 21–4.

9. Reports of St John's College and Preparatory Schools, 1982.

10. F.L.H. Pott, Letter to Theodore Sedwich, June 21, 1916 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/114); Editorial, St John's Dial (May 1918); 'Christianity Is a Social Religion, not an Individual One, Says Dr F.L.H. Pott in Sunday Sermon', St John's Dial (May 1, 1925).

11. Report of St John's University for the Year 1915 to 1916.

12. James Addition and Herace Grey, Letter to F.L.H. Pott, May 30, 1910 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/127), 25–7.

13. F.L.H. Pott, Letter to A.S. Lloyd, July 31, 1902 (Archives and Historical Collections of the Episcopal Church, Austin, Texas, RG 64–61).

14. Report of St John's University and Preparatory Schools for the Year 1889 to 1890;F. L. Hawks Pott, 'How St John's Is Helping to Solve the Problems of China's Future', Spirit of Missions (1902), 408. [End Page 45]

15. F.L.H. Pott, 'Report of St John's University for the Year 1921 to 1922' (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/183), 15–16.

16. St John's University Annual Catalogue: 1936–1937 (Bulletin no. 39).

17. 'Minutes of a Meeting of the Faculty of the University at the House of the President on Monday, June 8, 1914' (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/80); F.L.H. Pott, Letter to F.R. Graves, June 24, 1914 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/180), 26.

18. 'Survey of Christian Educational Institutions in Shanghai: St John's University' (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/159), 43–4.

19. K.S. Lee, A Changed Exchange Broker (Shanghai: Christian Literature Society, 1936), 18.

20. K.T. Chung and T.K. Shen, Letter to F.L.H. Pott, October 6, 1918 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/116), 4–6.

21. H.F. MacNair, Letter to F.L.H. Pott, May 22, 1922 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/116), 4–6.

22. 'Alumni Gift', St John's Alumni, vol. 1, no. 1 (April 1935).

23. John Wood, Letter to F.L.H. Pott, April 20, 1929 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/175), 73; John Wood, Letter to F.L.H. Pott, November 7, 1929 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/178), 89–92.

24. 'Budget of the School of Arts & Science and the School of Civil Engineering, 1940–1941' (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/692), 11.

25. St John's University, Shanghai: 1879–1951, 196.

26. China Christian Educational Association, Statistical Report of Christian Colleges and Universities,nos. 1, 38.

27. William Z.L. Sung, 'Memorandum, August 1937 to August 1945' (Shanghai Municipal Archives, U104/272), 170–7.

28. David Z.T. Yui, 'Letter Presented to Dr John Wood on May 3rd, 1919', St John's Echo (May 1919), 10–12; David Z.T. Yui, 'Alumni, Students and University: Their Relations',St John's Echo (April 1916), 10–18.

29. For instance, Pott wrote to Mr Frank Rawlinson of the Chinese Recorder that he was afraid that 'some Chinese want representation without taxation and in some cases this is as taxation without representation. That is, they want to control things for which theydo not pay'. F.L.H. Pott, Letter to Frank Rawlinson, Sept. 9, 1921 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/118), 52–3.

30. John Ely, Letter to F.L.H. Pott, April 14, 1926 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/279), 30–2.

31. William Z.L. Sung, 'A Memorandum (Private and Confidential), Jan. 10, 1938' (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/827), 11–14.

32. T.H.P. Sailer, 'Impression of Missionary Education in China', Chinese Recorder (Sept. 1915), 585.

33. C.S. Miao, 'The Religious Education of Students in Christian Colleges and Universities in China', International Review of Missions, vol. 14 (1925), 107.

34. Liu Ting-fang, 'Jiaohui Daxue Banxue De Kunnan [The Difficulties of Running a Christian University]', Jiaoyu Jikan [Educational Quarterly], vol. 15, no. 3 (1925), 5–6.

35. Kenneth Scott Latourette, 'Retaining the Christian Characters of Educational Foundations', International Review of Missions, vol. 17 (1928), 663–74; Kenneth Scott Latourette, 'The Laymen's Foreign Missions Inquiry: the Report of Its Commission of Appraisal', International Review of Missions, vol. 22 (1933), 153–73.

36. George M. Marsden, The Soul of the American University: From Protestant Establishment [End Page 46] to Established Nonbelief (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).

37. Spirit of Missions (1892), 145–6.

38. J.W. Nichols, 'Religious Work at St John's', St John's: 1879–1919 (Shanghai: St John's University, 1919), 17–18.

39. F.L.H. Pott, Letter to Frank Rawlinson, June 14, 1921 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/118), 55; F.L.H. Pott, 'The Intellectual and Social Crisis in China', Journal of Religion (1922), 291–302; F.L.H. Pott, Letter to Y.Y. Tsu, July 14, 1911 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/196), 30–2; F.L.H. Pott, Letter to C. Hart Westbrook, Nov. 25, 1924 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/252), 30.

40. F.L.H. Pott, 'Annual Report of St John's University for the Year Sept. 1922 to July 1923' (Archives and Historical Collections of the Episcopal Church, RG 64–61).

41. F.D. Zau, Letter to H.F. MacNair, Jan. 2, 1926 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/289), 92–93.

42. S.L. Pan, Letter to John Ely, Dec. 26, 1925 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/289), 90–1.

43. William Hung, 'The Aim, Content and Method of a Christian College', Educational Review, vol. 17, no. 3 (1924), 268–87.

44. F.L.H. Pott, 'Annual Report of St John's University for the Year 1933–1934' (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/185), 20–9.

45. F.L.H. Pott, 'To the Christian Students of St John's University, Sept. 5, 1934' (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/850), 68.

46. 'The Problem of Brining the Educational Activities at St John's into Relation with the Christian Ideal, 1931' (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/814), 32–41.

47. Report of St John's College, 1898–1899.

48. 'Evangelical Work in Colleges and Universities, 1926' (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/719), 40–50.

49. 'Report of Committee on Educational Polity of St John's University, June 19, 1926' (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/248), 49–50.

50. Y.S. Tsao, Letter to F.L.H. Pott, August 10, 1921; also F.L.H. Pott, Letter to John Wood, April 21, 1909 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/169), 8–9.

51. A Former Student, 'Why I Was Baptized', St John's Echo (Jan. 1915), 21–3.

52. Y.Y. Yang, Letter to F.L.H. Pott, 1921 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/118), 8–10.

53. William R. Hutchinson, Errand to the World (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1987), 209.

54. A.S. Yuen, 'Are the European Nations Justified in Partitioning China?' St John's Echo (June 20, 1899), 5–7.

55. F.C. Dzung, 'The Policy of Moderation', St John's Echo (Dec. 20, 1900), 16–18.

56. T.J. Zung, 'Justice and Love', St John's Dial (Nov. 1920), 12–14.

57. Ny Kynin, Letter to F.L.H. Pott, May 9, 1923 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/119), 37–38.

58. F.L.H. Pott, Letter to Y.Y. Wang, March 22, 1921 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/118), 7.

59. F.L.H. Pott, Letter to C.T. Mung, Sept. 9, 1923 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/119), 37–8.

60. Some statistics show that the percentage of Christian students may have beenhigher in senior classes than in lower classes in the Christian colleges, their differences in percentage between the classes, however, are quite insignificant, especially in view of the [End Page 47] fact that some students joined the Church only for financial reasons, and that Christian students might have stayed longer in colleges because they were supported by scholarships.

61. J. Leighton Stuart, 'The Religious Policy at Yenching University', China Mission Year Book (1925), 201.

62. E.N. Gressy, Letter to Members of Council of Higher Education of China Christian Educational Association, Sept. 14, 1926 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/140), 27.

63. T.Z Koo, 'The Spiritual Life of the Students in Christian Colleges', Educational Review, vol. 18, no. 2 (1926), 242–3.

64. Yu En-shi, 'Lian Xuexiao Yu Zongjiao Jiaoyu [The Registered Schools and Religious Education]', Shengkunhui Pao [Chinese Churchman], vol. 13, no. 15 (October 1936), 5–7.

65. Edward W. Knight, 'Christian Education', Orville A. Perry (ed.), Laymen's Foreign Mission Inquiry: Fact-Finder's Report, vol. 5 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1933), 335.

66. Kiang Wen Han, 'Secularization of Christian Colleges in China', Chinese Recorder, vol. 68, no. 5 (1936), 320–5.

67. F.L.H. Pott, Letter to L.B. Ridgely, Dec. 9, 1912 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/236), 2–3.

68. See Yihua Xu, '"Patriotic" Protestants: The Making of An Official Church', Jason Kindopp and Carol Lee Hamrin, God and Caesar in China: Policy Implications of Church-Stats Tensions (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2004), 111–15.

69. William J. Boone, 'An Ordination of Deacons in China, Jan. 8, 1888', Spirit of Missions (1888), 142–3.

70. F.L.H. Pott, 'How to Increase the Efficiency of Our Native Workers', Chinese Recorder, vol. 13, no. 7 (1892), 299–304.

71. Former student Xia Wei-ling's letter to the author, dated Nov. 3, 1990.

72. J.W. Nichols, 'Report of St John's University: Sept. 1932–July 1933' (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/814), 41–51.

73. F.L.H. Pott, Letter to Y.Y. Tsu, March 10, 1911 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/196), 1–3.

74. 'Memorandum on the Training of Candidates for the Ministry in the China Mission, Oct. 1927' (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/167), 63–8.

75. C. Stanley Smith, The Development of Protestant Theological Education in China (Shanghai: Kelly & Walsh, 1941), 42–3, 56–7, 123–4. Dr Smith was critical that American missionaries in China tended to consider theological training as more important than collegiate education if both were not possible. The general standard of theological schools established by them was, therefore, much lower than those founded on the system either of the English university or of the Dissenting Academy.

76. For a full discussion of the Yenching University School of Theology see Xu Yihua: Jiaohui Daxu Yu Shenxue Jiaoyu [Christian Colleges and Theological Education in China] (Fuzhou: Fujian Educational Press, 1999), 68–151.

77. China Christian Educational Association Statistical Report 1931–1932, Bulletin no. 29 (1932).

78. Christian Education in China: The Report of the China Educational Commission (New York, 1922), 161–2.

79. Xu Yihua, 'Christian Colleges and Theological Education – From Core to Periphery', in Peter Tze Ming Ng, Changing Paradigms of Christian Education in China, 41–99.

80. C. Stanley Smith, 'Theological Education in China', International Review of Missions, vol. 34 (1945), 388. [End Page 48]

81. Shen Zhi-gao, 'Mushi De Shigong [The Work of A Pastor]', Chinese Churchmen, vol. 31, no. 8 (April 1938), 5.

82. F.R. Graves, 'The Chinese Clergy in the Diocese of Kiangsu (1922)' (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/183), 68–71.

83. 'Chung Hua Sheng Kung Hui Office News Letter, May 10, 1950.'

84. 'The First Meeting of the Finance Advisory Council, Diocese of Kiangsu, Sept. 5, 1949' (Shanghai Municipal Archives, U104/182), 37–8; Annual Report of the National Council as Board of Directors of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America for the Year 1948 (New York, 1949), 29.

85. T.C. Chao, 'Training and Maintenance of the Christian Ministry in China', International Review of Missions, vol. 37 (1948), 259.

86. F.R. Graves, 'Memorandum for the Members of the Council of Advice of the Missionary District of Shanghai, Feb. 18, 1927' (Shanghai Municipal Archives, U104/183), 15.

87. From June 1928 to July 1929, there was a series of articles in The Chinese Recorder discussing this issue of 'western money and Chinese church'.

88. F.R. Graves, 'The Chinese Clergy in the Diocese of Kiangsu (1922)', 70.

89. John F. Fairbank, The Great Chinese Revolution: 1800–1985 (New York: Harper & Row, 1986), 164.

90. David T.Z. Yui, 'The Needs of the Christian Movement in China', Chinese Recorder, vol. 18. no. 2 (1926), 33.

91. Christian Education in China (1922), 8.

92. James B. Webster, Christian Education and the National Consciousness in China (New York: E.P. Button & Co., 1933), 131.

93. T.Z. Koo, 'Address at Conference of Church and Mission Administration, March 1, 1927' (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/129), 25–7.

94. Milton T. Stauffer (ed.), The Christian Occupation in China (Shanghai: China Continuation Committee, 1922), 14; Laymen's Foreign Mission Commission: Xuanjiao Shiye Pingyi [Re-thinking Missions] (Shanghai: Commercial Press, 1934), 100.

95. 'Yijiusijiunian Quanguo Ge Jiaoqu Tongji [1949 Statistical Reports of the Chung Hua Sheng Kung Hui]', Chinese Churchman, vol. 39, no. 10 (Oct. 15, 1950), 13–14.

96. F.L.H. Pott, Letter to Edwin Marx, Jan. 3, 1924 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/120), 2; F.L.H. Pott, Letter to E.M. Merrins, June 28, 1927 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/816), 7–8; F.L.H. Pott, Letter to Frank Rawlinson, Nov. 24, 1926 (Shanghai Municipal Archives, Q243/121), 52.

97. Kenneth S. Latourette, 'A Suggestion toward a Reorientation of Mission Policy', International Review of Missions, vol. 23 (1934), 405–13.

98. Zhao Fu-shan, 'Jidutu Shenghuo Shijian De Xinyang Jichu Zai Nali [What Is the Doctrinal Basis of a Christian's Life]', Chitujiao Congkan [Christian Omnibook], vol. 15,no. 3 (September 1950), 10–13.

99. Ding Guang-xun, 'Zai Zhongguo Wei Jidu Zuo Jianzheng [Bearing Witness to Christ in China]', Jinlin Shenshen Zhi [Nanjing Theological Review], no. 1 (1985), 15.

100. Ding Guang-xun, 'Xindeli Guoji Zhongjiao Ziyou Huiyi Shang De Jianghua [Religious Liberty as a Chinese Christian Sees It]', nos 6–7 (September 1987), 84.

101. Quoted in G. Thompson Brown, Christianity in the People's Republic of China (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1986), 99.

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