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Early Christian Colleges in China

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 March 2011


In the thirty years since the appearance of K. S. Latourette's A History of Christian Missions in China the published materials in this vast field have been accumulating at a good pace, and an increasing number of mission-society archives have been opened to research. However, very little such research has been done. While Professor Latourette's work provides a matchless foundation for further contributions, few aspects of the subject have received thorough monographic treatment.

Copyright © The Association for Asian Studies, Inc. 1960

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1 Latourette, Kenneth Scott, A History of Christian Missions in China (New York, 1929).Google Scholar

2 Corbett, Charles H., Shantung Christian University (Cheloo) (New York, 1955), 281 pp.Google Scholar; Day, Clarence B., Hangchow University (1955), 183 pp.Google Scholar; Edwards, Dwight W., Yenching University (1959), 468 pp.Google Scholar; Lamberton, Mary, St. John's University, Shanghai, 1879–1951 (1955), 261 pp.Google Scholar; Nance, W. B., Soochow University (1956), 163 pp.Google Scholar; Scott, Roderick, Fukien Christian University (1954), 138 pp.Google Scholar; Mrs. L. Thurston and Ruth M. Chester, Ginling College (1955), 171 pp.; L. E. Wallace, Hwa Nan College, the Women's College of South China (1956), 164 pp. A ninth volume on Hua Chung College is being published. For certain scholarly limitations of the series, see the excellent brief review by Lutz, Jessie G. in JAS, XVIII (November 1958), 133134.Google Scholar

3 See Latourette, pp. 447–451, 626–634; Cressy, Earl Herbert, Christian Higher Education in China: A Study for the Year 925–26 (Shanghai, 1928), pp. 2627.Google Scholar

4 Latourette, pp. 446 ff.

5 D. Z. Sheffield to Judson Smith, April 8, 1889. Archives of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, Houghton Library, Harvard University; see also Corbett, p. 21.

6 Lamberton, p. 5.

7 Edwards, p. 12.

8 Corbett, p. 77.

9 The Chinese-Japanese Library at Harvard has a collection of Chinese textbooks written by North China College professors, including those by G. D. Wilder, L. B. Chapin, and Mary Holbrook, and ten items by D. Z. Sheffield.

10 Edwards, pp. 19–20.

11 Lamberton, p. 20.

12 Luce, H. W., “Education in Shantung, Past, Present, and Future,” in Forsyth, Robert C., ed., Shantung, the Sacred Province of China (Shanghai, 1912), p. 304Google Scholar; China Mission Year Book, 1910 (Shanghai, 1910), pp. 7779Google Scholar, and 1913 (Shanghai, 1913), pp. 265–266; Lamberton, p. 76.

13 Munson, E. H., “Mission Schools and Chinese Ministry,” Chinese Recorder, XLIV (1913), 268Google Scholar. For detailed statistics on students of the four colleges who went into the ministry, see Corbett, pp. 69–70; Headland, Isaac Taylor, “What Western Learning Has Done for China,” East of Asia Magazine, Special Education Number, June 1904, p. 40Google Scholar; Peking University, President's Report, 1910 (copy in Missionary Research Library); Pott, F. L. Hawks, “Problems of Educational Work in China,” in China Mission Year Book, 1911 (Shanghai, 1911), p. 144.Google Scholar

14 Munson, “Mission Schools and Chinese Ministry,” 268; Corbett, p. 88; Latourette, p. 593.

15 Luce, “Education in Shantung, Past, Present and Future,” p. 304; W. P. Chalfant, “The American Presbyterian Mission in Shantung,” in Forsyth, pp. 236–237; C. A. Stanley, Jr., “The Shantung Work of the North China Mission of the American Board,” in ibid., p. 241.

16 Corbett, pp. 72, 95–97; Edwards, p. 20. A brochure published by Shantung University in 1902 states that the university had “graduated 150 men, all Christians, ten of whom have been ordained as ministers, five more are studying theology, eight are trained as physicians, a large number are engaged as evangelists and literary assistants, but the majority are teachers. The demand for teachers possessing the qualifications of our graduates is very large and constantly increasing. The Presbyterian secondary and high schools of the province are all manned by graduates from the [college]. Nearly all the colleges or high schools established by our own or other denominations in Central and North China have used our graduates as teachers or headmasters. In the government colleges and universities of Pekin, Paoting, Chinan, Taiyuen, Nanking and Shanghai, our graduates have been called to professorships.” Headland, “What Western Learning Has Done for China,” 39–40. Of the forty or so students graduated from Shantung between 1905 and 1909, “nearly all had gone into teaching.” William M. Decker, “The Foundation and Growth of Shantung Christian University, 1864–1917” (master's thesis, Columbia University; copy at Missionary Research Library), p. 96.

17 Peking University, brochure ca. 1919 (copy at Harvard), pp. 24–25; China Mission Year Book., 1910, PP. 73–74.

18 To cite examples, Wu Yu-kun, an early graduate of Peking, returned to teach in his native village. See Peking University (undated pamphlet, ca. 1909; copy at Missionary Research Library). T. H. Chen (class of 1902) had the opportunity for further studies at Columbia and later returned to head the Department of Mathematics at Peking University–”a man of quiet, penetrating influence in the student body”; Li T'ien-lu (class of 1908), was serving as principal of the Methodist middle school in Peking in 1923, when he was appointed dean of Shantung Christian University. See Peking University, brochure ca. 1919 (copy at Harvard); Corbett, pp. 155–156.

19 Lamberton, p. 52.

20 Pott, “Problems of Educational Work in China,” p. 144.

21 Corbett, pp. 153, 160. See also the following Chinese article: Lo Teng-hsiu, “Ch'i-lu ta-hsūeh sheng yü hsiang-ts'un chiao-yü” (Students of Shantung Christian University and Rural Education), Chung-hua chi-tu chiao chiao-yü chi-k'an (Chinese Christian Education Quarterly), 5.3 (Sept. 1929), 71–81. For general occupational trends among the graduates of Christian colleges in China in the 1920's, see Cressy, ch. XXIII.

22 The archives of the following American mission societies are available for research: American Board (Houghton Library, Harvard); Episcopal (Church Missionary Society, 606 Rathervue Place, Austin, Texas); Methodist (Board of Foreign Missions of the Methodist Church, New York); Presbyterian (Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, New York). The archives of the United Board for Christian Colleges in Asia (New York) contain extensive materials, both manuscript and printed, of the following colleges and universities: Fukien Christian University, Ginling College, Hangchow University, Hua Chung College, Hwa Nan College, University of Nanking, Shantung Christian University, Soochow University, West China Union University, Yenching University. The archives of Lingnan University (Canton Christian College) are deposited at Harvard.

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