PROGRAM OF THE NANKING THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
Statement Adopted by the Board of Managers, May 23, 1935
An Extract from Education for Service in the Christian Church in China. The Report of a Survey Commission 1935 (Shanghai: The National Committee for Christian Religious Education in China, 1935) 154-157.
In this period when the Chinese Christian church is attaining self-control and self-support, under the strain of difficult economic conditions, and in the face of varying educational influences, the crucial problem is that of leadership, both in the ordained ministry and in lay service. We acknowledge with reverence and gratitude the providence of God, which has made available, through the Wendel-Swope Bequest, the financial resources necessary for the training of such leadership. We realize that the wise use of these funds demands both consecration and resources of intelligence and Christian love which we pray may be the gift of His Spirit to us and all concerned with this problem.
In view of the provision of the bequest that "the income is to be used for the maintenance of the Nanking Theological Seminary in Nanking, China," we acknowledge the responsibility which rests upon the faculty and the Board of Managers of this institution, not only for the adequate development of the institution in Nanking, but also for the undertaking of such service in extension and co-operation with other institutions as may prove advisable and feasible, in the interest of the training of leadership for Christian church throughout China.
With unchanging fidelity to the evangelical purpose of this institution, and with recognition of the fact that any program of development must be provisional, its details subject to revision in the light of experience, we adopt the following statement of program, many items of which can be undertaken only if and when the income contemplated in the Wendel-Swope Bequest may prove to be adequate for these purposes.
We favor the co-ordination and correlation of the work in theological education carried on by the missions and church bodies at present co-operating in the Nanking Theological Seminary; and we welcome discussions with other evangelical missions and churches looking towards the union, affiliation, or correlation of their theological training with this institution.
II. The Institution at Nanking
a) Our aim is to train (1) pastors and other evangelistic workers for city and rural parishes; (2) teachers of the Christian religion for schools and churches; (3) Christian social workers; and (4) Christian scholars and writers.
b) We aim not only to equip students with the best possible knowledge and skill, but also to develop in them a strong spiritual life, evangelistic zeal, and a passion for the kingdom of God.
a) We plan to continue the present two grades of training, (1) based on senior middle school graduation; (2) based on college graduation.
b) Within these main courses, provision will be made for specialization along the lines of rural and city church work and religious education.
c) Provision will also be made for special courses for pastors and other church workers now in service.
d) In all the work of the Seminary, emphasis should be put upon preparation for training lay workers in the church.
(a) The enlarged program of the institution will necessitate an increase in the teaching staff, especially of Chinese professors. As the need arises and the opportunity offers, qualified men of evangelical faith should be called to the faculty to serve as instructors, assistant professors, associate professors, and full professors in the various departments of the institution.
(b) Provision should be made for the exchange of professors and lecturers with other similar institutions in China and abroad.
We recognize the primary responsibility of the churches for the recruiting, support, and placement in service of students in training for the Christian ministry. We wish to co-operate with the churches in every way possible to enlist, from the schools and colleges, the highest grade of candidates for the ministry, having regard both to intellectual ability and to Christian character and devotion.
(a) An adequate library is essential to the whole program of the institution. This should provide foreign and Chinese books and periodicals on theological and allied subjects, both for the regular academic work and for special research.
(b) The library should aim not only to serve the faculty and students of the Seminary, but also, so far as is feasible, to extend its facilities to Christian workers in other parts of China.
6. Literary Work and Publication.
(a) We plan for the development of a department for the production, both original and in translation, of Christian, literature not otherwise provided for by the present literature societies.
(b) Through the library we hope to make provision for research and study by Christian writers.
(c) Under the name of the "Nanking Theological Seminary Press," we plan to secure the printing of our own and other approved literature.
(d) We hope to enlarge the Nanking Seminary Review and improve it so that it may serve as a theological magazine for the entire church.
7. Training through Supervised Field Work.
The training of students through supervised practice in field situations is of the utmost importance. We plan the establishment of laboratories and training centers in rural church, city church, religious education, Christian work in industrial areas, etc., which shall serve as interne centers for our students and as training centers for pastors and lay workers, these laboratories and training centers to be conducted in co-operation with existing institutions
and church groups in various regions, wherever possible. This plan is an extension of the plan now being carried out by the Seminary at the Shunhwachen Rural Training Center and the Kiangtangchiai City Training Center.
8. Research and Experimentation.
There is urgent need for personnel and funds to carry on research and experimentation in relation to the many problems facing the Chinese church, and we plan to establish a department of research for this purpose.
9. Scholarships and Fellowships.
A limited number of scholarships and fellowships, carefully regulated, should be established as follows:
(a) Work scholarships for students in the Seminary.
(b) Fellowships for alumni and other qualified Christian workers to study at the Seminary.
(c) A few fellowships for faculty members and qualified candidates for graduate study abroad.
The program given above will necessitate some increase in the physical plant. New buildings should be erected to meet only definite needs, and should be as simple and useful as possible. They should be carefully planned so as to fit into a general scheme. Provision should be made in each year's budget to finance the necessary building operations for the year. The most pressing needs are as follows:
a) A few faculty residences for professors and instructors.
b) Student hostels, in order that the present dormitory may be remodeled for educational uses.
c) A chapel.
d) A library building.
III. Extension and Co-operation
Methods of service in extension and co-operation must be determined gradually, in the light of actual experience, and in view of available income and staff. Among the fields of service which may prove to be desirable are the following:
1. The establishment of centers of practical training through supervised field service in connection with this and other theological seminaries.
2. The further education of ministers now in active service by
a) Correspondence courses.
b) Book lists, recommended reading, and circulating library service.
c) Institutes and short-term schools of training, in different sections of China, staffed in part by peripatetic teachers employed by this Seminary, or by other seminaries, for this purpose.
3. We should explore fully the possibilities of co-operation with Christian colleges and universities which undertake a definite program of pre-theological training within the framework of curricula leading to the B.A. degree; and we should extend to such colleges and universities whatever aid, of personnel or of curricula materials, lies within our power.
4. The provision of a definite number of scholarships, to be awarded, on examination, to graduates of lower-grade theological schools who have been in service from three to five years and have manifested ability to profit by further training.
5. It may be possible to undertake the preparation of slides and films and other visual materials for use by pastors in local churches and by teachers in religious education. It may be desirable, further, to undertake a Christian broadcasting service from the Seminary.
6. In co-operation with the various missions and church bodies, or with the National Committee on Christian Religious Education, the Seminary may undertake specialized training of adult education leaders, and the promotion of training conferences for young people, special adult groups, and lay leaders.
7. We are willing to explore the possibility, in case other theological seminaries should desire to unite with the Nanking Theological Seminary under a common board of managers, of conducting the work of the Seminary in more than one center.