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has conquered China, the missionaries will try to reap a big harvest of souls, and to instill into the nation at least a leaven of Catholicism. It is true, as long as the Catholics in China depend on foreign countries for their priests and resources, Catholicism cannot expect to take hold of any large part of the Chinese people, but it is the earnest desire of all concerned to see as soon as possible the Catholic Church in China presided over by native bishops ministered to by native priests and sustained by her own resources.
SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS OF CHRISTIAN
EDUCATION IN CHINA
By John Franklin Goucher, LL.D., President Emeritus of Goucher College; President of Board of Governors, University of Chengtu; Trustee, University
of Peking Christian education in China during the past few years has made notable progress. Like the century plant, which spends many years in spreading its roots, elaborating its stout stem and fleshy leaves, and storing material, then, with startling suddenness elevates its “mast,” unfolds its flowers, and matures its fruit; so Christian education has had a protracted season of diffused and experimental ministry in China. This has been of great value, and was preliminary to its fuller development.
It is rapidly passing from the sporadic, individualistic, empiric, and competitive stage of its early history. Its problems are being defined, its work organized, its methods standardized, and leading educators and missionary societies are coöperating in spirit and effort to elaborate and establish a thoroughly articulated system of Christian education, covering the whole range from kindergarten to university. This has assumed the proportions of a widely extending movement. Its spirit and motive are inseparable from Christianity, but were greatly quickened by the findings and influence of the World Missionary Conference at Edinburgh.
Many have thought that Conference the greatest ecclesiastical gathering since Pentecost. It had the work of all previous gatherings to build upon. It registered a wider range and greater variety of Christian experience than any previous one. It interpreted larger achievements of grace and more varied and more insistent opportunities for the transforming and constructive ministries of evangelical Christianity than ever before. Its personnel was more typical of the universal church than the synod, council, assembly, or conference of any branch of the church could be. Its basis of assigning, and hearty coöperation in selecting the delegates made it more representative of the churches of Christendom than any previous Interdenominational gathering.
It differed from the church councils of the early centuries of the Christian era in that their motive was self-preservation; their objective to develop the self-consciousness of the church; their effort to differentiate, define, and delimit the church in regard to the subtile philosophical heresies, insistent traditions, and assertive customs which threatened to subvert its fundamental principles or destroy its ethical standards; but the motive of the Edinburgh Conference was the world's conquest for Christ; its objective to develop self-interpretation without waste of resource in energy, time or opportunity; its effort to emphasize the unities of Christian teaching and experience, to subordinate all peculiarities which are not vital to its deepest life, and to conserve every agency which might broaden or enrich its influence.
While the Conference persistently sought to develop the unity of the Spirit, and the practice of intercession, its most distinctive characteristic was its effort to secure, as nearly as might be, a scientific study and statement of vital missionary problems.
In order to do this, eight commissions, each consisting of about twenty experts, were appointed several months in advance to gather information from all lands, and consult those exceptionally wise concerning specially assigned subjects.
Commission III, which had to deal with “Education in Relation to the Christianization of National Life,'' received answers, some of more than one hundred typewritten pages, to its special inquiries, from about three hundred leading missionaries and representative educators.
These were referred to subcommittees to digest and formulate; then considered and edited by the Eastern Section, and revised by the Western Section of the Commission; afterward, reconsidered hy the Joint Commission, and mailed in galley proof for criticism, emendation or additions to several
hundred personally interested in the subjects; their suggestions were carefully considered and the report thus elaborated was submitted to the Edinburgh Conference, which spent a day in its discussion, and adopted it, together with such recommendations as carried its unanimous judgment. Never before had there been such a comprehensive preview and painstaking discussion of missionary problems.
This report, thus prepared, in its section dealing with “Christian Education in China," sets forth among other conclusions and suggestions, that
The present moment is one of unsurpassed importance and opportunity for the Christian church; unparalleled in the world today, and rarely, if ever, equaled in past history. The facts demand, not only of missionary educators in China, but actually of the whole Christian world, thorough and constant study of the situation from a distinctively educational as well as from a general missionary point of view.
Organization for coöperative work.
A specific educational policy and system of Christian education for China, including educational associations, assemblies, superintendents, and supervision for provinces, large areas, and the nation, with a sufficient number of schools and colleges to serve as examples of the highest type of education in which intellectual excellence is combined with the character-forming power of Christian training.
The appointment of thoroughly trained Christian educators with practical experience before being sent out. The appointees to be selected with a view to promoting the greatest efficiency in conducting schools of every grade, and their service to be of as permanent a nature as possible.
With regard to the important problem of university education in China, the Commission records its conviction that the extent of the Chinese Empire makes it impracticable that one central Christian university should permanently serve all parts of China. It looks rather to the eventual founding of several such institutions in different parts of the Empire. But at only a very limited number of points should the attempt be made at present to develop work of a distinctively university calibre. It is of the opinion also
. that when in any of the great divisions of the Empire the time is ripe for the development of university education, all the Christian forces in that region should unite in the development of one institution of Christian learning. Secondary education, and to a less extent, college education, must be provided for in the more populous and educationally advanced regions, at more than one point, but the duplication of higher work in any great division of the Empire at an early date is to be deprecated as uneconomical and as tending to inefficiency and to the alienation of the support of those from whom such support must be expected.
The Edinburgh Conference appointed a Continuation Committee of Thirty-five.
To carry out, on the lines of the Conference itself, which are Interdenominational, the ideas of coördinating missionary work, laying sound lines for its future development, and evoking and claiming by coöperative action fresh stores of spiritual forces for the evangelizing of the world.
To place its services at the disposal of the home boards in any steps which they may be led to take towards closer mutual council and practical coöperation.
To take such steps as may seem desirable to carry out, by the formation of special committees or otherwise, any practical suggestions made in the reports of the Commissions.
In accordance with these provisions, the Continuation Committee has appointed a number of special committees to deal severally with designated subjects, among which is a
Committee on Christian Education in the Mission Field with a special purpose of continuing the study of the educational situation with reference to particular mission fields, and of considering the means of fostering coöperation and coördination in missionary educational work; the committee to work in two coöperating sections; the European Section to consider especially the educational situation in India and Africa, and the American Section to give special attention to the educational situation in Japan, China, and the Levant.
The Committee on Christian Education in the Mission Field held a three days' session at Baltimore as soon after the
a Edinburgh Conference as it could be convened, tabulated its functions, defined the objects of its endeavor, and determined upon its method of procedure, and has held regular meetings at stated intervals to further its work.
Its chairman spent eight months, September, 1910 to May, 1911, in the Far East; visited Japan and Korea, and nearly all the leading centers of education in China. He carefully looked into the condition of many of the Christian and state schools; met with the missionary and government educators, singly and in groups;sat with committees, boards of education, and educational associations; spoke more than one hundred times on various problems related to the development of a