Studies in World Christianity 27.3

The Anglo-Chinese College and the Beginnings of Chinese Protestant Christianity

In 1818, Robert Morrison, the first Protestant missionary to China, established the Anglo-Chinese College (Yinghua Shuyuan 英華書院, ACC) in Malacca with the help of his colleague William Milne. According to the deed of the ACC, its objective was ‘the cultivation of English & Chinese Literature in order to the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ’. During its years of presence in Malacca, the ACC not only offered an opportunity to Chinese youths to receive a general liberal education, it was also a school for Europeans and Americans to study Chinese regardless of whether they were missionaries or not, the alma mater of pioneer Chinese Protestant evangelists, and a press printing Chinese Bibles and Christian tracts as well as sinological works. Shaped by a missionary approach concerned with cultural reconciliation or adaptation, the ACC’s activities and achievements were part of the beginnings of Chinese Protestant Christianity and laid the foundation for its subsequent development, as illustrated in this special issue of Studies in World Christianity, which consists of the revised versions of selected papers presented at ‘Sino-Western Cultural Exchange and the Development of Christianity in China: A Conference in Celebration of the Bicentenary of Ying Wa College’, which was held at Hong Kong Baptist University, 12—13 October 2018, co-organised by the Centre for Sino-Christian Studies of Hong Kong Baptist University and Ying Wa College, and sponsored by Tin Ka Ping Foundation.

All in all, this special issue shows that the ACC was more than a mission school. Considering its multifaceted pioneering contributions to Protestant missions among the Chinese, it is no exaggeration to say that the ACC played an integral part in the beginnings of Chinese Protestant Christianity.


This is an excerpt from the editorial for SWC 27.3 by Man Kong Wong and George Kam Wah Mak, entitled ‘The Anglo-Chinese College and the Beginnings of Chinese Protestant Christianity‘.

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