|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in 2 series: Series 1: Organization records, and Series 2. Correspondence and publications.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains reports, meeting minutes, and other official materials produced by the council or its sub-committees and related organizations, as well as administrative correspondence related to the council's work; the N.C.C. China Bulletin, a news bulletin published by the council during the early years of the war with Japan in China (copies and originals of the bulletin, covering nearly the entire run of the publication); and pamphlets, published reports, directories, and other publications.
Burke Library record group:
Missionary Research Library Archives: MRL6, China
Using the Collection
Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Information concerning copyright, fair use, and reproduction requests can be consulted at Columbia's Copyright Advisory Office.
Item description, MRL6: National Christian Council of China records, 1919-1950, series #, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
MRL 6: China Continuation Committee Records, 1912 - 1922, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
MRL6: Missionary Research Library collection on student evangelism, 1938-1947, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Many of these records were originally copies produced by the Foreign Missions Conference of North America, which had had a close relationship with the independent Missionary Research Library. Formerly part of the independent Missionary Research Library (MRL), these records were accessioned by the Burke Library at the time of the MRL's closure in 1976.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Metal clips and staples were removed from materials and folded items were flattened. Materials were placed in new acid-free folders and boxes. Items were separated from one another by interleaving with acid-free paper, and items in an advanced state of deterioration were photocopied on to acid-free paper. In 2014, the collection was updated as part of the Henry Luce Foundation grant. At this time, materials were reorganized in series 1, and additional material was added. The finding aid was created by Gregory Adam Scott in 2009, updated by Cecile Queffelec and Brigette C. Kamsler in 2014 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2023.
2023-01-04 PDF converted to EAD and description updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
The National Christian Council of China (Chinese: Zhonghua quanguo Jidujiao xiejin hui 中華全國基督教協進會) was formed in 1922 following a National Christian Conference held in Shanghai. The council was seen as fulfilling the mission of the China Continuation Committee, which had been set up in 1913 to continue the work of the Edinburgh World Missions Conference. In 1922 the committee was disbanded and the N.C.C. of China took its place, also absorbing other institutions such as the China for Christ movement, which had been founded in 1919. The N.C.C. of China was designed as a representative body made up of delegates from missions and churches, one which would play an advisory role to the many Protestant groups operating in China. It was hoped that it would facilitate greater cooperation among churches and interdenominational work among missions. Among those excluded from the council were the Roman Catholics, who had created an Apostolic Delegation of China in the same year that the council was established. In 1923 the council set up the Society for the Advancement of Christian Literature. Based in Shanghai, it published Christian literature in Chinese and was run by Chinese Christians with missionaries acting as advisors. The council and its sub-committees published a number of books and pamphlets, as well as the China for Christ Bulletin in Chinese, and the N.C.C. Bulletin in English. In 1926 the China Inland Mission and the Christian and Missionary Alliance withdrew from the council, citing the liberal direction of the organization as their reason. By 1932, however, the council represented about 70% of the Protestant presence in China. Similar councils also appeared in other countries, such as the N.C.C. of India which was founded in the early 1920s, and the N.C.C. of the Philippines, established in 1929. C.Y. Cheng (Cheng Jingyi 誠靜怡) served as the chairperson of the 1922 National Christian Conference and general secretary of the N.C.C. of China from 1922 to 1933. In the late 1930s Wu Yi-fang (Wu Yifang 吳貽芳) was chairperson, Ronald Rees was a secretary, Earl H. Cressy was secretary of the commission on Christian education, and Edward Hicks Hume was secretary of the commission on Christian medical work. Edwin Carlyle Lobenstine had a position as honorary secretary, and T.T. Lew (Liu Tingfang 劉廷芳) headed the National Committee for Christian Religious Education in China. The council ceased functioning in the early 1950s as leadership of the Chinese Christians in the PRC was taken over by the proponents of the Three-Self movement.