East China Union Academy

By Joshua C. S. Chiu

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Joshua C. S. Chiu was born in Hong Kong, China. After graduating with a B.Ed. (Hons) from the Open University of Hong Kong and an M.Div. from the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Joshua was first employed as a teacher in a church school of Hong Kong-Macao Conference. Subsequently, he served as an editor and Internet Evangelist in the Chinese Union Mission.

The East China Union established the East China Union Academy when the Japanese then occupied most of the union’s territory. However, the school continued to operate throughout the period of the Pacific War.

Background

Shanghai served as an important city for Adventist work in China and other parts of Asia. In 1909 the church established its Asiatic Division with headquarters in Shanghai,1 after the publishing program had already moved there a year earlier.2

In 1919 the East China Union Mission reorganized its territory,3 though its headquarters continued to remain in Shanghai.4 For a time the East China Union operated three mission-supervised schools: Anhwei Junior Middle School, Kiangsu Junior Middle School, and South Chekiang Junior Middle School.5

However, after the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out on July 7, 1937, the Japanese swept across the East China Union, and it lost nearly all of its senior educational institutions.6 It was during this uncertain time that, the East China Union sought to establish a union-supervised school that could provide a 12-grade education system.

Founding of the School

First proposed in December 1939,7 church publications listed the academy as one of the 1940 Harvest Ingathering projects and the 1940 Big Week projects.8 During the early part of 1940 church leaders considered various alternative sites as well as how to fund and integrate it with other church entities, such as the Fireside Correspondence School (now Home Study Institute) and the Far Eastern Academy, in or near the Ningguo Road property in Shanghai.9

In July leadership proposed that the new school be located at 458 Ningguo Road in the Chinese workers’ compound. Administration appointed a seven-member committee to adjust the use of the Ningguo Road property10 and the school temporarily received permission to use the land on the eastern and northern sides of the Ningguo Road walled-in compound for agricultural purposes. An additional allocation from Rehabilitation Funds was approved for the school to replace equipment and furnishings at the Ningguo Road compound.11

In the fall of 1940 W. H. Branson, then president of the China Division, wrote to the Sabbath School members of the world church about urgent needs in China, requesting assistance from the Thirteenth Sabbath Overflow offerings. Building a school for the East China Union was one of the six projects he cited.12

The new school, known initially as East China Union Junior Training Institute, opened October 1, 1940.13

History

The school started with 12 teachers and 78 students enrolled in grades 7 to 11.14 The first academic year was a tremendous success spiritually. With good cooperation from the East Shanghai Church, the school took part in the church’s Harvest Ingathering Campaign,15 and by January 1941 the church had organized a baptismal class for the students that resulted in 17 baptisms at the end of the school year.16 Then a colporteur institute convened at the school from May 25 to 31. About 25 students received training, most of them canvassing in the territory of the East China Union during the first summer holidays.17 At the close of the academic year 1940-1941, seven students graduated from the tenth grade.18

On the evening of August 17, 1941, the East China Training Institute Dispensary began under the directorship of Miriam Hsia, a nursing graduate of Shanghai Sanitarium. The dispensary, housed in the two carport rooms vacated by the Far Eastern Academy, served not only faculty and students of the training institute, but also the employees and their families in the Ningguo compound and the elementary schools, and even the nearby community. Individuals and local business donated the equipment and medicines, costing more than $3,000 N.C.19

After the Pacific War broke out, the Japanese military took over the division office, and many of the staff at the Ningguo Road compound evacuated to unoccupied regions of China. The publishing house stopped printing the Signs of the Times but was able to produce small books or brochures. However, the East China Junior Training Institute did continue to operate throughout the war period.20

In 1946 the school received additional funding.21 During the same year it considered moving to Qiaotouzhen, but the campus there was too damaged to easily restore.22 The next year the campus of the China Training Institute was rebuilt on the West Hill at Qiaotouzhen. It converted a silk factory on the East Hill for school use.23 The Institute reopened October 1, 1947.24 The East China Union Junior Training Institute moved to the East Hill site at Qiaotouzhen as the academy section of the China Training Institute during the school year 1947-48.25 The school seems to have been renamed East China Union Academy in 1948 with Shen Xucheng (沈緒成, Shen Hsu Chen) as the principal.26 Approved as a 12-grade academy,27 it was now independent of the China Training Institute after the school year 1948-1949.

When the Battle of Huaihai broke out between November 6, 1948, and January 10, 1949, the campus of Qiaotouzhen became unsafe. During the 1948-1949 school year it became increasingly obvious that a change of government would occur on mainland China, and the American consular authorities issued an urgent warning to foreigners to evacuate. Leadership decided to move all college sections of the China Training Institute from Qiaotouzhen to Hong Kong, while the East China Union Academy would remain at Qiaotouzhen.28

After the spring holiday in 1949, some students did not return to the school, so the buildings on the East Hill site were not fully used. Furthermore, the possibility loomed that the military would occupy the East Hill property. The division committee recommended that the East China Union Academy transfer to the West Hill location as soon as the buildings under construction were completed.29

Beginning with the spring semester of the school year of 1949-1950, Wang Xiantong (汪先桐, S. T. Wang) became the new principal of the East China Union Academy. He was also the final principal.30

During the summer of 1950 the China Training Institute moved back to Qiaotouzhen from Hong Kong and operated its last school year with the East China Union Academy.31 Even at this late stage, 16 academy students worked with evangelists in several series that summer.32

The East China Union Academy closed its doors permanently when the Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government in 1951 took over the Qiaotouzhen campus of the China Training Institute and it became the Jiangsu Polytechnic College of Agriculture and Forestry.33 Currently the Qiaotou Campus of Nanjing University of Finance & Economics Hongshan College uses the facility.34

Principal Chronology

East China Union Junior Training Institute (1940-1947): Huang Dawei (黃大衛, David Hwang) (1940-1941); Pan Shuiru (潘水如) (1941-1946), Shen Xucheng (1946-1947).

The academy section of China Training Institute (1947-1948): T. S. Geraty (president of China Training Institute) (1947-1948).

East China Union Academy (1948-1951): Shen Xucheng (1948-1949); Wang Xiantong (1950-1951).

Sources

“An Evening with the China Division.” ARH, June 20, 1946.

“Back to School,” The China Division Reporter, November 1, 1947.

Branson, W. H. “Movements of Our Missionaries in China.” ARH, December 23, 1948.

______ “Urgent Needs in China.” The China Division Reporter, November 15, 1940.

China Division Committee Minutes. General Conference Archives, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.
December 13, 1939. Folder China Division (Section I) (Section II) 1939;
December 14, 1939. Folder China Division (Section I) 1939;
May 8, 1940. Folder China Division (Section I) 1940;
May 16, 1940. Folder China Division (Section I) 1940;
July 10, 1940. Folder China Division (Section I) 1940;
July 21, 1940. Folder China Division (Section I) 1940;
November 24, 1940. Folder China Division (Section I) 1940;
February 16, 1949. Folder China Division, Jan - May 1949.

_____ March 21, 1946. Folder China Division Section I, Field Committee Annual Council 1946. General Conference Archives, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.

_____ June 19,1946, Folder China Division Executive Committee 1946. General Conference Archives, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.

Cossentine, E. E. “Our Schools in China.” ARH, June 16, 1949.

“Educational Progress in the World Divisions and Detached Union Conferences.” The Journal of True Education, June 1950.

“From a personal letter…” ARH, May 21, 1908.

General Conference Committee, General Conference Archives. Accessed July 25, 2019, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1946-06.pdf.

Griggs, Frederick. “Service.” The China Division Reporter, July 1938.

“History”「歷史沿革」. Jiangsu Polytechnic College of Agriculture and Forestry江蘇農林職業技術學院(Online), October 8, 2014. Accessed July 28, 2019. http://www.jsafc.edu.cn/zjnl/lsyg.htm.

Hwang, David. “East China Union Training Institute.” The China Division Reporter, September 1, 1941.

Hsu Hwa. “Evangelistic Advance in China.” ARH August 10, 1950.

“LAND has been purchased…” Asiatic Division Outlook, February 1, 1921.

Lin, David. “Open Doors in China.” The China Division Reporter, May 1, 1950.

Lindt, S. H. “Report of the China Training Institute.” The China Division Reporter, May 1, 1948.

Macintyre, J. G. “Interned in Shanghai.” ARH, October 8, 1942.

Nanjing University of Finance & Economics Hongshan College南京財經大學紅山學院. “Introduction of Nanjing University Of Finance & Economics Hongshan College”「南京財經大學紅山學院簡介」. Nanjing University of Finance & Economics Hongshan College南京財經大學紅山學院 (Online), May 26, 2019. Accessed July 28, 2019. http://hs.nufe.edu.cn/2017/0703/c22a3015/page.htm.

“Notes from the Spring Council.” Asiatic Division Outlook, March 1, 1919.

“Opening of East China Union Institute Dispensary.” The China Division Reporter, October 1, 1941.

Oss, John, “East Shanghai Church.” The China Division Reporter, October 15, 1940.

______“News Notes—East China.” The China Division Reporter, July 1, 1941.

Su, Joseph “C.T. I. Returns to Chiaotaotseng.” The China Division Reporter, October 1, 1950.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Takoma Park, Washington, D. C.: Review and Herald, 1908, 1920, 1933, 1941, and 1948.

“The East China Training Institute…,”「華東之三育研究社……」. Last Day Shepherd’s Call《末世牧聲》, March 1946.

“The Shanghai Missionary College of Seventh-day Adventists 1919-1920.” Asiatic Division Outlook, July 15, 1919.

Wood, K. H. “East China Union Mission.” ARH, July 24, 1930.

Notes

  1. “Asiatic Division,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Takoma Park, Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1910), 133.

  2. “From a personal letter…,” ARH, May 21, 1908, 24.

  3. “Notes from the Spring Council,” Asiatic Division Outlook, March 1, 1919, 5, 6.

  4. “LAND has been purchased…,” Asiatic Division Outlook, February 1, 1921, 16.

  5. K. H. Wood, “East China Union Mission,” ARH, July 24, 1930, 17.

  6. The China Training Institute at Qiaotouzhen (Chiao Tou Djen) had moved to Hong Kong, see Frederick Griggs, “Service,” The China Division Reporter, July 1938, 1; Anhwei Junior Training Institute had been destroyed by war not later than 1939, see “Institutions in China Division,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Takoma Park, Washington, D. C.: Review and Herald, 1933), 114, 115.

  7. China Division Committee minutes, December 13, 1939, 2307, Folder China Division (Section I) 1939, General Conference Archives; China Division Committee, December 13, 1939, 246, Folder China Division (Section II) Jan - Dec 1939, General Conference Archives

  8. China Division Committee minutes, December 14, 1939, 2309, Folder China Division (Section I) 1939, General Conference Archives.

  9. Ibid., May 8, 1940, 2394, May 16, 1940, 2399-40. November 24, 1940, 2445. Folder China Division (Section I) 1940, General Conference Archives.

  10. Ibid. July 10, 1940, 2408.

  11. Ibid., July 21, 1940, 2410.

  12. W. H. Branson, “Urgent Needs in China,” The China Division Reporter, November 15, 1940, 1.

  13. “East China Union Junior Training Institute,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Takoma Park, Washington, D. C.: Review and Herald, 1941), 255.

  14. David Hwang, “East China Union Training Institute,” The China Division Reporter, September 1, 1941, 3.

  15. John Oss, “East Shanghai Church,” The China Division Reporter, October 15, 1940, 2.

  16. Chen Ming, “Baptismal Service at East Shanghai Compound,” The China Division Reporter, July 1, 1941, 4; Hwang, “East China Union Training Institute.”

  17. John Oss, “News Notes—East China,” The China Division Reporter, July 1, 1941, 7.

  18. Hwang, “East China Union Training Institute.”

  19. “Opening of East China Union Institute Dispensary,” The China Division Reporter, October 1, 1941, 5.

  20. J. G. Macintyre, “Interned in Shanghai,” The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, October 8, 1942, 11; “An Evening with the China Division,” The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, June 20, 1946, 239.

  21. China Division Field Committee, March 21, 1946, 20, 23, Folder China Division Section I, Field Committee Annual Council 1946, General Conference Archives; China Division Executive Committee, June 19, 1946, 39, Folder China Division Executive Committee 1946, General Conference Archives; General Conference Committee, June 27, 1946, 41, General Conference Archives, accessed July 25, 2019, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1946-06.pdf.

  22. “The East China Training Institute…,”「華東之三育研究社……」, Last Day Shepherd’s Call《末世牧聲》, March 1946, 23.

  23. “Educational Progress in the World Divisions and Detached Union Conferences,” The Journal of True Education, June 1950, 18.

  24. “Back to School,” The China Division Reporter, November 1, 1947, 8.

  25. Ibid.; “China Training Institute,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Takoma Park, Washington, D. C.: Review and Herald, 1948), 232-33.

  26. S. H. Lindt, “Report of the China Training Institute,” The China Division Reporter, May 1, 1948, 5.

  27. China Division Council, January 25, 1948, 48, General Conference Archives.

  28. W. H. Branson, “Movements of Our Missionaries in China,” ARH, December 23, 1948, 15. E. E. Cossentine, “Our Schools in China,” ARH, June 16, 1949, 24.

  29. China Division Committee Minutes, February 16, 1949, 45, Folder China Division Jan - May 1949, General Conference Archive.

  30. David Lin, “Open Doors in China,” The China Division Reporter, May 1, 1950, 5.

  31. “Progress of Division Institutions,” The China Division Reporter, July 1, 1950, 3; Joseph Su, “C.T. I. Returns to Chiaotaotseng,” The China Division Reporter, October 1, 1950, 3.

  32. Hsu Hwa, “Evangelistic Advance in China,” Review and Herald, August 10, 1950, 15.

  33. “History”「歷史沿革」, Jiangsu Polytechnic College of Agriculture and Forestry江蘇農林職業技術學院, October 8, 2014, accessed July 28, 2019, http://www.jsafc.edu.cn/zjnl/lsyg.htm.

  34. Nanjing University of Finance & Economics Hongshan College南京財經大學紅山學院, “Introduction of Nanjing University Of Finance & Economics Hongshan College”「南京財經大學紅山學院簡介」, Nanjing University Of Finance & Economics Hongshan College南京財經大學紅山學院, May 26, 2019, accessed July 28, 2019, http://hs.nufe.edu.cn/2017/0703/c22a3015/page.htm.

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Chiu, Joshua C. S. "East China Union Academy." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Accessed September 21, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7HOZ.

Chiu, Joshua C. S. "East China Union Academy." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Date of access September 21, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7HOZ.

Chiu, Joshua C. S. (2021, April 28). East China Union Academy. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved September 21, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7HOZ.