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Towards a New Model for Christian Education in China


With an increasing number of new generation Christians starting to raise children, Christian education has become a hot topic of discussion within Chinese Christians.

Jin Li, “A Theology of Family for the Chinese Church,”
ChinaSource Quarterly, Summer 2016

Dissatisfied with the current educational system and wanting their children to be taught from a biblical worldview, Christian parents in China are exploring a variety of alternatives. In the latest episode of ChinaSource Conversations, "Christian Education in China: Inside and Outside the Classroom," we explore these alternatives in Christian education with three educators who have firsthand experience with schools in China.

Laurie Smith is an educational consultant who specializes in working with Chinese families. She discusses the importance of encouraging parents to clarify the values they have for their children’s education. Liu Xiaoyun has pioneered a private school in China that could serve as a model for holistic education in a Christian environment. Tracing the development of private education in China, Dr. Charlie Brainer of Taylor University examines the current tensions within Chinese educational policy.

This podcast surveys indigenous efforts in Christian education and answers these questions:

  • What is possible within the educational policy environment in China?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of private school models being explored by Chinese Christians?
  • What does it take to create a holistic educational environment involving teachers, parents and the community?
  • What role can the local church play in the educational process?
  • How can Christian educators from overseas encourage the development of Christian education in China?

As Dr. Brainer points out, the phenomenon of Christian education in contemporary China is fairly new; thus, it is probably too early to endorse one particular model. Understanding the current landscape will help those seeking to be involved to discern where they might be able to play a role alongside families in China who are writing a new chapter in Chinese Christian education.

Image credit: middle school class by Rex Pe via Flickr.
Brent Fulton

Brent Fulton

Brent Fulton is the president of ChinaSource and the editor of the ChinaSource Quarterly. Prior to assuming his current position, he served from 1995 to 2000 as the managing director of the Institute for Chinese Studies at Wheaton College. From 1987 to 1995 he served as founding US director of... View Full Bio