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Women’s Department of Tainan Theological College, 1928-1940: A Research of the First Female Theological School in Formosa
female theological education
Women’s Bible Institute
Women’s Department of Tainan Theological College
Women’s Missionary Association of South Formosa
|Issue Date: ||2019-08-21T07:26:37Z (UTC)
This dissertation works on the Female Department of Tainan Theological College (1928-1940), which is also known as the Women’s Bible Institute (W.B.I) . It is a pioneer research on the female theological education of the Presbyterian Church of Formosa/Taiwan. The disclosure of the history of the W.B.I. and its influence hereafter aims to enrich the Church history of Taiwan by finding the lost stories of church women in Japanese colonial period and also show the abundant faces of the history of its own.
The importance of the W.B.I. can’t be neglected for it is the very first female theological school in Formosa. The author uses historical documents and interviews, together with large amounts of photos as supplement, to reconstruct the history of the School. The W.B.I. existed only for twelve years, but it provided advanced theological education to train students as church workers.
Tainan Women’s School was established in 1895 with the aim of training Bible-women for the church work. The curricula of the School were mainly Romanized Bible courses which were simple and easy. As the time progressed, in the middle of 1920s, a call for advanced theological education arose mainly from the alumna of the Girls’ School. In the meantime, the difficulties faced by the Women’s School and the retirement of its Principal, Margret Barnet, caused the close of the Women’s School in 1926. After two years of reorganization, the W.B.I. was set up in 1928 to meet the call for advanced theological education.
In 1929, the Women’s Missionary Association of South Formosa was launched to organize local church women to engage in evangelical works by prayer and donation. The W.M.A. of South Taiwan was led by local female church leaders, most of whom were the alumna of the Girls’ School. In addition to working in some churches in southern Formosa, their enthusiasm for the Gospel also urged them to open two new churches in the areas where there were no churches. This is a significant female laity evangelical movement of the time. The Association was independent from the South Presbyterian Church from the beginning and was merged into the South Synod as part of the SPC in 1941 because of the tension between the Government and the Church during WWII.
The most important findings of this research are summarized as follows. 1) The theological education provided by the W.B.I. was an advanced one, covering the main areas of theology. However, compared with the four-year study year of Male Department of Tainan Theological College, the Female Department was two years shorter. 2) The graduates of the W.B.I. became female preachers, wives of preachers, Sunday School teachers, nurses, midwives, etc.; their contributions were not only limited to the church but also to the society. 3) The Presbyterian Church of South Formosa formally accepted graduates of W.B.I. as female preachers. However, the graduates qualified were assigned to local congregations as female preachers with much lower payments than their male counterparts. These female preachers couldn’t be ordained during this period. Their lower payments and the work places manifest their marginalization in the time.
|Appears in Collections:||[台灣神學院] 研究部-神學博士班（Ph.D.）|
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