Degree Year

1938

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Theology

Keywords

Siam, Missions, Missionaries, Seminary school, McGilvary Theological Seminary, Chiengmai, Bangkok, Christianity, Church of Christ, Church

Abstract

"New occasions -beach new duties" but do not always make clear the course one should follow in performing those duties. It is necessary to stand off and view the situation in which one finds himself in order to disentangle the various threads that at close range seem to run hopelessly together. This thesis is an effort to clarify the situation in which the author has been placed by the members of the Siam Mission, but for which he has had little preparation either in training or experience.

Early in the year 1955, the author and his family were temporarily assigned to assist in the work of the McGilvary Theological Seminary at Chiengmai. The appointment was made permanent when in 1935. Dr. R. M. Gillies, the Principal was compelled to retire from the work because of ill-health. This was a period of change so the new occupants were faced with the task of leading the School through the period of transition into the wider opportunities awaiting it.

The study in chapter two of this thesis is an attempt to trace the growth of the church from its earliest beginnings in Siam until the present. The aim of the Mission from the beginning was to establish an autonomous church that would be "self-supporting, self-governing and self-propogating, " but in spite of the prayers and hard work of the earlier missionaries, more than one hundred years elapsed before the dream was realized. Not that the church which was organized in Bangkok in 1934 could be called a "self-supporting, self-governing and self-propagating" institution, but it was at least a step in that direction. Its organization placed, the Theological Seminary in a new position. Nominally under Mission control, it yet became the training center for leaders in the new Church of Christ in Siam, This required a thorough-going revision, not only of the plan by which the Seminary had been governed, but also of the curriculum. The former has been accomplished but the latter is still in the process of being done. The effort in this thesis has been to study the situation from three important angles, that might be called the political, the religious, and the educational, in order to determine the kind of a program the school should follow in the future.

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