Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Divinity (MDiv)



First Advisor

Dr. Daniel Brunner


This thesis is a research on the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) and the House Church Movement (HCM) in China. These two movements have produced two church systems in China: the Official Church and the Underground Church. With the method of ―China-centered,‖ I present Christianity as a world religion and explore its development in Chinese society. In chapter 1, I explain the motivation of this research and the methodology I utilize in my approach to Chinese church history. I give a general historical background in chapter 2 and divide the Chinese church history into five eras: the preparation for Christianity (before the 1800s), the construction of Western Christianity (the 1800s to 1900), the emergence of Chinese Christianity (1900-1949), the deconstruction of Christianity (1949-1979), and the reconstruction of Chinese Christianity (1980-today). In chapters 3 and 4, I focus on the last three eras and present these two church movements beginning with the TSPM, and then the HCM, discussing key events and figures along the way. In order to present and evaluate Chinese church history as objective as possible, I include the points of view from Chinese authors in mainland China and overseas, believers from the TSPM and the HCM, the State and the CPC, as well as Western scholars from Europe and North America. Through this research, I find that the TSPM and the HCM have a common ground despite their theological differences and disagreements. Both of them have been contextualizing Christianity and turning it from a foreign religion into a Chinese religion.