1899  — 1976

Shen Tilan

T. L. Shen

Chinese Christian educator, supporter of democracy movements and signer of the "Three-Self Manifesto".

Shen graduated from Soochow University in 1922 and was baptized a Christian while still in school. He was a young man when the historic May Fourth Movement and North Advancement took place, and these had a great impact on him. He decided to devote his life to nurturing young people who favored democracy and progress.

Shen became principal of Mai-lun Middle School in 1931 and worked there for the next two decades. In the later part of the anti-Japanese war, he went to Chung-king and taught in Yenching and Soochow Universities. He also went to Great Britain and the United States to develop an understanding of these countries’ educational systems.

Shen served as chairman of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) at Soochow University. In 1922 he participated in the World’s Christian Student Federation Conference in Peking and became a staff member of the YMCA at the national level after his graduation. In 1927 he founded the China Christian Student Movement Preparatory Committee together with other Christians.

Shen was very active in the anti-Japanese and democracy movements and participated in the Shanghai People Save China Committee, as well as other patriotic activities. He took part in the Bao Wei Zhong Guo Da Tong Meng (Protect China Alliance), which was founded by Song Qing Ling. In 1951 he joined Zhong Guo Min Zhu Tong Meng (China Democratic Alliance), becoming a central committee member. After Shen returned from inland to Shanghai in 1946, he continued as principal of Mai-lun Middle School and also taught at St. John’s University. In Sep 1949 he represented the education sector at the National Political Consultation Meeting. He was elected a committee member from the first to the fourth meetings. He was also a committee member of the Shanghai Political Consultation Meeting from its second to fourth meetings. He signed the “Three-Self Manifesto” in Jul 1950 to show his support for the self-governing, self-supporting, self-propagating movement of the Protestant church in China.


This article is reproduced, with permission, from A Dictionary of Asian Christianity, copyright © 2001 by Scott W. Sunquist, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.

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