"Yin-Yang" interplay: A renewed formation program for the Catholic seminary in China

Bit-Shing Abraham Chiu, Fordham University


This study examines the sociopolitical background of China that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) imposes political domination on the Chinese Catholic Church (CCC) by establishing the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA). Education in China is a tool of imposing political authority that insists uniformity in the country. Any different voices other than the CCP's will be considered as "anti-government." Thus, the government keeps a watchful eye on the CCC in particular its seminary formation program. Seminary formation is an intense form of academics and spirituality. Additionally, strengthening ministerial training is a crucial issue in the CCC since political domination restricts any evangelical activities or inspects all pastoral ministries. A case study was conducted at two designated seminaries that were located in downtown and the countryside. The data collected from twenty-four interviewees suggests that there are various problems in seminaries, especially low quality of academic formation, spiritual direction, and community life. Together with the success of the Online China Project the null curriculum, this researcher also proposes a Tripod Formation Program that highlights the ideas of self-cultivation, the good shepherd, and missio Dei as a new channel to interplay with the political entity in the "Yin-Yang" pattern. The ideal of this renewed formation program, an integration of Christ and culture, is to foster dialogue between the Chinese-characteristic socialism and the CCC. Some concrete suggestions are proposed by this researcher in order to respond to the theory of the Tripod Formation Program. This program also forms the ground for fostering the Incarnational Model. By practicing the Incarnational Model, establishing a more inclusive community, and developing a theology of China in seminaries, the CCC's ability to interplay with the CCP in the "Yin-Yang" pattern can be enhanced. Seminarians come from families. Good religious education in family and parish is important for nurturing good candidates. Thus, a good religious education in the CCC and a Tripod Formation Program in the seminaries foster good clergy and in return, as stewards of all, the clergy provide quality formation for the next generation of the CCC.

Subject Area

Religious education

Recommended Citation

Chiu, Bit-Shing Abraham, ""Yin-Yang" interplay: A renewed formation program for the Catholic seminary in China" (2011). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3554025.