News Articles

Hong Kong Baptist University to host U.S., Canadian students

HONG KONG (BP)–Hong Kong Baptist University will launch a new study-abroad program this fall involving more than 160 Christian college students from the United States and Canada.
The American students, drawn from 45 church-related colleges in 26 states, will take a full load of credit courses and live in campus dormitories with Chinese roommates, most of whom will be non-Christians.
HKBU, the only accredited Christian university in the Peoples Republic of China, was founded by the Hong Kong Baptist Convention in 1956. Strategically located in Kowloon, on the mainland side of Hong Kong harbor, the university enrolls 6,000 degree students and 35,000 night and weekend students. About 1,200 of its students are Christians, active in campus Bible studies, worship services and mission projects. Most of its courses are taught in English.
It is known for high academic standards at the B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. levels in such fields as business, music, journalism, the physical sciences and history. There are 15 freshman applicants for every opening.
An increasing number of mainland Chinese students will be enrolled as space becomes available in seven new high-rise residence halls to be built on the Baptist university campus. Many will share a dormitory room with an American student.
Southern Baptist schools are prominent among the permanent partners in the study-abroad program, said Wesley M. “Pat” Pattillo, a former Samford University vice president who serves as North American liaison for HKBU.
Included are Baylor, Mercer, Stetson, Samford, Furman, Belmont, Wingate, Oklahoma Baptist, Union, Grand Canyon, East Texas Baptist, Gardner-Webb, Ouachita, and Southwest Baptist universities and William Jewell, Averett, Georgetown, Judson, Shorter, Mississippi, Palm Beach Atlantic, California Baptist, Louisiana, Missouri Baptist, Carson-Newman, and Hannibal-LaGrange colleges.
Also involved are 10 American Baptist colleges and seven other schools affiliated with Methodist, Presbyterian and Lutheran denominations, plus students sponsored each semester by the Baptist Union of Western Canada, Pattillo noted.
“We believe this study-abroad program will be one of the most effective ways to build lasting personal friendships between North American Christians and many of the future leaders of China,” said HKBU president Daniel C. W. Tse, a Baylor graduate, who conceived the program and has worked with his faculty and administration to develop it for the American visitors.
Tse earned a Ph.D. in biophysics and taught at the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia University before returning to Hong Kong, where he became president of the Baptist University in 1971. He has translated extensively for Billy Graham and is a member of the international board of World Vision.
HKBU is an autonomous, locally governed institution. Early in its history, the school received construction funds and personnel from both the Southern Baptist and American Baptist foreign mission agencies, but now receives no financial support from the SBC International Mission Board, which withdrew from its mission work in Hong Kong several years ago.
Along with all of Hong Kong’s accredited universities, the Baptist university receives generous funding for its academic program through the University Grants Program of the city of Hong Kong. Its extensive religious activities, including a Christian Student Union, Christian Choir and campus worship services, Bible studies and student mission teams, are supported entirely by private gifts from churches and laypersons.

    About the Author

  • (BP)