Ting, K.H. [Ding Guangxun] (1915-2012)

Preeminent Protestant leader in China in the latter half of the twentieth century

2013-02-078-tingK.H. Ting was the son of a Shanghai banker who worked as an Anglican layman to make Chinese churches self-supporting. His maternal grandfather was an Anglican priest, and his mother prayed that he would enter the priesthood. As an undergraduate, he studied engineering at St. John’s University in Shanghai (B.A., 1937), then went into theological studies. He completed his B.D. degree in Shanghai in 1942 and was ordained deacon and priest in the Sheng Kung Hui (Anglican) church that year. Also that year he married Kuo Siu May (Guo Siumei), a fellow graduate of St. John’s University.

After World War II the Tings began five years of service and study outside China, beginning with a year on the staff of the Canadian Student Christian Movement. The next academic year was spent in New York City, where Ting completed a master’s degree at Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University. This was followed by three years of service with the World’s Student Christian Federation, based in Geneva, Switzerland. The Korean War interrupted plans to return to China in 1950, but in August 1951 the Tings retuned to their home in Shanghai, where he became executive secretary of the Christian Literature Society.

Ting was one of the leaders who organized and led the Chinese Protestant churches beyond dependency into the current period of “three-self” autonomy and expansion. He became principal of the Nanjing Theological Seminary in 1952. In 1965 he was consecrated Anglican bishop of Chekiang (Zhejiang) Province. He attended international conferences in Europe in 1956, 1957, and 1961 and made many trips abroad since 1979. He and his wife received honorary doctorates from Victoria University, Toronto, in 1989. In 1978 he was named a vice-president of the University of Nanjing. In 1981 he was elected chairperson of the Chinese Christian Three-Self Patriotic Movement and president of the China Christian Council. He served as a representative from religious circles in the National People’s Congress and was elected vice-chair-person of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in 1989. (Ting’s wife died in 1995.)

This article is reprinted from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, Macmillan Reference USA, copyright © 1998 Gerald H. Anderson, by permission of Macmillan Reference USA, New York, NY. All rights reserved.




K.H. Ting, No Longer Strangers: Selected Writings of K. H. Ting, Raymond L. Whitehead, ed. (1989).