TAIWAN- Eleven Christian universities from all over Taiwan yesterday signed to establish the "Taiwan Christian University Alliance", aiming to reinforce religious education in the country.
The eleven universities are Tunghai University, Chung Yuan Christian University, Providence University, Fu Jen Catholic University, Chang Chung University, Aletheia University, St. John’s University, Christ's College, Jide Christ’s College, Wenzao Ursuline College of Languages, and Taiwan Adventist College. The Alliance will provide a platform where colleges can share resources for the development of academic research, teachers and students.
Tunghai University president Haydn Chen is the founder of the Alliance. In his keynote messages on Monday’s ceremony, he pointed out that many prestigious universities in the United States and Europe are founded by Christian virtues, so they stress on liberal studies, character development, ethics, caring and serving the community, spiritual training, global viewpoint and so on, that is why they become more competitive than others.
"The establishment of Taiwan Christian University Alliance symbolizes a new milestone of cooperation between Christian universities in Taiwan. I wish that universities can share resources in more diverse way, so that we may benefit from the values that beyond the total of what we put together," said Chen.
The start of the Alliance dated back to the 50th anniversary of Tunghai University last year. On one of the international seminars called "The Foundation of Christian University and its Advantages", president of Chang Chung University suggested to form the Alliance. After 7 months of preparation, the Alliance is formed today.
Soochow University, another Christian university that was supposed to be part of the Alliance, has not entered the Alliance because of its non-church based background. Soochow University was founded by the Methodist Church in Xuzhou, China, 150 years ago and it was a church-based school. However, the Methodist Church decided to set up Tunghai University in Taiwan as a Christian school but the Soochow University in Taiwan has not been recognized officially, so Soochow University is now an independent legal entity, instead of a Church-based school.
According to Chen, the Alliance now plans to provide the following services, such as exchanging course materials, inter-school teacher exchange program, joint research project, student leadership training camp and others. It has been set that all the directors and presidents from each member school will meet at least once a year to discuss the development and general affairs of the Alliance.
[Editor’s note: Joanna Wong reported from Taiwan for this article and Eunice Or from Atlanta]