Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Priestly Ordination of Revd Dr. Philip L. Wickeri

Date: Thursday 29 Apr 2021 to Tuesday 29 Apr 2031
On April 28, 2021 Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Archives celebrated the 30th anniversary of our Provincial Archivist, Revd Dr. Philip L. Wickeri’s Ordination. On April 28, 1991, Dr. Wickeri was ordained by Bishop K. H. Ting at St. Paul's Church in Nanjing. A private and warm celebration, together with his students, the volunteers, student intern and staff of the Archives, was held in the Bishop’s house in the evening of April 28. Everyone shared interesting stories and moments of working with Dr. Wickeri. 



Professor Philip L. Wickeri is internationally renowned scholar in the field of history of Christianity. He learned Chinese at Middlebury College and Princeton University from 1969 to 1972, using the textbook edited by the famous Chinese scholar Zhao Yuanren (趙元任) 



In the 1970s, he went to Taiwan with his wife Janice K. Wickeri to study Chinese and to teach English at National Cheng Kung University and Tainan Theological Seminary. 

In August 1979, as a translator for the Buddhist leader Mr. Zhao Puchu (趙樸初) and other Buddhist representatives, at the Third World Conference on Religion and Peace in Princeton, he met Bishop Ting there. He was then invited by Bishop Ting to teach as a foreign expert at the Department of Foreign Languages and literature in Nanjing University from 1981 to 1983. 

During that time, Prof. Wickeri was able to find the historical materials from Three-Self Patriotic Movement and the Chinese Christian Council in Shanghai and Jinling Theological Seminary to help him to set his dissertation topic: Seeking the Common Ground: Protestant Christianity, the Three-Self Movement and China’s United Front.

In 1985, Professor Wickeri returned to Hong Kong to serve as the overseas liaison of the Amity Foundation, Hong Kong. From 1985 to 1997, he taught social history of religion in Hong Kong Baptist University, and taught the history of Chinese thought in the International Program of the in the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

In 1998, Professor Wickeri returned to the United States, teaching at San Francisco Theological Seminary and Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. He has also been an instructor for the Institute for Advanced Study in Asian Cultures and Theologies (IASACT). This is a project co-sponsored by Divinity School of Chung Chi College and United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia since 2004.

In 2010, Philip was invited by Archbishop Paul Kwong to serve as the Advisor to the Archbishop on theological and historical studies and to serve as the Director of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Archives. He has been writing the history for our Church with other Hong Kong historians. He has been leading the project of "Studies of History of the Sheng Kung Hui in China Series" with Hong Kong University Press and has organized several international conference to discuss the topics such as "The Encounter between Anglican Church and Chinese Culture" and “Anglican Women in China”. He encourages scholars and students to use our Archives and he himself also went to different places all over the world to collect materials for our archives. 

Prof. Wickeri teaches Church History in Charles Sturt University, Australia-Ming Hua Theological College, and has been a visiting professor of Lutheran Theological Seminary and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

On April 28, 1991, Philip was ordained by Bishop K. H. Ting at St. Paul's Church in Nanjing. On that day, his close friend Rev. Wang Wei-Fan gave him seven words: "The Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep (好牧人為羊捨命).” This piece of calligraphy hangs on the wall of his office. 


Rev. Prof. Wickeri loves China and has a deep affection on Chinese people. He appreciates the paintings by Hong Kong painter Luis Chan(陳富善), who uses a combination of Chinese and Western techniques to draw the fantasy and unconventional scenes of Hong Kong from a quiet fishing village to a bustling city. Philip regards this as the spirit of Hong Kong that he has seen for so many years.

His wife Janice Wickeri is a translator and writer. She has also been the editor of the Journal:Chinese Theology for 30 years.


The introduction of Dr. Philip L. Wickeri is extracted from
Ruiwen Chen (2020). Bound to China: Prof. Philip L. Wickeri and the Study of Christianity in China. Jian Dao Issue 54 (2020):273-280.


Photo taken by Barry Pan