McCormick missionaries and the shaping of Korean Evangelical Presbyterianism, 1888-1939
The aim of this thesis is to show that Korean Presbyterianism, which was transplanted to and shaped in Korea at the turn of the twentieth century, was an indigenized and intensified form of evangelical Christianity. The main argument is that McCormick missionaries were key figures in the process of the shaping of Korean Protestantism, being one of the typical groups in Korea who represented the American evangelical missionary movement. McCormick missionaries combined the evangelical piety of the revival movements of the New School Presbyterians – Finney and Pierson - with the confessional Reformed doctrines of the Old School Presbyterians. They also transplanted Premillennialism as a dominant feature of American religious culture into Korea at the turn of the twentieth century. Although McCormick Theological Seminary was not the most significant theological institution within the American Presbyterian Church, it was this school which has made the most important contribution to the formation of theology, piety, and practice. McCormick theology was an evangelical theology with a strongly pietist tendency and a moderate Calvinist doctrine. As evangelical Presbyterians, McCormick workers established the core features and direction of the Korean Presbyterian Church from 1888 until 1939 when the Pyongyang Seminary was closed down and the missionaries were asked to leave Korea by the Japanese imperial government.