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David Howard Adeney

1911 ~ 1994

Adeney was born into a British missionary family. His parents worked in Romania with the London Jews' Society (later known as the Church's Ministry among the Jews) and an aunt and uncle worked in Egypt. During his youth, family life was limited, with his father in Bucharest and his mother and three brothers in England. Years in boarding school aggravated the separation. He studied theology at Cambridge, attended the China Inland Mission (CIM) training school in London for a year, and sailed for China in 1934. There he was involved in church planting in central China until Pearl Harbor (1941). This was followed by joint service with the CIM and Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) in the United States and England until the end of World War II made return to China possible. He led student work with the China IVCF until the Maoist triumph, then worked again with the U.S. IVCF.

After that his career turned to training Christians: eight years as Dean of the Discipleship Training Center in Singapore, two years in the China Graduate School of Theology in Hong Kong, and more than a decade as professor of Christian missions, New College, Berkeley, California. Greatly beloved, especially by Asian students, he embodied all the best characteristics of the twentieth century Western missionary.


  1. Armitage, Reaching for the Goal, 33, quoting Douglas Johnson in Contending for the Faith.
  2. Armitage, 42.
  3. Armitage, 152.
  4. Armitage, 180.

About the Author

By Arthur F. Glasser

Emeritus Dean, Fuller Theological Seminary, School of World Mission, Pasadena, California, USA

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