Guidelines for Writers

Contribute a story for the BDCC

Choice of Biographical Subjects

As you choose a biographical subject for your story, please take into account the following guidelines:

  1. Subjects whose stories already appear in the BDCC will normally not be considered, unless the proposed article gives significant new material and insight. Therefore it is important to consult the BDCC to ascertain whether or not there is already a story on your proposed subject. 
  2. Your subject need not be confined to professional clerics, missionaries, or theologians, but might include laypersons from various walks of life whose stories are essential to an understanding of the global Chinese church. 
  3. As the intent and purpose of the BDCC is to record the history of Chinese Christianity, we ask that you focus on writing the stories of deceased subjects. It is the policy of BDCC not to publish the stories of living subjects. Exceptions will be considered if the subject is (a) of a very venerable age (over 70) and (b) they have retired from all active ministry (in other words, their story is complete). Stories of living subjects will be kept on file for future use.

Guidelines for Writing a Biography

In preparing a story for inclusion in the Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity, please insure that you include information on as many of the following categories as possible. The author should integrate this information into a concise article between 500 and 2,000 words in length. 

  1. Name(s) of subject
    • Pinyin (surname first)
    • Chinese characters 
    • Western name 
    • Other (Wade-Giles, dialect) 
    • Pseudonyms, Pen names
  2. Family of subject
    • Kinship group, clan
    • Father, father’s family members
    • Mother, mother’s family members 
    • Spouse(s), spouse’s family members 
    • Children 
    • Grandchildren
  3. Nationality/citizenship, ethnolinguistic group
  4. Faith tradition
    • Protestant (including independent Chinese-initiated, Pentecostal and charismatic, etc.)
    • Roman Catholic
    • Orthodox
    • Nestorian
    • Other
  5. Life story
    • Date or approximate date, place, and circumstances of birth and of death
    • Formative experiences: honors, visions, illness, misfortunes, social trauma 
    • Courtship, marriage, homes, relations with in-laws 
    • Education, degrees (including dates) 
    • Conversion (may include date) and discipleship/spiritual formation 
    • Calling to ministry or vocation (may include date of ordination)
  6. Churches & Organizations
    • Names, locations, and descriptions of churches or other organizations the Subject founded, served in, or was a member of, with dates of involvement.
  7. Ministry/career details
    • Where? How long? What happened? 
    • Close associates of the subject?
    • Short-term and long-term impact? 
    • (This is the heart of the biography. Please provide detailed information wherever possible, including anecdotes, stories, direct quotations, special life verses, obituary and eulogies.)
  8. Works
    • Publications, reports, writings, letters, musical compositions, artistic contributions by the subject.
    • Artifacts or sites associated with the subject.
  9. Continuing influence and significance of the subject
  10. Sources of information
    1. Unpublished
      • Diary, photos, correspondence, maps, diagrams, and documents
      • Eyewitness accounts (give names and contact information of storytellers; include details of their relationship to the subject).
      • Oral and anecdotal information (give names and contact information of storytellers; include details of their relationship to the subject).
    2. Published
      • Book: title, author, publisher with location, year of publication (original and later editions)
      • Chapter within a book: title, author of the chapter, title of the book, editor and full publication data 
      • Article in periodical: title, author, periodical title, date, and range of the page numbers 
      • News reports: name of media, head-line, date, pages 
      • Websites: full link and date accessed.

(These guidelines are adapted with permission from the Dictionary of African Christian Biography author guidelines.)

Submission of Stories

  1. Submit stories to the BDCC editor ([email protected]). For proper credit to be given to you as a contributor, please include:
    • Your name and address
    • Name and address of institution(s) with which you are affiliated, and your title.
    • Name(s) of other individual(s) responsible for research.
  2. All stories submitted will be edited at the discretion of the BDCC editorial team to conform to BDCC story guidelines.