학생자원운동(The Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions)은 1886년미국 노스필드에서 미국의 대학생들에게 복음과 선교에 대한 도전을 주기 위하여 A. T. 피어선 박사(Arthur Tappan Pierson)가 드와이트 라이먼 무디(Moody)와 함께 설립한 해외 선교를 위한 학생 선교운동 단체이다. 노벨상을 받은 존 모토는 A. T. 피어선의 영향을 받고 이 운동을 후에 인도하였다. 1886년 헐몬 산(Mt. Hermon)에서 하버드 대학교, 프린스턴 대학교, 예일 대학교등 미국 및 캐나다의 89개 대학에서 251명의 대학생 대표들이 7월 6일부터 8월 2일까지 “대학생 YMCA Summer Bible School에 참석하였다. 그 집회에서 당시 선교와 설교로 유명한 피어선 박사(A. T. Pierson)가 세계선교에 대한 인상적인 설교를 통하여 이 운동을 창설하도록 제안하였다. 그는 ‘우리는 가야 한다 모든 곳으로 가야 한다’(‘All should go, go to all”) 라는 유명한 설교가 대학생들에게 큰 영적 감동을 주었는데 이 운동의 태동의 계기가 된다. 이 운동의 영향을 받은 선교사들이 한국에 많이와서 전도, 교육, 봉사에 커다란 공헌을 하였다.[] 피어선 박사는 직접 1910년에 한국에 방문하여 성경공부를 가르쳤다.
The Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions was an organization founded in 1886 that sought to recruit college and university students in the United States for missionary service abroad. It also sought to publicize and encourage the missionary enterprise in general. Arthur Tappan Pierson was the primary early leader.
Origins and Consolidation 1886-1891
The social and religious milieu of the late nineteenth century was favorable in nearly all ways for the birth and growth of a movement such as the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions. It was a time of dominance and prestige for Western civilization. Imperialistic expansion was condoned as an altruistic response to increased knowledge of the non-Western world. The rising nationalism of the era provided important motivation for the foreign missionary enterprise, for the success of American civilization was attributed to its Christian basis. Protestant foreign missionaries were heroes and heroines for the American public; and, as Robert Handy has noted, “Though they strove as Christians to keep the priority on spiritual religion and to be aware of the difference between faith and culture, it was not difficult in the spirit of those times to lose the distinction and to see Christian civilization as a main outcome of faith, if not its chief outcome.”  Historian of Christianity Kenneth Scott Latourette‘s comment that “one of the distinctive tokens of the Christianity and especially of the Protestantism of the United States was the fashion in which it conformed to the ethos of the country,” was surely borne out in the early days of the Student Volunteer Movement. The spirit of pre-War American culture was one of expansionism and activism with an orientation toward business and enterprise. The extensive financial records and correspondence of the Volunteer Movement illustrate a congruence in style between business enterprise and the missions enterprise. American culture’s shift toward scientific positivism during this era was reflected in the Student Volunteer Movement’s emphasis on elaborate statistical evidence of its work.
Practical aspects of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century also contributed to the rapid growth of Protestant missions. Travel to far corners of the earth was possible as never before because of improved transportation and communication. The world scene was largely free from wars. It was a time of increasing Protestant wealth; Christian tycoons under attack for their enormous profits were more than happy to contribute large sums for the support of the foreign missionary enterprise.
With a perspective sharpened by knowledge of post-War events, historians of American religion have pointed to underlying conflicts and discrepancies which belied the idealistic confidence of the pre-War era. Economic turmoil, urbanization, the rise of historical criticism and evolutionary theory, the issue of liberalism versus revivalism — all these potentially disruptive elements lay beneath the assured facade of pre-War American Protestantism. Sydney Ahlstrom has attributed the foreign missions boom of the era to the churches’ desire to avoid confrontation on these issues: “crusades of diverse sorts were organized, in part, it would seem, to heal or hide the disunity of the churches.”  Robert Handy has seen the mission enterprise as an extension of the voluntaryism of the 1830s — a means for cooperative Protestant action in society without confrontation on particular denominational differences. Handy, like Ahlstrom, has pointed to the dangers which were inherent in sublimation of theological and social controversy under activist crusades: “The possibility of a greater sense of self-criticism, which might have come out of a more open confrontation of the parties, was largely suppressed, in considerable measure because of the necessities of the missionary consensus.” .
This, then, was the milieu into which the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions was born in July 1886. Its emergence at a summer student conference held on the campus of the Mount Hermon School in Northfield, Massachusetts had all the drama of a theatrical play, and its story was told countless times over the decades of the Movement’s existence. The drama of the scene will not be destroyed, however, by consideration of the historical antecedents of the Movement.
In his work, Two Centuries of Student Christian Movements, Clarence Shedd traced the existence of student Christian societies back to the early years of the eighteenth century. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, he found, a foreign missions emphasis was prevalent in the student societies and fully three-quarters of them were called Societies of Missionary Inquiry. In 1877, a student department of the Young Men’s Christian Association was formed to direct efforts more specifically toward Christian work on college and university campuses. Luther D. Wishard, the first collegiate secretary of the YMCA, had a great personal interest in foreign missions, and his influence did much to orient the student YMCA in that direction. On the theological seminary scene, efforts were underway by 1879 to form “some permanent system of inter-seminary correspondence on the subject of missions.”  To this end, the Inter-Seminary Missionary Alliance was established in 1880 and had annual conventions until 1898 when its work was merged with that of the Student Volunteer Movement and intercollegiate YMCA.
The first, unofficial, group of student volunteers for foreign missions was formed in 1888 at Princeton College. Five students, including Robert P. Wilder, drew up and signed a declaration of purpose which read, “We, the undersigned, declare ourselves willing and desirous, God permitting, to go to the unevangelized portions of the world.”  Calling themselves the Princeton Foreign Missionary Society, these students met regularly on Sunday afternoons at the home of Robert Wilder’s father who was a former missionary to India and currently editor of The Missionary Review.
In 1885, Luther Wishard discussed with evangelist Dwight L. Moody the possibility of holding a Bible study conference for undergraduate students, sponsored by the intercollegiate YMCA, on the grounds of the Moody-backed Mount Hermon School. Moody agreed to the proposal, and in July 1886 two hundred and fifty-one students from eighty-nine colleges and universities met together for nearly a month. Although Robert Wilder had graduated from Princeton in 1885, and was no longer an undergraduate student, Luther Wishard, knowing of Wilder’s missionary interests, specifically invited him to the Northfield conference.
The Northfield conference was designed to provide for Bible study, evangelistic addresses, and discussion of methods for YMCA college work. Although several of the 251 delegates had come to Northfield already committed to a missionary vocation, missions were scarcely mentioned from the platform during the first two weeks of the conference. Those interested in missions met daily for prayer, led by Robert Wilder, and spread their concern for missions by word of mouth among the delegates. Two missionary addresses were given outside of the conferences formal program, the first by Arthur Tappan Pierson and the second by William Ashmore, an American Baptist missionary to China. Twenty-five years later John R. Mott waxed eloquent in reminiscing about the impact of Dr. Ashmore’s address on the students at Northfield:
He knew how to get hold of college men. I will tell you the way to do it, and that is to place something before them which is tremendously difficult. He presented missions as a war of conquest and not as a mere wrecking expedition. It appealed to the strong college athletes and other fine spirits of the colleges because of its difficulty. They wanted to hear more about it. The number of interviews greatly multiplied.
The underground swell of missionary enthusiasm grew daily, and at last the subject of missions was introduced on the formal platform of the conference in the form of a “meeting of ten nations.” Ten men, some foreign students and others missionary sons, were found to speak of the mission needs of the lands of their birth. Those who listened were deeply impressed, and by the last day of the Northfield conference ninety-nine students had signed a paper which read: “We are willing and desirous, God permitting, to become foreign missionaries.” The morning after the closing of the conference the ninety-nine volunteers met for a farewell service, and while they prayed one more came in to join their ranks.
In the succeeding days it was decided to form a deputation of volunteers to visit colleges across North America in an attempt to extend the influences of the Northfield missionary uprising. The model for this deputation was the “Cambridge Seven,” a group of prominent British university students who had decided to become missionaries to China following the evangelistic crusade of Dwight Moody at Cambridge University in 1884. Members of the “Cambridge Seven” traveling throughout Britain and the United States had had considerable impact on various campuses.
The four volunteers chosen to form the Northfield deputation were Robert Wilder, John R. Mott, William P. Taylor, and L. Riley of Princeton, Cornell, DePauw, and Yale. The original scheme was that these four would not only speak about missions but would also form a Quartet and sing mission songs. The deputation fell apart before it got started, however, as, within the next two months, Mott, Riley and Taylor decided that it was not God’s will for them to travel during the next academic year. Worried letters were exchanged between Robert Wilder and the two YMCA intercollegiate secretaries – – Luther Wishard and Charles K. Ober. It was feared that the momentum of Northfield would be lost due to the recalcitrance of the three who had pulled out. Wishard wrote to Ober on August 19, 1886 regarding Mott’s withdrawal: “The tone of his letter did not suit me. He seemed disposed to see the Lord’s hand in his detention without indicating a single reason aside from his parents’ opposition for not going. I told him the fact of God’s interest in the enterprise did not absolutely insure success as his letter would imply.
At last the problem was solved as John Forman, who had not been at Northfield but was one of the original five volunteers at Princeton, to accompany Wilder on his tour of North American college and university campuses during the academic year 1886-1887. One hundred and sixty-seven institutions were visited, and by the end of the year 2200 young men and women had declared their purpose to become foreign missionaries. In later years the work of Wilder and Forman was severely criticized for its highly pressured emotionalism. The Catholic periodical America published a description of early volunteer recruitment which undoubtedly had some basis in fact:
The manner in which these young People were won over is remarkably American. According to Warneck, even moral violence was used. Three, four, five meetings were held in succession, the one more emotional than the other. At some of them even the lights were extinguished, while all lay prostate upon the floor in prayer. More and more urgent appeals were addressed to the young men, then already in a state of great excitement, until finally, one, two, then three and more, of the artfully intoxicated students volunteered.
During the academic year 1887/1888 there were no deputations to campuses, as Wilder and Forman chose to commence their theological training. The earlier visits had continuing impact, however, as local bands of volunteers were formed and six hundred further declarations of purpose were received. The offices of the volunteer movement during these earliest years were the dormitory room of William Hannum, a student at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. As Wilder and others visited campuses and churches and obtained names and addresses of students who wished to volunteer, Hannum made lists of volunteers and attempted to correspond with them. The records of volunteers were kept in envelopes in boxes under Hannum’s bed. As they proliferated, Hannum called upon his fellow students for help. He later wrote “I almost felt that my demands for help were a hazard to my popularity. One classmate asserted that when I got to Heaven I should be making lists of the angels. 
By July 1888, at the YMCA student conference at Northfield, it seemed clear to interested parties that the student missionary thrust needed some organization. Much of the original zeal had subsided, and “where it still survived it displayed itself in new organizations, tending to separate from the existing religious societies of the colleges and sometimes at discordance with them. (Robert E. Speer, “The Students’ Volunteer Missionary Movement,”  The travels of Wilder and Forman had been completely financed by D.W. McWilliams, secretary and treasurer of the Manhattan Elevated Railways Co., but it was clear that the movement needed a broader financial base in order to continue.
In the summer of 1888 the volunteer movement adopted as its official name the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions and took as its slogan or watchword “the evangelization of the world in this generation.” Questions regarding the relation of the student volunteers to existing student Christian groups, particularly the YMCA and YWCA, had been in the air since the fall of 1886. On September 7, 1886 Luther Wishard had written to C.K. Ober regarding the nascent volunteer movement: “It will not do to have a distinct organization for this purpose. Colleges are becoming overrun with organizations now. . It was clear that the general aims of the Volunteer Movement were in agreement with those of the YMCA but the SVM had a wider constituency, including women and graduate students, as well as a more specialized focus. In August 1888, when plans were made for Robert Wilder to again tour the North American campuses for the SVM, Luther Wishard expressed reservations to a fellow YMCA secretary:
“Unless Wilder is perfectly willing to cooperate with our views concerning the connection of the missionary with the regular association work, I am seriously disposed to deflect his course into another channel. You know that we had little or no influence over him year before last. He talked Mission Band all year and never to my knowledge did he try to retain the work in the Association and never did he try to aid any other department of the Association work. As a result of his method the College Associations are conducting fewer missionary meetings.”
Wishard, Wilder, Mott, and other leaders of the volunteer movement sought a solution to this conflict of interests in early 1889 proposing that the Student Volunteer Movement be designated as the official missionary arm of the YMCA and YWCA. They formed an Executive Committee of the Movement with one representative each from the YMCA, the YWCA and the Inter-Seminary Missionary Alliance. A traveling secretary, a recording secretary and a corresponding secretary were appointed to carry on the daily work of the Movement. They concentrated their efforts on spreading missionary enthusiasm and bringing local and state volunteer organizations under the influence of the national Movement.
The work of the early years culminated in the First International (i.e., including Canada) Convention of the Student Volunteer Movement, meeting in Cleveland in 1891. This convention, with its keynote The evangelization of the world in this generation”, was the largest student conference assembled to its time. The Executive Committee reported to the convention that 6,200 volunteers in 350 institutions had been enrolled and 320 had actually sailed to foreign fields under appointment of various mission boards. At Cleveland, the relationship of the SVM to the Protestant foreign missions boards was clarified to the effect that the Movement was in no way a sending agency but rather viewed itself as a recruiting agency for the boards.
Thus, by 1891, the Student Volunteer Movement was on firm footing and appeared to have found a clear space for operating in the American religious scene. Its relation to other established student Christian movements was that of an autonomous but associated agency with the clearly defined objectives of foreign mission education and recruitment. As a missionary organization, the Movement was assured a place within American Protestantism, for, as missions historian Charles Forman has written, “In the new enthusiasm following 1890 mission work was seen by its interpreters as the essential work of the church; no church could be healthy without it.