||By analyzing different historical aspects of Shanaghai YMCA in the early twentieth century, this study tries to explore the identity crisis that the Chinese YMCA had faced and the historical context in which this crisis took place. Chapter One outlines the literature review of studies on Chinese YMCA and introduces the aims and approach of this research. Chapter Two focuses on the origin and the early development of Shanghai YMCA. Chapter Three discusses how the concept of the body, mind and spirit, the key motto of North-American YMCA, was eventually rendered into deyu (德育), zhiyu (智育) and tiyu (體育) in the historical context of early twentieth century China. Chapter Four probes into the interpretation of the objective of Chinese YMCA: from character building to “character, the salvation of China”. Chapter Five puts forward the “portraits” of Shanghai YMCA. Chapter Six deals with the background, the operational mode and the outcome of Shanghai YMCA’s annual membership campaign. Chapter Seven explores the “construction movement” of Shanghai YMCA building and its impact on the association. Chapter Eight concludes the discussion of this thesis and try to provide an answer to the question of “What is YMCA” in the context of early-modern China.