In the fall of 2016, Dr. Randy Von Kanel, pastor of the Cayman Islands Baptist Church in Grand Cayman, along with George McCarthy, a lay leader in the congregation, met with leadership of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
The group met over breakfast at Pecan Manor on Seminary Hill as the guests of the President and his wife, Drs. Paige and Dorothy Patterson, on 5 October. The two Cayman church leaders shared the need for the training of pastors and lay leaders for the Baptist churches in the Caribbean region. The reality that no regionally accredited Baptist-affiliated school, college, seminary, or theological training institution existed for the more than eight million English-speaking people in this strategic part of the world caught the attention of every heart at the table. A vision was born that gave way to an eventual partnership for the incubation, birth, and launch of the Northwestern Caribbean Baptist Theological Seminary.
The seminary was incorporated as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in October 2018 and registered as a Non-Profit Organisation in November 2018. Registration with the Cayman Islands Government's Ministry of Education was achieved in August 2021. A first cohort of students, representing five Caribbean countries (Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, and Barbados) completed a Certificate of Church Ministry Leadership (not-for-credit) and graduated in January 2022.
The beginning of a for-credit Certificate programme in partnership with William Carey University is set to launch in September 2022. Classes will be offered both on the campus of the local host church, the Cayman Islands Baptist Church (located in the Savannah community, Grand Cayman) and through the online platform. From its inception, Northwestern Caribbean Baptist Theological Seminary has been a testimony to the providence of God and to the prayers of His people in providing a way for local Baptist church leaders to be equipped for biblical ministry and mission.