The Cayman Islands Baptist Church has established a theological seminary in Cayman.
The school which specializes in the training of the clergy will celebrate its official launch at an event open to the public on March 25.
The Northwestern Caribbean Baptist Theological Seminary (NCBTS) is the brain child of Dr Charles Kelly, President of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and Pastor Randy Von Kanel, who initial discussed the idea in October 2016.
That conversation gave way to a vision for a theological school in Cayman which would serve both the local churches as well as the Caribbean region.
A short time later, Pastor Von Kanel and George McCarthy, Chairman of the Steering Committee, accepted an invitation to visit the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas.
There, arising out of a series of meetings, the vision was shared with Dr Paige Patterson, President of Southwestern, and his wife Dr Dorothy Patterson.
They embraced the vision and pledged their support to bring it into reality, with personnel and resources being made available to enable the beginnings of the new seminary in Cayman.
“This is a momentous and joyous occasion for the Baptist community here in Cayman. The opportunity to help people understand the Bible better and grow in their faith by applying its principles, as well as equip them with the tools necessary to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others is one that we do not take lightly,” said Pastor Von Kanel.
“We are grateful to God for trusting us with this responsibility and we look forward to seeing a generation of pastors and church leaders emerging here in Cayman and around the Caribbean.” He added.
Northwestern Caribbean Baptist Theological Seminary is being established as a partner institution of the Patterson Centre for Global Theological Innovation of Southwestern Seminary.
Courses are presently being taught through an online-cohort class arrangement, providing core subjects in the Master of Theological Studies degree programme. Additionally, extension work has been launched in Trinidad in the Certificate of Pastoral Ministry programme in a partnership effort with the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship, with plans to expand to the northern Caribbean with a second site in the Bahamas.
Special guests at the ceremony on March 25 will include Dr. Paige Patterson, President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and his wife Dr. Dorothy Patterson; Dr. Leo Day, Dean of the School of Music, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; and Rev. Everton Jackson, Executive Secretary and Treasurer of the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship who will bring greetings from the Caribbean Baptist family.
The programme for the event includes worship followed by the official launch and dedication at 10am and a tour of the NCBTS Library and Classroom facilities immediately following the service.
The school will be located at the CI Baptist’s campus on Pedro Castle Road in Savannah.