Baptist church setting up seminary in Grand Cayman

Baptist church leaders in the Cayman Islands are launching a seminary.

A steering committee of Baptist leaders is inviting the public to attend the launch of the Northwestern Caribbean Baptist Theological Seminary at the Cayman Islands Baptist Church on Sunday, March 25, at 10 a.m. The seminary, which will be located on Cayman Islands Baptist Church’s campus on Pedro Castle Road in Savannah, will be a nonprofit theological training institution dedicated to providing biblical, theological and pastoral training for Caribbean pastors and local church leaders. The seminary is designed to be affordable and accessible, according to the church.

The concept for the school came out of an October discussion between Pastor Randy Von Kanel and Dr. Charles Kelly, president of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

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 Fort Worth, Texas.

Paige Patterson, president of that institution, and his wife, Dorothy Patterson, embraced the vision for the new seminary and pledged their support in making it a reality.

“This is a momentous and joyous occasion for the Baptist community here in Cayman,” said Pastor Von Kanel as part of an official press release. “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.

“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.” The new seminary will be established as a partner institution of Southwestern Seminary’s Patterson Center for Global Theological Innovation. Courses are being taught through an online-cohort class arrangement, and classes will be taught in the Master of Theological Studies degree program.

Extension work has also been launched in Trinidad in the Certificate of Pastoral Ministry program in partnership with the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship, and there are plans to expand to the Bahamas.

The Pattersons will be present at the ceremony on March 25, as will Leo Day, dean of the school of music at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The Rev. Everton Jackson, executive secretary and treasurer of the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship, will also attend.

For more information about the Northwestern Caribbean Baptist Theological Seminary or the Cayman Islands Baptist Church, contact Pastor Von Kanel at [email protected] or call 946-2422.