Kingston, Jamaica – July 28, 2014: After almost a year of planning, preparation and prayer, the Damian Jean-Baptiste Caribbean School of Ministry, kicked off in late July with a three-day training course in Kingston, Jamaica.
The maiden cohort was comprised of more than 100 students from the Churches of Christ in Jamaica with a few representatives from other Caribbean islands. Participants completed classes on Biblical Interpretation, the first component of an eight module programme.
The thought-provoking lectures were delivered by Caribbean Teachers, Courtney Bailey, from Kingston, Jamaica and Tyrone Marcus of Port of Spain, Trinidad as well as renowned biblical scholar, Douglas Jacoby.
For both Tyrone and Courtney, the delivery of the inaugural course was the culmination of a dream to provide in-depth biblical teaching to Christians in the Caribbean region while honouring the man both consider a spiritual hero, the late Damian Jean-Baptiste.
A much-loved and highly respected evangelist, Damian spent most of his adult life planting, leading and strengthening churches across the region. With many of these churches at various stages of development and maturity, Courtney and Tyrone saw the need for structured biblical and instructional training to complement the practical training and discipling that characterises the ministries of the International Churches of Christ.
The initial module exposed students to an eye-opening perspective on Biblical Interpretation. Participants were encouraged to go beyond a surface reading of the scriptures and to instead critically view the text in its historical, literary and situational context. Areas of special focus included Poetry and Psalms, Wisdom Literature, the Law and Prophets, the Gospels, the Parables, Apocalyptic Literature, the Book of Acts and the New Testament Letters.
In addition to the in-class sessions, students are expected to read at least one of two required texts and have also been encouraged to explore an extensive reading list. Full-track students, who are pursuing certification, will sit exams in August.
The regional training academy will also offer courses in Trinidad and Tobago, starting with the module on Biblical Interpretation, which is scheduled to be delivered in August.
Beginning in 2015 modules will be delivered in both Trinidad and Jamaica twice per year and will cover several topics including Preaching and Teaching, Biblical Counselling, Spiritual Disciplines, Marriage & Family and Surveys of the Old and New