The Caribbean Wesleyan College (CWC) board of governors, faculty, students, and members of the constituency gathered in recent weeks for a thanksgiving service to celebrate CWC’s latest achievement: full accreditation with the University Council of Jamaica. CWC achieved full accredited status with Caribbean Evangelical Theological Association (CETA) in 2011 and has worked assiduously over the last few years to attain full accredited status with the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ) in 2017.
“This dual accreditation now serves as a quality indicator of the programs the college offers and ensures the academic and professional integrity of the institution and the degrees our students earn,” said Dr. Barbara Dobson, academic dean. “As an institution, we serve to shape our students to be ‘vessels of honor,’ giving them the competence, capacity, and character needed to serve in the Caribbean and beyond.”
Changes in the landscape of theological education in the Caribbean and in higher education in Jamaica led the CWC leadership to embark on their journey to register as a tertiary institution and pursue accreditation more than 10 years ago.
A World Hope International, Global Partners, and Caribbean General Conference of The Wesleyan Holiness Church partnership made it possible for CWC to renovate several existing campus buildings and build new residence halls for students and visiting faculty. They also helped provide CWC with additional human resources and professional development for faculty and administrators who oversaw the process of curriculum development, self-study, and other key aspects of the accreditation process.
During the celebration, the administration expressed their gratitude toward several individuals who played key roles in the college’s development. Several buildings have been named in their honor: the Steve and Vicki Brown Residence Hall; the Wayne and Jo Anne Lyon Quarters; the Wingrove and Doreen Taylor Administrative Block; the Wesleyan and Mavis Johnson Library; and the Philip and Phoebe Hirai Chapel.
In 1994, the Caribbean General Conference of the Wesleyan Holiness Church chose to merge its two Bible colleges, Jamaica Wesleyan Bible Institute and Caribbean Wesleyan College (located in Barbados). The merger occurred in 1996 with the establishment of Caribbean Wesleyan College in Jamaica. Yet the history of pastoral and theological training at the institution dates back to 1931. Driven by the motto “Shaping Vessels of Honor,” Caribbean Wesleyan College has trained leaders, pastors, and scholars who are involved in full-time ministry all over the world. The College offers a BA in theology and pastoral ministry; a BA in Christian education, and an AA in Christian ministry. Students can also complete a minor in pastoral counseling or a minor in Christian leadership.
“This solidifies Caribbean Wesleyan College’s place among the best theological schools in the Caribbean,” said Rev. Lorrel Garwood. “It is a source of tremendous pride for our constituency. This opens the door for us to widen our recruiting base beyond the Caribbean to include North America and England.”
In its more than 80 years of existence, Caribbean Wesleyan College has served more than 2,000 students. Here are the names of a few students and how they serve:
- Rev. Joel Cumberbatch, general superintendent, Caribbean General Conference of the Wesleyan Holiness Church
- Rev. Doucet Desronvil, national superintendent of The Wesleyan Church of Haiti
- Rev. Lorrel Garwood, president of Caribbean Wesleyan College
- Rev. Dr. Barbara Dobson, academic dean, Caribbean Wesleyan College
- Rev. Dr. Abson P. Joseph, professor of New Testament, Indiana Wesleyan University
- Rev. Dr. Wenton Fyne, pastor of Beulah Church of the Nazarene, Brooklyn, New York
- Rev. Jennifer Mullings, pastor of Sheffield Wesleyan Holiness Church, Jamaica
- Archbishop Dr. Sidley Mullings, The Rugby Deliverance Tabernacle, Brooklyn New York
- Bishop Devon Daley, Assemblies of Holiness, Jamaica
- Rev. Selvin Sitcheron, founder and pastor of Bibleway Christian Tabernacle, Toronto, Canada
- Rev. Hartnell Williams, high school teacher; pastor of Hallmark Ministries, Birmingham, England
Dr. Abson Joseph, an alumnus of Caribbean Wesleyan College, is professor of New Testament at Indiana Wesleyan University. He formerly served as academic dean at Caribbean Wesleyan College from 2005-2011.