United Theological College of the West Indies
The Jamaica Team was formally established following a January 2019 trip to the United Theological College of the West Indies (UTCWI). The seminary has a long history of training leaders of various Protestant denominations for ministry. Among UCTWI’s graduates is Pastor Livenson who serves currently as President of the ELH (Lutheran Church in Haiti). While there have been Lutheran missionaries serving at UTCWI in the past, currently there are none.
During 2020 the Jamaica Team partnered with UTCWI to upgrade and refurbish one of the classrooms at the seminary. The room now has a smartboard, various multimedia equipment, enhanced wi-fi, and new tables and chairs. These enhancements could not have been more timely, as distance learning became vital during the COVID pandemic. UTCWI has expanded its virtual offerings in 2021 through evening “short courses” (9 weeks) open to students, clergy and lay leaders. Global Mission funded $600 in scholarship assistance for students of UTCWI during 2021 and also was awarded a Covid grant from the Florida-Bahamas Synod. The Jamaica Team was able to direct these funds to the seminary for upgrading their switchboard equipment and improving internet connectivity.
During 2021, members of the Florida-Bahamas Synod participated in UTCWI’s virtual short course “Gender and Leadership in Church Society.” It included students and professors from all over the world. Also in 2021, Dr. Carolyn Schneider of the ELCA joined the staff of UTCWI, representing the Lutheran teaching presence at the theological institution. There are occasions when her classes are open for guests to attend virtually. The most recent trip to UTCWI was in September 2022. There were opportunities to meet with students, faculty and board members; attend chapel; and learn about challenges and opportunities as UTCWI faces the future.
To learn more about UTCWI and to get involved in the Jamaica Team, contact Chairperson Judith Olsen, at email@example.com.