Years ago God gave Canadian Southern Baptists a vision for training labourers for His kingdom’s harvest. That dream was realized in May 1985 when the newly formed Canadian Convention of Southern Baptist (CCSB), now called Canadian National Baptist Convention (CNBC) voted to establish a seminary and to name a board of trustees representing Southern Baptists across Canada. This group oversaw the purchase of property for the seminary – a beautiful 149 – acre site overlooking the town of Cochrane, Alberta.
In July 1986 the trustees invited Dr. Clint Ashley, a pastor in Pullman, Washington to serve as the first president of the seminary. He was followed by Dr. Richard Blackaby, a pastor in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Dr. Blackaby gave spiritual leadership to the seminary for 13 years, serving from August 1993 to August 2006.
Through the years the faculty grew to 12 members, who serve alongside additional staff, support personnel, and adjunct professors.
Since the school’s beginning the Lord has graciously provided the resources and volunteers to help build our wonderful facilities. It all began in the summer of 1987 when two buildings were constructed on campus. The first was a maintenance/storage building; the second, a lovely 16,000-squarefoot building housing offices, classrooms, and a growing library of 30,000 books.
In 1990 the first student housing apartment complex was built. In the summer of 1995, a 19,000-square-foot academic building was constructed to house eight classrooms, three student lounge areas, a chapel, a bookstore and faculty offices. During 1998, another student housing complex was added, and renovations converted the maintenance building into a five unit guest house. The years 2000-2003 saw the construction of thirty more student housing units, bringing the total to 46 apartments available on campus.
Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary opened with a Masters of Divinity program; a Masters of Religious Education degree was added in 1996. Seeking to meet the needs of the CCSB constituency, the trustees also approved in 1996 the establishment of an undergraduate college program, to be administered by the seminary. At that same meeting, the trustees also approved a partnership with Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary to deliver a Canadian track of their Doctor of Ministry degree, which began in the 1998-99 academic year. Several other two-year master degrees were added in 2011, and a four-year bachelor degree in 2013.
The year 2017 marked the 30th anniversary of CSBS&C. As we reflect back over the past thirty years, we marvel at the faithfulness of our God and what He has done. We also look forward to the future with great anticipation at what He will continue to do. To God alone be the glory!