YTI Faculty

Dr. Jay Smith

Jay T. Smith

President and Bridger Professor of Theology & Ethics

Ph.D., Trinity College University of Bristol

Dr. Smith has taught at Howard Payne University, Baylor University, and the United States Naval Academy. He is the co-author with Stanley Grenz of The Pocket Dictionary of Ethics (IVP 2003) and Created for Community Revised Edition (Baker Academic 2015). Jay loves to hike, compose music, and write about Jesus. He roots for the Baylor Bears and Howard Payne Yellowjackets.


Bill Fowler

Provost and Professor of Biblical and Ministerial Studies

Ph.D., Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary

Dr. Fowler has taught at Howard Payne University, Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (as a grad student), the San Antonio Center of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the San Antonio campus of Wayland Baptist University. Bill loves to fish and talk about Jesus. Bill is a San Antonio Spurs fan.


E. Scott Hamilton

Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling

Ph.D., Walden University

Dr. Hamilton is a clinically trained pastoral counselor. His research interests come to fruition at the intersection of spirituality, psychology, and existential theology. Having pastored in Texas and Maryland, he runs and bikes extensively and enjoys hiking, throwing clay, and woodworking. Dr. Hamilton, his father, and two daughters are all graduates of Howard Payne University.


Betsy Gaines Quammen

Professor of World Religions and Culture

Ph.D. candidate, Montana State University

Ms. Quammen has tremendous experience in world religions and environmental conservation as founder of the Tributary Fund. Additionally, Betsy is an expert on the topics of science and religion, as well as religion and literature. Betsy loves her husband David and her dogs. She enjoys snow skiing and mountain climbing, and roots for the Cincinnati Bengals.

David Wilmington

David Wilmington

Professor of Theology and Philosophy

Ph.D., Baylor University

Dr. Wilmington has taught at Baylor University, George W. Truett Theological Seminary, and the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. He is the author of A Pregnant Silence: Negative Theology and Virtues Ethics (forthcoming, Fortress Press). Through interdisciplinary work in contemporary and medieval theology, music, and ethics, David explores creative ways to help train people as faithful improvisers of the Gospel. He loves soccer, hiking, playing saxophone, and jazz evangelization.


Rabbi Ed Stafman

Lecturer in Judaism and Social Justice

Ph.D. studies, University of Florida; J.D., Florida State University

Ed Stafman is spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Shalom in Bozeman, Montana. Prior to becoming a rabbi, he was a trial lawyer for 25 years focusing on civil rights and death penalty cases.

Rachel Toombs

Rachel Toombs

Professor of Theology and Old Testament

Ph.D. candidate, Baylor University

Rachel Toombs’ research interests intersect theology, biblical studies, and literature with a specific interest in Flannery O’Connor, philosophical hermeneutics/theological interpretation, and how reading shapes our theological imagination. Rachel is married to Lance with two sweet pit rescues, Eowyn and Rosie.


Brett Desper

Lecturer in Discipleship and Spirituality

M.Div., Regent College

Mr. Desper has taught in both the high school and college settings. Surrendering to ministry in the late 1990s, Brett was ordained in the Vineyard Movement in 2005. He is currently working on his Doctorate in Ministry.

Lance Green

Lance Green

Lecturer in Theology and Adventure

M.A., Luther Seminary

Mr. Green’s primary areas of research are in dogmatic theology, metaphysics, and phenomenology, with a particular interest in the thought of Hans Urs von Balthasar. Originally hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Lance is an avid cyclist, mountain biker, and outdoorsman. Lance’s ultimate dream is to read Christian mystics while ascending a mountain.