Things Are Heating Up
The skies are snowing, the wind is blowing and although the chill persists in Bozeman, theological education is heating up. As I write this February 2018 Inscribed newsletter article, we are well into our first winter term for the Master of Divinity program.
I sat down with a student several days ago as he was working on a book review for his Old Testament Text seminar. He couldn’t begin to articulate the immense influence his M.Div. seminars had on his ministry, as well as the revolution in his personal spiritual life. Our students have been challenged, stimulated and encouraged by both their professors, and the overall program. This is an excellent start. The YTI administration and faculty continue to fine tune the program to make it effective for our students, our partner churches, and the community at large.
Our professors have been very active in the community as well as in their individual scholarly pursuits. Rachel Toombs was awarded her Ph.D. in January at Baylor University. She presented a paper on the medieval mystic, Hildegard of Bingen, and Scripture at the national American Academy of Religion meeting last November and presented on Hildegard again this February at the Institute for Theology, Imagination, and the Arts at St. Andrews University in Scotland. David Wilmington will be presenting a series of lectures on improvisation and theology at the Baptist Theological Seminary in Singapore this August. This is an incredible privilege and we are proud of David’s invitation. Lance Green, our Lecturer in Theology and Adventure, will return from St. Andrews this spring after a 9-month sojourn to complete the foundational work for his Ph.D. His presence has been missed, and we will be glad to have him back with us. I will be presenting at the American Academy of Religion, Northwest Regional meeting in May on the topic of “The Gospel as Continuing Event.” We awarded our first Diploma of Divinity to Christina McKee of Anacortes, Wash., this February, and are fine tuning our diploma program for our friends at Christ the King Community Church in Bellingham, Wash. I am enthused by the discussions we have had with some potential seasonal lecturers and with our new students. The Bozeman community has come to appreciate our LCLIs—Local Community Learning Initiative—and is excited about our property development and what that means to the community. It is an exciting time.
Our development program is in full swing on two different levels. First, the Bannack Group is doing an outstanding job leading our capital campaign. They continue to develop our donor base in Bozeman, the northwest region, and nationally. Second, we are instigating a new “annual fund campaign.” Many of you reading this newsletter have given generously to YTI, and I simply want to encourage you to continue your generosity—you sustain our mission in these early years. For those of you who have wondered how to give regularly, I want to encourage you to give us a call at (406) 404-1600 and talk to Rebecca Hamilton about setting up your giving. For those of you who are internet savvy, simply go to our website and check out our “give” button, where you will be instructed how to give online. Every non-profit organization is sustained by the giving of those who believe in the mission and trust the leadership. We need each of you, no matter how great or small your contribution, to be a part of the YTI team.
More than anything, keep us in your prayers.
Grace & Peace to You,
Dr. Jay Smith, President