Summer has made it to the northern Rocky Mountains, and the Bozeman community is celebrating the great outdoors! For YTI, this summer has brought the establishment of our Summer Scholars program. Drawing participants from Montana, Kansas, and Arkansas in its inaugural year, our Summer Scholars program accepts undergraduate students seeking discernment for further studies and provides them with intensive theological and cultural training for three weeks. Additionally, the students—led by our own faculty—will experience all the beauty and adventure that southwest Montana has to offer.
During this same period of time, YTI is premiering its “Summer Term” with courses by three visiting scholars: “Creation in the Bible and Theology”, by Dr. Nathan Chambers; “World Religions and the Making of Meaning,” by Dr. Sarah Gallant; and “A Christian Theology of the Environment,” by Dr. J. W. Pritchett. YTI is committed to bringing the issue of faith into conversation with the concerns of our culture and our world with world class scholars. At the heart of our Summer Term is the 2nd Annual Klein Gilhousen Lecture for Faith, Adventure, and the Arts. The 2018 lecturer is Dr. Ross Hastings, Sangwoo Youtong Chee Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. Dr. Hastings holds Ph.D.s in Chemistry and Theology. The lecture is based on his recent award-winning book, “Beyond Conflict to Coinherence: Discover How Science and Trinitarian Theology can Coexist as Two Integral Parts of the Grand Cosmic Dance.” We are thankful for Dr. Keith Kothman and the partnership of the MSU School of Music for providing the Reynolds Recital Hall for the lecture.
As our year has progressed, YTI has adjusted its programs to meet the needs of its students in a more effective manner. Most notably, YTI has segmented its annual M.Div. seminars into term sections, making it easier for students to focus on specific sections that are difficult or that need to be repeated. Additionally, YTI is offering its Master of Applied Theology degree on the same term schedule with weekly evening courses for those in the Bozeman area who would like to earn a master’s degree or simply take a course that interests them.
A little news on the administrative front. First, YTI’s ongoing capital campaign. Our initial study phase is coming to a close at the end of this summer. We are very pleased with how the campaign is progressing, and hope to soon begin construction. Second, we are pleased to announce the addition of Mr. Joe Billion as a new board member. His business acumen, passion for the Bozeman community, and strong faith are a valuable addition to the YTI Board team!
As I close this letter, let me encourage you to consider becoming a member of the Jim Bridger Society at YTI. Nonprofit seminaries, divinity schools, and graduate schools rely upon regular donations from people who understand our vision and the need for theological education in today’s world. No donation is too small, and every bit helps us to keep tuition low for our students, which is a priority for YTI. Go online today to our “Give” page, or give us a call at (406) 404-1600 to set up your gift.
Have a beautiful and blessed Summer!
Grace & Peace,
Dr. Jay Smith, President
Bridger Professor of Theology & Ethics