In this edition of Inscribed you will find a short paragraph on the passing of Ramona Smith. Ramona, 87 years young, was recently interred in Augusta, Georgia. She had not been to Montana, nor had she visited YTI, but she had been enthused by the vision of YTI and the Yellowstone Center, as relayed to her by her daughter and son-in-law. Ramona and people just like her constitute the foundation of the Institute and Center. Ramona’s memorial contributions will serve as the basis of our endowment. Why is this so important? Endowments keep tuition rates low for our students. The vast majority of graduate divinity schools have high tuition rates that often require students to seek federally guaranteed student loans to fund their education. This often leads to a burdensome debt load the size of a mortgage! YTI seeks to have an annual budget that is 70% funded by endowment, with 30% funded by tuition and annual giving. Our goal is for our students to be debt free when they graduate, or at the very least, with no student loan debt incurred by their degree program at Yellowstone Theological Institute.
You, our friends, are why Yellowstone can fulfill its mandate and vision. Your gifts, your prayers, and your participation are what make us go!
In other news from Bridger Mountains, the Yellowstone Center continues to become a reality. This issue has photographs supplied by our Marketing and Media Director, Chris Hodge, of the infrastructure construction underway. Our general contractor expects to begin construction on our buildings as soon as the spring thaw begins in 2017. Fall 2016 classes begin the first week of October in Bozeman, the third week of October in Boise, and the first full week of November in Bellingham. We are particularly excited about our courses in Bellingham, where the first Diploma of Divinity cohort begins at Christ the King Church!
You are the best advertisement for the Yellowstone Center and the Institute. If we can speak at your church, your home group or your school, let us know. We want to connect with you and your community. Bill and I love to touch base with folks and enjoy traveling. Also, let us know of your suggestions and ideas for YTI. We want to hear from you.
Grace & Peace,
Dr. Jay Smith, President