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M.Div. launches after busy summer

BY Scott Hamilton
Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling

August-September 2017 Inscribed

Montana SummerI suspect most folks hope for a bit of relaxation during the summer season. Many teachers look forward to “time off” from the hustle and bustle of school children and hectic schedules.

For a start-up like the Yellowstone Theological Institute (YTI), summer has been anything but rest or relaxation. Interns and others have cleaned, painted, and cleaned again in YTI’s new, but still temporary, space on the third floor of Grand Avenue Christian Church in Bozeman.

From our third-floor perch, we can open windows, feel Montana’s breeze, and see into downtown Bozeman.

The recent weeks have included faculty relocations from other states, setting up our library, and generally preparing ourselves to receive our new students, the Master of Divinity class of 2020. We are more than excited about their arrival and the work we will do together over the coming years.

YTI exists because of generous hearts and a devout sense of urgent calling to equip ministers in the 21st century. As an ecumenical institution of higher learning, we strive to engage our various cultural expressions with openness, integrity, and sense of wonder as we listen for God’s spirit to inspire, guide, and direct our work. God has already cleared a wide path for us, and we have every expectation God will continue to pave our way.

By the time you read this, our M.Div. students will have settled into the YTI rhythm, Bozeman culture, and will actually be preparing for their first outdoor experience. We want to get students into the rugged wildness of Montana before the weather limits our access. It is “outside” that we begin to sense the magnificent grandeur of God’s creation and how we fit into God’s larger plan for the world.

YTI’s larger task is to equip students to live fully into their callings as ministers and Christians. God is presently calling us to be the church in the 21st century. While we may not always have a clear understanding of what that looks like, YTI’s board, its faculty, and its staff have committed themselves to living out our faith in community and seeking God’s face.

We are excited to welcome our new students and look forward to great things from our time together! Onward and upward!