Theological Institute proposed for land off South 19th in Bozeman

Bozeman Daily Chronicle  |  September 6, 2015


A 78-acre parcel east of South 19th Avenue at Graf Street is proposed as the future campus for a theological institute, according to an application filed with the city planning department in August.

The proposal, by the locally based Yellowstone Theological Institute, details plans for a chapel and classroom facilities, as well as landscaping, soccer fields and a trail network. It also calls for the extension of Graf Street east from 19th.

Jay Smith, a theological professor with the institute, said the project is an initial effort to build the Montana Center for Faith, Adventure and the Arts.

“Ultimately we want to be a benefit to the Bozeman community,” he said, stressing that much of the institute will be largely open to the public.

The south Bozeman property is owned by local philanthropists Klein and Karen Gilhousen, and the application outlines development plans for half of the property, the portion north of the Graf Street extension.

The institute’s website describes the organization as dedicated to providing a graduate theological education with a Baptist orientation. It also says the Bozeman facility is due to be completed by 2017 and will include a “Montana ‘cathedral.’”

The institute is committed “to creating an open and inviting campus-like environment typified by the preservation of open space,” the city application reads, adding that “the campus will provide opportunities for students and faculty to use the property, as well as opportunities for the greater Bozeman community to access privately held park space.”