Earn Your Divinity Degree from Brilliant Minds, Humble Peacemakers, Ethical Leaders

The Yellowstone Theological Institute faculty brings together bright, reverent, impassioned scholars and educators with diverse sets of spiritual and Christian beliefs in order to foster productive dialogue and reexamine the way we can serve the world.

Our faculty members seek to challenge one another in love and with grace, as we each pursue as individuals the characteristics which strengthen and bring light to our organization as a whole.

Yellowstone Theological Institute Faculty

Dr. Jay Smith

Jay T. Smith

President and Bridger Professor of Theology & Ethics

Ph.D., Trinity College University of Bristol
D.Min., Carey Theological College
Th.M., Regent College, Vancouver, B.C.
M.Div., Truett Seminary, Baylor University, Waco, Texas
B.A., Howard Payne University
B.Mus. Ed. Studies, Sam Houston State University

Dr. Smith has taught at Howard Payne University, Baylor University, and the United States Naval Academy. A published author, he and Stanley Grenz co-created The Pocket Dictionary of Ethics (IVP, 2003) and Created for Community Revised Edition (Baker Academic, 2015).

A conversation with Jay reveals his passions for literature and adventure. He loves to hike, compose music, and write about Jesus. Jay roots for the Baylor Bears and Howard Payne Yellowjackets.

More About Dr. Smith

Dr. Scott Hamilton

E. Scott Hamilton

Lecturer in Pastoral Care & Counseling

Ph.D., Walden University
Th.M., Brite Divinity School
M.Div., George W. Truett Theological Seminary
B.A., Howard Payne University
A.A.S., Vernon College

Dr. Hamilton is a clinically trained pastoral counselor. His research interests come to fruition at the intersection of spirituality, psychology, and existential theology. Having pastored in Texas and Maryland before joining the faculty of YTI, he now runs and bikes extensively, and enjoys hiking, throwing clay, and woodworking. Dr. Hamilton, his father, and two daughters are all graduates of Howard Payne University.

More About Dr. Hamilton

Dr. Bill Fowler

Bill Fowler

Emeritus Professor of Bible and Practical Theology

Ph.D., Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary
M.Div., Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary
B.A., Howard Payne College

Dr. Bill Fowler brings his deep authenticity of relationship and appreciation for the power of God’s love to Yellowstone Theological Institute. He taught previously at Howard Payne University, the San Antonio Center of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, the San Antonio Campus of Wayland Baptist University, and as a graduate student, at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Bill loves to fish and talk about Jesus; he also loves to root for the San Antonio Spurs.

More About Dr. Fowler

Brett Desper

Brett Desper

Lecturer in Discipleship and Spirituality

D.Min. in process, George Fox University
M.Div., Regent College
Pastor, Vineyard Community Church (Bozeman, MT)
Minister, International Students Inc. (ISI)

Mr. Desper has taught in both the high school and college settings. Surrendering to ministry in the late 1990s, Brett was ordained in the Vineyard Movement in 2005. He is currently working on his Doctorate in Ministry.

Ashley Denton

Ashley Denton

Professor of Outdoor Leadership and World Missions

D.Min., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
M.A. Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary
B.L.A., University of Arizona

Dr. Ashley Denton is the author of Christian Outdoor Leadership: Theology, Theory, and Practice and is the Sr. Vice President & Chief Operations Officer of Nexus International as well as the Director of Wilderness Ministry Institute. Involved in over 62 countries, his ministry encourages and equips indigenous leaders in the heart and skills to introduce young people to Jesus Christ through combining relational youth ministry and outdoor adventure. Ashley is married to Becky and has five children.

Susan Rose

Susan Rose

Lecturer of Christian Vocation

D.Min. in process, Portland Seminary, George Fox University
M.Div., Memphis Theological Seminary
B.A., University of Florida
Parish Associate, Memorial Presbyterian Church (St. Augustine, FL)

Rev. Susan Rose’s experience has focused on developing the next generation of ministry leadership as a collegiate minister for the last decade. She is currently pursuing a D.Min. in Leadership and Spiritual Formation. Her academic areas of interest include developing leadership for the church and women in ministry. When she’s not studying, she enjoys reading-for-fun, cooking and watching the Florida Gators play football. Susan and her husband Dave enjoy cycling and hiking. They have two young adult sons living in Arkansas. Far from being empty nesters, they live in Florida with Susan’s mother and their rescue animals, 4 cats and 1 dog.

Todd King

Todd King

Visiting Lecturer in Christian Leadership

B.A., Wheaton College
Lead Pastor, Mercer Creek Church, Ellensburg, Wash.

Todd is a passionate church leader and communicator. His insight into the contemporary church and his vision for the disciple making-missional church makes him an ideal lecturer for church leadership at YTI.

Tracie Jernigan

Tracie Jernigan

Seasonal Lecturer in Worship Studies

M.Div./M.M., Baylor University
B.M., Baylor University
Associate Pastor of Worship Arts, The Summit Church (Sylva, NC)

Tracie is an ordained minister, worship arts pastor, and musician, and the mother of two young boys.

Jonathan Owens

Jonathan Owens

Visiting Lecturer in World Religions

Ph.D. in process, Vrije Universiteit
M.Div., Calvin Theological Seminary
B.A., Calvin College
Pastor, Bozeman Christian Reformed Church

Jonathan and his family are excited to be in the mountains of Montana serving in the heart of Bozeman. His areas of interest include global Christianity/world religions, interfaith dialogue and cooperation, political theology, and ethics.

David Wilmington

Occasional Lecturer in Theology & Culture

Nathan Chambers

Occasional Lecturer in Old Testament


Stay Connected

Sign up and receive insights on the cutting edge of spiritual thought leadership and theological education

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.