Dr. Jay T. Smith

President and Bridger Professor of Theology and Ethics

Jay’s Story

Dr. Jay Smith directing marching bandJay Smith is the President and Bridger Professor of Theology and Ethics at Yellowstone Theological Institute. Dr. Smith studied music education, composition and conducting at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. He studied with such notable music educators as Henry Howey, Carol Smith, Ralph Mills, Newton Strandberg and Fisher Tull. Additional brass studies at this time were with John Simpson, of the Sky Ryders and Star of Indiana Drum and Bugle Corps. He served as a band director in both private and public schools, as well Director of Midshipman Instrumental Music at the United States Naval Academy, and a Lecturer of University Bands at Baylor University.

In 1994, he returned to school to study theology and ministry at Howard Payne University (B.A. 1995), George W. Truett Seminary of Baylor University (M.Div.1999), Regent College, Vancouver, B.C. (Th.M. 2002), Carey Theological College Vancouver, BC (D.Min. 2005), and Trinity College, University of Bristol, England (Ph.D. 2013). His mentors on this journey have been Wallace Roark, A. J. Conyer, Ralph Wood, Charles Talbert, Stanley Grenz, Barbara Mutch, and Jeanette Sears.

Dr. Smith has taught at the United States Naval Academy, Baylor University, Howard Payne University, and now, for Yellowstone Theological Institute. He has authored 5 journal articles, contributed chapters in two different edited collections, and co-authored two books with Stanley Grenz. Dr. Smith’s interests lie in contemporary ecclesiology, imagination and theology, and theological responses to contemporary cultural issues. He has given public presentations on theology and culture, the “Jesus Narrative,” the Reformation, various biblical and theological topics, and theological education. He preaches regularly around the country.

Dr. Smith has served as minister in eleven different Baptist churches as pastor, founding pastor or interim pastor. He is keenly sensitive to the role of the church in contemporary culture, and is committed to enabling the local church to fulfill its mission as an exemplar and envoy of the Kingdom of God.


Ph.D., Trinity College-University of Bristol, United Kingdom
Thesis supervisor: Revd. Dr. Andrew Goddard
Thesis: “A Generous Theology: Reinterpreting Convertive Piety as Trinitarian Participation in the Work of Stanley J. Grenz.”

D. Min., Carey Theological College
Major: Pastoral Theology and Ministry
Thesis supervisor: Revd. Dr. Barbara Mutch

Th.M., Regent College (magna cum laude)
Major: Systematic Theology
Thesis supervisor: Stanley J. Grenz

M.Div., George W. Truett Theological Seminary (cum laude)
Majors: Theology and Music

B.A., Christian Studies, Howard Payne University
Majors: Bible and Music
Outstanding Student – School of Christian Studies

Studied Music Composition and Education, Sam Houston State University
(120 hours)

Academic Employment

President and Bridger Professor, Yellowstone Theological Institute, 2014-present

Assistant Professor of Christian Studies, Howard Payne University, Brownwood, TX, 2006-2011

Courses Taught:

    BIB1303 / BIB 1304 Introductions to the Old and New Testaments

    PTH 2331 Communicative Preaching

    PTH 3321 Theology & Culture (formerly Interdisciplinary Christian Thought)

    PTH 4300 Christian Doctrines

    PHI 2311 Philosophy: Classical to Renaissance

    PHI 2321 Philosophy: Enlightenment to Modernity

    PHI 3322 Ethics

    PHI 3301 Special Studies in Emerging Ministries

    PHI 4341 Emerging Theologies


Adjunct Faculty, Carey Theological College, Vancouver, British Columbia, 2005
Summer 2005, THEO 620 – “Theological Overview” for MPM program; Supervised guided studies in Pastoral Ethics and Theological Overview

Teaching and Research Assistant to Stanley J. Grenz, 1999-2005
Primary duties: grade papers, research writing projects and substitute teaching; Regent College, Carey Theological College (BUWC) Trinity Western University

Lecturer of University Bands, Baylor University – Waco, TX, 1996-1999
Instructor, Baylor University Golden Wave Band; Arranger, Baylor School of Music, Instrumental Music

Director, United States Naval Academy Drum & Bugle Corps – Annapolis, MD, 1991-1994
Taught and administered 130 member marching musical unit at USNA; Designed and taught over 20 half time shows for a Division I college; Managed a $250,000 annual budget for the unit

Church Service

Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Bozeman, MT (ABCNW), 2011-2014

Interim Pastor, Hillcrest Baptist Church, Brownwood, Texas (BGCT-SBC), 2010

Interim Pastor, East Side Baptist Church, Comanche Texas (BGCT-SBC), 2008-2009

Interim Pastor, First Baptist Church, De Leon, Texas (300+ members, multi-staff), 2008

Revival Preaching in Washington and Oklahoma, 2000-2006

Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Bellingham, Washington (ABC-USA), 1999-2006

Founding Pastor, Onion Creek Baptist Fellowship – China Spring, Texas, 1998-1999

Pastor, White Mound Baptist Church – Mound, Texas, 1996-1998

Minister of Music, First Baptist Church – Bangs, TX, 1994-1995

Interim Minister of Music, West Oaks Baptist Church – Houston, TX, Summer 1994


Member, National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion, 2007-Present

Member, American Academy of Religion, 2005-Present

Member, Evangelical Theological Society, 2003-2006

Additional Experience

Organizer/Presenter, QEP Brownbag – “What’s all the fuss about Reformation Day?” (Fall 2008)
Title: Bride of Christ or Whore of Babylon? The Relationship Between the Emerging Church and Culture.

Chief Organizer for “HPU Lectures in Baptist Thought and Life” (Fall 2008)
Faculty and guests present on topics relevant to Baptist thought and life at HPU.
Presenter: The Ecclesial Chameleon: The Changing Role of Pastor in Baptist Life

Chief Organizer for “The Theology and Sustainability Conference” at HPU, a three-day conference, April 16-18, 2009
Several guest, faculty and community presenters; as well as large student involvement

Established Colloquia at Howard Payne University: Christian Doctrines and Ethics, 2006
Established student prizes for outstanding papers in conjunction with colloquia
   – The Wallace Roark Prize in Christian Doctrine
   – The Stanley J. Grenz Prize in Ethics

“Leader to Leader” Mentor for pastors in the ABC NW-NPSA (2004-2006 & 2011-2014)
Mentored a cluster of pastors in my immediate area on topics of pastoral theology, cultural engagement, missions and communication (preaching/teaching) skills development.

Chairman, Church Growth and Development Committee, North Puget Sound Area of the American Baptist Churches of the Northwest Region, 2002-2005
Organized NPSA Church Growth conferences in 2003 and 2005 featuring Stanley Grenz and Rick Richardson among others; Oversaw an “emerging” church plant agreement with the CBF in our area; Advised a multi-cultural (Russian/Ukranian) church in our area

Board Member, United Ministries in Higher Education – WWU Chapter, 2001-2004
UMHE is a coalition of mainline churches tasked with local campus ministry

Church Achievement Director, Coryell Baptist Association / Tri-Rivers Area, 1997-1998

Faculty Sponsor, Kappa Kappa Psi – Honorary Service Fraternity for college bandsmen. Beta Alpha chapter at Baylor University, 1996-1998



Smith, Jay T. “Stanley J. Grenz and the Evangelical Turn to Postliberal Theological Method” in Generous Orthodoxy: The History and Future of Ecumenical Theology. edited by Paul Silas Peterson (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2019).

Smith, Jay. “Stanley J. Grenz: A Theological Biography,” in Revisioning, Renewing, and Rediscovering the Triune Center, Essays in Honor of Stanley J. Grenz. Jason Sexton, Editor (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishing, 2015).

Stanley J. Grenz & Jay T. Smith, Created for Community: Connecting Christian Faith with Christian Living, Revised Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2014. LINK

Grenz, Stanley J. and Jay T. Smith, The Pocket Dictionary of Ethics. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003. LINK

Journal Articles, Denominational Publication

Smith, Jay T. “Clarence Jordan and the Presence of the Gospel: 
The Koinonia Farm and “Cotton Patch Gospels” as Contemporary Theo-Ethical Protest,” in Baptists and Conscience, American Baptist Quarterly (Winter 2016).

“Baptist Theology: Is There Another Way?” Baptist History and Heritage 47:2 (Summer 2012): 40-54.

Smith, Jay T. “A Trinitarian Epistemology: Stanley J. Grenz and the Trajectory of Convertive Piety,” The Pacific Journal of Baptist Research 6:1 (April 2010):44-64

“What’s on Your Pastor’s Shelf?” Review published in The Baptist Standard, April 2009.

“Pass the Popcorn: Engaging Culture Without Assuming It.” Associated Baptist Press Online, June 20, 2008

“What has Hobbiton to do with Jerusalem?” The Baptist Standard, March 14, 2008

Papers & Presentations

“Ecclesiam Motus est! (The Church is a Movement): A Trinitarian and Missiological Ecclesiology for the Postmodern Turn,” Southwest Commission on Religious Studies / AAR Southwest Region, Dallas, Texas, March 6, 2011

“A Trinitarian Epistemology: Stanley J. Grenz and the Essence of Convertive Piety,” Southwest Commission on Religious Studies / AAR Southwest Region, Dallas, Texas, March 12, 2010.

Life Together in the Way of Jesus Christ by Dan R. Stiver: A Reflection Essay,” Southwest Commission on Religious Studies / NABPR SW Region, Dallas, Texas, March 11, 2010.

“Stanley J. Grenz and the Problematic Nature of Evangelical Historiography,” Southwest Commission on Religious Studies / AAR Southwest Region, Dallas, Texas, March 8, 2009.

“An Evangelical Epistemology: Can Eschatological Realism Function as Epistemological Warrant in a Postmodern Context?” Southwest Commission on Religious Studies / AAR Southwest Region, Dallas, Texas, March 7, 2009.

“Frontiers in Baptist Theology” Frontiers in Baptist Thought Colloquy, Howard Payne University • Brownwood, TX, November 20, 2008.

“Stanley J. Grenz and the Postmodern Critique of Evangelical Theology: Categorical Re-determination in Light of Trinitarian Prolepsis,” Southwest Commission on Religious Studies / AAR Southwest Region, Dallas, Texas, March 15, 2008.

“Bernstein, Sendak & Shaw: Grace, Imagination and What It Means to be Human,” Southwest Commission on Religious Studies / AAR Southwest Region, Dallas, Texas, March 16, 2008.

Panel Discussion: “Teaching Religious Doctrine at the Undergraduate Level: Where Piety, Practicality and Academy Meet” with Dan Stiver, Donna Bowman and Stacy Patty, Southwest Commission on Religious Studies / AAR Southwest Region, Dallas, Texas, March 16, 2008.

“Postmodernism & You: Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” BGCT Youth Conclave, October 9, 2007.

“Irenic Evangelicalism: Stanley J. Grenz and the Public Character of Theology,” Evangelical Theological Society, Washington, DC, November 2006.

“Backdoor Balthasar: The Theo-Drama as template for The Drama of Doctrine and the Legitimization of an Evangelical Theological Aesthetic.” American Academy of Religion, Washington, DC, November 2006.

“Imagineering: Pastoral Care in a Postmodern Context.” Bellingham Pastor’s Fellowship Roundtable, Bellingham, WA, January 2005

“Virtuosity: Beautiful Living in Difficult Times” • Quest Ministries • Bellingham Pastor’s Conference, Bellingham, WA, February 2005.

“Catechesis: The Future of Lay Theological Training in the Local Church,” Carey Theological College, Vancouver, BC, May 2004.

The Evangelical Imagination: The Implications of Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Christocentric Aesthesis for a Renewal of Evangelical Theology. Master’s Thesis: Stanley Grenz, Supervisor; Paul Helm, Second Reader, Regent College, Vancouver, B.C., May 2002.

“Imagination and Appropriation: Balthasar, Bakhtin and the Gospel Carnival,” AAR/SBL Pacific Northwest Region Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Prize, April 2001.

“The Future of Baptist Theology,” George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University, Fall Quodlibetal Event, October 1998.

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