(406) 404-1600

The EQUIP Program:
The Local Church Theological Training Initiative

What would it mean to young ministers and interns if seminary came to them? That is the EQUIP program.

EQUIP is conducted in cohorts based in participating local churches. Each cohort meets, typically over a course of two years, for study and supervised ministry. The program consists of eight courses, which are taught in a convenient intensive format by YTI faculty members. Instructors also conduct follow-up sessions with students in the weeks following class meetings. Local pastors from cohort churches are trained to serve as student supervisors, providing ongoing support and mentoring throughout the program. At the completion of the program, students are awarded a Diploma of Christian Theology.

Begin Your EQUIP Application

Select the EQUIP cohort you are planning to join. You must identify a cohort before applying:

For more information on sponsor churches and joining an EQUIP cohort, please contact us at information@ythi.org or (406) 404-1600.

EQUIP Faculty

In addition to academic credentials, all faculty have substantial ministry experience.

Dr. Jay Smith

President, Bridger Professor of Theology and Ethics

Dr. Derry Long

Professor of Christian Leadership

Rev. Jim Keena

Professor of Pastoral Theology

Rev. Brett Desper

Lecturer in Discipleship and Spirituality

Tim Knipp

Associate Lecturer in Biblical Studies

Dr. Hannah Dreblow

Associate Lecturer in Culture & Theology

Cody Whittington

Yellowstone Fellow

Kathryn Green

Tutor in Biblical Studies & Missions

Matthew Green

Tutor in Theology & Culture

EQUIP Courses

EQUIP courses are the same as YTI’s master’s courses on a fundamental level. However, they differ in detail and required assignments. Each class includes 12 hours of instruction engagement, a live follow-up session with the instructor, and a reflection paper. Courses are delivered in-person or live online via Zoom.

EQP 101 Foundations: Biblical Interpretation & Narrative

EQP 101 introduces the student to the overall narrative structure of the Bible, the various literary forms and styles as well as the methods of biblical interpretation appropriate for teaching and preaching.

EQP 102 Spiritual Practice

EQP 102 introduces the student to the spiritual theology, disciplines, and practices integral for the Christian life and ministry.

EQP 103 Old Testament: Text and Narrative

EQP 103 introduces the student to the text and narrative of the Old Testament. The course highlights specific narratives, genres and theologies of the Old Testament, with an emphasis on how those items are applied in Christian ministry.

EQP 104 New Testament: Text and Narrative

EQP 104 introduces the student to the text and narrative of the New Testament. The course highlights the life and teachings of Jesus, the coming of the Spirit, the early church and its problems, and meaning found in the Apocalypse of John, with its particular application for the church today.

EQP 105 Basic Leadership: Servant, Collaborative, and Entrepreneurial

EQP 105 introduces the student to the basic leadership skills necessary for a person in ministry in contemporary culture. The course covers the foundational concept of servant leadership, the goal of collaborative leadership, and the need for true entrepreneurial leadership.

EQP 106 Christian Theology and the Wild God

EQP 106 introduces the student to the nature and goals of theological reflection, the nature and character of God, and the specific theological teachings (doctrines) of the Church.

EQP 107 Introduction to Pastoral Practice: Care and Preaching

EQP 107 introduces the student to the basic skills necessary for a person in pastoral ministry in today’s church. The course covers the concepts needed for basic pastoral care, teaching, and preaching.

EQP 108 Worldview

EQP 108 introduces the student to the concept of worldview and its relevance to Christian ministry, as well as the practice of cultural hermeneutics. The course includes the definition of worldview and affiliated concepts; the Christian worldview; the exegesis of culture; and, the expression of the gospel in particular worldviews.

For more information on sponsor churches and joining an EQUIP cohort, please contact us at information@ythi.org or (406) 404-1600.

To follow Jesus implies
that we enter into a way of life
that is given character and shape and
direction by the one who calls us.”

–Eugene Peterson

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