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Creating Community

May 21, 2024 | Dr. Jay T. Smith

Now at home in “the Barn,” we are more focused than ever on fostering community rooted in God’s love

Yellowstone Theological Institute is finally settled into our permanent home at the Yellowstone Center—right in the heart of our Gallatin Valley community.

Community has become a common word in our vocabulary—yet, despite its familiarity, it remains a very powerful and very meaningful term. In the last century, sociologists have wrestled with the need human beings have to socialize, gathering into affinity groups. These groups give meaning and support to our lives. We experience community in and with these people.

Community can arise in almost any group that gives us meaning: a team, a musical group, a club, a workplace, a family, a synagogue, a mosque, or a church. In many ways these communities can and do intersect, creating layers of meaning for each of us. When a community ceases to bring meaning and support to our lives, more often than not we leave the community in search of deeper relevance.

Facilitating Community

YTI is a creator and facilitator of community. Our faculty, staff and families are a community. We then add our benefactors and our students into the mix—then our local churches.

However, there is also a greater world around us. As a critical part of our mission, YTI is dedicated to creating and fostering community throughout the Gallatin Valley and beyond, simply out of love for one another.

It is love that draws the world together. That deeper love may be expressed in art, in adventure, in caring support, and in forgiveness and mercy. Whether the world accepts religion is inconsequential. Community created around common love —for each other, the rest of our world, and finally for God—is why the Yellowstone Center exists. Now established in our new home, we are moving forward with forming and nurturing community.

Thanks to Our Friends with Community Vision

We give thanks to the many contributors—now family members—who have given generously to make this new home a reality: the Gilhousen family, the Billion family, the Ungersma family, the Ingram family, the Budeski family, the Anderson family, the Leech family, the Smith family, the Long family, and many others! All of us, bound by common purpose, hold a greater vision for a community of faith—where coming generations are educated for the sake of the church, and from which the love of God flows into the wider community of which we are a part.

Dr. Jay T. Smith

President and Bridger Professor of Theology & Ethics

Dr. Jay Smith leads the Yellowstone Theological Institute as its president. Dr. Smith has served as minister of youth, music and as senior […]

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