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Growing Together: Meet the YTI Team

Our faculty and staff are made up of bright, reverent, impassioned scholars and educators with diverse sets of spiritual and Christian beliefs. Together they foster productive dialogue and reexamine the way we can serve the world. Here, faculty members learn from and challenge one another in a spirit of humility and friendship, each growing as individuals and pursuing the characteristics that strengthen and bring light to our organization.

Jay T. Smith

President and Bridger Professor of Theology & Ethics

  • Biography
  • Education
  • Theological Interests

Dr. Jay Smith leads the Yellowstone Theological Institute as its president. Dr. Smith has served as minister of youth, music and as senior pastor in churches in Texas, Oklahoma, Washington and Montana and has taught at Howard Payne University, Baylor University and the United States Naval Academy. Preaching regularly around the country, Dr. Smith is able to share his love for theology, ministry, adventure and music. For Dr. Smith, the love of Jesus Christ and his family serve as his heartbeat and foundation. He and his wife, Melissa, have two daughters, Catherine and Hannah. Dr. Smith also writes all the music for the Montana State University band programs. In his free time, he enjoys hiking in the mountains of Montana and sharing his musical talents with Bozeman.  

  • Ph.D., Trinity College-University of Bristol, United Kingdom
  • D.Min., Carey Theological College
  • Th.M., Regent College (magna cum laude)
  • M.Div., George W. Truett Theological Seminary (cum laude)
  • B.A., Christian Studies, Howard Payne University
  • Studied Music Composition and Education, Sam Houston State University

Striving for continuous improvement, Dr. Smith focuses on contemporary ecclesiology, imagination and theology, as well as theological responses to contemporary cultural issues.

Meet our Staff

The staff at Yellowstone Theological Institute is a key part of our daily operations
and provides support for our faculty, each other and our students. Staff members are
instrumental in the work and education that’s done at YTI. Get to know our staff by
reading their bios below.

Melissa Smith

Director of Operations

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in music education from Sam Houston State University, Melissa Smith worked in administrative positions for Howard Payne University, Baylor University and Montana State University. Currently she works as the director of operations for YTI and ensures that the organization runs at maximum efficiency and productivity. Melissa and her husband, Dr. Jay Smith, have two daughters.


  • B.Mus.Ed., Sam Houston State University

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