Hiking on a trail in the mountains

Yellowstone Scholars

Jay Smith, YTI President and Bridger Professor of Theology & Ethics

November-December 2018 Inscribed

An Opportunity for Undergrads

Our cultural context is always ebbing and flowing. It provides us tremendous opportunity, as well as tremendous setbacks. In this cultural scheme, theological education is constantly being tested for validity. Our cultural context is undergoing tremendous change right now. Higher education is undergoing serious reform, and theological graduate schools are not immune from the changes.  In the last decade, schools such as the Episcopal Divinity School, Andover Newton Seminary, and Bangor Theological Seminary have shut their doors or merged with other schools. Schools across the United States are experiencing steep decline simply because students are foregoing the Master of Divinity experience to move into shorter training programs or simply mentored experiences.

In order to face this changing culture, YTI has begun the Yellowstone Scholars Program. The program has three different options:

1) The Yellowstone Scholars Summer Intensive is a 2-week summer intensive where students take morning seminars with the faculty and have the afternoons to explore the area. The program is free, though the student must provide his or her own transportation and spending money.

2) The Yellowstone Scholars Directed Learning Program is a 3-month summer program of “directed learning” where the student will be mentored by a faculty member and work with different ministries in order to define vocational call. The cost is $4,000, which covers room and board for the summer as well as the cost of the directed learning mentor. The student may apply for grants to offset the cost. Each student is responsible to provide his or her own transportation.

3)  The Yellowstone Scholars Internship is an 11-month program internship where the student takes courses for the Diploma of Christian Theology program, works with different ministries, and is mentored by faculty and clergy. The cost for the program  is $15,000 and includes room and board, tuition, and fees for 11 months. The student may apply for grants to offset the cost. Each student is responsible to provide his or her own transportation.

Yellowstone Scholars are selected through an application process, with an online application and a written recommendation from a professor or clergy member.

The expected outcomes of the Yellowstone Scholars program are:

  • Develop a familiarity with Yellowstone Theological Institute and the Bozeman area 

  • The exploration and definition of the student’s sense of “call.” 

  • Develop a familiarity with a culture different from the student’s own. 

  • Develop a mature theological perspective through course work and experience. 

  • Develop the potential for ministry and further graduate theological education. 

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