After a busy summer with classes, meetings and special events, YTI is getting back into the rhythm of our own “ordinary time.” The fall, winter, and spring terms are planned, and the fall term is underway. This fall, our new theology professor, Dr. Joshua Schendel, has begun working in earnest (meet Dr. Schendel here). Not only is he teaching, but he is also working on accreditation for us. Additionally, we have several part-time lecturers starting with us: Rev. Kurt Caddy, Theology and the Arts; Rev. Vern Streeter, Adventure Studies; and Rev. Mike Gammill, Leadership Studies (see more about these new colleagues here). We have an EQUIP diploma cohort in Billings; and are about to start cohorts in Great Falls, Bozeman, and Glendive. The cohort in Glendive, MT will serve churches in Eastern Montana and Western North Dakota. Other cohorts will come on line as support in various communities gets up to speed. Local, in-person, theological education is a big part of the future of YTI.
As we come out of the fog of COVID, our nation is faced with economic recession and political turmoil. Churches are looking for training and leadership to help them face the future. YTI is equipped to do just that.
On a final note, the construction costs in Bozeman have more than tripled in the last two years. What was bid out originally at $280 per square foot is now close to $800 per square foot. Our construction industry is hampered by slow supply chains, cost of materials and a severe lack of qualified carpenters, electricians, HVAC, site prep crew, and others. With the amount of new construction in the housing and commercial market it has been difficult for YTI to procure dates for potential construction. Because of these issues, the YTI board is considering other options in order to accomplish our vision, mission, and goals. Keep us in your prayers as we continue to move forward.
It has been a long couple of years. It has taken a toll on everyone. My word to all of you is not to give up. Stay the course. Keep drawing closer to God. All of us need a dose of the Spirit, and the peace of Christ that comes with it. Pray, imbibe the Word, and let the Spirit of Christ guide you. In three years we will live in a different world than what we live in today. We will need all of our faith to endure.