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A group of church leaders in Bozeman, Montana, is developing plans for a new graduate-level theological institute in their city, focusing on “emergent Christianity.”

The new website of Yellowstone Theological Institute describes it as

Baptist-infused, theologically generous, and committed to a holistic, responsible living out of faith within our contemporary world and in an ecumenical context. YTI is positioned at the intersection of the free church tradition and the emerging church movement, and committed to cultural sensitivity, spiritual wholeness, entrepreneurial ministry, and environmental responsibility.

The organizing group, which includes the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Bozeman, says that $4.5 million in land and cash has been pledged toward a campus close to Montana State University.

The institute’s first activities, held in summer and fall of 2013, were five-day immersion seminars titled “Re-Imagining Christianity in the 21st Century,” and they featured not only instruction, but also fly-fishing along Montana’s rivers and hiking in Yellowstone National Park. Faculty included Bill Leonard, professor and former dean at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity, and John R. Franke, a former professor at Biblical Theological Seminary who is now executive director of the new institute.

More on the new institute from the Associated Baptist Press.

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