By Norm Miller
BILLINGS, Mont. — By unanimous vote, the Yellowstone Christian College Board of Directors on October 31 elected Dr. Marvin Jones as the school’s eighth president. He will begin his new role on December 7.
Jones officially transitions in December to take the YCC helm as he leaves Louisiana College (SBC) in Pineville. During his tenure there since 2013, Jones served as Chair of the Christian Studies Department and Assistant Professor of Theology and Church History.
YCC’s Presidential Search Committee Chairman and Chairman of the Board Lee Merck said, “Dr. Marvin Jones is a man of great stature, and we are excited for him to lead Yellowstone Christian College. I believe God has prepared him for such a time as this. As we move forward with the mission of the college, his skill set will be invaluable.”
“Dr. Jones is a tremendous scholar and a proven administrator,” Merck added. “He is a tested leader ready to face the challenges of a new era that is consistently being shaped by an ever-changing culture. Bringing strength to the Baptist work in Montana, he will be a great president of the college.
Dr. Barrett Duke, Executive Director of the Montana Southern Baptist Convention, said, “Yellowstone Christian College is a crucial part of what the church needs to do in Montana and in this region. The college provides a way to train our pastors and laypeople right here at home.”
“We don’t have to send students to another state to get a superb education grounded in a biblical worldview. God will raise them up here and keep them here to strengthen the work of the gospel in our region,” Duke added.
Jones’s résumé reveals a Baptist statesman and seasoned churchman. He has served the Southern Baptist Convention at the national, state, and associational levels. Since 1991, he has served local churches as senior pastor and interim pastor, traveled nationally and internationally for academic and missiological purposes, and earned significant academic credentials.
Jones holds a Doctor of Philosophy from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas; a Doctor of Theology in Church History from University of South Africa, Pretoria; a Master of Sacred Theology in Academic Ministries, Dallas (Texas) Theological Seminary; a Master of Divinity, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC; and a B.A. Biblical Studies, The Criswell College, Dallas, Texas.
His adjunctive and professorial experience includes New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary; Liberty University Seminary, Lynchburg, VA.; and Emmanuel University, Oradea, Romania.
“A brilliant scholar, a gifted leader, and a winsome soul, Dr. Jones has been where we want to go. He is a perfect fit for what YCC needs to do next,” Duke said. “We have a great faculty, accreditation, and approval for federal student aid. All we need is God’s leader, and Dr. Jones is that leader. He brings the expertise and training we need to help YCC take its next steps. He is God’s choice to lead us. I’m looking forward to what God is going to do through the leadership of Dr. Jones.”
President of Louisiana College Dr. Rick Brewer laments the loss of Jones but celebrates his academic achievements and elevation to a place God has prepared for him. “Dr. Jones leaves behind a big hole to fill but takes with him one of the most cherished accolades any theological academician could want: he was and will remain one of our students’ favorite professors.”
“Among all of his superlative accomplishments, earning the love and respect of students will stand him in good stead as Dr. Jones moves to a new assignment in God’s kingdom work,” Brewer said. “We will miss him, but we also wholeheartedly commend him to Montana Baptists. I know God will use my friend Marvin in mighty ways to further the gospel in Big Sky Country and beyond.”
Both humbled and honored to become president of YCC, Jones said: “When I began pursuing a theological education in 1991, I had no inkling that the path to Yellowstone Christian College would lead me around the world. Through it all, God has shown me the universal need of but one thing, the gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether in South Africa, Romania, Louisiana, or Montana, souls around the globe hunger for a significance that can be found only in a relationship with Jesus Christ. That is my overarching mission.”
As he reflected on the teaching of the book of Colossians that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ Jesus, Jones said, “The gospel will be focal and foundational to all course work at YCC. While we will be informed by culture, we will not be shaped by culture. Rather, we will fulfill our mandate from the Lord to be salt and light in a world that needs godly purity and biblical direction.”
Quoting from the college’s mission statement, Jones agreed, “With the help of God and His people, Yellowstone Christian College will fulfill its mission for ‘students to have biblically grounded knowledge that is applicable in their everyday life, regardless of the career they choose. We also believe men and women are called to serve the Lord in everything they do. YCC’s desire is for students to shape the church and the community around them.’”
YCC was founded in 1974 as Yellowstone Baptist College to train future pastors and church leaders. Since then, the campus and curriculum has grown. Renamed Yellowstone Christian College in 2010, the name change better represents the degree offerings and mission of the school. YCC continues to instruct and mentor Christian students studying for ministry or leadership in other callings.