Drew Yancey encourages his students at the BibleMesh Institute to write papers on topics relevant to their ministries. So he was thrilled when two students preparing for missionary service in the Middle East wrote on approaches to Bible translation in the Muslim world.
“It was really fascinating to have some back and forth with them,” Yancey said, and to see an academic topic “impact them at an experiential level so heavily and to know that they’re going to be in the mission field applying some research they’ve done.”
That episode encapsulated Yancey’s vision for theology. He emphasizes application and studying in community, facilitated by technology—which makes proctoring students through the BibleMesh Institute a perfect fit for him. The Institute offers flexible online options for accredited degree pathways and certificates.
Yancey came to BibleMesh in 2020, steeped in both theology and business. He holds a PhD in theology and religion from the University of Birmingham, England, and has taught at Denver Seminary. He also served as president of a Colorado-based food service business, which he sold, and is now a partner in an insurance advisory firm that consults with brokers and carriers.
He was deeply involved with both business and theology. But an increasingly hectic schedule left him wondering if there was a better way to integrate them. The BibleMesh Institute proved to be his answer. Using technological tools and self-paced online courses, he proctors students in systematic theology and biblical interpretation.
“I’ve experienced virtually any and all forms of theological education: the more traditional route, the less traditional route, the developing world, the developed world,” he said. “I really do believe platforms like BibleMesh are the future of theological education.”
Among the top priorities in Yancey’s teaching is helping students apply theology in their everyday lives. At BibleMesh he has helped a diverse array of students do just that—from a surgeon in the Midwest to a leadership consultant on the West Coast. Because many BibleMesh Institute students are preparing for the mission field, Yancey gets to tap another of his passions: applying theology in the developing world. (He has traveled extensively and is a board member at the Denver Institute for Faith and Work.)
Personal relationships are another priority in Yancey’s teaching. Despite an “insane” personal schedule of managing and leading 30-40 projects at a time, he requires each student he proctors to have a Zoom meeting with him in the first two weeks of their studies. The meeting’s aim is learning the student’s story and why they chose BibleMesh. Yancey also tries to respond to each student email within three hours.
“I’m a very big believer in having not just a digital email relationship but a virtual personal one,” he said, noting “the importance of community in the theological journey.”
Yancey feels particularly gratified that BibleMesh Institute students continue to apply their learning across the globe after their formal coursework has ended.
“One of the things I’ve really loved about BibleMesh is how many students we have that are going into the mission field,” he said.
For more information about the BibleMesh Institute and its proctors, visit https://biblemesh.com/institute/.