This is Gary Tyra.

This is Gary Tyra

Gary Tyra is a Professor of Biblical and Practical Theology. He is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God who has pastored three churches over a 28-year period. He’s also been a full-time faculty member since 2002. 

He grew up in Bakersfield and then attended California State University Fresno, West Coast Christian College, and Fuller Theological Seminary. Gary was a pre-med chemistry major who dreamed of becoming thoracic surgeon before committing his life to Christ at the age of 19. Not growing up in the church, Gary found himself wrestling with the idea of God, especially after his dad died of cancer when Gary was 16-years old.  

"Before my dad died, he made me promise that I would not be bitter at God when he passed away. He must have known that he was not getting any better. I was praying for a miracle. After he died, I wasn’t exactly bitter toward God, but I did essentially ignore him."

Two years later, when Gary was a sophomore in college, he kept hearing his dad's voice encouraging him not to be bitter at God. Alone in his apartment one evening, Gary offered a prayer, inviting Jesus, if he were real, to reveal himself to him. This proved to be a life-changing prayer. Soon he was invited to attend an Assemblies of God church where he was impacted after hearing the gospel. It wasn’t long before Gary felt a call to full time ministry. Changing his major mid-stream, he spent four years working as a youth pastor. Later, while pastoring in SoCal, he earned his M.Div. and D.Min. degrees at Fuller Seminary.

Besides teaching courses that aim at the spiritual, moral, and ministry formation of VU students, Gary has also published eight books, and is currently working on a nineth—an introduction to Christian spirituality.

He says he loves what God has called him to do. His theme verse regarding his vocation is Psalm 16:6 which reads: “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.”