Gary Tyra Head Shot (cropped)Dr. Gary Tyra teaches theology courses in Vanguard University’s traditional (undergrad and grad) programs and its School for Professional Studies—courses which aim to help students experience growth toward spiritual, moral, and ministry maturity. Having spent over three decades providing pastoral leadership for three congregations, he now devotes himself full time to teaching, mentoring future leaders, preaching in various churches, and writing.

Gary’s first book, Defeating Pharisaism: Recovering Jesus’ Disciple-making Method (IVP Books, 2009), deals with the problem of Pharisaism in evangelical churches, offering church leaders a strategy by which they can cultivate a disciple-making experience and environment that mitigates the presence of Pharisaism (legalism, dogmatism, separatism, judgmentalism, hypocrisy, etc.) while steering congregation members toward a more grace-oriented approach to the spiritual life.

Gary and his wife Patti co-authored a second book entitled Beyond the Bliss: Discovering Your Uniqueness in Marriage (IVP Books, 2010). This book endeavors to help couples cultivate transformational marriages that enable both marital partners become more whole human beings who don’t run away from life.

A third book written by Gary bears the title: Christ’s Empowering Presence: The Pursuit of God through the Ages (IVP Books, 2011). This work, which focuses on the theme of Christian spirituality, is designed to serve as a spiritual life resource to which readers can return time and again for fresh inspiration in their walk with Christ. Gary wrote this book as an homage to one of his ministry mentors, the late Dallas Willard.

A fourth work explores the relationship between Spirit-inspired speech and action and the phenomenon of missional faithfulness. Having garnered some significant critical acclaim, The Holy Spirit in Mission: Prophetic Speech and Action in Christian Witness was released by IVP Academic in October 2011.

Two goals are at work in Gary’s fifth book–A Missional Orthodoxy: Theology and Ministry in a Post-Christian Context (IVP Academic, 2013). The primary goal is to provide a compelling vision of the Christian faith and life that can succeed at causing members of an increasingly post-Christian culture to take another look at Christ and his church. A secondary goal is to build some bridges between the members of the traditional evangelical, emerging and missional communities with the hope that they can become more adept at functioning as colleagues rather than competitors in the ministry contextualization endeavor.

Gary’s latest volume titled Pursuing Moral Faithfulness: Ethics and Christian Discipleship (IVP Academic, 2015) addresses the problem of professing Christians, especially those among the emerging generations, making ethical decisions in precisely the same manner as their non-Christian peers. The solution, says Gary, is a Christ-centered, biblically-informed and Spirit-empowered approach to making moral choices he refers to as the ethic of responsible Christian discipleship.

As is evident from the courses he teaches and the kind of books he writes, Dr. Tyra’s abiding passion is to see as many people as possible recognize the vital difference between mere “churchianity” and genuine Christianity, and to be equipped to live their lives as fully devoted followers of Christ in an increasingly post-Christian world.