Faculty and Staff



Daniel K Judd began service as interim dean for Religious Education and director of the Religious Studies Center. Robert C. Freeman continued as association dean. J. B. Haws was appointed associate dean and associate director of the Religious Studies Center. Scott C. Esplin was appointed publications director for the Religious Studies Center.

Lincoln H. Blumell, George A. Pierce, and Frank F. Judd Jr. hosted a well-organized and well-executed regional AAR/SBL meeting on campus, 16–17 March. Lincoln H. Blumell has served as the region’s vice president this past year and is now elevated to the office of regional president.

Carter Charles and Jordan T. Watkins were hired as assistant professors of Church history and doctrine.

Jason Combs, Joshua Sears, and Joseph Spencer were hired as assistant professors of ancient scripture. Ryan Sharp was hired as a visiting assistant teaching professor of ancient scripture.

Steven C. Harper was hired as a professor of Church history and doctrine and as executive editor at BYU Studies.

Eric D. Huntsman was appointed cochair of BYU’s Faculty Advisory Committee.

Joshua McDaniel was hired as controller for Religious Education.

Aaron Schade received continuing faculty status and advanced in rank to professor.

W. Justin Dyer, Barbara Morgan Gardner, and Mark Wright were granted CFS and advanced in rank to associate professor.

Awards and Honors

Richard B. Crookston was recognized for working fifteen years in Religious Education.

John L. Hilton III received the Young Scholar Award, acknowledging outstanding promise and contributions by faculty members in the early stages of their careers. He has garnered substantial grants from the Gates and Templeton Foundations and is a highly regarded teacher of ancient scripture. He and the rest of BYU’s Open Education Group also received the 2017 Excellence in Research Award from the international Open Education Consortium in recognition of the more than thirty peer-reviewed papers the team has published since 2011, including seven in just the last year.

Brent R. Nordgren was recognized for working ten years in Religious Education.

Hank R. Smith received the 2018 award from BYU’s chapter of Phi Eta Sigma, honoring outstanding service in teaching freshmen.

The following people received awards at the Religious Education Spring Social on 6 April 2018.

Charles L. Swift (Ancient Scripture) received the Robert J. Matthews Excellence in Teaching Award. Swift first joined the faculty in 2003, coming to Religious Education from Seminaries and Institutes via Columbia Law School and the former WordPerfect Corporation. He has taught eleven different courses, with his primary focus on the Book of Mormon and New Testament. For three years Swift was the teaching fellow and sought to improve teaching skills with quality readings and discussions. His teaching ratings have consistently landed him near the top of the teaching scale.

Lloyd D. Newell (Church History and Doctrine) received the B. West Belnap Excellence in Citizenship Award. After extensive experience as a television news anchor, professional speaker, and writer/producer, Newell joined the faculty in 1998. As a colleague, he has proven himself as a consummate team player. In addition to his regular teaching and research load over the past twenty years, he fulfilled numerous keynote speaking assignments and his share of committee work on campus. From 2008 to 2013, he served as the Religious Education Moral Education Professor. Clearly his crowning contribution to the Church since 1990 is Newell’s role on Music and the Spoken Word. He is the narrator for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, having delivered more than 1,400 messages to audience that includes over six million viewers, including members of other faiths, on each Sunday.

Jeffrey R. Chadwick received the Richard Lloyd Anderson Excellence in Research Award. A professor in the Department of Church History and Doctrine, he is also Jerusalem Center Professor of Archaeology and Near Eastern Studies and taught hundreds of students over dozens of semesters at the Jerusalem Center between 1982 and 2015. He has been senior field archaeologist and director of excavations at the Tell es-Safi Archaeological Project in Israel, a senior research fellow at the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research at Jerusalem, a member of the board of trustees of the American Schools of Oriental Research, and director and coordinator of the American Expedition to Hebron Publication Project. Chadwick has worked with teams of students from many universities. His numerous studies and field reports shed much greater light on the inhabitants of the ancient cities of Hebron and Gath and reveal much hitherto knowledge unknown concerning ancient Canaanite and Philistine life and culture.

Brad Wilcox received the Harvey B. and Susan Easton Black Outstanding Publication Award for gospel scholarship for LDS audiences (ancient scripture) for his book Changed through His Grace. Using the words of both ancient and modern-day prophets, Wilcox helps us understand how a covenant relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will strengthen us to overcome life’s trials and allow the Holy Ghost to transform us to become like the Savior. He shares real-life stories and personal experiences to demonstrate how we can choose to receive the Savior’s grace more fully. Wilcox is a prolific author who enjoys teaching at BYU’s Education Week and Especially for Youth.

Frank F. Judd Jr. received the Harvey B. and Susan Easton Black Outstanding Publication Award for academic scholarship (ancient scripture). His “A Case for the Authenticity of Luke 23:17” in Bulletin for Biblical Research examines internal and external evidence for the unsettled question whether Luke made explicit reference to some sort of tradition that a prisoner be released at Passover. While Luke 23:17 has been relegated to the footnotes in some modern critical editions of the New Testament, Judd presents previously overlooked patristic evidence from Origen of Alexandria that strongly suggests the verse is original to Luke. This article amasses a significant amount of text-critical scholarship and offers a balanced overview. It carefully considers the internal evidence involving uniquely Lukan vocabulary and grammar, which strengthens the case for the verse’s authenticity. The article concludes that Luke 23:17 should be restored to its rightful place in future critical editions of the New Testament.

Fred E. Woods received the Harvey B. and Susan Easton Black Outstanding Publication Award for gospel scholarship for LDS audiences (Church history and doctrine). Kalaupapa: The Mormon Experience in an Exiled Community is the story of a unique settlement on the Hawaiian island of Moloka‘i known as Kalaupapa. In the nineteenth century, leprosy (Hansen’s disease) spread through the Hawaiian Islands, causing the king of Hawaii to sanction an act that exiled all people afflicted with this disease to Kalaupapa peninsula. In this book, Fred tells the history of Kalaupapa and its inhabitants, recounting the patients’ experience on the peninsula, relying heavily on oral histories, and emphasizing the Mormon connection to it. Woods brings to light inspiring stories of love, courage, sacrifice, and community. Kalaupapa is well illustrated to bring these stories alive. Many have written on Kalaupapa; however, this is the first book emphasizing the Mormon experience there, whose members made up about 10–20 percent of the total population of the patients when it was an active settlement.

Alexander L. Baugh received the Harvey B. and Susan Easton Black Outstanding Publication Award for academic scholarship (Church history and doctrine). He played a key role editing the sixth volume in the Documents series of The Joseph Smith Papers along with Mark Ashurst-McGee, David W. Grua, Elizabeth A. Kuehn, and Brenden W. Rensink. This 775-page volume documents the life and history of Joseph Smith during the deeply troubling eighteen months from February 1838 through August 1839, including experiences in Far West and in the Clay County jail in Liberty. This book is copiously researched with over 800 notes and excellent maps, charts, chronologies, and geographical and biographical directories. Invited to participate as one of the original coeditors, Alex, with the support of his wife, Susan, ensured the explanation and annotation of the scores of letters, revelations, statements of accounts, memorials, minutes, petitions, authorizations, and discoveries that make up this volume.

Mark D. Ogletree received the Geri R. and Douglas E. Brinley Award for outstanding achievement in the area of teaching and research that strengthens the LDS family. An associate professor in the Department of Church History and Doctrine, Ogletree taught for twenty-one years in the Church Educational System, where he was a seminary teacher, seminary principal, institute instructor, institute director, and CES coordinator. He owned and operated his own marriage and family therapy practice in McKinney, Texas, and has written several books on marriage and family, including No Other Success: The Parenting Practices of David O. McKay.

Beverly Yellowhorse received the Dean’s Award for her outstanding service to Religious Education. She supervises the Religious Education Faculty Support Center, which provides secretarial services, a reference library, and audiovisual support for the faculty, managing a part-time staff of eight to ten secretaries. She does a marvelous job as a permanent staff member on several committees, including the Sidney B. Sperry Symposium Committee, the Passover Seder event, the Religious Education Student Symposium Committee, and the Friday Faculty Forum Committee. She is also the packet coordinator for all Religious Education packets.


Susan Bettis (Religious Education controller) retired in April.

In Memoriam

Richard Lloyd Anderson (Church History and Doctrine) passed away on 12 August 2018.

Stephen Edward Robinson (Ancient Scripture) passed away on 17 June 2018.