Transition is inevitable in any organization, but as former students and longtime friends will note, personnel changes in Religious Education have been especially dramatic of late. Administratively, in a twelve-month period, we have witnessed the retirement of four former deans of Religious Education, multiple associate deans, and all but one past chair of the Department of Ancient Scripture and the Department of Church History and Doctrine. They have been joined by several other longtime teachers, prolific scholars, a seasoned editor at the Religious Studies Center, and sadly, by a colleague whose passing we continue to mourn. In total, these transitions represent hundreds of years of scholarly, pedagogical, and administrative experience that no longer fill with faith the classrooms of Brigham Young University. Most have gone on to well-deserved seasons of rest with family and friends, while others have accepted calls to serve in missions and temples.
In particular, we recognize the retirement of Dean Daniel K Judd, the immediate former dean of Religious Education. As a teacher, scholar, and administrator, Dean Judd was a compassionate colleague. His enduring scholarship, especially in religion and mental health, has shaped his discipline, and his influence as a teacher across four decades has touched thousands for good. Personally, he has mentored me in a Christlike way in the months following my appointment to succeed him. We also thank his two associate deans, Andrew H. Hedges and J. B. Haws, both of whom gratefully continue as faculty in Religious Education, though with different responsibilities. They epitomize the many who have recently retired as well as all who preceded them.
While these transitions are felt keenly by those of us asked to fill their shoes, we are grateful for continued associations and lingering memories of lessons taught and experiences shared. We are also committed to continuing the mission of Religious Education to assist individuals in their efforts to come unto Christ.
Scott C. Esplin
Dean, BYU Religious Education