Message from the Chair
As an integral part of Brigham Young University and Religious Education, the Department of Ancient Scripture exists to "assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life" by teaching the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. In this context we seek to help students reach the aims of a BYU education through providing instruction and experiences that are spiritually strengthening, intellectually enlarging, character building, and leading to a commitment of lifelong learning and service. The central means utilized by the faculty and staff of the department to help students obtain these goals is teaching and research concerning the doctrines, covenants, ordinances and history found in the scriptures of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In addition to assisting students to increase their "faith in God and in the restored gospel," those who successfully complete Ancient Scripture courses will have been instructed concerning the "reason for the hope" (JST 1 Peter 3:15, italics added) that is within them, thus emphasizing the importance of "learning, even by study and also by faith" (D&C 88:118).
Dana M. Pike
Dana M. Pike is a professor in the Department of Ancient Scripture and in the Ancient Near East Studies program at BYU. Just prior to his assignment as Department Chair, Dr. Pike was an Associate Dean of Religious Education. He has taught at BYU since 1992, including two different years at BYU’s Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies. Dr. Pike received his B.S. in Near Eastern Archaeology and Anthropology from Brigham Young University (1978), and his Ph.D. in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Studies from the University of Pennsylvania (1990). His research centers on the Hebrew Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as related topics of interest to Latter-day Saints. He was one of the international editors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Dr. Pike and his wife, Jane Allis-Pike, reside in Mapleton.
Gaye Strathearn is an associate professor in the Department of Ancient Scripture and in the Ancient Near East Studies program at BYU. She has taught at BYU since 1995, including a year at BYU’s Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies. Dr. Strathearn received her Bachelor of Physiotherapy from the University of Queensland (Australia: 1982), a BA and MA in Near Eastern Studies from BYU (1990 and 1992), and a Ph.D. in Religion (New Testament) from the Claremont Graduate University (2004). Her research centers primarily on New Testament topics, especially those of interest to Latter-day Saints.
Jeanine Ehat serves as the department secretary for Ancient Scripture. She is the executive assistant to the chair and assists department faculty with travel, budgeting, and scheduling issues. She also manages student hiring and maintains KRONOS, serves as the key rep for scheduling and classroom changes, and handles textbook requests. She serves as the office manager and supervises department receptionists. Jeanine earned a bachelor's degree in English from BYU. She is married to Stephen Ehat, and they have five sons and eight grandchildren.
Church History and Doctrine
Message from the Chair
The Department of Church History and Doctrine seeks to assist students and other Latter-day Saints in their quest for eternal life by teaching and researching the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. While their primary purpose is to teach and mentor students in a classroom setting in ways that are both intellectually enlarging and spiritually strengthening, faculty members also produce scholarship for the larger academic and LDS communities. The department encourages teaching and scholarship that conform to the highest academic standards, and that lead to thoughtful, meaningful discussions of the church’s history, faith, and people.
Alexander L. Baugh
Alexander L. Baugh is a professor and chair of the Department of Church History and Doctrine at BYU where he has been a full-time faculty member since 1995. He received his BS from Utah State University, and his MA and PhD degrees from Brigham Young University. He specializes in researching and writing about the Missouri period of early LDS Church history (1831–1839). He is the author, editor, or co-editor of eight books. In addition, he has published over eighty historical journal articles, essays, and book chapters. He is a member of the Mormon History Association and the John Whitmer Historical Association, having served as president of that organization in 2006–2007. He is also the past editor of Mormon Historical Studies, and past co-director of research for the BYU Religious Studies Center. He also serves as an editor of three volumes of the Document series for the Joseph Smith Papers. He is married to the former Susan Johnson and they are the parents of five children. He and his wife reside in Highland, Utah.
Anthony R. Sweat
Anthony R. Sweat grew up in West Valley City, Utah and served a mission to Bolivia, La Paz. He received a BFA in painting and drawing from the University of Utah (1999) and his M.Ed (2005) and his Ph.D in Curriculum and Instruction (2011) from Utah State University. Prior to joining the religion faculty at BYU he worked for thirteen years with Seminaries and Institutes of Religion. Dr. Sweat is the author of several books and articles related to the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He centers his research on factors that influence effective religious education. As a practicing artist, his paintings center on previously undepicted, important aspects of LDS history to promote visual learning. His outside interests include basketball, triathlon, and painting. Anthony and his wife, Cindy, are the parents of seven children and reside in Springville, Utah.
Connie Brace serves as the Department Secretary of Church History & Doctrine. She is the executive assistant to the Chair and assists department faculty with travel, budgeting, and class scheduling issues. She also manages student hiring and maintains Y-time, serves as the key rep for scheduling and classroom changes, and handles textbook requests. She serves as the office manager and supervises department receptionists.