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).
Born in Denton, Texas, as the son of Lorraine Hopkin and Arden Hopkin, Shon Hopkin attended Southwest High School in Fort Worth, Texas and graduated from Orem High School. He received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Brigham Young University in Near Eastern Studies with a focus on Hebrew Bible. He received a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in Hebrew studies with a focus on medieval Hebrew, Arabic, and Spanish literature. Before coming to Brigham Young University, he taught in Seminaries and Institutes for four years at Timpview High School (1997–2001), four years at Provo High School (2001–5), and six years at the Austin Institute of Religion (2006–11). At BYU he has served as Chair of the Book of Mormon Academy and Chair of the BYU Religious Outreach Council. He is one of the principal organizers of the ongoing Jewish & Latter-day Saint Academic Interfaith Dialogue project. He has authored, co-authored, and edited numerous books and articles on Isaiah, the Hebrew Bible, Latter-day Saint beliefs, and medieval literature. He and his wife have four children and one grandchild.
Tyler was born and raised in Providence, Utah in the beautiful Cache Valley. After serving a mission in Brazil Curitiba, he returned home and married an Angel named Kiplin Crook. They have 10 children (5 boys and 5 girls). They love spending time in the mountains, playing board games, doing house projects, and being together. Tyler began his career by teaching seminary for 6 years in Brigham City, Utah. He spent the next seven years teaching at the Logan LDS Institute adjacent to Utah State University. One of his assignments there was working in the Seminary Preservice program (teaching and training potential seminary teachers). He also piloted and managed the launch of the online seminary program. He has taught here at BYU since August, 2010. He is a co-founder of BYU Virtual Scriptures Group which develops digital learning resources to enhance scriptural immersion and understanding. His bachelors degree was in Electrical Engineering and his masters and doctorate degrees are both in Instructional Technology. He authored When Heaven Feels Distant, co-authored Come Unto Me: Illuminating the Savior's Life, Mission, Parables, and Miracles, and co-edited Millions Shall Know Brother Joseph Again. Tyler enjoys presenting at Education Week, firesides, and conferences. He and his wife also enjoy leading tours to Biblical sites.
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 twenty-one 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.