BYU Religious Education announces new department leadership


Terry B. Ball, dean of Religious Education at BYU, has announced newly appointed leadership for two departments.

In the Department of Ancient Scripture, Camille Fronk Olson will serve as department chair, replacing Dennis R. Largey, with Kerry Muhlestein as the associate department chair. Brent Top will continue as chair of the Department of Church History and Doctrine, with Robert Freeman as a new associate department chair replacing Steven C. Harper.

Olson holds a doctorate in the sociology of the Middle East and a master’s degree in ancient Near Eastern studies, and is the author a recent book, “Women of the Old Testament.” She previously taught institute and seminary in the Salt Lake area for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was dean of students at LDS Business College.

Her associate chair, Muhlestein, has expertise in ancient Egypt and the Hebrew Bible. He has served as the chairman of a national committee for the American Research Center in Egypt. He received a master’s degree in ancient Near Eastern studies from BYU and a doctorate from UCLA in Egyptology.

Top has been the chair of the Department of Church History and Doctrine since 2009. Freeman has been a member of the full-time faculty since 1996 and focuses his teaching and research on 20th-century Church history. He is co-director of the Saints at War Project, which was initiated in the year 2000 to conduct research into the experiences of Latter-day Saints in wartime.

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