Elder D. Todd Christofferson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is scheduled to be the presiding authority and speaker during BYU's commencement exercises on Thursday, April 27, at 10 a.m.
Rev. Dr. Andrew Teal will be the honorary degree recipient.
BYU president Kevin J Worthen will conduct the exercises, which will be held in person and broadcast live on BYUtv from the Marriott Center. All college convocations will be held April 27–28. Individual colleges will communicate their respective details about convocations.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Elder D. Todd Christofferson was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in April 2008. At the time of his call, he was serving in the Presidency of the Seventy. During his tenure in the Presidency of the Seventy, he had supervisory responsibility for the North America West, Northwest and Southeast Areas of the Church. He also served as executive director of the Family and Church History Department. Earlier he was president of the Mexico South Area of the Church.
Born in American Fork, Utah, Elder Christofferson graduated from high school in New Jersey. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University, where he was an Edwin S. Hinckley Scholar. He received his law degree from Duke University, where he was a member of the Duke Law Journal editorial board.
Prior to his call to serve as a full-time General Authority, Elder Christofferson was associate general counsel of NationsBank Corporation (now Bank of America) in Charlotte, North Carolina. Previously he was senior vice president and general counsel for Commerce Union Bank of Tennessee in Nashville, where he was also active in community affairs and interfaith organizations. From 1975 to 1980, Elder Christofferson practiced law in Washington, D.C., after serving as a law clerk to U.S. district judge John J. Sirica (1972–74).
Elder Christofferson and his wife, Katherine Jacob Christofferson, are the parents of five children.
HONORARY DEGREE RECIPIENT
Rev. Dr. Andrew Teal will receive the honorary doctorate degree. He is the Chaplain and Fellow of Pembroke College and lecturer in Theology and Religion at Oxford University. He is the Warden of the Community of the Sisters of the Love of God, the largest Anglican convent and Religious Order in England. He was ordained in the Church of England at the age of 23 in 1988 and worked as a parish priest in deprived inner-city communities in the West Midlands and Sheffield. He earned his doctoral degree from the University of Birmingham, and also holds degrees from Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University.
Rev. Dr. Teal has widely published in the U.K. and Europe in English and Russian on patristic and modern theology, art and dialogue. Among his recent publications is “Inspiring Service: Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, and Latter-day Saint Traditions in Dialogue” published in 2020, in which he collaborated with various religious leaders, including Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Rev. Dr. Teal joined the BYU Neal A. Maxwell Institute during the fall 2021 semester as a visiting resident scholar and affiliate faculty member.
His personal mission is, in his own words, “to encourage each person to inhabit their life and faith with integrity, openness and joy.” He feels a personal solidarity with those with the least resources or choices and desires to nurture the finest minds to direct their achievements to service.
Rev. Dr. Teal and his wife Rachel Teal have been married for 30 years and are the parents of two children, Chiara and Luke.
Currently, Rev. Dr. Teal’s priorities include working to invite wide participation in theological exploration and is significantly supported in this effort by the Oxford Wards of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is collaborating with many in British Government to promote the Freedom of Religion and Belief. Rev. Dr. Teal’s work with Elder Holland and other religious leaders aims to build a community of faith understanding and service across nations and communities. He has said that Elder Holland has changed the way he views life because of his “authentic, overflowing love.”
More details about commencement and convocations can be found at graduation.byu.edu.