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Brent L. Top new chair of BYU Church History and Doctrine Department

Dean Terry B. Ball of the Brigham Young University College of Religious Education has announced the appointment of Brent L. Top as chair of the Church History and Doctrine Department with Steven C. Harper as associate chair.

Top replaces Arnold K. Garr as chair, and Harper replaces John P. Livingstone as associate chair. The change was effective June 30, 2009, with Garr and Livingstone both returning to teaching and research within the department.

A professor of Church History and Doctrine, Top held the college’s endowed professorship in moral education from 2002 to 2004. He is a former president of the Illinois Peoria Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a former associate dean of Religious Education at BYU.

Prior to joining the BYU religion faculty in 1987, Top worked for the LDS Church’s Educational System as a teacher and administrator. He received a bachelor’s degree in history, a master’s degree in instructional media and a doctoral degree in instructional science and technology from BYU.

Steven C. Harper is an associate professor of Church History and Doctrine and an editor of the Joseph Smith Papers Project. He taught religion and history at BYU-Hawaii before joining the BYU faculty in 2002.

Harper graduated from BYU in 1994 with a major in history. He earned his doctoral degree in early American history from Lehigh University.

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