Maclane Heward

Maclane Heward is a doctoral candidate in the History of Christianity and Religions of North America. He is working to finish his dissertation on the historical development of teenage involvement in short-term Christian missions. He is employed by the church educational system and currently has a two-year assignment to teach in the religion department at BYU. Prior to this assignment he taught seminary at Lone Peak High School in northern Utah County. He enjoys spending time with his four children and wife; hiking, camping and playing sports are a few of their favorite activities.

Roger Cook

Roger Cook is a master’s student in the Religion Department at Claremont Graduate University, with eventual plans to pursue a PhD in Philosophy of Religion and Theology. He received a BA in ancient history and BS in ancient philosophy from the University of Utah, and MEd from Westminster College with emphasis in philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and ancient philosophy. He specializes in Western religion and Greek philosophy, with focus on Greek metaphysics, Jewish Christianity and its antecedents, the theology of the Church Fathers, Mormon history and philosophy, philosophy of religion, and contemporary research dealing philosophy of mind, quantum mechanics, and cosmology. He has been an adjunct instructor at BYU for over two decades, teaching introductory courses in the Philosophy Department. He is married to Sharon Cook, has two children and sons-in-law, three grandchildren, and has served in numerous church callings over the years.

Katie Cloward Smith

Katie Cloward Smith is currently pursuing her MA in Religious Studies at Claremont Graduate University. She is interested in the history of religions and how lessons learned from the past can be applied to the present. She is also interested in women in religion, comparative studies, and interfaith work. Katie is currently the Communications Director at the Center for Process Studies (at Claremont School of Theology). When she finds spare time, she likes to sing, travel, and spend time with her husband.

Chase Kirkham

Chase Kirkham is a PhD candidate in the History of Christianity and Religions of North America program. His dissertation, which he is currently finishing, examines how American prophets in Second Great Awakening America created “prophetic time”; that is, how they decided on the right moment for both God and human beings to act together for the benefit of the latter. This study also provides a novel and more comprehensive model for classifying the millennialist beliefs of early Americans. In addition to studying the relationship of religion and time, Chase is interested in new religious movements, religious cosmologies, and the topic of failed prophecy. Chase currently works as an administrative assistant at the Center for Process Studies, a faculty research center on the campus of the Claremont School of Theology.

Shelby D. Lamar

Shelby D. Lamar is a PhD student in the Critical Comparative Scriptures program. She earned her MA in Religious Studies at Claremont Graduate University and her BA in Religious Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Shelby’s research interests include comparative scriptures, Mormon studies, gender studies, and North American Religions. She has served as the president of the Claremont Mormon Studies Student Association, the Graduate Student Council, and the Arts & Humanities Student Council at CGU.

Alan J. Clark

Alan J. Clark ( is a PhD student in the Department of Religion at Claremont Graduate University, studying North American Religious History. He received his BA in Philosophy and Political Science from Arizona State University, and his MA in Religious Education from Brigham Young University. He is currently ABD and teaching as an adjunct professor at Utah Valley University. His interests include religion in the Intermountain West, Pentecostalism, and LDS Church History in the Progressive Era.

Caroline Kline

Caroline Kline is a PhD candidate in religion with a focus on women’s studies in religion. Her areas of interest revolve around the intersections of Mormon and feminist theology and the study of contemporary Mormon women’s communities. She is the co-founder of the Mormon feminist blog, The Exponent. Her publications include “The Mormon Conception of Women’s Nature: A Feminist Analysis,” in the Journal of Feminist Theology and “Saying Goodbye to the Final Say: The Softening and Reimagining of Mormon Male Headship Ideologies,” in Out of Obscurity: Mormonism Since 1945, edited by Patrick Mason and John Turner. She co-edited with Claudia Bushman the book Mormon Women Have Their Say: Essays from the Claremont Oral History Collection. Her dissertation examines the oral histories of Mormon women of color in the US, Botswana, and Mexico.

Ben Spackman

Ben Spackman is a PhD student in History of Christianity and Religions in North America. His background includes a BA in Near Eastern Studies from BYU, MA and PhD work in Semitics at the University of Chicago, and formal scientific study at City College of New York). His research at CGU focuses on the construction of authority and the intellectual history of the perceived conflict between science and religion, particularly evolution. Ben’s other research and writing areas are broad but include 20th-century Mormon history, Biblical criticism, hermeneutics (modern and ancient), Christian fundamentalism, creationism, Semitic linguistics, and the Hebrew Bible. He is currently finishing a book contract, on the meaning of Genesis 1 in its ancient context.

Lincoln Hale

Lincoln Hale earned a master’s degree in theological studies, with an emphasis in ancient Biblical studies, from the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado. He is currently pursuing a PhD in the History of Christianity program at Claremont Graduate University. Upon completion of his PhD coursework, Lincoln accepted a position as coordinator and director of seminaries and institutes of religion for the LDS Church in the Pasadena and Glendale areas of Southern California. He also serves as the LDS religious advisor at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena City College, and Occidental College. His interests include ancient languages and texts, Coptic studies, and Mormon studies. Lincoln is proficient in Biblical Hebrew, Koine Greek, Sahidic Coptic, and Middle Egyptian. He has presented research on topics ranging from monasticism and ancient writings to the formation and deaccessioning of Latter-day Saint canon. He has also edited a Coptic translation of the Gospel of Thomas. Lincoln served an LDS mission in Romania from 1999-2001. He and his wife, Anna, have a son and four daughters.

Bryan Cottle

Bryan Cottle is a PhD student in the History of Christianity and Religions of North America program. His dissertation will focus on religion and American politics, specifically examining the history of progressive Christianity from the last decades of the 20th century to the election of Barack Obama. His major research interests include North American religions, Mormon studies, and religion and politics. Prior to entering the PhD program, Bryan received his BA in history at Boise State University and his MA in religion at Claremont Graduate University. He has served as both president and vice-president of the Claremont Mormon Studies Student Association.

Rachel Hunt Steenblik

Rachel Hunt Steenblik completed her coursework in Claremont’s philosophy of religion and theology PhD program. She also has a Masters in library science from Simmons College and a Bachelors in philosophy from Brigham Young University. At the latter, she helped archive Hugh Nibley’s correspondence and researched Heavenly Mother with David Paulsen and Martin Pulido. She has participated in summer seminars at the Wheatley Institution (2015), the Maxwell Institute (2014), and St. Olaf College’s Hong Kierkegaard Library (2013 and 2012). Her first book, Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings, coedited with Joanna Brooks and Hannah Wheelwright, was published by Oxford University Press in 2015. Her second book, Mothers Milk: Poems in Search of Heavenly Mother, was published by By Common Consent Press in 2017. She served an LDS mission in Sacramento, California (2005-2006) and lives just outside of New York City with her husband and tiny children.