Dave has worked as a tour director to religious sites for over 13 years. He began as a contracted guide working for other LDS travel agencies while owning an export clothing business (used and vintage clothing). He enjoyed the vintage clothing business. It was kind of like prospecting for gold, only looking for old clothes. As the vintage clothing business declined, he moved into travel full time opening Bountiful Travel. His qualifications for religious teaching began as a missionary when he felt his soul enlarge (in the words of Alma) as he heard a master teacher of the scriptures. He wanted to be able to help others feel the same way through his teaching. He began an intense study of the scriptures as a missionary and continued after his mission working on a Master’s degree in Ancient Near Eastern Studies (Biblical Hebrew emphasis).
He studies looking for unique insights into the scriptures and has worked hard at learning how to teach those insights in an interesting manner. His background in Mesoamerican studies and Ancient Near Eastern studies lends to unique insights into the scriptures. He is laid-back and loves to have fun. He loves teaching and being with people. So for him this is the ultimate job. He hopes that his love for the scriptures is contagious as he teaches. He’s taken over 70 tour groups to Central America and Israel over the last 14 years and hopes you will join him on one of his trips.
John was born and raised in Salt Lake City, and he served his mission in the Philippines. Following his mission he attended the University of Utah, and later graduated from BYU. John has taught the Book of Mormon at Brigham Young University, and the BYU Salt Lake Center since 1996. In 2003, he earned a Master’s Degree in Religious Education. He is the author of more than two dozen books and CDs many of which, he says, are effective non-prescription sleep-aids.
He loves to golf, write, read, and play the banjo and guitar. John is a founding member of the local chapter of the Andy Griffith Show Re-run Watchers Club, and does a “spot-on” impersonation of Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife. John was recently released as bishop of the Salt Lake Winder 10th Ward, and is now teaching Sunday School with his wife, Kim. John and Kim have six children and a completely full SUV which doubles in value when it’s full of gasoline.
Hank is a master teacher. He is super fun and engaging. Youth love him. He grew up in St. George, Utah and has an MBA from Utah State University. Hank is currently Ph.D. candidate at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah where he is also an instructor. In addition to his work in consulting with companies and families, Hank has presented at nationwide Best of Especially for Youth, Retreat for Girls, Time to Blossom, and Time Out for Girls programs, several University Education Weeks, public school assemblies, and various forums around the country. Hank has also authored many books and “Audio CDs” with Covenant Communications.
Hank and his wife, Sara, currently live in Mapleton, Utah. Hank says that, “Sara is amazing, she knows everything about me and still loves me.” They have 3 adorable children. Hank enjoys running marathons (15 so far) and eating lots of ice cream, which is why he runs marathons. More than anything else he loves being with his wonderful wife and children.
Brent is a Professor of Church History and Doctrine and is currently serving as Dean of the religion department. He was born and raised in Idaho Falls, Idaho and served a full-time mission to the Denmark Copenhagen Mission. He received all of his degrees from Brigham Young University—a BA in history, a Masters degree in Instructional Media and a PhD in Instructional Science and Technology. Prior to joining the BYU Religious Education faculty in 1987, he worked for the Church Educational System as a released-time seminary teacher, an institute teacher, and an administrator. Dr. Top served as Associate Dean of Religious Education from 1997-2002. He held the endowed Professorship in Moral Education for two years prior to his call as President of the Illinois Peoria Mission (2004-2007). He was appointed department chair in June 2009. He is the author of more than a dozen LDS books and scores of academic articles on historical, religious, sociological and educational subjects. He is married to the former Wendy Cope from Idaho Falls. They are the parents of four children and reside in Pleasant Grove, Utah.
Taylor: Taylor is an engaging teacher and tour leader who shows personalized interest in each individual, adult and youth alike. He loves people. Taylor teaches in such a way that the context and content of scriptures are memorably brought to life. Taylor has taught a variety of courses at BYU: Book of Mormon, Old Testament, History of Creativity, Innovation Boot Camp, and a new interdisciplinary course called “Illuminating the Scriptures: Designing Innovative Study Tools.” He has also taught at the Indiana University and Stanford University LDS Institutes of Religion, Education Week, and BYU Aspen Grove. Education: BA in Ancient Near Eastern Studies (BYU), MA in Biblical Studies (Yale), MS in Instructional Systems Technology (Indiana University), PhD in Instructional Systems Technology (Indiana University), PhD in Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity (Indiana University). Taylor has published and presented widely on scripture, technology, teaching, and learning (more at taylor.ctl.byu.edu).
Lisa: Lisa has extensive experience in traveling and studying the world. She was an exchange student to Greece, taught English in Eastern Europe, attended the BYU Jerusalem Center, completed her undergraduate and Masters Degrees at Stanford University in International Relations and Modern Jewish & Middle Eastern History, spent a year studying and researching in Israel on Fulbright and Wallenburg scholarships, and was honored with a summer scholarship to attend the Folger Shakespeare institute in Washington, D.C. Lisa has studied Hebrew, Arabic, and French. She is an educator by profession and is in the last year of her doctoral program in Instructional Psychology & Technology at Brigham Young University. Lisa is a thoughtful listener and a dynamic teacher. Lisa and Taylor are the parents of two children through the miracle of adoption.
Taylor and Lisa have led a variety of tours to Mesoamerica and the Middle East. They make a great team!
Donald is Professor of Hebrew Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls. He is married to Camille Mills, from Las Vegas, Nevada; they have six children. Donald is a member of the International Team of Translators of the Dead Sea Scrolls (He has worked translating the Dead Sea Scrolls of Isaiah, 1 & 2 Samuel, and others), the Society of Biblical Literature, the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament, and others. He has authored or edited twenty-seven books including: Understanding Isaiah, Temples of the Ancient World, Visualizing Isaiah, and other books on the Old Testament, Book of Mormon, and Dead Sea Scrolls. He is a popular Education Week speaker. He has a wonderful sense of humor and a is personable host to our groups. His scriptural knowledge is extensive and he is fascinated with old cars.
Camille is an associate professor of Ancient Scripture at BYU and department chair. She completed a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies, a master’s degree in Near Eastern Studies, and a bachelor’s degree in Education. She has taught the Near Eastern Studies class at the BYU Jerusalem Center. Her dissertation and subsequent research activities have focused on Palestinian families in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Her current academic interests include biblical studies, women in the scriptures, LDS/evangelical dialogue, LDS doctrine, and the New Testament. She is the author of Women of the Old Testament; Mary, Martha, and Me; In the Hands of the Potter; and Too Much to Carry Alone.
Currently, Dr. Olson is researching materials for a book on the women of the New Testament, considering the Greco-Roman and Jewish cultures of the time, historical background, geography, and women’s roles in society. She recently completed a collaborative project with three of her colleagues involving research on gospel doctrines.
Prior to coming to BYU, Dr. Olson taught seminary and institute for the Church in the Salt Lake City area and served as Dean of Students at the LDS Business College. She is a former member of the Young Women General Board and served a full-time mission to Toulouse, France. She currently teaches Gospel Doctrine in her ward. Camille Fronk Olson is married to Paul F. Olson, a Provo ophthalmologist. She was born and reared in Tremonton, Utah. She is super fun to travel with and has a delightful teaching style.
Kevin (M.Ed LPCi), is a Licensed Counselor in private practice. He received his Masters Degree in Counseling from Brigham Young University in 1985, with a minor in Organizational behavior. He is a popular presenter at Campus Education Week at BYU. He is a dynamic, funny presenter and very personable. You will enjoy traveling with Kevin.
He is on the Board of Directors of ANTHEM, a non-profit organization dedicated to building stronger marriages and families in North Texas, Kevin continues to look for innovative ways to help parents with the challenges of raising families in uncertain times. He has authored several books including: Parenting the Strong-Willed Child, Burying our Swords and Promptings or Me.
Gary and Leisel McBride
Gary P. McBride (Phd. In Marriage & Family Counseling) and Leisel C. McBride (Masters degree in Near Eastern Studies with an emphasis on Biblical Hebrew.) Gary worked for CES in Utah, Arizona, and California. His last assignment was 5 years as director of the Southern California Westwood Institute adjacent to UCLA. He was then hired as the Assistant Director of the BYU Jerusalem Center. Leisel taught for the U.S. Government as an adjunct faculty member and also Brigham Young University as a Biblical Hebrew instructor. While living in Jerusalem Leisel was hired as the official in country administrator of all BYU Travel Study tours of the Holy Land. They lived and worked in Jerusalem for two years.
In 1983 Gary was hired by BYU to teach/direct the Holy Land Semester Abroad program for 6 months. Returning home, BYU Travel Study invited them to begin taking adult tours of the Holy Land. They have completed over 15 adult land tours as well as many student tours. They blend their knowledge of the land with the scriptures to make their tours educational, spiritual, fun, and memorable. They are noted for their skill in teaching on location.
They have also directed a Book of Mormon tour of Central America, a European tour which included Oberammergau, and an Aegean Cruise which followed the travels of Paul the Apostle.
Gary has served as a bishop over two different wards and the first counselor in a stake presidency. Leisel has served as a Ward Relief Society Pres., Stake Relief Society Pres. and Area Relief Society Pres. in the Salt Lake Valley.