Justin Top received a Ph.D. from Brigham Young University in Counseling Psychology, with a research emphasis on the relationship between spirituality and mental health. He also has a Master’s degree in Religious Education and a Bachelor’s degree in Near Eastern Studies from Brigham Young University.
During his junior year in high school, Justin had the opportunity to live in Jerusalem while his father taught at the BYU Jerusalem Center. As he visited sacred sites of the Holy Land and saw the faith of the various pilgrims from all over the world, he was impressed by the power that religious passion and faith have to motivate and heal. This experience planted seeds in his heart that would direct the course of his life and cultivated within him passions of his own for travel, religion and inspiring positive growth and change in others. After a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to South Korea, Justin returned as a student for a semester to the BYU Jerusalem Center and has since returned several other times. He feels that there is a special spirit about the holy land that forever changes those who visit.
Justin taught release-time seminary for seven years, first in Emery County and then at Timpanogos High school in Orem, UT. In an attempt to further nurture his passions and add a little adventure to his life, Justin joined the United States Navy as a chaplain in 2008. While on active-duty, Justin had the opportunity to lead, teach, counsel and love service members from an incredible variety of different backgrounds. He completed over six years and two at-sea deployments in support of the Global War on Terror before leaving active duty behind. Justin has also been an instructor with BYU Religious Education and a regular presenter at BYU Education week since 2009. He currently works as a psychologist and continues his military service in the US Navy Reserves. Justin and his wife Shauna share eleven children, including two sets of twins, who all love adventure as much as he does.