October 31, 2017

Press Release

Collections Staff

Collections Staff

Lance Allred, Curator of Ancient Near Eastern Culture

Lance Allred earned the Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from Johns Hopkins University. He has previously held teaching and research positions at Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania, and, most recently, the University of California, Los Angeles, as a part of the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI). In 2011, he received the Delta Sigma Phi Teaching Excellence Award. He has published several articles on ancient Near Eastern history, language and culture.

Lance became Museum of the Bible’s Curator of Ancient Near Eastern Cultures in 2013, where he undertakes and facilitates research projects and develops exhibitions.

Stephen Gorman, Lead Registrar

Stephen Gorman joined Museum of the Bible as Lead Registrar in 2016, where he leads and co-ordinates the work of the Registration Department and oversees proper artifact storage and conservation to ensure compliance with federal and international laws and the standards and best practices of museum collections management. Stephen also manages The Museum System (TMS), including validating artifact condition reports, working with curators on the accuracy of artifact descriptions and details and accessioning new items into the collections.

Stephen earned his B.A. in graphic design and illustration from St. Martin’s School of Art, London. He spent the first half of his professional life in the illustration and design field, working in Italy, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Spain, the U.S. and Germany. He also managed the graphic design and print department at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

His background includes experience in collection management, exhibition design, catalog design and touring and managing international exhibitions throughout the world.

Herschel A. Hepler, Associate Curator of Hebrew Manuscripts

Herschel A. Hepler has been Associate Curator of Hebrew Manuscripts at Museum of the Bible since 2016. He cares for and researches the Hebrew manuscripts in the Museum Collections and oversees several research projects related to medieval Jewish history and manuscript production. Herschel is especially interested in Hebrew codicology, paleography and Cairo Genizah research. He assisted in the research of a Dead Sea Scrolls fragment and co-authored its publication in Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments in the Museum Collection (Brill, 2016), and he continues to support ongoing provenance research of Museum of the Bible artifacts.

Herschel received a B.A. (2011) and M.A. (2013) in theology from Southern Nazarene University, and, most recently, has completed specialized programs such as A Short Course of Hebrew Codicology and Paleography at the Ambrosiana Biblioteca (2015) and manuSciences ’17 (2017).

Mike Holmes, Director of the Museum of the Bible Scholars Initiative

Mike Holmes has been Director of the Museum of the Bible Scholars Initiative since November 2014. He is also University Professor of Biblical Studies & Early Christianity Emeritus at Bethel University (St. Paul, Minnesota), where he taught from 1982 to 2017. Mike earned the Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. He currently is chair of the board of directors of the Center for the Study of NT Manuscripts, on the editorial board of TC: A Journal of Textual Criticism and editor of the Society of Biblical Literature monograph series Text-Critical Studies.

Mike’s primary research interests include the text and transmission of the New Testament, the formation of the biblical canon, and the Apostolic Fathers (a collection of early Christian writings). He has written, edited or co-edited 11 books, including The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations, 3rd ed. (Baker, 2007), and The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition (SBL/Logos Bible Software, 2010), and has sat on numerous professional committees and boards. He has also published more than 60 articles and chapters in academic journals and scholarly publications, reviewed more than 270 books and lectured in several countries. Mike and his wife, Molly, live in Minnesota.

Brian Hyland, Associate Curator of Medieval Manuscripts

Brian Hyland joined Museum of the Bible in 2016 as Associate Curator of Medieval Manuscripts. In addition to curating medieval materials, he assists with Greek papyri.

Brian holds a master’s in ancient history from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Maryland, College Park. He did additional studies at the Institut für Papyrologie, Ruprecht Karls Universität, in Heidelberg, Germany.

Previously, Brian taught Greek and Roman history at the University of Illinois, Chicago, medieval history at the University of Maryland’s European extension division, and Latin at Binghamton University. He chaired the social studies department and for 30 years taught Latin, German and social studies at Seton Catholic Central High School in Binghamton, New York.

Bethany Jensen, Assistant Curator and Data Specialist

Bethany Jensen earned her M.A. in museum studies from The Johns Hopkins University in 2017 and her B.A. in anthropology (archaeology emphasis) with a minor in ancient Near Eastern studies and a language certificate in Russian from Brigham Young University in 2015. She became a member of the BYU Egypt Excavation team in 2011 and continues to work at Fag el-Gamous/Seila in the eastern Fayoum. Her main area of interest is Graeco-Roman Egypt. She has published and presented work regarding the site in several venues.

Bethany joined Museum of the Bible as an Assistant Curator and Data Specialist in May 2015, where she assists with various research projects and exhibitions.

Jeff Kloha, Chief Curatorial Officer

Jeffrey Kloha joined Museum of the Bible in summer 2017. He manages the Museum of the Bible Education, Scholars Initiative, Exhibits, Curatorial and Collections departments and is responsible for executing those departments’ strategic plans, along with managing other professionals.

Jeff previously served 18 years as professor of New Testament at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, and also served Concordia as provost/chief academic officer. During that time, he oversaw two accreditation processes, transitioned the institution from quarters to semesters, steered the development of new curricula and managed strategic planning for the institution. He earned the Ph.D. from the University of Leeds.

His areas of teaching and research include the textual and canonical history of the early Christian writings, hermeneutics, and the Pauline Epistles. Jeff is co-editor of Texts and Traditions: Essays in Honour of J. K. Elliott (Brill, 2014) and The Press of the Text: Biblical Studies in Honor of James W. Voelz (Pickwick, 2017). He has published peer-reviewed essays in the areas of New Testament textual criticism and the use of New Testament texts in early Christianity. He is a frequent conference presenter, radio guest and television documentary commentator.

Susan Masten, Curator of Antiquities

Susan Masten earned a master’s degree in anthropology from George Washington University. While working on her master’s, Susan worked with the education and outreach collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, as well as with a collection of archaeological material from the River Basin Surveys in the anthropology department at the Smithsonian. She also has a bachelor’s in biblical archaeology from Wheaton College and completed internships at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago and the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

Susan joined Museum of the Bible in 2015 as Curator of Antiquities. Her current work involves researching provenance and improving documentation for the collections’ antiquities and working with other curatorial staff to develop exhibition content and training.

Rena Opert, Director of Exhibits and Collections Specialist

Rena Opert oversees both the permanent and temporary exhibits program at Museum of the Bible. The Exhibits Team works with the museum’s curatorial department as well as with outside museums, artists and lenders to create innovative and unique exhibitions.

Rena earned her B.A. in art history and Jewish studies from Northwestern University and her M.A. in museum studies from The George Washington University. She enjoys the collaborative process of working with scholars and designers to transform content and ideas into a visually engaging and educational experience for museum visitors.

Rena most recently spent 10 years at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum directing the production, strategy and placement of its traveling exhibitions. Prior to that, she worked at Spertus Museum in Chicago, where she created educational programs and then served as the Museum Operations Manager. She has conducted and published primary research for the Repatriation Office at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and is a professorial lecturer at The George Washington University for a course on museums and cultural property. 

Cathleen Pearl, Director of Outreach

Cathleen Pearl joined Museum of the Bible as the Director of Outreach in February 2019, where she focuses on building a diverse range of strategic partnerships with faith communities, universities and organizations to further the mission of the museum. Prior to her current role, Cathleen led programmatic, educational and development initiatives at the National Defense University Foundation located on historic Ft. McNair in Washington, D.C. She developed her passion for the collaborative power of museums while serving as the deputy director of the National Guard Memorial Museum, Library and Archives on Capitol Hill.

Cathleen earned her B.A. in anthropology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where she currently serves as a member of the Chancellor’s Council, and her M.A. in museum studies from New York University. Her professional career includes military service comprised of five years active duty in the United States Navy followed by five years in the Air National Guard.

Francisco Rodriguez, Chief Conservator

Francisco Rodriguez studied fine arts and sculpting at the National University of Colombia and document conservation, restoration and chemistry at the Plastic’s Art School of Bogotá. He studied risk assessment, impact of preservation on manuscripts and paper and leather conservation at the Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione ed il Restauro in Rome, Italy, and aqueous treatments on paper conservation at the UNAM in Mexico City.

Francisco is a third-generation bookbinder who started working alongside his father in 1970. He was a consultant with the Pontifical Vatican Library and collaborated with the Istituto Superiore per la conservazione ed il Restauro in restoring hundreds of books and documents that were damaged during the 1966 flood in Florence, Italy. Francisco then moved to Washington to become head restorer at the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States. As an independent consultant, he has done work for the Library of Congress, the White House Library, Ronald Reagan’s personal library, Dunham Bible Museum and Lanier Theological Library, among others.

Francisco joined Museum of the Bible in 2013 as its first conservator. He is a member of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC).

Anthony Schmidt, Senior Curator

Anthony Schmidt earned the Ph.D. in American religion from Princeton Theological Seminary. Schmidt’s academic work focuses mainly on evangelical history. He is especially interested in the cultural construction of orthodoxy and the way certain beliefs and behaviors become normative over time. His current research examines how financial factors in the 19th century shaped denominational attitudes toward slavery and race. Anthony is also working on a second, longer-term project on the use of the Bible within popular devotional practices at the turn of the 20th century. He has published articles and book reviews in academic journals such as The Journal of Religious History, Nova Religio and Fides et Historia.

Anthony joined Museum of the Bible as the curator of Bible and Religion in America in 2017. As Senior Curator, he oversees the museum’s curatorial team, manages collections research and documentation and develops exhibition and museum content. He also curates post-16th century texts and artifacts in the Museum Collections. Previously, he served as a doctoral assistant in the Department of Special Collections at Princeton Seminary and as an author and researcher for the American Bible Society’s Faith & Liberty Discovery Center project in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Amy Van Dyke, Lead Curator of Exhibitions

Amy Van Dyke has a master’s in secondary education, with an emphasis in art education, from Northern Arizona University and a bachelor’s in art history, with a minor in studio art, from Northern Arizona University. She received certification to teach from the state of Arizona and training in museum studies from the Phoenix Art Museum.

Amy was a visiting instructor at Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy and a web proctor and reader-grader for the online art appreciation course for Northern Arizona University. Amy has taught art history, art appreciation, visual arts, two- and three-dimensional design and world history. Prior to her work with Museum of the Bible, Amy developed and wrote a school-wide art curriculum for a private school in Oklahoma and lectured on “Critical Thinking & the Arts” in 2010 at the Association of Christian Teachers & Schools (ACTS).

Since joining Museum of the Bible in 2012, Amy has coordinated, written or assisted with over 40 exhibitions. Her current work involves managing and curating domestic and international exhibitions, lecturing on the connection between art and biblical interpretation, researching and curating the art in the Museum Collections.