This exciting new PBS special, which will air nationally on December 18, 2012, details religious liberty in America and how the most basic of human freedoms - freedom of conscience - was codified for the first time in human history as an inalienable human right protected by law. To view the film's trailer, click here.
A prize-winning historian and Emmy Award nominee, Randall Balmer earned a Ph.D. from
Princeton University in 1985 and taught as Professor of American Religious History
at Columbia University for twenty-seven years before becoming the Mandel Family Professor
of Arts and Sciences at Dartmouth College in 2012. He has been a visiting professor
at Princeton, Yale, Northwestern and Emory universities, and at the Columbia University
Graduate School of Journalism. He was a visiting professor at Yale Divinity School
from 2004 to 2008.
Dr. Balmer has published widely in both scholarly journals and in the popular press. His op-ed articles have appeared in newspapers across the country, including the Los Angeles Times, the Des Moines Register, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Dallas Morning News, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Hartford Courant, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Anchorage Daily News, and the New York Times. His work has also appeared in the New Republic, the New York Times Book Review, Christian Century, the Nation, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Washington Post Book World. Dr. Balmer is regularly asked to comment on religion in American life, and he has appeared frequently on network television, on NPR, and on both the Colbert Report and the Daily Show, with John Stewart. He has been an expert witness in several First Amendment cases, including Snyder v. Phelps and Glassroth v. Moore, the so-called Alabama Ten Commandments case.
Dr. Balmer has published more than a dozen books, including God in the White House: How Faith Shaped the Presidency from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush and The Making of Evangelicalism: From Revivalism to Politics and Beyond. His second book, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America, now in its fourth edition, was made into an award-winning, three-part documentary for PBS. Dr. Balmer wrote and hosted that series as well as a two-part series on creationism and a documentary on Billy Graham. He has lectured around the country in such venues as the Commonwealth Club of California and the Chautauqua Institution and, under the auspices of the State Department, in Austria and Lebanon.
Matthew S. Holland is the President of Utah Valley University, where he has been serving since June of 2009.
Before assuming his current position, President Holland was an associate professor of political science at Brigham Young University, where he taught courses in political philosophy and American political thought, including BYU's large general education sections of American Heritage. A popular teacher, his commitment to applied learning concepts led to his selection as BYU's "Civically Engaged Scholar of the Year" in 2008 by Utah Campus Compact. His scholarly research on how ideals of Christian charity influenced the development of American political life garnered national attention. In 2005, he won Princeton University's James Madison Fellowship. In 2007, his book, Bonds of Affection: Civic Charity and the Making of America, was published by Georgetown University Press.
He graduated from Brigham Young University with honors in 1991, and was valedictorian for the political science department. That same year he was awarded the Raoul Wallenberg Scholarship for a year of graduate study at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Before going on to earn his master's degree and Ph.D. in political science at Duke University, President Holland served as chief of staff for the top executive of the international consulting firm Monitor Group and, later, as special assistant to then-Governor Michael O. Leavitt.
Currently, he serves on numerous community boards, including the editorial advisory board of the Deseret News and the boards of the Utah Valley and Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife, Paige, have four children, Jacob, Mitzi, Grace and Dan.
An award-winning filmmaker with over 20 years experience in the production of historical television documentaries, director and producer Lee B. Groberg has an impressive filmography and a growing list of accolades from the film and television industry.
Groberg received his MBA in international business management in 1977, but found his greater love in documentary film making. He began his film career in 1984, producing industrial films. His first foray into documentary film making begin in 1987 where he co-produced a film with NHK Television in Japan. Titled WINTER; The St. Paul – Sapporo Connection, the film compared a U.S. winter carnival in Minnesota with the Yuki Matsuri (Snow Festival) in Sapporo, Japan.
In the subsequent 20 years from that first documentary, Groberg has produced numerous films, mostly for PBS Television. His filmography is as follows:
Producer/Director: Documentary film; "First Freedom", 2012 in partnership with PBS affiliate, WETA, Washington DC.
Producer/Director: Documentary film; "Fires of Faith: The Coming Forth of the King James Bible" 2011 CINE GOLD CAMERA, BRONZE TELLY, 2012 FINALIST; New York Film Festival, SPECIAL JURY REMI AWARD; Worldfest Houston, CERTIFICATE OF CREATIVE EXCELLENCE; U.S. International Film Festival.
Producer/Director: Documentary film; "SWEETWATER RESCUE; The Willie and Martin Handcart Story." PBS Television, December, 2006. Production partners; KBYU Television, Provo Utah, WETA Washington D.C. PLATINUM REMI; Houston International Film Festival. April, 2007. PLATINUM BEST OF SHOW; Aurora Awards, May, 2007. SILVER TELLY; 2007. GEORGE WASHINGTON MEDAL OF HONOR; Freedom's Foundation at Valley Forge; public communication, August, 2007.
Producer/Director: Documentary film; "AMERICA'S CHOIR; The Story of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir." Narrated by Walter Cronkite. In conjunction with their Jubilee Celebration of "Music and the Spoken Word's" 75 years of continuous broadcast. AWARD OF CREATIVE EXCELLENCE; Houston International Film Festival. June, 2005. GOLD AWARD; Aurora Awards, October, 2005.
Producer/Director: Documentary film; "SACRED STONE; Temple on the Mississippi." In partnership with KBYU Television. Winter 2002/2003. Narrated by Hal Holbrook. Several film awards; FIRST PLACE; Houston International Film Festival, FIRST PLACE, Telly Awards, GOLD CAMERA; U.S. International Film and Video Festival, New York, NOMINEE; Rock Mountain Emmy Awards, and others.
Producer/Director: Documentary film: "AMERICAN PROPHET; The Story of Joseph Smith." Narrated by Gregory Peck. National PBS Television. First national airing, November 26, 1999. In partnership with Vermont Public Television. *1st Place winner in four film festivals. FIRST PLACE; The Houston International Film Festival, FIRST PLACE (Silver) Telly Award, FIRST PLACE; The Aurora Awards, and a GOLD CAMERA; U.S. International Film and Video Festival, (music soundtrack) PEARL AWARD; Best Film Score; (companion book)FIRST PLACE; 1999 Small Press Book award.
Producer/Director: Documentary film; "TRAIL OF HOPE; The Story of the Mormon Trail." Narrated by Hal Holbrook. 1997 Winner of six film awards. AWARD OF EXCELLENCE; Film Advisory Board, CHRIS AWARD; Columbus International Film and Video Festival, 1997 & 98, GOLD CAMERA, First place; U.S. International Film Festival, GABRIEL AWARD; Catholic Broadcasters Association, WORLDFEST BRONZE; New York Film and Video Festival, (music) PEARL AWARD; Best Film Score, (companion book) FIRST PLACE; 1998 Small Press Book Award.
Writer/Producer/Director: Documentary film; (two hours) 1995 "TREASURE HOUSE - THE UTAH MINING STORY," A Utah Statehood Centennial Production, PBS, KUED Channel 7. Narrated by Ed Ames.
Writer/Producer/Director: Documentary film; "AMERICAN GUNMAKER; THE JOHN M. BROWNING STORY" Narrated by Fess Parker. 1992 PBS Television, Browning Gun Museum, Rocky Mountain Emmy nominee.
Lee and his wife, Jeanine have seven children and five grandchildren and count them as the true treasures of their lives.
Rick A. Griffin pursued an interest in civil rights and completed his Juris Doctor at the University of Mississippi in 1996. He also completed law courses at the University of Cambridge and J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University (BYU). In 2006, Griffin earned a Ph.D. at BYU, where he completed studies in constitutional law and education law, and was an Associate Editor of the Education and Law Journal. In 2007, he was accepted to the prestigious Master of Laws (LL.M.) program at the University of California, Berkeley, where he excelled in constitutional law, judicial politics, and early modern Anglo-American constitutional history and political thought, and was one of a few selected from an international pool of applicants to the highly-restricted Doctor of the Science of Law (J.S.D.) program.
Dr. Griffin has taught constitutionally-related courses at BYU, and at UVU, where he is currently an Associate Professor of Political Science. His primary research interests are in constitutional law, government, history and theory; judicial politics; and the U. S. Supreme Court. He has written on issues pertaining to constitutional law, disability law, and education law and policy, and is currently writing an article on Chief Justice John Jay and a book on President George Washington. Dr. Griffin is the recipient of several teaching awards, and was listed by Utah Valley Magazine as one of the "50 Most Fabulous People of 2012."
Special thanks to Groberg Films and Covenant Communications.