Christopher Smith was brought up an evangelical Protestant of the rock-n-rolling, tongues-speaking, hands-raising variety. He investigated Mormonism for a time in high school, prying himself out of bed before sunrise for several months to attend early morning seminary. Though he never joined the Church, he remained interested in Mormonism throughout his undergraduate and graduate studies. In 2016 Chris received a PhD in Religion from Claremont Graduate University after completing a dissertation on a Mormon topic. Right out of graduate school he took a position as a postdoctoral fellow at Utah State University.