Kerry received his B.S. from BYU in Psychology with a Hebrew minor, an M.A. in Ancient Near Eastern Studies from BYU, and his Ph.D. from UCLA in Egyptology, wherein his final year he was named the UCLA Affiliates Graduate Student of the Year. His first full-time appointment was a joint position in Religion and History at BYU-Hawaii. He is the director of the BYU Egypt Excavation Project. He was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford for the 2016-17 academic year. He has published 9 books, over 60 peer-reviewed articles, and has done over 75 academic presentations. He has served as the chairman of a national committee for the American Research Center in Egypt and serves on their Research Supporting Member Council. He serves as the Senior Vice President for the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities, has been the co-chair for the Egyptian Archaeology Session of the American Schools of Oriental Research, and has been a Senior Fellow of the William F. Albright Institute for Archaeological Research.