Leadership - New Saint Andrews College




Benjamin Merkle, D.Phil

President, Fellow


(208) 882-1566, ext.119

Dr. Ben Merkle is the college’s second president, a Fellow of Theology, and previously served as the undergraduate dean. He holds a D.Phil. in Oriental Studies and an M.St. in Jewish Studies from Oxford University, England; an M.A. degree in English Literature, and a B.S. in Education (Secondary Education-Chemistry, with a minor in History) both from the University of Idaho. He also studied theology at Greyfriars Hall from 1998 to 2000.


Timothy Edwards, D.Phil

Academic Dean, Fellow


(208) 882-1566, ext.119

Dr. Timothy Edwards holds a D. Phil in Oriental Studies, Oxford University 2004, M.A. in Jewish Civilization, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2000, B. Ed. in Physical Education with Religious and Moral Education, West London Institute of Higher Education, 1991. Dr. Edwards brings a wealth of knowledge from his years serving as a graduate level instructor at the Oxford Center for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. He held professorship at Bristol University for two years. Dr. Edwards’ dissertation was published and he has written several academic articles. Dr. Edwards created a Hebrew Program that is used at seminaries and universities around the United States and has been translated for use in other countries. He is both Academic Dean and Fellow of Theology at New Saint Andrews College.


Thomas Brainerd, CPA, M.A., M.B.A.

Chief Financial Officer

Thomas Brainerd holds an MBA from Michigan’s Ross School of Business. He obtained his CPA while working at Price Waterhouse in Dallas, TX. He went on to work as the Director of Tax Planning at Halliburton Corporate. He acted as Tax Lead on a $1.4 billion dollar sale as well as a company wide restructuring for a prepackaged bankruptcy valued at over $5 billion dollars. After fourteen years at Halliburton and overseeing teams in locations such as Singapore and Dubai, Tom was called into pastoral ministry. He received his Masters in Biblical Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary and acted as an intern at Saint Andrews Chapel under R.C. Sproul. He went on to pastor his own church for six years. He was hired in 2016 as the CFO for New Saint Andrews College. His combination of financial and pastoral gifts has greatly enriched NSA.


Administration and Staff

Christopher Schlect, Ph.D.

Classical Christian Studies Program Director, Senior Fellow
(208) 882-1566, ext.103


Douglas Wilson, M.A.

Senior Fellow
(208) 882-1566


Gabriel Rench

Donor Relations
(208) 882-1566


Brenda Schlect, M.S.

Director of Admissions and Bursar
(208) 882-1566


Grace Hendrix

Recruitment Manager
(512) 300-4001


Kent Atkinson

Director of Marketing
(509) 793-5262


Helen Howell, M.A.

Head Librarian
(208) 882-1566


Grace Burnett

(208) 882-1566


John Sawyer

Manager of New Student Services
(208) 882-1566


Board of Trustees

Toby J. Sumpter

Toby J. Sumpter, Chairman of the Board of New Saint Andrews College, graduated with a B.A. from New Saint Andrews College, then earned an M.A.T.S. from Erskine Theological Seminary before his ordination as a minister in 2007. He serves as associate pastor at Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, and is one of the hosts of CrossPolitic Show & Podcast. He authored the commentary Job Through New Eyes: A Son for Glory, as well as the non-fiction Blood Bought World, and produced the updated and annotated The Elfin Knight: Book II of Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene.

Bill Church

Bill Church received a Bachelor of Liberal Studies (Magna Cum Laude) from Hillsdale College in 1977. He is the owner and CEO of Church & Church Inc. in Auburn Hills, Michigan, a $40 million lumber and building material distribution company with 70 employees where he has been employed since 1977. He is the President of Triangle Enterprises, a Michigan home building company, and a partner in Kestrel Building as well as several land development projects in SE Michigan. He was a founding Board Member of Christian Leadership Academy (now Bloomfield Christian School) in Michigan, and currently resides in Moscow, Idaho, where he is a real estate agent at Key Properties, serves as an elder at Christ Church, and is both a permanent Board member and Secretary of the Board for New Saint Andrews College.

David Alders

David Alders president of Carrizo Creek Corporation, manager of Caddo Farms LLC and managing partner of Buck Bay Timber, Ltd. and Dagwood Timber LP, received a B.S. in Agricultural Economics with honors from Texas A&M University in 1985. He serves on the Board of Regents of Stephen F. Austin University, a state university located in Nacogdoches, Texas, where he resides. He also serves as a director of the Texas Forestry Association, the Texas Agricultural Land Trust and the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, as trustee of the Texas Center for Legal Ethics, and as a member of the Executive Committees of the East Texas Regional Water Planning Group. Other current board memberships include Citizens 1st Bank, Heartbeat Pregnancy Center, and Regents Academy of Nacogdoches. He is also a board member and past president of the Nacogdoches County Farm Bureau, and vice president and past president of the Pineywoods Groundwater Conservation District. Prior board service includes the State Bar of Texas, the Nacogdoches Economic Development Corporation, the Heritage Land Bank Association, and he is also a past chairman of the board of the Texas Department of Rural Affairs.

Luke Jankovic

Luke Jankovic earned a B.A. from New Saint Andrews College, and serves as the Vice President of Higher Education at EMSI, where he has worked since 2006. He leads product development and data innovation, and he is responsible for the dual goal of EMSI’s vision for their higher education tools: to help students achieve their education and career goals, and to connect employers with talent.

Csaba Leidenfrost

Csaba Leidenfrost was born and raised in Liberia, West Africa. After obtaining a B.S. in Wildlife Resource Management from the University of Idaho in 1983, he and his wife joined the Wycliffe Bible Translators, who sent him to pursue graduate studies in linguistics and translation at the University of Washington and the University of Texas at Arlington. Assigned to work in Côte d’Ivoire, he and his wife studied French from 1985-1987 in France. From 1988 to 2004 they were based in a village in Côte d’Ivoire among the Bakwé people, where they raised their four children and studied the Bakwé language and culture. Csaba’s work has been central to Bakwé language documentation, and includes: working with Bakwé colleagues to analyze the sound system of the Bakwé language and develop a written language, publishing pedagogical materials for teaching adults to read and write, training teachers, publishing around 60 pieces of literature in the language (including Bakwé folktales, short stories, and health booklets), and translating the New Testament into Bakwé. After civil war broke out in Côte d’Ivoire, he began to work remotely to finish the Bakwé New Testament translation, with an average of two trips to Côte d’Ivoire each year. Csaba is a past chair of the Board of New Saint Andrews College.

Francis Foucachon

Francis Foucachon was born and raised in Lyon, France, where he trained to be a chef. After several years in that field in both France and Switzerland, he attended Reformed Theological Seminary in Aix-en-Provence, where he was part of a church-planting team which also helped start a French-speaking Christian school. After graduation he was ordained as a minister in the PCA, and planted a church in a suburb of Montreal. As Evangelism Explosion Director for Quebec, he taught numerous clinics all over the province. In 1995, Francis completed the course work in the Doctorate of Ministry program at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida, and was sent to Lyon, France, as a PCA church planter. During his ten years there as Team Leader, he founded the American School of Lyon, which was the first classical Christian school in Western Europe. Francis moved his family to Moscow, Idaho, to accompany their children as they attended New Saint Andrews College, where he opened the high-end French restaurant West of Paris, and authored the book Food For Thought. He returned to full-time ministry to the French-speaking world as founder and President of Huguenot Heritage with the goal of training francophone leaders worldwide, and works in partnership with Third Millennium Ministries as their French Project Coordinator to provide free biblical education through video seminary curriculum.

Carson Sensing III

Carson Sensing III received his B.B.A. in Business from the University of Mississippi, then spent a year working at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, as an intern for Reformed University Fellowship. He returned to his native Nashville to work in his family’s construction products business, where he began in the shop, then progressed through sales, branch management, and purchasing; he eventually became president. Carson helped start a classical Christian school where he served as headmaster for two years, and also assisted in a church plant before his move to Moscow, Idaho. Carson has served on the board of: The Classical Academy in Franklin, Tennessee, The Nashville Area Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, The Slavic Reformation Society, Highlands Ministry, and ENCO Materials, Inc. He has been a member of three church diaconate boards during the last 20 years.

CARLOS PLIEGO earned his degree from the School of Communications at Anahuac University in Mexico City in 1985. During 1982, he also studied abroad at the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University. For two years after his graduation from Anahuac, Carlos worked at the Surety company, Americana de Fianzas, in Mexico City, after which he was employed at an Insurance agency, Orozco Rubio y Asociados. From 1995 to the present, he has been with the Insurance and Surety Broker “Intertec” as a Partner and Surety VP. He is a member of the Mexican Association of Insurance and Surety Agents (AMASFAC), the National Association of Surety Bond Producers, Surety Alliance, International Surety Brokers Alliance, and the Risk and Insurance Management Society.

Jess Monnette

Jess Monnette spent a year abroad studying at the Bodenseehof Bible School in Friedrichshafen, Germany, then returned to the US and earned a B.A. with honor from New Saint Andrews College, where he received an Outstanding Student award in 2006. He went on to obtain a Master of Laws: LL.M in Taxation from the University of Washington School of Law, after his Juris Doctor: Business & Transactional Law Track from Regent University School of Law, where he received many honors in tax and negotiation competitions sponsored by the American Bar Association. He is a member of the Washington State Bar Association (with Section Memberships in the Business Law Section, the Real Property Probate and Trust Section, and the Taxation Section), the Idaho State Bar Association, and the Chelan-Douglas County Bar Association. He serves as President of the North Central Washington Estate Planning Council, and is a partner in the law firm of Monnette & Crawley, P.S.

He has a long history of public service, both in college and during law school, and received the 2017 Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award from the Chelan-Douglas County Volunteer Attorney Services, primarily for his work at the Housing Justice Project and Mission Vista. He is also a member of the Board (currently serving as Secretary, and a permanent member of the Finance Committee) of Mission Vista, a non-profit organization that assists developmentally disabled adults live full and independent lives.

Arnold Abens

Arnold Abens received a B.A. degree from Bethel University in 1983 and did graduate work at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he later served on the Trinity Foundation board. He is CEO and President of Abens Financial Services, Inc., and the manager of Water’s Edge Farm. He serves as the current Chairman of the Minnesota Family Institute, and a past Chairman and current board member of the Minnesota Family Council. Mr. Abens is Chairman of the Compensation Committee and board member for American Investors Bank and Mortgage. He is an owner and board member of National Flooring Equipment, and of New Perspective Senior Living and Economic Development Corporation (EDC). He is Chairman and a board member of Prime Professional Association. Past board service includes the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, SD Sports and Entertainment, Royal Alliance, Stages Theater, Silica, and membership in the Freedom Club. He serves as an elder for Christ Church Twin Cities.

Israel Waitman

Israel Waitman has worked in the oil and gas industry, the retail trade, and the real estate market over the past twenty-three years; his degree is in Golf Course Management from Mundus Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. He is cofounder and owner of PDC Logic, GIS Holdings, and Hyper Energy Services. PDC Logic is the largest privately held drill bit company in the United States. GIS Holdings is a real estate development and investment company with properties in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado. Hyper Energy Services is a water management company serving the hydraulic fracturing industry in the U.S. and Canada. Israel currently serves as an elder at Providence Reformed Church in Grand Junction, Colorado, and is a co-founder and board member of Grace Home, a maternity home ministry in Blanchard, Oklahoma.

Mike Church

Mike Church attained his B.A. from New Saint Andrews College in 2007. During his senior year at NSA, Mike started working in business development at EMSI, and after graduation he became their top salesman. His five years there saw EMSI claim a spot in the Inc 500, and he led the launch of EMSI’s first international software product in the UK. He is now with Key Properties of Moscow, Idaho as a licensed real estate broker, and is a member of the Latah County Board of Realtors as well as both the National and the Idaho State Association of Realtors. He is a Partner in and Property Manager for Jackson Street, LLC, and in 2015 he launched Northgate Homes, a homebuilding company. Mike serves as a deacon at Christ Church, a Board member for Collegiate Reformed Fellowship, and a founding Board member of Homestead Ministries, which is a Christian organization that provides meals for the hungry throughout the Northwest.

Douglas Wilson

Douglas Wilson served in the submarine service of the U.S. Navy, then earned two B.A. degrees, one in Philosophy and one in Classical Studies, plus an M.A. in Philosophy; all three of his degrees were granted by the University of Idaho. He has been an Instructor at both the University of Idaho and Lewis & Clark State College, and is currently a Senior Fellow at New Saint Andrews College, where he has taught since its inception without compensation. At NSA he has taught Greek, Latin, Theology, Rhetoric, and various electives, and he currently serves as Director of the MA program. He has also taught many classes at Logos School, a classical Christian school in Moscow, Idaho, which he helped found. He has served Christ Church, Moscow, as a pastor since 1977, and under his leadership it has founded New Saint Andrews College, Canon Press publishing house, the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches, and many mission churches around the US and internationally.

He has authored almost eighty books for a dozen different publishing houses on a variety of educational and devotional topics, such as Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning, published by Crossway Books in 1991, a book which contributed to the creation of the Association of Classical Christian Schools (ACCS). He has also co-authored, contributed to, or edited another two dozen works, including several textbooks. He has been featured in two documentaries, and writes prolifically online at diverse sites which range from The Gospel Coalition to The Huffington Post. His articles, columns, and book reviews have appeared in numerous print publications, and his novel Evangellyfish received Christianity Today’s 2012 Best Fiction award.

He is a Board member for Logos School, and sits on the National Advisory Board of ACCS.


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