The liberal arts education is, to get a little etymological, the education of the liber, the free man. The education of a liberal arts college is meant to be freeing. But all around us we see colleges that enslave rather than free. American higher education is so dependent on federal money that it must bend and bow to every passing demand of a government that is increasingly hostile to religious liberty. Its graduates walk off the stage, not as free men and women, but as slaves to student loan debt that spirals ever upward. And they enter their professional lives, not as free men and women trained to serve as Christian leaders of culture, but rather as vocational hirelings.
At New Saint Andrews College, we desire to graduate students who are free intellectually as well as financially. NSA has always stood apart as a principled institution of Christian higher education and as a leader in classical, Christian education. Our early faculty and staff worked hard to craft a pedagogy that focuses on instilling the habits of lifelong Christian learning and leadership in our students, and their vision has continued faithfully to the present day. Further, over twenty-five years ago, the founding board demonstrated tremendous foresight when it refused to accept any form of federal or state government money or aid. As a result, NSA is in a more free position to serve God. For these reasons, I am tremendously grateful to serve as president of this college.
President, Fellow of Theology
D.Phil. in Oriental Studies, Oxford University, 2012
M.St. in Jewish Studies, Oxford University, 2007
M.A. in English Literature, University of Idaho, 2005
Additional Graduate Studies in Theology, Greyfriars Hall, 1998–2000
B.S. in Education (Secondary Education-Chemistry), University of Idaho, 1996
Fellow of Theology Dr. Ben Merkle is the college’s second president 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.
Dr. Merkle served as a lecturer at New Saint Andrews from 2000 until 2005, when he was promoted to fellow of theology. He has taught the freshman introductory theology course, Lordship Colloquium, as well as Hebrew. He has also team-taught Anglo-Saxon.
Dr. Merkle was promoted to the office of president in 2015.
He has served as a minister at Christ Church, Moscow. He previously served as a part-time campus minister with Collegiate Reformed Fellowship, a campus ministry of Christ Church.
Dr. Merkle is the author of The White Horse King: The Life of Alfred the Great (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2009) and Defending the Trinity in the Reformed Palatinate: The Elohistae (Oxford University Press 2015). He is a contributing editor and former managing editor of the periodical Credenda/Agenda.
He and wife Bekah (B.A., 1998), the first graduate of New Saint Andrews, have five children.
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