President's Page - New Saint Andrews College

Education Set Free

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 colleges that free. American colleges and universities are so dependent on federal money that they must bend and bow to every passing demand of a government that is increasingly hostile to religious liberty. Our graduates walk off the stage, not as free men and women, but as slaves to a 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. Our colleges and universities are far more adept at producing graduate in the bondage of sin rather than graduates who are free in Christ.

This is why I am so privileged to work at New Saint Andrews. NSA has always stood apart as a principled institution of Christian higher education and a leader in classical, Christian education. And her mission to graduate leaders who shape culture through wise and victorious Christian living is one of the most strategic causes to which a Christian man could give himself.

The founding board of NSA had tremendous foresight when they refused to take any federal money. And the early faculty and staff worked hard to craft a pedagogy that focuses on instilling the habits of lifelong Christian leadership. This is the legacy the board, the faculty, the staff, and the many graduates that sacrificed much in order to build this school. And this is why I am tremendously grateful to serve at this college.

More from Dr. Merkle


About Benjamin R. Merkle, D.Phil

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, having 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, a Master’s 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, and 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.

Contact Information: (208) 882-1566 | E-mail

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