accreditation commission members

Dr. James Flanagan
Commission Chairman

President, Luther Rice College and Seminary

Ph.D., M.Div., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; M.Div., Liberty University; B.S., Southern Illinois University

Dr. Flanagan was raised in Southern Illinois where, at the age of nine, he was saved and at twenty-five surrendered to the ministry.

Beginning in 1982 he served on the faculty of Luther Rice University, Lithonia, GA.

In 1985 he became the Vice President of Academic Affairs and served in that capacity until 1993 when he was named Interim President and Chief Executive Officer.

In 1994 Dr. Flanagan became the fourth President of Luther Rice Seminary and University.

He has served as a staff member at various churches in Texas and pastored Colonial Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL.

He and his wife, Ruth, reside in Conyers, GA. They have two sons, Jared and Timothy, and one grandson, Noah.

Dr. Benson Karanja
Commission Vice-Chairman

President, Beulah Heights University

Ed.D., M.L.S., Clark Atlanta University; M.B.A., Brenau University; B.A., Beulah Heights Bible College

An immigrant from Kenya, East Africa, Benson M. Karanja attended Beulah Heights Bible College in 1987. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree, he continued his education at Brenau University, receiving a Master of Business Administration. He furthered his studies at Clark Atlanta University earning both a Master of Library Science and a Doctorate in Education degrees.

In 2004, Dr. Karanja became President of Beulah Heights University, making him the first African immigrant to become President of an American college. Under his tutelage, Beulah Heights University has become a multicultural institution whose students represent over 45 countries.

Dr. Karanja is a servant for meaningful change. He acts as a mentor to migrant ethnic leaders in an effort to close the cultural gap introducing them to Christian leaders and business people in the United States.

His global non-profit organization, the African Resource Group (ARG) strives to promote and encourage mutually beneficial partnerships in the nation of Kenya based on leadership, integrity, transfer of skills and knowledge, and ethics. He also founded African Resource Foundation (ARF) with a mission to equip and develop leaders in an effort to create sustainable entrepreneurial opportunities. He has served on the East African Business council linking American business people with business and investment opportunities in East Africa.

As coordinator of the Association of African Consortium Theological Studies (AACTS), Dr. Karanja has been instrumental in uniting 16 professionals from Kenya and increasing their understanding of the power of partnership. Dr. Karanja is a distinguished member of several boards including Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), Calvary Leadership Institute, Gospel Magazine, AFG, ARG, and Moi African Institute. He was honored with a Head of State Commendation from the President of the Republic of Kenya and for his outstanding humanitarian effort by the Georgia House of Representatives.

Dr. Gary Weier
Commission Treasurer

Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Bob Jones University

Ph.D., Rhetorical Studies, Purdue University; M.A., Speech Communication;, B.A., Speech Communication, Bob Jones University

Dr. Beth Ashburn

Provost, Piedmont International University

Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Greensboro; M.A., University
of North Carolina at Greensboro; BRE, Piedmont Bible College

Before assuming her current role as provost of Piedmont Baptist College and Graduate School she served as the Chair of the General Education Division and as the Dean of Academics. Her love of teaching began during her years as a High School English teacher and has grown into a strong commitment to excellence in Christian Higher Education. Her career has included several opportunities to teach internationally.

Dr. Ashburn and her husband Cliff have three sons and two granddaughters and are happy to be a part of the local church ministry of the Salem Baptist Church of Winston-Salem, NC.

Dr. Michael J. Adams

President, Faith Evangelical College and Seminary

D.Min., Claremont School of Theology; M.Div., Regent College; B.S., University of Oregon

Dr. Adams was called into the pastorate in 1978 and served in full-time Christian ministry for ten years before joining the Faith Evangelical Seminary. He has been with the seminary in various capacities since 1988 including: Professor of Applied Theology, Academic Dean, and Executive Vice-president.

In addition to his seminary and commission duties, he functions as the Executive Director of Polynesian Missions, an organization dedicated to the advancement of the gospel in the Kingdom of Tonga and the South Pacific. He has served as a commission member of TRACS (Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools) since 2004.

As a guest lecturer and expository preacher committed to the inerrant Word of God, he travels throughout the United States serving the conservative, evangelical community of faith. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the United States Supreme Court Historical Society.

Dr. Adams and Kimberly, his wife of 34 years, have two married daughters: Alison and Lindsey.

Dr. Matthew Beemer

Senior Vice President, Trinity Baptist College

Ph.D., Louisiana State University; M.A., B.S., Pensacola Christian College

Dr. Beemer was raised in a Christian home in southern Michigan where he accepted Christ as his savior at 13.

He attended Pensacola Christian College completing a B.S in Computer Science and a Master of Arts in Interpretative Speech. He completed a Ph.D. in Speech Communications at Louisiana State University.

Dr. Beemer served at Pensacola Christian College as Dean of Communicative Arts (1988-1995) and then as Vice President for Academic Affairs (1995-2006).

Dr. William Bowden

Retired Educator

Post-Doctoral Studies, University of Edinburg and University of Michigan; Ph.D., M.A., University of Tulsa; Ph.D., M.A., Southern Nazarene University; B.A., Southern College

Dr. Kathy C. Franklin

President, Virginia University of Lynchburg

Ph.D., Union Institute and University; L.H.D., Virginia University of Lynchburg; M.Ed. Lynchburg College; B.S., Virginia State

Mr. Jeffrey Froehle


B.A., Purdue University

Jeffrey Froehle, a native of Dayton, OH, attended Purdue University where he graduated with a B.S. in Agriculture with a major in Entomology in 1964.

Mr. Froehle entered the U.S. Air Force in 1964 where he served as a Special Agent in the Office of Special Investigations until concluding service in April 1969. After leaving the service, he became a management trainee at Van Dyne-Crotty, Inc., a Dayton, OH based industrial laundry company. In December 1971 he left to accept a position as a staff accountant at Alexander Grant & Co., now Grant Thornton, an international accounting firm.

While working with Grant Thornton & Co., Mr. Froehle concluded his studies at the University of Cincinnati for the additional courses necessary to sit for the unified C.P.A. exam, which he passed in 1973. Jeffrey Froehle started his own CPA firm in Springboro, OH in 1977 where he was led to the Lord and accepted Jesus Christ as his savior. During this period, Mr. Froehle was introduced to TRACS and some of its member institutions.

In 2005, Mr. Froehle merged his practice with a CPA firm in Savannah, GA, Deemer, Dana & Froehle, LLP where he has since then retired. He currently resides in Savannah, GA. Following his retirement, Mr. Froehle has served on various TRACS team visits and recently accepted a position as Treasurer with a group who wishes to establish a Christian-based charter school in the Savannah area.

Dr. Kizuwanda Grant

Vice President of Academic Affairs, Paul Quinn College

Ph. D., University of North Texas; M. S., Columbia University;        B. S., Grambling State University

Dr. Scott Henderson

Associate Professor of Philosophy and Apologetics; Apologetics Program Coordinator, Luther Rice College and Seminary

Ph.D., Duquesne University; M.A., Franciscan University of Steubenville; M.A.A., Southern Evangelical Seminary; B.A., Florida Bible College

Dr. Henderson joined Luther Rice College and Seminary’s faculty in the fall of 2008.  He teaches courses in apologetics, philosophy and ethics.  Dr. Henderson has spoken on numerous topics in apologetics, philosophy, and bioethics at various venues and was a contributor to Norman Geisler's Baker's Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics and Josh McDowell's The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict.  Moreover, Dr. Henderson has served in hospitals in Ohio and Pennsylvania as an in-service lecturer and policy writer and was an adviser and research assistant for the start of Franciscan University's Institute of Bioethics in Steubenville, OH.  He has also lectured at LCC International University in Klaipeda, Lithuania and at the Ewangelikalna Wyzsza Szkola Teologiczna in Wroclaw, Poland.

Scott holds degrees in Biblical Education, Apologetics, Philosophy, and Bioethics as well as professional memberships with the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity, the International Society of Christian Apologetics, and the Evangelical Philosophical Society, each at which he has presented conference papers.  His research interests include issues in apologetics, ethical issues with the end-of-life, defining death, and organ transplantation.  His latest book, Death and Donation: Rethinking Brain Death as a Means for Procuring Transplantable Organs, was published by Pickwick Publications in 2011.  He, his wife Kathy, and their four children currently reside in Cumming, GA.

Dr. Gordon R. Middleton, Col (USAF, Ret.)

Director, Stategic Intelligence Program, Patrick Henry College

D.S.L., Regent University; M.P.A., University of Alabama, Montgomery; M.S., Colorado State University; B.S., United States Air Force Academy

Dr. Middleton became the Director of the Strategic Intelligence Program at Patrick Henry College, Purcellville, VA, in July 2004. Dr. Middleton teaches upper division PHC courses on US Intelligence History; Intelligence Research and Analytic Methods; and Strategic Intelligence Special Projects. He previously taught undergraduate leadership for two years at Valley Forge Christian College, Woodbridge Campus, VA. Dr. Middleton has also been the coach of the Women’s Basketball Team at Patrick Henry College.

Dr. Middleton served as Director of Analysis, Business and Engineering Systems Corporation, a position he held June 2007-June 2014.  In that position he manages analysis efforts to BESC clients in government and commercial organizations for intelligence and business applications.  He provides senior consulting services to intelligence executives, particularly in support of major organizational change and transformation. This leverages his 40-plus years of professional experience, including analysis of options to meet future Intelligence Community needs in alternative scenarios, developing new operational concepts targeted at large, unstructured data, and leadership roles in multiple government task forces and in-depth studies for senior national security decision makers. 

Prior to this, Dr. Middleton served in senior positions in the NRO, US Air Force, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, FBI, CIA, and NSA. He is a certified Program Manager (DoD, Level III). He is a military veteran with over 28 years of commissioned service. He retired in the grade of Colonel from the U.S. Air Force in 1997. Dr. Middleton holds numerous military decorations, and graduated in the top 10% of his class at the US Air Force Academy. He was also recognized as a licensed minister with the Assemblies of God, 1981-1986, while serving in various teaching, music and other leadership positions.

Dr. David Pak

President, Ivy Christian College

Research Fellow, Liverpool University in England, Andrew F. Walls Research Center; Post Graduate Studies, University of Texas at Arlington and George Washington University; Ph.D. (Hon.), Concordia Theological Seminary and Ivy Christian College; D.Min., Th.M., M.Div., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; M.E., Kyung-Hee University; B.S., Arlington Baptist College; B.E., Kwang Woon University; A.E., National Kyung Sang University

Dr. Pak was raised in South Korea where, at the age of twelve, he was saved, and at the twenty-nine, surrendered to the ministry.

In 2004 he co-founded Ivy Christian College, Fairfax, VA, and began serving as president of the college.

He helped plant two churches: Grace Baptist Church of Arlington, TX, and Grace Baptist Church of Tustin/Irvine, CA.

He and his wife, Grace, reside in Ashburn, VA. They have two daughters, Hannah and Sarah, and two grandchildren, Samuel and Esther.

Dr. Constance Pearson

Professor of Education and Department Chair, Liberty University

Ed.D., University of Tennessee; M.S.E., Illinois State University; B.A., Tennessee Temple College

Dr. Pearson’s teaching ministry began with several years in K-12, both in Christian and public schools. God then allowed her to serve for more than thirty-two years at Tennessee Temple University, ministering in the School of Education, and for some years she was the Vice President for Academics. In 2003, she and her husband, Ted, left Chattanooga and served for a short time with ACE and the Christian Law Association in Largo, FL. They left there and moved to Lynchburg, VA, in 2004, for her to teach in Liberty University’s Graduate School of Education and then serve as the Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness, before returning to the Chattanooga area in June 2006. There she served as a PreK-12 private school principal for two years.  Beginning in the summer of 2008, she joined Liberty University again full-time, externally, serving as the School of Education’s Department Chair for Online Education.  She continues to teach in their online graduate program. 

The Pearsons now reside in Southwest Florida, just below St. Petersburg, where they share a large “multi-generation” home with one of their sons and his little girls. Dr. Pearson has been married to her husband, Ted, for more than 43 years.  They have two grown sons, Mark and Jay, and four grandchildren.

Mr. Harry Schmidt

President, Christian Life College

Graduate Studies, Olivet-Nazarene University, King's University; B.Th., Chicago Bible College (Christian Life College)

Rev. Harry Schmidt is President of Christian Life College.  Pastor Schmidt graduated from Chicago Bible College (now Christian Life College) in 1972 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology, and has supplemented his education at Olivet Nazarene University and King’s Seminary.

In 1972, Pastor Schmidt was ordained into the ministry and  began serving as Senior Pastor at Gateway Church in Momence, Illinois.  Following a successful pastorate there, he followed the leading of the Lord in 1983 to become Associate Pastor at Christian Life Church in Mr. Prospect, Illinois.

He serves as a member in the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies, and as First Vice President for the Full Gospel Fellowship.  He is the director of Ascension Convention, the outstanding youth convention held every Easter Week since the mid-1980s.  He is also Chairman of Mission Possible Foundation, an outstanding foreign missions support ministry.

Pastor Schmidt has an unmistakable calling in support of missions works.  His work with Mission Possible, along with his work for the college, has sent him across the nation and around the world in service to the Lord.  He has distinguished himself in leadership training, having guided many into becoming leaders of excellence.  He has ministered in 54 countries. 

Pastor Schmidt was called into the ministry at age 12, and began actively preaching at the age of 14.  He and wife Donna were married in 1977, and they have a young adult daughter, Jennifer.  Pastor Schmidt is frequently requested as a special speaker.  His work overseas is a sought-after sermon topic, and he is excited and enthusiastic about sharing his experiences from the works of God’s hand.


Dr. Troy Shoemaker

President, Pensacola Christian College

Ed.D., Pensacola Christian College; Ed.S., University of West Florida; M.S., Pensacola Christian College; B.S., Pensacola Christian College

Recommended by PCC's first president and approved unanimously by the Board of Directors, Dr. Troy Shoemaker became the second president of Pensacola Christian College on May 10, 2012. His preparation for the presidency included several years of personal mentorship from the founders, focusing on the biblical, philosophical, and educational foundations of Pensacola Christian College's mission and purpose.

Prior to becoming PCC's second president, Dr. Shoemaker had already proved to be a highly effective administrative and educational leader, with 25 years of diverse experience. Most recently, as PCC academic vice president and dean of graduate studies, he led in pursuing institutional accreditation and in developing online resources for faculty and students. His previous experience as administrator, principal, teacher, and coach at Pensacola Christian Academy developed his heart for education and his leadership abilities. His role as principal of A Beka Academy gave him unique insight in helping homeschool students excel academically. Experience in curriculum guidance and editorial work for A Beka Book has resulted in his passion for practical, effective learning.

Dr. Shoemaker's education includes a bachelor's degree in secondary education in 1989, a master's degree in educational administration in 1994, and a doctorate in education from Pensacola Christian College in 2007. He also earned an education specialist degree from the University of West Florida in 2001.

Dr. Barkev Trachian
Chair of the Nominating Committee

Vice President for Advancement, Piedmont International University

Ph.D., M.A., Bob Jones University; B.A., The American University of Beirut

Dr. Trachian was born in Aleppo, Syria of Armenian missionary parents. Being saved at the age of seven gave him an early experience of the mission field.

After attending the American University of Beirut on a Rockefeller Scholarship and earning a B.A. in English, he enrolled at Bob Jones University (BJU), where he earned an M.A. in Christian Education and a Ph.D. in Church Administration. Dr. Trachian completed College Board Institutes at the University of North Carolina and at Harvard University. He was licensed to preach and ordained as a deacon at Highland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Currently, he serves as a deacon at Salem Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Dr. Trachian has served as Registrar and Academic Dean at Faithway Baptist College and at Baptist University of America as well as Dean of Men and Registrar at Tennessee Temple University. He served as President of Temple Baptist Seminary for twelve years. He has been a member of the Georgia Governor's Committee on Private Post-Secondary Education and a member and interim chair of Tennessee Higher Education Commission. Currently he serves as chair of the Nominating Committee of the TRACS Accreditation Commission.

Dr. Trachian's papers and published articles include "Contemporary Theological Issues," a paper presented at the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches National Convention, June 2010; "Is Change Biblical?" VOICE (March/ April 2008) 15-18; "An analysis of the Traditional Seminary Curriculum," and a paper presented at the Bible Faculty Leadership Summit, August 2000. Dr. Trachian is the editor of Aletheias, a journal of Piedmont Baptist Graduate School.

While studying at BJU, Dr. Trachian met and married Paulette Mullis, a professor of Home Economics with a B.S. from BJU and an M.S. from Virginia Tech. His primary hobby is playing the violin. The Trachian's have four children and seven grandchildren.

Dr. Christian Wei

President, EUCON International University

Ph.D. in Theology, Bob Jones University; M.A. in Theology, Bob Jones University; B.Th. in Theology, Orient Fundamental Bible College; B.A. in History, National Chung-Hsing University

Dr. Wei completed his B.A. in History in 1986 at National Chung-Hsing University where he also received the "Golden Key" award, an award received by the top student.

He has founded several churches, ministries, and schools. Several include Chinese Bible Church in Greenville, SC; Christian Bible Church in Saipan; Christian Bible Church of Greenville; Christian Way Missions; EUCON International College; and EUCON International.