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Dr. Charles Petitt


Charles PetittDr. Charles Petitt was born in Abingdon, Virginia and spent the first twelve years of his life on a dairy farm in Giles County, Virginia. During his teenage years, he lived on a farm in Pickens County, South Carolina and graduated from Easley Christian School. Dr. Petitt went on to receive his Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Baptist University of America in 1985. He and his wife, Dawn Watson of Bedford County, Virginia have ministered together all of their married lives (since 1981).  Throughout their college careers and for over a decade after, the Petitts were highly involved in church planting in southwest Atlanta and then as missionaries to the West Indies, where God used them to plant a successful work that is now multiplying itself. Currently, Mrs. Petitt spends much of her time travelling with her husband as he visits churches and schools across the country.  They have two daughters and reside in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Dr. Petitt’s interest in training and empowering nationals led him to pursue graduate studies at Bob Jones University. In recognition of his ministry accomplishments, Temple Baptist Seminary awarded him with a Doctor of Divinity degree in 2002. 

Dr. Petitt was inaugurated as the fifth President of Piedmont International University in November 2002. The good hand of God has been evident under Dr. Petitt’s leadership at Piedmont as overall enrollment has doubled. In the 2010-2011 academic year, Piedmont enjoyed the largest enrollment in its history with 519 total students.  Along with several campus upgrades that have been accomplished under his leadership, Dr. Petitt oversaw an articulation agreement with High Point University, which allows Piedmont education majors earn North Carolina State Teacher Licensure in five years, as well as the merger with Spurgeon Baptist Bible College of Mulberry, Florida, which resulted in the creation of Piedmont’s Spurgeon School of Online Education in 2004.

Dr. Petitt’s strong initiative has afforded Piedmont the opportunity to witness the accreditation of two international branch campuses, the launch of a number of new undergraduate and graduate degree programs, the implementation of a Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies offered online in Spanish, and the successful launch of Piedmont’s Chaplaincy and PhD programs.  Several strategic efforts and agreements with Christian colleges have been realized as well.

Dr. Petitt is a visionary with motivation and energy to accomplish what is needed for the furtherance of the Gospel. He is a gifted speaker who has preached in numerous universities, colleges, schools and churches across America and on five continents. He has also been the keynote speaker for various national and international conferences and conventions. 

Email: petittc@PiedmontU.edu


Dr. Beth Ashburn


 Dr. Beth Ashburn was born in Geneva, Illinois on October 5, 1954 and spent her childhood years in Burlington, New Jersey. She is daughter to Dr. Don and Catherine (Demarest) Drake and has one brother and two sisters. After growing up in Burlington, New Jersey, Beth and her family moved to Winston‐Salem, North Carolina in 1967 when Dr. Drake served on the staff of ABWE and then at Piedmont. He was inaugurated as third president of Piedmont in 1970.

The Drake family has built a heritage at Piedmont. All of the Drake children attended Piedmont for their undergraduate studies. Now, Beth’s three sons, Brian, David and Zachary and all but one (who is too young at present) of her nieces and nephews have or are attending Piedmont as well. David is a graduate of the Missionary Aviation Program and Brian, a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, plans to graduate in May 2012 with his Master of Ministry degree.

Dr. Ashburn graduated from what was then Piedmont Bible College in 1976 and married Cliff Leo Ashburn, Jr. in June of that year. Cliff served with the College for several years and recently retired from Volvo Information Technology, North America. Beth began teaching at Piedmont in 1982 and went on to earn her MA in English in 1985 and her PhD in English (Rhetoric and Composition) in 1996, both from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Beth has filled many shoes during her tenure at Piedmont. Her career began as a professor and has evolved into Chairperson of the General Education Division, Dean of Academics, Vice President of Academics and, since 2009, Provost. She currently serves as a member of the TRACS Commission and is a regular workshop presenter for TRACS and ACSI as well as other organizations. Beth is a strong student and teacher of the Word of God and her ladies’ Bible meetings are always profitable. She also is known for her infectious passion for excellence in all areas of her life.

Dr. Ashburn is a longtime member of Salem Baptist Church in Winston‐Salem. She and her husband currently serve as leaders in the church’s Career Class for Singles.

Email: ashburnb@PiedmontU.edu  


Dr. Barkev Trachian

Vice President for Advancement

Being born in Aleppo, Syria, of Armenian missionary parents and being saved at the age of seven gave Dr. Trachian a very early experience of the mission field.  After attending the American University of Beirut on a Rockefeller scholarship and earning a B.A. degree in English, he enrolled at Bob Jones University, where he earned an M.A. degree in Christian Education and a Ph. D. degree in Church Administration. He has also received College Board Certificates from Institutes at Harvard University and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While at BJU, Dr. Trachian met and married Paulette Mullis, a professor of Home Economics with a B.S. degree from BJU and an M. S. degree from Virginia Tech.

Dr. Trachian has served as Registrar and Academic Dean at Faithway Baptist College in Memphis, Michigan and at Baptist University of America in Decatur, Georgia, as well as Dean of Men and Registrar at Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He served as President of Temple Baptist Seminary in Chattanooga, Tennessee for twelve years.  He has served as a member of the Georgia Governor’s Committee on Private Post-Secondary Education and as a member and interim Chair of Tennessee Higher Education Commission.  He currently serves as a member of the TRACS Accreditation Commission.

Dr. Trachian was licensed to preach the Gospel and ordained as a deacon at Highland Park Baptist Church.  He currently serves as a deacon at Salem Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  His primary hobby is playing the violin. The Trachian's have four children and seven grandchildren. Dr. Trachian enjoys promoting PIU and investing in men and women with a passion for God’s work.

Email: trachianb@piedmontu.edu