Charles Petitt Dr. Charles Petitt


In the 1980’s Charles and Dawn Petitt planted a multi-cultural church in Atlanta, GA. They then lived for a decade in the West Indies where a church planting movement was initiated and key national leaders were trained. In 2002 Dr. Petitt was inaugurated as the president of Piedmont International University in Winston Salem, NC. Under his leadership the University has enjoyed enrollment growth of over 250%, added a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, and launched numerous online education and hybrid options. Students have enrolled from over eighty countries and from all fifty states.

Significant accomplishments during his tenure at Piedmont include renovations in every building on campus, the development of a long-term articulation agreement with High Point University (allowing Piedmont education majors to earn North Carolina State Teacher Licensure), the establishment and accreditation of two international branch campuses, implementation of a Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies delivered entirely online in Spanish, the successful launch of Piedmont’s Chaplaincy and Ph.D. programs, the launch of a seminary with M.Div. and D.Min. options, the creation of the church-based e4-12 program, and negotiations with three sister universities that led to their mergers with Piedmont (Spurgeon Baptist Bible College, Atlantic Baptist Bible College, and Tennessee Temple University). Networking has continued to be a key focus, and numerous partnerships have been developed with key churches, ministries and organizations across the United States and around the world.

Dr. Petitt is in demand as a conference and church speaker across the country and around the world. He has preached keynote messages in numerous national and international conferences, has spoken on five continents in churches of all sizes and has inspired students by speaking at commencement services for many universities, colleges, and high schools. Anyone interested in having Dr. Petitt speak should contact his Executive Administrative Assistant, Stephanie McKay at 336.714.7993 or at  



Dr. Beth Ashburn

Dr. Beth Ashburn has spent more time at Piedmont than any other person. As a young girl her family moved to Winston in 1967 and her father was inaugurated as president of Piedmont in 1970.  Her love for Piedmont began at an early age and has only grown over the years.

In 2009 Dr Ashburn became Provost and under her direction new academic programs have been added, the online school developed, the merge with Tennessee Temple took place and the school of leadership added. It is her goal to always maintain academic excellence and prepare the students well for effective ministry.

Beth graduated from what was then Piedmont Bible College in 1976 and married Cliff Leo Ashburn, Jr. immediately after graduation. She 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. 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 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.



Vice President, Temple Baptist Seminary

Dr. Barkev Trachian

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.


Vice President,

Dr Byron Edens

Dr. Byron Edens, Vice President of Piedmont International University, has over 38 years of experience in pastoral ministry spanning 11 different churches.  He also holds the position of Associate Professor and has taught for over 16 years in the disciplines of Expository Preaching, Evangelism, Pastoral Ministry, Law Enforcement Chaplaincy, Computer Technology and Business. Dr. Edens previously served as Executive Vice President of Tennessee Temple University before coming to Piedmont through the recent merger. He also serves as the Chief Police Chaplain of Holly Springs Police Department in Holly Springs, Georgia. 

Dr. Edens is a native of West Columbia, S.C. where he grew up and was licensed and ordained to ministry at Northside Baptist Church, West Columbia, SC. After graduating from Brooklyn-Cayce High School, he began his college education. He graduated with his Associates Degree from Midlands Technical College in 1979. He transferred to the University of South Carolina at Columbia and completed an Associate Degree in Commercial Education in 1982 and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Religion and Psychology in 1984. He completed his seminary education at New Orleans Baptist Seminary earning a Master of Divinity in 2001 and a Doctor of Ministry Degree in Expository Preaching in 2012. He completed further post graduate work at Walden University in Computer Information Systems and additionally is completing a Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership from Piedmont International University.

Dr. Edens is married to the former Theresa Ann Wilson of Miami, who received her Associate and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Christian Education from NOBTS and is completing her Masters Degree from NOBTS and her Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership from Piedmont International University.  They have two children, Danielle and Philip which are a part of their ministry.

Byron’s ministry of preaching and evangelism has allowed him to share the gospel in South East Asia, the Holy Lands, Israel, Jerusalem, Judea, Greece, Moldova, India, Africa, Russia, Cambodia, Japan, North and South Vietnam, Jamaica, Mexico, Dominican Republic and many other countries. He has a heart and passion to reach the people that Jesus challenged each of us to reach in all walks of life, especially to those underprivileged of the world and give them an opportunity to gain a Christian education. There is an old saying, “Man’s flight through life is sustained by the power of his knowledge!” Without the knowledge of Christ, the world is lost. The Edens challenge is, “we must reach the world for Jesus!”

Executive Director of Enrollment Management

Mrs. Lynn Brady


Lynn Brady came to Piedmont in August of 2015.


Chief Financial Officer

Chris Ronk


After graduating from Virginia Tech in 2000, Mr. Ronk accepted a full-time position at Piedmont International University where he served nine years as Piedmon's Controller and Director of Business. While at Piedmont, he met the love of his life, Heather Nelson (a 3rd generation Piedmont alumnus) and was married in 2005. In 2009, the Ronks moved to Northwest Arkansas to assist in a new church plant. While living in Arkansas, Mr. Ronk rejoined the Piedmont family full-time in 2012 as the Director of Operations and CFO. The Ronks now live in Roanoke, VA where they are raising two wonderful boys, Ben and Daniel. Mr. Ronk continues to serve remotely from this location and visits the campus on a weekly basis.

In addition to his fulltime responsibilities at Piedmont, Mr. Ronk has served in various youth leadership roles for Salem Baptist Church (NC), LifeSpring Baptist Church (AR), and currently at Calvary Memorial Church (VA). He has also served as a board member for Baptists Equipping Nationals (NC) and Acts 2 Ministry (VA). Mr. Ronk regularly serves Piedmont’s accrediting agency (TRACS) as a Visiting Team Member during periodic reviews of other institutions.

Chris Ronk was born in Roanoke, VA where he spent the first twenty-four years of his life. It was at the age of seven that he first understood and believed that Christ had died in payment for his sins, and that His resurrection provided eternal life for those who believe. Several years later, however, Mr. Ronk began a period of foolish rebellion that stretched into his junior year of college. At that time, God faithfully and lovingly began to burden Mr. Ronk’s heart regarding the life that he was living and the emptiness that awaited him at the end of every day. He began attending a campus Bible study at Virginia Tech and eventually started driving back to his home church on Sundays where he was mentored and discipled by his childhood pastor. It wasn’t long before his church had him leading the youth program and serving in a variety of roles.

Mr. Ronk currently teaches online courses in Piedmont’s Management for Nonprofits program. He has also had the opportunity to teach as an adjunct professor in the M.A. Nonprofit Management program at High Point University as well as various business courses at Bryan College in Rogers, AR.