A week after Bethlehem College and Seminary announced that Dr. Joe Rigney had resigned as its president, New Saint Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho, has announced that Rigney will be joining its faculty as a Fellow of Theology.
As Rigney transitions from Minnesota to Idaho, he is exchanging one academic institution closely tied to the personality of a high profile evangelical leader for another.
Bethlehem College and Seminary was birthed out of Bethlehem Baptist Church, where author John Piper was the longtime pastor. Piper also serves as the school’s chancellor. Conversely, New Saint Andrews College was founded by Christ Church, which is pastored by Douglas Wilson, and Wilson serves as a faculty member at the school.
In addition to his Ph.D., Rigney holds master’s degrees from both schools. He has served as a guest speaker at New Saint Andrews on more than one occasion and has made public appearances alongside Wilson, including in a now-infamous video where the two discuss the so-called “sin of empathy.”
“New Saint Andrews College is pleased to announce that Dr. Joe Rigney will be joining the faculty as a Fellow of Theology,” New Saint Andrews said in a press release. “He is a seasoned pastor and scholar.”
New Saint Andrews College, which boasts that it has been “saving civilization since 1994,” is part of a larger vision set forth by Wilson and Christ Church to turn Moscow into a “Christian town.”
Congregants at Christ Church constitute roughly 4% of Moscow’s population.
The church also has an affiliated publisher, Canon Press, which has published titles such as “The Case for Christian Nationalism,” “Get the Girl: How to Be the Kind of Man the Kind of Woman You Want to Marry Would Want to Marry,” and “Slaying Leviathan: Limited Government and Resistance in the Christian Tradition.” Canon Press also offers a variety of video and audio resources via its streaming service, Canon+.
Wilson’s advocacy for theocracy has made him a controversial character, as has his self-identification as a “paleo-Confederate” and defense of the institution of antebellum slavery.
Abuse survivor advocates have also raised concerns about the church and school for their vision for patriarchal gender roles, which many feel creates a culture of abuse. In 2021, Vice Media published an article detailing the stories of former church members who claimed that church and school leaders compelled abuse survivors to submit to their abusive husbands.