MEET THE TEAM
Crown College President
Dr. Andrew Denton
As cultural trends and philosophical fads seem to be dominating this era in history, the need for Christian leaders—who are redeemed by Jesus Christ, deeply rooted in God’s Word, and empowered by the Holy Spirit—has never been greater. Crown College has been providing education and training that produces such leaders for more than 106 years. I am honored to serve as the 17th president of Crown as we continue to build upon the legacy of those that have gone before us.
When we live our lives in Christ, challenges foster a wonderful dependence upon Him. I see tremendous opportunities for growth ahead and believe that with the Lord’s help, Crown College will soar in this season. We have outstanding faculty and staff committed to integrating learning and faith in an environment that empowers and equips students to excel in their calling in any field. We have students who pursue an authentic walk with the Lord that informs their lives spiritually, academically, and socially. And we have alumni and friends around the world who support this institution with their prayers and gifts, investing in the next generation of leaders.
Whether you are a student considering Crown, a parent who seeks to partner with a college that will develop (and not destroy) the seeds of faith and knowledge you have sown into your son or daughter, or a graduate or friend of the college who wants to help launch high-impact leaders, I invite you to be part of the Crown family. Great days are ahead!
Dr. Andrew Denton
Dr. Andrew Denton became the 17th President of Crown College on July 1, 2021. His experience in executive leadership in higher education, business acumen, and devotion to Christ have equipped him to be a high-impact leader for the next chapter in Crown’s story.
Dr. Denton’s educational background includes:
- Ph.D., Higher Education Administration, St. Louis University
- MBA, Missouri State University
- B.S., Business Administration: Marketing and Management, Evangel University
Dr. Denton is an ordained minister in the Assemblies of God Fellowship. He served as Associate Pastor of Timbercreek Community Church in Springfield, Missouri, from 2002–2006 and as a Deacon and volunteer youth minister at River Valley Church for the past several years.
Dr. Denton’s family background has deep roots in missions and education. His parents were educators (father an elementary school principal and mother a second-grade teacher) in his hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. His paternal grandparents were career missionaries in the Philippines.
Dr. Denton’s career in higher education began after he graduated from college when he served as an Admission Counselor at Evangel University. Within two years, he was promoted to Director of Admissions—a role that changed his life’s course through a relationship with Dr. Robert Spence, Evangel’s president. Several years later, when Dr. Denton served as a vice president at Evangel, Dr. Spence shared that he believed Andrew Denton had a call on his life to be a college president. A few years later, his call was confirmed when during a personal prayer and fasting retreat, Dr. Denton sensed the Lord telling him he would one day be a college president. “I didn’t know when,” Dr. Denton said, “and I didn’t know where, but I knew the call had come, and I just held that in my heart.” As it turns out, it would be 12 years before that call would come. In the meantime, he committed to being faithful wherever the Lord placed him.
Roles in higher education
- North Central University, Executive Vice President, 2018–2021
- North Central University, Adjunct Professor, College of Business and Technology, 2019–2021
- North Central University, Vice President for University Relations, 2015–2018
- Bethel University, Vice President for Enrollment Management, 2013–2017
- Evangel University, Vice President for Enrollment Management, 2006–2013
- Evangel University, Director of Admissions, 2000–2002
- Evangel University, Admission Counselor, 1998–2000
Andrew and Linda Biffert Denton met in college and have been married for 24 years. Linda earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Evangel University and a Masters’s in Organization Leadership at Trevecca Nazarene University. She is a fitness trainer, serves as a women’s ministry leader who teaches and writes curriculum, and is a speaker at ministry events and retreats.
The Dentons and their three high school children, Lexie (senior), Ashlyn (junior), and Drew (freshman), enjoy actively participating together in church life, attending the sporting events and activities of each child, traveling, and serial-watching their favorite shows. Dr. Denton has shared that while his kids are still at home, their interests are his hobbies. The family’s recent adventures include trips to Mexico, New York, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Florida and New England.
Crown College has a dedicated and experienced team of professionals who oversee the College’s daily functions. We invite you to meet these leaders and learn about their backgrounds and interests.
Dr. Chris Mathews
VP of Academic Affairs
Dr. Fawn McCracken
Chief Online Learning Officer
As Associate Vice President and Dean of the Crown College School of Online Studies and Graduate School, Dr. Fawn McCracken is an experienced administrator and educator seeking to provide Christ-centered, academically excellent and innovative online education services.
Dr. McCracken has been a vital part of the College’s online and graduate school leadership team since October 2009. Since then, she has been responsible for developing and launching new degree programs, such as the Crown online MBA, M.A. Counseling and M.Div. programs, as well as overseeing the online curriculum and supervising all instructional aspects for the School of Online Studies and Graduate School.
Dedicating her life to advancing God’s kingdom through Christ-centered education, Fawn brings more than 25 years of experience in Christian education. Prior to joining Crown, Fawn was the secondary principal and educator at a regionally accredited K-12 Christian school. Dr. McCracken received her B.A. in Secondary Education at Nyack College, M.S. in School Counseling at Palm Beach Atlantic University and a Doctorate of Education in Distance Education/Online Learning at Regent University.
Fawn, her husband, Tom, and two daughters live on a hobby farm in Norwood Young America, southwest of Waconia.
You may contact Fawn at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 952-446-4336.
Chief of Staff and Communications
Jen Niska brings a wealth of experience in higher education, public affairs, and politics. In leadership roles at Bethel University, she served in online education, non-traditional student enrollment, and corporate relations. Jen worked as Chief of Staff for Weber Johnson Public Affairs and brings valuable expertise in legislation and public policy, including knowledge of lobbying and the legislative process. In her most recent role at North Central University, Jen served as Executive Director for Online Education. She was instrumental in bringing North Central courses online, with excellence, during the “pandemic pivot” of 2020. Jen’s diverse range of experience in higher education and elsewhere, combined with her ability to think strategically and creatively, makes her a powerful asset as she leads Crown’s marketing and communications efforts.
Jen is passionate about and deeply committed to the mission of Christian higher education. She has completed her coursework and is completing her dissertation for her Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership at Bethel University, holds an M.A. in Christian Leadership from Sioux Falls Seminary, and received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Sioux Falls. Jen’s goal is to lead well and provide opportunities for accessible, excellent, and affordable Christ-Centered education.
Jen and her husband, Harry, live in Ramsey, Minnesota, with their children Kaisa (15), Nathanael (13), and Jude (9).
Chief Operating Officer
As the VP for Enrollment and Administration at Crown College, Mike Price oversees all activities related to admissions, operations, facilities, IT, and business & finance.
Mike Price received his business undergraduate degree at Northwestern College and his MBA from Bethel University. Prior to Crown College Mike was Senior VP of Recruiting & Retention at Emerge Education. He has over 20 years of experience in enrollment management.
Mike served on the board for NACCAP (North American Coalition of Christian Admission Professionals) which served admission professionals across the county to help advance higher education.
Mike and his wife Kathy reside in Waconia, MN with their three kids, David, Mikayla, and Alayna.
The Christian and Missionary Alliance District Representatives
Members at Large
Rep. Jim Nash
- Minnesota House of Representatives – House District 47A
- Waconia, MN