Antietam Bible College opened its doors September 13, 1976, with Dr. William H. Freed, Jr. as Founder and President, and under the sponsorship of the Broadfording Bible Brethren Church. The college was founded to train, educate, and enable young people to better serve their churches and community. A quality education is offered with a Bible-based philosophy in every class. A strong academic atmosphere and individualized instruction are offered in Bible, Pastoral Studies, Christian Education, Missions and other selected professional ministry areas. Programs and courses equip students to be pastors, teachers, missionaries, and secretaries. Recent expansions in training include course offerings in women's ministries and apologetics.
Originally named Broadfording Christian College, the college was initially financed through a founders' program consisting mostly of individuals from the church and community. An expansion began with the opening of Broadfording Biblical Seminary on August 22, 1979, with graduate work toward the Master’s degree available. The first Commencement Exercises took place on May 27, 1979, with 6 Bachelors' degrees, 3 Associates' degrees, and 2 Honorary Doctoral degrees awarded. The first earned Doctoral degrees were awarded May 18, 1980. August 1, 1980, marked the changing of the name to Antietam Bible College and Antietam Biblical Seminary and Graduate School. This change enabled the college to relate to the historical features of the area, including the Antietam Battlefield, as well as encompass a wider range of students from various churches and communities.
Through the years, in addition to its academic offerings, Antietam has achieved new goals and added a variety of amenities. Included are: an enlarged library now numbering over 14,000 volumes, student lounge, week-long summer intensive studies, Saturday classes, directed independent studies, and a variety of courses for young, older, and married students.
The college and seminary are members of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) in recognition of ABC's work of training Christian workers for ministry. Although Antietam graduates generally pursue Christian vocations, course work has prepared many for effective secular careers.
Succeeding presidents have included Dr. Harold Barnett, Dr. Harry Williams, Dr. Gene Shuldes, Dr. Curvin Stambaugh, Dr. Millard English, Rev. Robert D. Welty, and currently, Dr. George L. Rundle. Dr. William Freed, founder and first president, now serves as Chancellor. Often referred to as one of Washington County’s best kept secrets, because word of the facility is still unknown to many county residents, Antietam Bible College and Antietam Biblical Seminary was located in the educational building on the campus of Broadfording Bible Brethren Church and Broadfording Christian Academy until 2008. With its own suite of offices, library, conference room, and student lounge, the facilities are part of the building that houses the Christian Academy. Formerly, ABC was located 6 miles west of Hagerstown, easily accessible from I-81 and I-70, in the beautiful and historic Maryland countryside.
Antietam Bible College celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2006.
In 2006, the growing enrollments of Broadfording Christian Academy and the college and seminary made clear the need to relocate the college and seminary to another facility. After a year and a half of searching, with the approval of both Broadfording Bible Brethren Church and First Baptist Church, Antietam Bible College relocated its facilities in August of 2008 to 15 High Street, Hagerstown, Maryland.
Jointly supported by Broadfording Bible Brethren Church and First Baptist Church, ABC is afforded strong leadership and the facilities necessary to expand its enrollment in the foreseeable future. As a joint ministry of both churches, Antietam Bible College, Biblical Seminary and Graduate School offers not only training for leaders and workers of these two churches, but also for the four-state region.
The varied church representation of the Board of Directors, faculty and staff, and the student body are indicative of the college's burden to serve the many churches of the Cumberland Valley by training a new generation of Christian Leaders to reach the valley with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.