In the early nineteen twenties, several Bible institutes existed in Washington DC. One, the American Home Bible Institute, emphasized correspondence courses and home Bible study. The second, the Washington School of the Bible, stressed Bible training to prepare full-time Christian workers in this country and abroad. The third had a burden for reaching the Jewish community. In 1938, these three entities merged to form the Washington Bible Institute. The vision of those who founded the Institute was that "first emphasis shall be upon Bible courses," and that vision is still being fulfilled today.
Glenn W. Wagner became the first president in 1940 and served as president until 1944 when he resigned to work with the service men serving in World War II. George A. Miles was elected to the presidency in 1945. In 1956 the name was changed from Washington Bible Institute to Washington Bible College. Two years later, a three-year graduate school was begun - Capital Bible Seminary - to provide seminary education on the East Coast in a nondenominational and biblical atmosphere.
Outgrowing the facilities in Washington, D.C., in 1969 the College, and later the the Seminary, moved to its current 63 acre campus in Lanham, Maryland. Ten years later, a separate building for the Seminary was constructed. In 1995, the Seminary extended its influence by teaching classes in various church locations in Northern VA, and in 2005 a permanent facility was established in Springfield, Virginia.
In 1984, George A. Miles retired from the presidency, and Dr. Harry E. Fletcher was appointed to be the third president, serving until 1991. Dr. John Sproule became the fourth president in 1992 and served until 1994. Dr. Homer Heater was appointed the fifth president and retired to the classroom in 2005. In the same year, Dr. Larry Mercer was elected the sixth president and served until 2011.
On July 20, 2011, Dr. George M. Harton was appointed by the Board of Directors to be the interim president.
On January 22, 2013, the Maryland Higher Education Commission approved Lancaster Bible College's acquisition of the academic programs of Washington Bible College and Capital Bible Seminary. As Lancaster Bible College takes the lead in this new venture, a collaboration emerges from more than 150 years of combined history between these two institutions. Driven by a common vision, we now move forward as one, creating better synergy in seamless education opportunities and cost effective use of resources, directly benefitting our students and living out the love of Jesus Christ for all the world to see.