LBC is an accredited, nondenominational institution offering undergraduate, graduate, and non-traditional education. Our campus is alive with opportunities. Our students impact literally hundreds of churches and other organizations through weekly ministry service. Annually, there are numerous international and U.S. based missions, outreach, and service opportunities.
Lancaster Bible College was founded by Henry J. Heydt in September 1933, as Lancaster School of the Bible. Eight students were enrolled in the original class which met in the Convention Hall at West Orange and Pine Streets in Lancaster. In 1934, 1939, and 1941, the school relocated several times. However, on May 2, 1957, Mr. and Mrs. J. Martin Esbenshade presented the school with an eighteen acre tract of land, which, after extensive renovations of the buildings, became the new campus in Manheim Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Residence halls were constructed in the 1960s, an auditorium/gymnasium and dining hall in the 1970s, and by 1994 significant additional acreage was acquired. The current campus encompasses approximately one hundred acres.
The abbreviated timeline that follows chronicles God’s faithfulness in growing the ministry of Lancaster Bible College.
||Eight students were in the first class.
||Degree of incorporation was granted by the Court of Common Pleas.
||The Corporation resolved that the name of the school should be Lancaster School of the Bible and School of Theology.
||The name was changed to Lancaster School of the Bible.
||The college was approved as an accredited member of the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), then known as the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges..
||Upon provisional approval to grant degrees from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Education, the official designation became Lancaster Bible College.
||Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) granted permanent approval to Lancaster Bible College to award the Bachelor of Science in Bible degree.
||PDE approved a two-year program for offering the Associate of Science in Bible degree.
||Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) granted accreditation to LBC.
||Elementary Education program received certification by PDE.
||Graduates of the Elementary Education program were approved to receive the Bachelor of Science in Education degree.
||Graduate School launched with PDE approval to award the Master of Arts in Bible and the Master of Arts in Ministry degrees. First classes were held January 1995.
||Comprehensive self-study and reaffirmation by ABHE and MSCHE.
||Two additional graduate degrees, the Master of Arts with programs in counseling, and the Master of Education with programs in school counseling were approved.
||Good Shepherd Chapel was dedicated.
||Health & Physical Education program received state certification. Graduates of these programs receive dual certification from PDE and ACSI.
||Peterson Hall completed and occupied.
||MEd Consulting Resource Teacher program was added. Certification from PDE was approved in Elementary School Counseling, Secondary School Counseling, Reading Specialist and Music Education.
||MSCHE & ABHE approved the offering of the Bachelor of Science in Bible degree completely online through the degree completion program.
||Comprehensive self-study and reaffirmation by ABHE and MSCHE.
||The first two, combined bachelor’s/master’s programs were offered in professional counseling.
||Esbenshade Hall, formerly a residence hall, was renovated and repurposed as Esbenshade Enrollment Management Center.
||MSCHE & ABHE approved the offering of the Concentrated Bible Course Certificate completely online.
||Mental Health Counseling and Marriage & Family Counseling programs were approved to be offered as bachelor’s/master’s programs.
||Membership in NCAA Division III approved.
||LBC received approval from PDE to grant its first doctoral degree, the Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership.
||Communication was added as an undergraduate major.
||Married student apartments constructed in 1967 were renovated into Weber Hall.
||The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania enacted legislation eliminating program approval requirements for some institutions, enabling LBC to add new degree programs at any level.
||Teague Learning Commons was dedicated, a 40,000 square foot facility housing the Charles and Gloria Jones Library and an array of learning support services.
||Partnership launched with Philadelphia Center for Urban Theological Studies
||LBC acquired the academic programs of Capital Bible Seminary and absorbed the students of Washington Bible College, opening a site in Greenbelt, MD.
||The Trust Performing Arts Center was opened in downtown Lancaster.
||LBC partnered with OneLife, a gap year program, to offer our one year certificate within the parameters of their on-campus model.
|Partnership launched with Memphis Center for Urban Theological Studies.
||ABHE granted approval for PhD Biblical Studies and an additional location in Greenbelt, MD.
||Business Administration was added as an undergraduate major.
||Partnership formalized with Compassion International and Pastors Discipleship Network in Uganda.
||A new Residence Hall was completed mirroring Peterson Hall, constructed in 2003.
||The Charles Frey Academic Center was completed, a 49,475 square foot academic hub serving as the nerve center for our online efforts, housing six of our seven core academic departments, and providing additional technology and learning space for our undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students.
Dr. Peter W. Teague is the current president of Lancaster Bible College since 1999. Former presidents include:
Dr. Gilbert A. Peterson (1979-1999)
Dr. Stuart E. Lease (1961-1979)
Dr. William J. Randolph (1953-1961)
Dr. Henry J. Heydt (1933-1953)
Lancaster Bible College exists to educate Christian students to think and live a biblical worldview and to proclaim Christ by serving him in the Church and society.
Lancaster Bible College will be a premier learning community that intentionally develops the head, heart, and hands of servant ministry leaders for global impact.
Lancaster Bible College has established a set of core values to serve as the compass for fulfilling its mission. The LBC experience is an important factor in the development of ministry leaders. LBC’s core values are as follows:
- Committed to premier biblical higher education as evidenced by the encouragement of a Christ-centered learning community.
- Committed to institutional excellence as evidenced by providing and maintaining God-honoring resources.
- Committed to institutional distinctiveness as evidenced by preserving the integrity of our mission and legacy while planning for the future of the college.
- Committed to a biblical foundation as evidenced by the teaching of sound doctrine and the proper interpretation of Scripture in accordance with our statement of faith.
- Committed to a spiritual foundation as evidenced by providing an environment which encourages spiritual life and growth.
- Committed to developing students for a ministry and service mindset as evidenced by preparing them both academically and experientially to serve Christ in the Church and society.
- Committed to exemplifying a ministry and service mindset as evidenced by exerting a positive Christian influence both locally and globally.
Statement of Faith
Since its founding in 1933, the college has maintained an un-qualified commitment to an historic, orthodox position on essential doctrines of the faith as expressed in this document. A statement of faith is central to the college’s identity, serving as a unifying and clarifying document in an age of theological shifting and confusion. Hermeneutically, the college approaches Scripture from a grammatical, historical, and contextual viewpoint.
We believe the Scriptures of the Old Testament and the New Testament are the Word of God and are verbally inspired of God and inerrant in the original writings. We believe that this inspiration extends equally and fully to all parts of the Scriptures, and that they are the supreme and final authority in faith and life. John 17:17; Galatians 3:16; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21.
We believe in one God eternally existing in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, each having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections. Matthew 28:19-20; John 1:1-2; Acts 5:3-4; Colossians 2:9.
Jesus Christ-His Person and His Work
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. He was eternally begotten of the Father, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary. We believe that Jesus Christ died for the sins of the whole world as the substitutionary sacrifice, that His crucified body was raised from the dead, and that He ascended into heaven to appear before the Father as our High Priest, Advocate, and Mediator. Luke 1:35; Romans 9:5; 1 Corinthians 15:1-3; Philippians 2:6-11; Colossians 1:15-17; 2:9; Hebrews 4:15; 9:24; 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 Peter 1:3; 2:24; 3:18; 1 John 2:2.
The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit came in a special sense on the Day of Pentecost, indwelling every believer. In this age, the Holy Spirit carries out the ministries of restraining evil in the world; convicting people of sin, righteousness, and judgment; regenerating and indwelling all believers; baptizing them into the Body of Christ; sealing them unto the day of redemption; and empowering them for sanctification and service. We believe that some gifts of the Holy Spirit are permanent and are intended for use throughout the entire Church Age. Other gifts were temporary and were given in the Apostolic Age for the purpose of founding the church. These include the gifts of apostleship, prophecy, miracles, healings, tongues, and the interpretation of tongues. At the same time, we affirm that God performs miracles as He wills. John 14:16-17; 16:7-15; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 12:13, 28-30; Ephesians 2:20-22; 4:1-16, 30; Hebrews 2:1-4; Titus 3:5.
We believe God created humanity, male and female, reflecting the image and likeness of God. Each person’s biological sex has been sovereignly appointed by God and is an irreversible aspect of his or her nature. The first human, Adam, sinned and thereby incurred the judgment of both physical death and spiritual death which is eternal separation from God. Therefore, all human beings, with the exception of Christ Jesus, are born with a fallen nature, are accountable for their sin, and need to be born again. Rejection of one’s God-ordained biological sexuality reflects a rejection of God’s plans and purposes. God has established and revealed in Scripture a divine order to regulate humanity. Human institutions reflecting that order are marriage of a man and a woman, family, and human government. Genesis 1:1,26,27; Psalm 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; John 3:3-7; Romans 1:21-32; 3:10-12; 5:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Ephesians 2:1-10; 1 John 1:8-10; Genesis 2:18-25; Colossians 3:18-21; Romans 13:1-7.
We believe that salvation was provided for everyone in the whole world and was accomplished solely by the finished work of Christ shedding His blood upon the cross, and no work on the part of any person can merit this salvation. Whoever believes solely in the finished work of Jesus Christ receives the new birth, becomes a partaker of the divine nature, and thus becomes a child of God, once for all, forever. John 3:16; 6:37; 10:27-30; 2 Corinthians 5:14; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Timothy 2:3-6; 1 Peter 1:18-19, 23; 2 Peter 1:3-4.
We believe the Church universal began at Pentecost with the baptism of the Holy Spirit and consists of all those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the Head of the Church, called His Body. The local church is a body of believers in Christ who are joined together under scriptural leadership for the worship of God, for edification through the Word of God, for prayer, for fellowship, for the proclamation of the Gospel, and for observance of the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Matthew 16:16-18; Acts 1:4-5; 2:42-47; 11:15-16; Romans 12:5; Ephesians 1:20-23; Philippians 1:1; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 1 Timothy 3:15.
We believe in the imminent return of Jesus Christ to rapture the Church Age saints, followed by the tribulation period, and the visible return of Jesus Christ with His saints for His millennial reign on earth. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and unjust, in the reward and everlasting conscious blessedness of the just, and in the judgment and everlasting conscious punishment of the lost. Luke 16:19-26; John 11:25; 1 Corinthians 15:51-57; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20:1-15; 21:1-8.
Accreditation and Associations
Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary and Graduate School is certified by Pennsylvania Department of Education, Maryland Higher Education Commission, Indiana Department of Education, Florida Department of Education, Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and State Council of Higher Education for Virginia; and is approved by the appropriate states to operate at the site in their state: 901 Eden Road, Lancaster, PA 17601; 7852 Walker Drive, Suite 100, Greenbelt, MD 20770; 2400 Yamato Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431; 1548 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104; and 2001 W. Lehigh Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19132. The college is approved by the U.S. Department of Justice for the training of nonimmigrant international students. LBC’s current online courses and degrees are authorized or exempt in all states except Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Lancaster Bible College is accredited through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), the Association for Biblical Higher Education Commission on Accreditation (ABHE), and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI).
The College is also a member of the Evangelical Training Association (ETA), a nationally recognized agency for the promotion of higher standards for Christian teachers and church educators. ETA diplomas are awarded to qualified students upon graduation.
Lancaster Bible College offers a full range of collegiate programming from non-credit biblical enrichment courses, to undergraduate, to graduate degree programs. LBC’s graduates are geographically and culturally diverse, serving in ministry leadership worldwide.
Lancaster Bible College is authorized by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to grant the following degrees:
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies
Bachelor of Fine Arts
Bachelor of Music
Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
Bachelor of Science in Education
Bachelor of Social Work
Associate of Arts in Biblical Studies