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Antietam Bible College celebrates 25 years

February 26, 2001

Antietam Bible College celebrates 25 years



By MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

With an engineering degree from Johns Hopkins University, Bill Freed seems more suited to building a four-year college than to founding one.

But 25 years ago, Freed, who is pastor of Broadfording Bible Brethren Church, and his wife, Susan, started the higher-learning facility now known as Antietam Bible College.

During the last quarter of a century, ABC has graduated 28 students with associate's degrees, 81 with bachelor's degrees, 48 with master's degrees and 30 with doctorates in Christian/Bible education and the fields of business and finance.

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"Actually, my engineering degree came in quite handy," Freed said. "Engineering, after all, is all about problem solving."

The first problem occurred shortly after the school opened its doors on Broadfording Church Road.

"We checked everything when we wanted to start the school and everybody said we were OK," Freed said.

But shortly after the Sept. 13, 1976, start date, the Freeds got a cease-and-desist order from the Maryland Department of Higher Education.

"That was the beginning of a long fight," Freed said.

Over the next three years, the school worked with state agencies to resolve the conflicts so that the first diplomas could be awarded in 1979.

Freed said that as long as the college remained under church authority and all degrees would say either "Christian" or "Bible" on documents, the college was accepted.

"The proof of our strength is that most everywhere our graduates go, their credits are accepted," said Susan Freed, co-founder of the college.

That includes Hagerstown Community College, Frederick Community College and Shippensburg University.

The Freeds' daughter earned her four-year degree at ABC, and their twins also attended. People can take one course for credit, audit courses or take summer school.

The college was founded to train, educate and enable young people to better serve their churches and their communities.

A strong academic atmosphere and individualized instruction are offered in the Bible, Christian education and selected professional areas.

Over the years, the college has grown in size and scope to include a biblical seminary and graduate school.

The college catalog lists a cost of $95 per credit hour.

The college is in part supported by the church and individuals who have been generous over the years, the Freeds said. That helps keep tuition reasonable and other costs in check.

The campus, which abuts the church and Broadfording Christian Academy, includes a library with 15,000 volumes, a student lounge, science labs, enrollment of more than 50 students, dormitories, Saturday classes and independent studies.

Succeeding Freed as president were Harold Barnett, Harry Williams and the current president, Millard English. Freed serves as chancellor of the school.

More information can be obtained on the college, seminary or graduate school by calling 301-797-0988.

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