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History of Ascent 

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Bethel Bible Institute (BBI) was founded by Dr. John Mannion for the purpose of training missionaries and church leaders. Pastor Ron Johnson, who was a sectional presbyter with the Potomac District, assumed the presidency.


    Approved by Potomac District AG

    BBI was approved by the Potomac District of the Assemblies of God as a training institute to provide the educational requirements for credentialing ministers at the certification and licensing level with the Assemblies of God.


    Rev. Stuart Ross expands training

    Rev. Stuart Ross was appointed as director to lead the school for training pastors, evangelists, missionaries, Christian education workers, and lay ministers. Rev. Ross was instrumental in positioning the school for the training of Hampton Master’s Commission students and local pastors.


    The vision for a four-year college

    Pastor Ron Johnson appointed Dr. Terry Minter as President of Bethel Bible Institute. Pastor Johnson and Dr. Minter envisioned a four-year college and began the transition from a Bible Institute into a college that awards both bachelor’s and associate’s degrees.


    Renamed as Bethel College

    Bethel College was incorporated in the Commonwealth of Virginia and is a recognized IRS non-profit corporation.


    New Facility with Bethel Church

    Bethel College moved into a new facility with a new library and several new classrooms to be shared with Bethel Church. Bethel College continues to prepare people for ministry and training church planters.


    Accreditation process begins

    America’s premier Biblical accreditation agency, the Association for Biblical Higher Education, granted Bethel College a new level of accreditation, Candidacy Status.


    Accreditation awarded

    Bethel College is granted accreditation status.


    Renamed as Antioch College AG with new, hybrid instructional model

    Bethel College is renamed Antioch College AG. Inspired by the Church in Antioch (Acts 13) where the disciples were first called Christians, a new model for ministry leadership training is launched to combine online classroom studies with apprentice-style, hands-on training at partner sites.

    After spending a brief time with the Antioch College AG name, the leadership of the college felt a new name was needed to avoid confusion with Antioch University.  Still keeping the Acts 13 text for our mission, the name Ascent College was chosen.  The symbol of a challenging but attainable goal of a college degree to further prepare ministers and church leaders is by design.  We strive to raise up the next generation of leaders to be passionate, principled, and practical in the ways they serve their congregations and communities.



    Renamed Ascent College

    Our Next Moment Is Your Moment  🙂

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    Head Office

    PO Box 690, Gainesville, VA 20156-0690

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    Ascent College's financial aid school code is 041538. It may display as Bethel College, the former name of Ascent College.


    Ascent College admits students of any race, color, nationality, or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, handicap, national, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, and other school-administered programs.