In the beginning...

The University of Valley Forge began in 1939 when several small bible institutes consolidated to form Eastern Bible Institute (EBI) in Green Lane, PA. The oldest of those small schools was Beulah Heights of North Bergen, NJ, which began in 1912. The consolidation also included Metropolitan Bible Institute of Suffern, NY; New England Bible Institute of Framingham, MA; and Pine Crest Bible Institute of Salisbury Center, NY.

The Eastern Bible Institute charter was granted to train pastors, evangelists, missionaries, Christian educators and lay workers.

The ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s

Eastern Bible Institute was led by three presidents: Rev. Allan A. Swift (1938 to 1949); Rev. Milton T. Wells (1949 to 1960); and Rev. Robert L. Moore (1960 to 1963).

In March 1967, during the administration of Rev. Paul J. Emery, Sr. (1963 to 1972), EBI was renamed Northeast Bible Institute and earned accreditation from the American Association of Bible Colleges. Emery was succeeded by Rev. Obie L. Harrup, Sr. (1972 to 1979). In May 1975, under Harrup’s leadership, NBI received provisional approval from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to grant bachelor’s degrees in Bible and the school’s name was changed to Northeast Bible College.

The '70s to Today 

In 1976, Northeast Bible College moved to the site of the former Valley Forge General Hospital in Phoenixville, PA, and the name of the college was officially changed to Valley Forge Christian College (VFCC) on January 1, 1977. In May 1978, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania approved VFCC’s request to grant a Bachelor’s Degree in religious education. In 2002, the University received accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the same accreditation enjoyed by nearly all the major educational institutions throughout the Northeast. Dramatic campus development has taken place including the demolition of two dozen former hospital buildings and the construction of modern educational facilities. In addition, the curriculum rapidly expanded to include more than 50 undergraduate programs and 8 graduate programs, many delivered in an online format. On September 16, 2014 VFCC became the University of Valley Forge. (For more on this name change, please visit our informational page.)

Following Harrup’s tenure as president, the university has been ably led by Rev. Owen C. Carr (1979 to 1982); Dr. J. Robert Ashcroft (1982 to 1985); Rev. Wesley W. Smith (1985 to 1996), and Dr. Donald G. Meyer (1996 to 2016).
The University of Valley Forge operates under the supervision of a Board of Trustees representing the six geographic districts of the Assemblies of God in the Northeast area of the United States, as well as the Spanish Eastern District and the New York Korean District. The university is endorsed by the Alliance for Assemblies of God Higher Education. To read the history of the Assemblies of God, click here.

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