In 1983, Dr. T.L. Lowery, Senior Pastor of the National Church of God selected 14 of his top leaders to train and equip for Christian ministry. He established the National Bible Institute (NBI), which was the beginning of the National Bible College and Seminary. For a curriculum, Dr. Lowery selected the Church of God "Ministerial Internship Program" (MIP) which is an extensive study of Bible Doctrine, Ministry and other areas necessary for success in Christian work. Interest in this program blossomed quickly and the following year Dr. Lowery recruited the assistance of Dr. Fred Snowden, who was then serving as the Administrator of the National Christian Academy, to assist in formalizing a course study. The MIP was largely a self-paced program. Students were required to do extensive amounts of outside reading in the Scriptures and other books and to listen to lectures on specific topics. Dr. Snowden took this basic formay and developed a series of institute level courses to assist the students with their studies. In this way, the students were not only reading, but were experiencing dynamic teaching to assist them in the learning process. Over the next few months, the entire curriculum was formalized into a one-year intensive program of ministry training. Graduates of the MIP program met academic requirements to receive ministerial credentials through the Church of God and many did so.
National Bible Institute took a giant step forward in 1990 with the addition of a full time day program. This program vastly expanded the already successful Ministerial Development Program and increased the number of classroom hours. In this way, students were able to receive much more in-depth teaching and also were able to earn college credit for the work they were completing.
Pastors from other areas began to express an interest in having such a program. So, in 1990, Dr. Stephen L. Lowery, Director of Media for the National Church of God, took on the awesome task of producing videotape classes. The Project was completed in May of 1992. The response to the video program was overwhelming! In the first year, churches in 12 states and six foreign countries participated. This program continued to expand to provide video schools in over 20 foreign countries to thousands of students.
In 1991, NBI was approved by the US Department of Immigration and Naturalization to accept foreign students. Hundreds of applications were received from all over the world, and in September of 1992, 40 students representing 21 foreign countries attended classes at the National Bible Institute.
In 1993, NBI became fully accredited by the Accrediting Commission International for Schools, Colleges and Theological Seminaries. This allowed NBI to award an Associate Degree in Biblical Studies to the students who successfully completed two years of full time study. In May of 1993, the first Associate Degrees were given, and in 1994 a Korean language program was added. In 1996, NBI became National Bible College and the first Bachelors Degrees were awarded.
In 1998, the administration of the National Bible College began the task of restructuring the academic programs and developing a strategic college development plan. By the end of 1999, the size of the faculty had nearly tripled, student enrollment more than doubled and NBC received certification from the Maryland Higher Education Commission as a degree-granting institution.
In the fall of 2000, National Bible College took a giant step forward into the new millennium with the establishment of the National Bible Seminary, the graduate division of National Bible College. The first set of candidates for the degree of the Master of Theological Studies graduated in June 2001; and the following year 2002, the first set of students for the Master of Divinity degree were rolled out.
And in June 2004, two Doctoral candidates graduated with D. Min. degrees.