Atlantic Baptist Bible College of Chester, Va., has announced it will merge with Piedmont Baptist College and Graduate School of Winston-Salem, N.C., on December 31, 2008. The two Baptist colleges shared similar doctrinal statements and a similar ministry perspective, serving local churches by training pastors, preachers, missionaries, and teachers.

Piedmont has arranged course work for current Atlantic students and will provide transcript and other services for Atlantic alumni. Atlantic’s name and mission will be carried on through the Atlantic Endowment for Ministry Training and the Atlantic Scholarship for Ministry Training.

“I believe that this merger has the potential of carrying our Atlantic name and mission further than anyone could have imagined,” wrote President Paul Monroe to his alumni, “so I view this more as a new beginning than as an ending. Atlantic’s original vision of training leaders to serve Christ can now be realized with a much broader scope.”

In 2003, Spurgeon Baptist Bible College merged with Piedmont, resulting in the creation of the Spurgeon School of Online Education. More than 200 students took at least one online class in the 2007–08 academic year.