Accredited Christian Schools & Colleges Guide

Christian College Guide – What You Need to Know

The Best Christian Colleges & Universities


The decision of which degree and major to pursue can affect the rest of your life. Many people say that if you choose a job you love, you will never work a day in your life. The problem is that it may take some time to determine the type of job you will love to do. Also, in many cases, the job you love may not pay your student loans. A good place to start is to consider the subjects you enjoy and the areas in which you excel. Whether you want to become a business leader, an innovator, or work for non-profit organizations, a degree will be essential to make a difference in any career you pursue.

Many people will change their major throughout their undergraduate education. This is perfectly normal. Before you finalize your degree decision, it is always a good idea to complete a job shadow experience, find a mentor in the field to learn the realities of such jobs, and to gain experience through an internship. All of these steps will help to make sure you find the right degree for you. It is also a good idea to research whether or not the jobs in your field are expected to experience job growth during the next 20 years. To improve your chances for long-term sustainable employment and a comfortable retirement, you want to make sure your job will be around for years to come.

How Much Can You Make by Having a Degree?


A degree is critical to a sound financial future. Whether you attend a Christian or secular college or university, the level of education you complete is directly related to your long-term and short-term earning potential. And the higher the degree you complete the higher the pay you will earn more quickly.

NO FORMAL EDUCATIONHIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMAASSOCIATE DEGREEBACHELOR’S DEGREEMASTER’S DEGREEDOCTORAL DEGREE
$27,040*$37,024*$43,472*$60,996*$72,852*$90,636*

Reasons to Get a Degree from A School that Recognizes Your Faith


You might be wondering whether or not a higher learning institution that recognizes your faith is better for your future and other aspects of your life. You will find that these types of colleges and universities provide a highly fulfilling undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral experience in a number of ways.

  • They surround you with like-minded Christian students with similar beliefs
  • Often, they have smaller class sizes
  • Referencing and speaking about scripture is encouraged on campus rather than only to be discussed in private
  • The core culture and principles of the school will be in line with those you were raised to believe
  • You will more easily be able to grow spiritually and enhance your ethics, morals, and values
  • Many Christian-sponsored events and activities are available
  • Many times, these schools can boast higher on-time graduation rates

Research Top Colleges in Your Denomination


You can find a Christian college or university from nearly any major Christian denomination in nearly any part of the country. Many of such colleges and universities are rated as better higher learning institutions than several of the best secular colleges and universities in their state and region. Some Christian colleges will focus on liberal arts and others will not.

Some of these schools also have Division II or III sports teams and others will have intramural league play or club sports. Regardless of the Christian college or university you choose, it is possible to find nearly any major at any degree level to meet the needs of your scholastic future.

The following are some of the Christian denominations that have colleges and universities:

  • Assemblies of God
  • Catholic
  • Church of Christ
  • Inter-Denominational
  • Lutheran
  • Methodist
  • Mormon
  • Nazarene
  • Non-Denominational
  • Presbyterian
  • Reformed
  • Southern Baptist
  • Wesleyan

FAQ


What are Some of the Differences Between Online vs On-Campus Programs?


christian_needed_differencesNationally accredited online Christian schools are not as reputable as regionally accredited Christian colleges and universities and those with accredited programs. You can find online classes at any type of school, from a two-year community college to a four-year accredited Christian college. You can also pursue hybrid programs that combine both online and in-person classes. If you pursue an online course or hybrid class, you can more easily continue to work to pay for your schooling and living expenses or to care for loved ones at home.

Online vs. On-Campus Cost

Christian colleges and universities typically cost a few thousand dollars less than non-Christian private colleges and universities each semester and the most prestigious ones cost roughly the same. You will still have to pay room and board, just like secular colleges and universities, as well as book and class fees that are not included in tuition costs.

It can cost less to pursue an online degree. If you live on campus or if you have to travel to attend classes, you have additional costs you do not have when you pay for your own housing or live at home with your parents. You can also make your own meals to save money, to eat healthier, and to eat whenever you need to eat.

Accreditation


Whether you prefer a Christian college or a non-Christian college, you should highly consider the accreditation of the institution. Accreditation is the way employers know whether or not your education has significant value and the quality of your education. Most employers will choose candidates who graduate from regionally accredited higher learning institutions, as they have been determined to be the highest in accrediting standards. If you choose a college or university that is nationally recognized, which is a lower standard of accreditation, you want to be sure the program you choose is accredited. The best degree programs are accredited by the most reputable professional organizations and specifically accredited governing bodies within an industry.

These programs are considered the best of the best in terms of all colleges and universities. They will have a curriculum that is relevant and in-depth to prepare you for your career. When you graduate from an accredited program, you will be considered a highly desirable candidate in any profession. It will give you an advantage over other job candidates without program accreditations. Keep in mind that program accreditation will vary by degree level and make sure that the accrediting body for the program is reputable and legitimate. Just because a program says it is accredited does not mean it is accredited by a reputable institution. You have to be careful.

In the end, the ideal combination would be to graduate from a regionally accredited college or university and a degree program that is also accredited.

The following are some of the reputable program accreditations for various professions:

  • Business/Management/Accounting - Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Business/Management/Accounting - Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
  • Business/Management/Accounting - International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education
  • Nursing - The Commission on the Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Nursing - The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
  • Psychology - The American Psychological Association
  • Psychology - The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards
  • Engineering - Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology

And consider Christian colleges and universities that are part of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). This is one of the most reputable Christian higher education accreditation institutions in the world.

Typical College Entry Requirements

The typical college entry requirements will vary based on the type of degree you seek. Requirements for two-year and four-year colleges and universities will differ slightly. A two-year community college or technical school may only require a high school diploma or the equivalent, such as a GED. There may be a GPA minimum; however, it will be significantly lower than the requirement for a four-year college or university.

At a four-year school, you must meet a minimum GPA. This will vary based on the school. They may also consider your class rank, ACT or SAT scores, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, community service, church involvement, and more. It is possible that some Christian schools may not require an ACT or an SAT score, and many colleges and universities, both Christian and non-Christian, now require records of immunization.

Academic Standards

Once you receive admission into a program, you must work hard to remain in the program, particularly if it is a profession such as nursing or engineering. Colleges and universities remain reputable by producing graduates who can perform well in the working world. If you cannot maintain a certain GPA, you will no longer be permitted to pursue a degree within that program. It is possible they may put you on probation for a semester to give you a chance to raise your grades. If you fail to do so, you may be removed from the program. This is one reason why it’s in your best interest to always do the best you can in each and every class.

Moral Standards

Many faith-based colleges and universities hold their students to a higher moral code. Such schools will often expect their students to behave with dignity at all times. As with most schools, this means that you will be expected to never cheat or steal, but it may also mean that you are expected to follow other moral rules against vices that the denomination might have, such as not drinking, smoking, or engaging in premarital sex. Most students enjoy being around other students who have a similar moral compass, as it helps them to make better decisions during the college experience. Other students will struggle with this portion of the Christian college experience.

Some schools will require that you sign a statement stating that you will not engage in immoral behavior. If you are found to have broken this moral contract, you will be expelled without any refund of your tuition. Such acts could include premarital sex, drugs, or alcohol. It could even include certain public displays of affection and the type of clothing you wear. It will depend upon the Christian college you choose.

Important Questions to Ask


Will You Need a Higher-Level Degree?


Some professions will require a master’s degree or a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D. An associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree will only get you so far in some careers. For any individual who wishes to become an industry leader or an expert in their field, it is also required that you have an advanced degree. Most managerial and executive positions will require at least a master’s degree. This is true in nearly any industry. If you want a career based in research or as a professor, you will require a Ph.D. The same is true if you wish to become a psychologist or psychiatrist. And with so many people having master’s degrees today, the completion of a doctoral degree will provide you with a significant career advantage in the long term.

How Many Graduate “on time”?


christian_on_time On-time graduation rates are important, as it is a good indicator as to whether or not you will have to take out more student loans and leave with even more debt. The less debt you graduate with the better, particularly if you wish to work in a field that does not pay as well as others. Most of the top 50 Christian colleges and universities have on-time graduation rates between 55 and 65%. A few are as low as 34% and some are as high as 89%. Many still linger around 70%. These percentages are somewhat better than non-Christian schools on average.

Christian College Degree Options & Requirements


Associate Degree


An associate degree is ideal for people who wish to pursue a vocation that doesn’t require a lot of education or those who wish to begin working straight away while they take online classes to pursue their bachelor’s degree. A two-year associate degree is often found at community colleges and technical schools. Some four-year colleges and universities will offer an associate degree as a stepping stone to a bachelor’s degree.

Sample Courses for the Associate Degree:


  • Degree Requirements: You will require a high school diploma or equivalent and possibly the proper vaccinations.
  • Average Cost: Public - $3,570 / Private - $14,587
  • Popular Associate Degrees: Computer Science, Social Sciences, and Nursing.

Bachelor’s Degree


A bachelor’s degree is a minimum requirement for most professions today, such as teachers, RNs, accountants, logisticians, financial managers, engineers, and more. You can pursue a bachelor’s degree online, in person, or in a hybrid combination. This four-year to five-year degree, depending on the profession, is required for most entry-level professional positions. You might require a master’s degree for promotions.

Sample Courses for the Bachelor Degree:


  • Degree Requirements: You will require a high school diploma or equivalent and have a minimal GPA that will vary by college or university and whether or not you are a first-year, transfer, or nontraditional student. You might also require extra-curricular activities, volunteer work, and/or the required vaccinations.
  • Average Cost: In-State Public - $9,970 / Out-of-State Public - $25,620 / Private - $34,740
  • Popular Bachelor’s Degrees: Nursing, Business, and Computer Engineering

Master’s Degree


A master’s degree is becoming commonplace for leadership roles. Many employers will reimburse employees for these courses as long as they maintain a certain GPA. They also require this degree for most higher-level positions, such as management, executive, team leads, and more. You can take these courses online to minimize the disruption in your life outside of work.

Sample Courses for the Master Degree:


  • Degree Requirements: You will have to complete a graduate school entrance exam, have a minimum GPA in either core classes or overall GPA, and have attended a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Average Cost: Public: $8,670 / Private: $29,960
  • Popular Master’s Degrees: Business Administration and Management, Engineering, and Educational Leadership

Doctorate


Each year, more people are completing a doctorate degree to gain an advantage in the job market. Most professions do not require a doctorate degree. A few exceptions include college professors, scientists, research professionals, healthcare administration, and certain technology positions. A doctorate degree is expensive. Before you decide to pursue one, be sure that your future expected income will be able to compensate for the debt you will incur.

Sample Courses for the Doctorate Degree:


  • Degree Requirements: Depending upon the doctorate program, you may need to complete a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree before you can begin. You will be required to have a specific GPA to enter any doctorate program. It is also possible to complete a master’s degree and a doctorate degree simultaneously to reduce time and save money.
  • Average Cost: Research-Based - $36,600 / Professional - $48,900
  • Popular Doctoral Degrees: Biological Sciences, Social Sciences, and Psychology

Top Christian Colleges


  • Indiana Wesleyan University
    Location: Marion, Indiana

    Indiana Wesleyan University is ranked as one of the best schools in the Midwest. You can study a wide variety of professions in health, science, and more. They also give incentives and discounts to former and active military members. If you attend this school, you will have access to prayer sessions, Bible study, life coaching, career development, and more.

    Most Popular Degrees: Elementary Education and Teaching, Pastoral Studies, Business Administration / Management, and Psychology

    • Tuition and Fees: $13,104
    • Books and Supplies: $1,384
    • Average Grad Salary: $49,000
    Top Careers and Salaries:
    CareersSalaries
    Operations Manager$80,000
    Human Resources Manager$69,000
    Family Nurse Practitioner$93,000
    Production Supervisor$57,700
    Accountant$48,200
  • MidAmerica Nazarene university
    Location: Olathe, Kansas

    The majority of MidAmerica Nazarene University students live on campus to create a highly desirable like-minded Christian community for the ultimate college campus experience. The class sizes are small, and you can pursue both undergraduate and graduate degrees. It is regionally accredited and nearly 95% of students receive financial aid.

    Most Popular Degrees: Registered Nursing, Kinesiology and Exercise Science, Organizational Leadership, Business Administration/Management, and Elementary Education and Teaching

    • Tuition and Fees: $29,736
    • Books and Supplies: $1,514
    • Average Grad Salary: $55,000
    Top Careers and Salaries:
    CareersSalaries
    Clinical Nurse Manager$81,800
    Marketing Manager$69,100
    Human Resources Manager$52,700
    Business Analyst$59,100
    Graphic Designer$40,000
  • Dordt College
    Location: Sioux Center, Iowa

    Dordt College is ranked as one of the best schools in the Midwest. Their engineering program is specifically ranked as one of the best in the country. You will also find chapel services and local internships alike. And 99.7% of all students who graduate either become employed or they continue their education with a higher degree upon graduation.

    Most Popular Degrees: Elementary Education and Training, Agribusiness and Agricultural Business Operations, Mechanical Engineering and Kinesiology, and Exercise Science

    • Tuition and Fees: $30,840
    • Books and Supplies: $1,140
    • Average Grad Salary: $57,000
    Top Careers and Salaries:
    CareersSalaries
    Operations Manager$81,600
    Biotechnology Research Associate$61,900
    Electrical Engineer$59,500
    Mechanical Design Engineer$66,500
    Project Engineer$59,000
  • Hope College
    Location: Holland, Michigan

    Hope College is a top 100 Liberal Arts Christian College with a top engineering program. You can study abroad at this college and pursue your cultural interests through dance, art, theater, and museum experiences. It is also possible to play Division III sports at Hope College.

    Most Popular Degrees: Business Administration and Management, Kinesiology and Exercise Science, Biology and Biological Sciences, and English/Language Arts Teacher Education.

    • Tuition and Fees: $34,010
    • Books and Supplies: $950
    • Average Grad Salary: $57,000
    Top Careers and Salaries:
    CareersSalaries
    Software Engineer$64,500
    Project Manager$50,700
    Marketing Manager$59,000
    Executive Director$82,700
    Project Engineer$58,500
  • Gordon College
    Location: Wenham, Massachusetts

    Gordon College is considered controversial in some Christian circles; however, it is also considered one of the top 400 Liberal Arts colleges in the country. It has a large population of international students. Nearly all students live on campus surrounded by wooded acres and a few miles’ walk to the ocean.

    Most Popular Degrees: Business Administration and Management, Elementary Education and Teaching, English Language and Literature, and Exercise Physiology.

    • Tuition and Fees: $37,400
    • Books and Supplies: $800
    • Average Grad Salary: $57,000
    Top Careers and Salaries:
    CareersSalaries
    Executive Director$68,400
    Software Engineer$91,600
    Senior Systems Analyst$95,900
    Executive Assistant$48,900
    Systems Administrator$67,000
  • North Park University
    Location: Chicago, Illinois

    North Park University is located in a highly diverse region of the US. You will be exposed to dozens of cultures and ethnicities at this school. The undergraduate student body is comprised of a wide variety of religious affiliations, too. You will have access to hundreds of internships and certificate programs for further career development after graduation.

    Most Popular Degrees: Business Administration and Management, Biology and Biological Sciences, Registered Nursing, and Psychology

    • Tuition and Fees: $29,860
    • Books and Supplies: $1,000
    • Average Grad Salary: $57,000
    Top Careers and Salaries:
    CareersSalaries
    Family Nurse Practitioner$84,400
    Executive Director$109,000
    Chief Executive Officer (CEO)$155,500
    Operations Manager$53,800
    Development Officer$53,100
  • Geneva College
    Location: Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania

    Geneva College is ranked as one of the best colleges in the Northeast with a top engineering program. Nearly 100% of all students receive some form of financial aid. It has a center for the students to meet other students with whom they would normally not interact. They also provide leadership trips and more.

    Most Popular Degrees: Engineering, Teacher Education, Public Administration, Social Services, and Engineering

    • Tuition and Fees: $27,230
    • Books and Supplies: $900
    • Average Grad Salary: $58,000
    Top Careers and Salaries:
    CareersSalaries
    Human Resources Director$93,000
    Mechanical Engineer$68,800
    Human Resources Manager$65,000
    Project Manager, Engineering$75,500
    Electrical Engineer$66,700
  • Westmont College
    Location: Santa Barbara, California

    Westmont College is a top 10 Christian College. It has top programs in engineering, computer science, and liberal arts. The stunning campus encourages leadership and student and community interaction. The Westmont Leadership Development Program is one of the best in the country that helps guide graduates to fast advancement from entry-level positions to mid-career positions.

    Most Popular Degrees: Kinesiology and Exercise Science, Business Administration and Management, Psychology, and Biological Sciences

    • Tuition and Fees: $45,304
    • Books and Supplies: $1,600
    • Average Grad Salary: $71,000
    Top Careers and Salaries:
    CareersSalaries
    High School Teacher$77,300
    CEO$170,000
    Marketing Manager$88,400
    Operations Manager$60,000
    Elementary School Teacher$62,400
  • Houston Baptist University
    Location: Houston, Texas

    Houston Baptist University focuses on the integration of academic, professional, and spiritual life. The class sizes are small, as is the undergraduate population. You can also pursue graduate programs. The university is made up of nine colleges, such as business, Christian thought, engineering, nursing, and others. Roughly 90% of students receive financial aid.

    Most Popular Degrees: Curriculum and Instruction, Theology and Theological Studies, Business Administration and Management, and Human Resource Management

    • Tuition and Fees: $32,530
    • Books and Supplies: $1,000
    • Average Grad Salary: $62,000
    Top Careers and Salaries:
    CareersSalaries
    Project Manager$70,000
    VP, Sales and Marketing$193,000
    Senior Financial Analyst$72,000
    Financial Analyst$70,000
    Human Resources$65,500
  • Bryan College
    Location: Dayton, Tennessee

    Bryan College is one of the best colleges in Tennessee and one of the best online colleges in the US. This beautiful campus is surrounded by mountains and is home to small class sizes with access to a lake, fitness center, library, and a chapel. You can complete a bachelor’s degree or a graduate degree.

    Most Popular Degrees: Business Administration and Management, Elementary Education and Teaching, Psychology, and Kinesiology and Exercise Science.

    • Tuition and Fees: $26,800
    • Books and Supplies: $1,250
    • Average Grad Salary: $53,000
    Top Careers and Salaries:
    CareersSalaries
    Plant Manager$94,600
    Director of Operations$71,500
    Human Resources Business Partner$68,800
    Systems Analyst$55,000
    Human Resources Generalist$52,000

Best Scholarships and Grants for Christian Colleges


  • Colorado Christian Scripture Memory Scholarships
    Amount: $600 - $4,800
    Deadline: January 15

    The Colorado Christian University's Scripture Memory Scholarship is dedicated to college students who can memorize entire books of the Bible. Each book that is memorized is worth additional scholarship money. The student can choose whichever version or translation of the Bible they like. The scholarship is designed to provide students with the ability to maximize their biblical understanding and minimize their financial debt.

  • Oklahoma Christian University Current Student Biblical Studies Scholarship
    Amount: $4,000 (15 Awards)
    Deadline: Varies

    The Oklahoma Christian University Scholarship provides up to 15 scholarships for $4,000 each. You can be either a new student or a student who is returning to college with a major in Bible and ministry, preaching, children’s ministry, vocational ministry, or missions. It is important to note that applicants must be majoring within the College of Biblical Studies at Oklahoma Christian University.

  • Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholarship Program
    Amount: Varies
    Deadline: Varies

    This scholarship program is dedicated to Christian women who are students and can demonstrate financial need. You must attend an accredited higher learning institution in specific states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Past winners have primarily studied some sort of degree in health. Roughly 10,000 students will receive a scholarship each year and the amount will vary based on the college or university they attend.

  • George Fox Biblical Studies Scholarship Competition
    Amount: $2,500
    Deadline: January 15; November 1

    The George Fox Biblical Studies Scholarship is dedicated to first-year students and transfer students. The applicant must participate in one academic competition based on the academic interest of the applicant. This scholarship will automatically renew each year as long as the recipient maintains a 2.5 GPA.