Orthodox Christian, Jehovah’s Witness, and other Christian traditions comprise the other percentage of Christians in the United States. While there may be a significant demand for Christian colleges among Christians in the U.S., many students who do not identify with Christianity attend College Choice’s Best Christian Colleges.
When some people hear the term “Christian college,” they may think about strict rules, boundaries, and church. However, Christian colleges offer many benefits like mentorship, activities to deepen your faith, study-abroad programs, student clubs and organizations, and service-learning opportunities. Although many of College Choice’s top Christian colleges offer chapel services, campus ministry, and spiritual resources, in some cases they are not required.
When you go to a Christian college, you are likely to engage high-quality faculty members. A Patheos article argues, “Most Christian colleges put their best people in the classroom with students. They may make less use of part-time faculty or graduates students…”
What Are the Best Christian Colleges?
The range of Christian colleges indicates the diversity, variety, and differences within the term Christianity. For some institutions, Christianity may tend toward a set of doctrinal beliefs while in other schools, Christianity may tend toward a set of practices. Although many Christian colleges retain an affiliation with their religious tradition, they are open to diversity and learning from other religions and cultures.
College Choice’s top-ranked Christian college exemplifies a healthy culture of engagement with other religious traditions. One of Pepperdine’s law school professors, an Orthodox Jew, says, “In my own experience, it is the opportunities I have had to collaborate with the university on programs core to the institution’s faith-based mission that have solidified my sense of purpose at Pepperdine even as I don’t share the same faith commitments of the university.”
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $33,721
If you are looking for a Christian University that is cutting edge, diverse, rigorous, and integrates Christian principles, then you should look at College Choice’s top-ranked Christian University—Pepperdine University. In 1937, George Pepperdine founded the school to provide the best education possible while support students in their Christian belief. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, California, Pepperdine is one of the most beautiful campuses in the world.
Although Pepperdine University has a Church of Christ religious heritage, all students are welcome to attend. “All faith backgrounds are encouraged to explore their spirit at Pepperdine.” The school’s students are 7% Church of Christ, 51% Christian, 4% Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist, 2% Jewish, and 31% unstated. Many students study religion in Malibu or abroad at one of Pepperdine’s seven international locations.
Pepperdine offers many ways for students to grow spiritually and practice their faith. Every year professors, staff, students, administration, and alumni participate in Step Forward Day where they volunteer in the Los Angeles and Ventura counties. On campus students take religion classes, engage in convocation, and in Celebration Chapel. Students even have a spiritual life advisor.
Agnes Scott College
College Choice Score: 96.67
Average Net Price: $20,799
Agnes Scott College is a women’s college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) and six miles from the center of Atlanta, in Decatur, Georgia. The college has approximately 943 students from 44 states and 26 countries. If you attend Agnes Scott, you will study with some of the most talented students. Students of Agnes Scott College have earned scholarships like the Marshall, Rhodes, Fulbright, Gates Millennium Scholarship and more.
“Religious life at Agnes Scott is based on the affirmation that all people are created in the image of God, sisters, and brothers in the human family, regardless of creed, heritage or beliefs.” The college has organizations for diverse faith traditions. The Baptiste Collegiate Ministry, Daughters of Gala, Fellowship of Christian Students, Jewish Student Association, Muslim Student’s Association, and others exist to serve a variety of students.
Agnes Scott hosts prestigious Faith and Learning Lectures each year through its Open Religious Dialogue and The James Ross McClain Faith and Learning Lecture. In the past, the school hosted speakers like Elaine Pagels, Peter J. Gomes, Barbara Brown Taylor and Tibetan Monks.
College Choice Score: 92.59
Average Net Price: $23,258
Earlhamites are students at Earlham College who are “global citizens of strong moral character who see the world with broad, inquisitive minds.” The Religious Society of Friends (Quaker) tradition influences the college’s mission to provide the highest quality education in liberal arts for its students. As an interdisciplinary research institution, the college aims to educate leaders who demonstrate concern for the world and improve human society.
One of the ways that Earlham College fosters community engagement is through the EPIC (Earlham Plan for Integrative Collaboration) Advantage. EPIC is one of the only programs that offers funded internship and research opportunities for students. Vocational Mentoring, career-discernment, and research projects are some of the advantages the program has to offer.
Earlhamites have plenty options for engaging in spiritual and service-oriented practices. Earlham has 11 student-led service organizations and eight religious life groups. If you are looking to make an effective difference in the world, you should check out Earlham College.
St Olaf College
College Choice Score: 89.20
Average Net Price: $26,183
St. Olaf College is a distinguished liberal arts college with a Lutheran faith tradition. The school is notable for changing lives, being one of the best value colleges, and as one of the best liberal arts colleges in the nation. U.S. News & World Report, Fiske Guide to Colleges, and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine ranks the school as one of the premiere schools in the United States.
St. Olaf has five academic departments with over 50 programs of study. The school’s department of religion has premiere faculty members who make meaningful change in the world and contributions to the study of religion. Professor Anantanand Rambachan authored, A Hindu Theology of Liberation: Not-Two is Not One, which was featured on a panel at Union Theological Seminary (New York) with Cornel West and Serene Jones.
Students like Taryn Arbeiter ’12 participate in community uplift through the Social Entrepreneurship Scholars program, working with immigration and refugee issues. As a political science major, Taryn was prepared to work in places like France and West Africa.
College Choice Score: 87.17
Average Net Price: $25,326
If you are looking for a Christian College with favorable employment rates after graduation, then you should pay attention to Centre College. Centre College is a “non-sectarian, Judeo-Christian,” independent liberal arts institution. 100% of the Centre’s students have internship opportunities and 97% of the school’s graduates get jobs or continue in advanced studies.
In light of the earth’s climate crisis, Centre College commits itself to environmentally conscious practices as global citizens. “From student organizations to the President’s Climate Commitment Advisory Committee (PCC), members of the Centre community are united in their desire to reduce their environmental footprint.” As a student at Centre College, you will join its legacy of being the first institution in Kentucky to support the local production of green energy.
Centre College offers numerous scholarship and fellowship programs. In a time where tuition is on the rise, you cannot go wrong with too many scholarships. Centre offers over ten scholarship and fellowship programs.
College Choice Score: 86.59
Average Net Price: $34,413
Baylor University is a lively school, a nationally ranked research institution, and a Christian University in Waco, Texas. Rooted in the Baptist tradition, Baylor began on February 1, 1845. Many of the school’s alumni work as missionaries, pastors, Fortune 500 company leaders, governs and professional athletes.
Baylor recently selected its 15th president, Dr. Linda A. Livingstone. She is the first female president of the Christian University in the university’s 172-year history. Dr. Livingstone was previously a dean at Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Management.
The religious life at Baylor is robust. Although rooted in the Baptist tradition, the school has over 37 religious traditions. The university has nine spiritual life centers to cater to the spiritual needs of students. Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary offers a theological education centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ with historic Baptist commitments.
College Choice Score: 83.29
Average Net Price: $18,878
If you want to be a part of a Christian college that has a global focus, then you should check out Goshen College. Goshen is a Christian, liberal arts school “known for leadership in intercultural and international education, sustainability and social justice. The school ranks as among the best at study abroad programs, economic efficiency, and as a Christian institution.
Imagine being a Goshen College and going to places like China, Peru, Senegal, Tanzania, and Cambodia. The college emphasizes service to communities abroad through its nationally recognized Study-Service Term program. Best College Reviews ranks Goshen’s study abroad program fourth in America.
Goshen College identifies with the historically peaceful Mennonite Church U.S.A. The school has campus ministries which include chapel services, inquiry programs, service opportunities, Bibles studies and more. Online devotions during Advent and Lent are one of the college’s unique features.
College Choice Score: 82.65
Average Net Price: $36,602
Members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) founded Chapman University (then Hesperian College) in 1861. Although higher education was not available to all people at the genesis of the school, Chapman admitted men, women, and people of color in its early beginnings. The private university is in the city of Orange in Southern California.
Chapman University has 10 colleges and schools including the Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, the School of Communication, the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Fowler School of Law, the School of Pharmacy, Argyros School of Business and Economics, the College of Educational Studies, Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences, the College of Performing Arts, and Schmid College of Science and Technology.
The Fish Interfaith Center is one of Chapman’s prized and award-winning centers. Fish Interfaith Center houses approximately 20 distinct organizations and has a diverse student population. From Christians on Campus to Chapman Skeptics, there is a religious group for all.
College Choice Score: 82.63
Average Net Price: $27,792
Wheaton College in the state of Illinois is a Christian, liberal arts college 25 miles west of Chicago. The school empowers its students through its mission of serving “Jesus Christ and
Advancing His kingdom through excellence in liberal arts and graduate programs that educate the whole person to build the church and benefit society worldwide.” Their motto is “For Christ and His Kingdom.”
Wheaton has 203 full-time professors and 111 part-time teachers. 97% of the faculty members hold doctoral or terminal degrees. The school has bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree options.
Wheaton College is a great place for students to spiritually grow as they prepare for their career or continue to graduate school. David Choi, an alumnus of Wheaton and current Yale Divinity School student, says, “Wheaton College is a place of intellectual and spiritual enrichment as students are challenged to engage life’s toughest questions within the context of a Christian community.”
College Choice Score: 82.48
Average Net Price: $26,312
What makes Allegheny College a distinctively Christian college? While many students have various reasons for attending the school, Allegheny is one of the most innovative schools and best liberal arts colleges in the nation. The university values diversity, trust, and equality, as it confronts racism, sexism, heterosexism, religious bigotry, and discrimination.
While some people may think that religiously based institutions lack in rigor, Allegheny disproves that claim. The Council on Undergraduate Research ranked Allegheny College as a top undergraduate research school that generates holistic and sustained student development.
Not only will you get a well-rounded education at Allegheny, but you will gain an advantage when it comes to employment. Educate To Career, places the school in the top 10 percent of 1,200 four-year colleges for the economic value delivered to graduates. Science, technology, engineering, math, business, healthcare, and education are top areas for Allegheny graduates.
College Choice Score: 82.07
Average Net Price: $34,943
Muhlenberg College is named after Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, the founder of the Lutheran Church in America. The College is in Allentown, Pennsylvania, which is approximately 99 miles from New York City. Muhlenberg enjoys an 11:1 student to faculty ratio, over 100 clubs and organizations, and 22 Division III sports teams.
At Muhlenberg, students major in Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Interdisciplinary Studies, and over 40 other disciplinary areas. Students have the benefit of cross registering with Cedar Crest College, DeSales University, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, and Moravian College. Muhlenberg creates space for students to grow academically and socially through its nationally recognized commitment to community engagement.
Although Muhlenberg College is of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the school has religious opportunities that cultivate interfaith dialogue. There are chapel services and other resources that form spirituality for Protestant, Jewish, and Roman Catholic life at Muhlenberg. The school is also LGBT friendly.
College Choice Score: 81.63
Average Net Price: $19,005
Presbyterian College (PC) in Clinton, South Carolina ranks as one of the highest colleges for the greatest lifetime return on investment. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredits the college’s baccalaureate and doctoral degrees. Presbyterian College has an 84% retention rate.
PC’s Office of Religious Life and Service creates space for worship, fellowship, study, pastoral care, and service. The school’s motto, “While We Live, We Serve,” embodies PC’s mission to serve its community. Students offer their talents through the Student Volunteer Services, Habitat for Humanity, Hose for Hope, and Home for Children.
One of Presbyterian College’s unique programs is the Confucius Institute. The Confucius Institute is a partnership between Presbyterian College and Guizhou University that strengthens Chinese programs at PC and its partner institutions. The Institute focuses on business exchanges between China and the Upstate business community of South Carolina, as well as teaching the Chinese language.
College Choice Score: 81.10
Average Net Price: $24,955
Hendrix College is a United Methodist-related school. Although Hendrix continues to have strong relationships with its founding church by combining knowledge and piety, it does not make chapel mandatory. The school attempts to foster religious life in the educational and vocational journey of its students.
Students choose from 34 majors and 39 minors in Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. The Odyssey Program is one of Hendrix’s programs that makes it stand out. The program increases global awareness through study tours in Costa Rica rainforests, Peru, the American Southwest, and the Everglades. You can participate in mission trips as a volunteer or intern.
Although the total yearly cost is about $54,020, the school gives an incredible amount of financial assistance. 100% of students received financial students in the 2016-2017 academic school year. Among those students, 89.7% students had their needs met.
College Choice Score: 80.99
Average Net Price: $33,195
Ruth Kerr founded a Bible Missionary Institute in 1937 which eventually became Westmont College. Westmont College is a private, liberal arts institution that is committed to Christian faith. The school is in the paradise hills and sunny blue skies of Santa Barbara, California.
Every year Westmont College awards significant scholarships. The school gives a four-year scholarship worth $140,000 to 30 incoming students. Just imagine, you could be one of the 30 students who receive a fully funded Augustinian scholarship. Also, 95% of incoming first-year and transfer students receive financial assistance.
Catholic and Friends, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Sanare Ministry, Science and Faith, and Yoga represent various ways that students attempt to stay spiritually engaged. The school’s campus ministry hosts chapel and convocation, worship, and prayer chapel. The ministry also helps students connect with churches and the community.
Gustavus Adolphus College
College Choice Score: 80.93
Average Net Price: $23,552
Gustavus Adolphus College is a private, liberal arts college that is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church and is rooted in its Swedish and Lutheran heritage. The school dates back to its founding in 1862. Excellence, community, justice, service and faith characterize the college’s five core values.
Gustavus Adolphus’ Department of Religion exists to help students understand how religion is part of the human experience. The department focuses on the contemporary expressions of Christian heritage, as well as theories and methods of studying religion.
The college hosts many events that challenge students and the community to deepen their faith. For example, Gustavus Adolphus College hosts an “Exploring Religious Questions Series.” The series engages topics on faith, science, and ethics. It is co-sponsored by the Office of Church Relations and the Bernhardson Distinguished Chair for Lutheran Studies.
College of the Ozarks
College Choice Score: 80.48
Average Net Price: $13,567
How would you like to earn a bachelor’s degree at the cost of $0.00? Believe it or not, at the College of the Ozarks (C of O) students do not pay tuition. The College of the Ozarks is a private liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. C of O values Christian character, hard work, and financial responsibility.
You are probably still stuck on the first line. How do students go to the college of the Ozarks for free? Here’s how financial aid works. The school combines service that students complete in C of O’s work program, federal and state grants, and a College of the Ozarks Scholarship. While it will take years for other students to pay back their loans, you will graduate with an excellent education in a Christian college with no tuition.
The North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools accredits the College of the Ozarks. The institution’s educational, nursing, and dietetics programs meet accreditation standards by other organizations. U.S. News and World Report ranks C of O as the Best Value Regional College in the Midwest, the fourth Best Regional College in the Midwest, and the second Best Undergraduate Teaching.
College Choice Score: 78.55
Average Net Price: $25,856
Hope College is a four-year liberal arts college that was founded in partnership with the Reformed Church in America. The school is in Holland, Michigan, a few miles from Lake Michigan. While Hope College aims for academic excellence, the college is “committed to educating students with respect for and awareness of the historic Christian faith.”
At Hope research opportunities are plentiful. Every spring, many students present their research projects at the Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance. Faculty members consistently receive funding for research at Hope College, with awards over $2.5 million. Frost Research Center, Center for Faithful Leadership, and Van RAALTE Institute are other ways that students stay academically engaged.
Approximately 95% of Hope’s student enter the workforce or graduate school within six months. Most graduates of Hope College get to work in their field of study. With the internship opportunities students afforded at hope, it is no wonder that so many of their graduates are employed and get to work at a job that fits their passion.
College Choice Score: 78.52
Average Net Price: $23,259
Transylvania University is a private institution of higher learning with religious affiliations with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The school is in Lexington, Kentucky and was founded in 1780. Transylvania is the nation’s sixteenth oldest college and is one of the best liberal arts colleges in the U.S.
Transylvania University is an ideal place for students to plug in and be engaged. Transylvania has more that 60 student organizations and 40 majors or minors. Not only do students have plenty of options when it comes to student activities and degree options, but they have advisors and mentors guiding them toward their career. The 100 Doors to Success is one of Transylvania’s programs that pairs students with an experience professional as a mentor.
Where do Transylvania students usually go when they graduate? The school has a 95% success rate within six months of graduation. 57% of students find jobs while 38% go to grad school. !00% of Transylvania’s students recommended to law schools are admitted while 90% of the students recommend to medical schools are accepted.
Fresno Pacific University
College Choice Score: 78.18
Average Net Price: $16,167
Fresno Pacific University (FPU) is a school that embodies Christ-centered values. These values include a prophetic, Anabaptist, evangelical and ecumenical Christian community, service to others, academic and professional excellences, students, and innovation. FPU’s mission is to develop “students for leadership and service through excellence in Christian higher education.”
FPU is associated with the Mennonite Brethren church. Through the Church Match Scholarship, students attending Fresno Pacific can receive a matching scholarship for up to $500, based on the donation of their home church. The school integrates faith and learning as a means to develop students as leaders and servants.
Fresno Pacific University has undergraduate, graduate, online, and continuing education programs. The University also has a Biblical Seminary with 14 degrees and certificate programs. FBU prides itself in being a forerunner for attracting first-generation students. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks FPU as one of the nation’s top Hispanic-serving Institution.
Abilene Christian University
College Choice Score: 77.90
Average Net Price: $24,594
When it comes to being an academic powerhouse and a place to grown in one’s faith, Abilene Christian University is the place to be. The Church of Christ affiliated university began in 1906. ACU continues to produce religious, educational, business, legal, and sports professionals throughout the world. The school has a Division I athletics program, service and worship opportunities, and over 100 student organizations.
ACU has more than 70 majors and 135 areas of study for undergraduate students. Abilene Christian also offers 27 master’s degrees and online degrees. Many of ACU’s professors hold Ivy League doctorate degrees. Steven Brice, an alumnus of ACU’s religion department sys, “ACU brought the classroom to the living room. This provided an opportunity for students to dine, laugh, and explore academics and life.”
ACU is an outstanding university and is ranked as such. America’s 100 Best College Buys, Apple Distinguished School, U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, Forbes Magazine, and America’s Best Christian Colleges name ACU as one of the best universities in the nation.
College Choice Score: 77.89
Average Net Price: $22,157
The Presbyterian Synod of Michigan established Alma College in 1886. Alma is has a student-centered, liberal education geared toward critical analysis, service, purpose, responsibility and stewardship. The school is one hour north of Lansing (the state capital) in Alma, Michigan.
The Higher Learning Commission accredits Alma College. Alma awards the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Bachelor of Music degrees. The average class size is 18 students with close to 1,400 total undergraduate students from 27 states and nine countries.
One of the key things that make the Alma difference is the freedom that students have to shape their curriculum. From academic research to experiential learning, students have endless possibilities at Alma. In general, 90% of the students participate in service learning courses.
College Choice Score: 77.69
Average Net Price: $25,112
Originally established as a Lutheran Seminary, Luther College is a private liberal arts college in Decorah, Iowa. While the school is affiliated with the Lutheran tradition, it believes that “a rigorous academic program in the context of a faith tradition is the best way for you to discover your life’s meanings and commitments.” The school believes that you do not have to be Lutheran or Christian to receive value from a Lutheran education.
If you want to be among some of the top scholars in academia, then you should think about attending Luther College. Luther is one of the top Fulbright producing schools. Along with Biblical Languages, Classics, Philosophy, and Religion, the school offers numerous degree programs. If you are thinking about a specialized career after undergraduate studies, the school offers pre-professional programs like pre-dentistry, pre-law, pre-ministry, and pre-medicine.
Luther College has college ministries, worship opportunities, mission trips, Bible studies, and small groups for spiritual growth. Not only does the college practice worship as a form of liturgy, but it practices worship pragmatically. The school enacts stewardship of its resources through environmental sustainability.
North Park University
College Choice Score: 77.41
Average Net Price: $19,158
When you visit North Park University’s website the first words, you in which you will see read, “Chicago is our classroom…hands-on academics in the city.” North Park began in the basement of a church in Minneapolis in 1891. Eventually, the school moved to Chicago and evolved into a university with a theological seminary in 1997.
North Park University identifies with the Evangelical Covenant Church. The terms Christian, urban, and intercultural inform North Park’s academic programs and learning environment. Undergraduate programs, graduate programs, the Graduate Theological Seminary, online education, and summer sessions demonstrate the multiple degree options available to North Park students.
One notable aspect of the university’s campus ministry is its attention to sports through athletic ministries. The school attempts to help students integrate faith into their sport. Even Seminary students can partner with the athletic teams as chaplains who lead team bible studies.
Point Loma Nazarene University
College Choice Score: 77.12
Average Net Price: $30,360
Think about going to a Christian university in the same city where you can go to the beach after class, go to a world-famous zoo, or watch the Padres play. If you go to Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU), then you will be able to have an experience of a lifetime. You can get an education that addresses you spiritual and intellectual appetite in fabulous weather and ocean views.
Point Loma’s mission is “to provide higher education in a vital Christian community where minds are engaged and challenged, character is molded and formed, and service is an expression of faith.” The church of the Nazarene established the university in 1902. PLNU has more than 60 undergraduate areas of study and graduate programs throughout Southern California.
Point Loma Nazarene University’s Center for Justice & Reconciliation puts the school’s Christian mission to work. The Center is a leading voice in ending human trafficking. Other centers at the school demonstrate Christian faith through sustainability efforts and attempts to end global poverty.
California Lutheran University
College Choice Score: 76.98
Average Net Price: $30,266
California Lutheran University is in between Los Angeles, CA and Santa Barbara, CA in Thousand Oaks, CA. Richard Pederson donated a ranch in which Cal Lutheran was founded in 1959. The school has an Office of Mission and Identity, Interfaith Dialogue, Campus Ministry, and Congregational Relations.
If you want to be an entrepreneur, physician, or software engineer, California Lutheran has just what you need for a successful career. Students major in Business Administration, Computer Science, Global Studies, Pre-Med, Religion, and many other disciplines at the university. California Lutheran University has the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Management, Graduate School of Education, Graduate School of Psychology, and the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.
One of the things that contribute to the scholastic character of Cal Lutheran is its focus and cultivation of scholars and research. The school has events and conferences that foster creative research such as the Student Research Symposium, the Southern California Conferences of Undergraduate Research, and the Festival of Scholars. California Lutheran is a great place to grow spiritually and academically.
College Choice Score: 76.69
Average Net Price: $32,607
The origins of Biola University harken back to the Bible Institute of Los Angeles which was founded by Lyman Stewart and Rev. T.C. Horton in 1908. After an extended period of growth and expansion, the school moved to La Mirada, California in 1952 and became Biola University on July 1, 1981. The WASC Senior College and University Commission accredits Biola University.
Biola University’s values have a strong biblical basis. Although the school is interdenominational, its Doctrinal Statement shows that the school is (proudly) theologically conservative. Students who are from biblical, evangelical and fundamentalist church traditions will fit right at home at Biola. The university’s hope for its graduates is for students to be “equipped in mind and character to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ,” through Truth, Transformation, and Testimony.
Students in Biola’s undergraduate program focus in the academic areas of General Education, Biblical Studies, or Major Courses. Graduate schools include Talbot School of Theology, Rosemead School of Psychology, Crowell School of Business, the School of Education, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Cook School of Intercultural Studies, and the School of Science, Technology, and Health. Biola also has online courses.
College Choice Score: 76.47
Average Net Price: $26,012
The Christian Reformed Church in North America founded Calvin College in 1876. The institution is named after the 16th-century reformer John Calvin. The school equips “student to think deeply, to act justly, and to live wholeheartedly as Christ’s agents of renewal in the world.” As a Christian institution, Calvin College is committed to intellectual inquiry, diversity, and sustainability.
Calvin College offers a myriad of ways for students to stay spiritually engaged. 100% of the college’s faculty members are Christians. The school has five weekly chapels, campus Bible studies, dorm worship, and mentoring. While chapel options avail, the school believes faith is in the everyday—in the college’s communal life. Chapel is not mandatory.
Not only is Calvin College an excellent choice for students who desire to have an education geared toward developing their faith and intellect, but Calvin helps them go beyond school to fulfill their careers. If you want to work in a law office, school, church, or publishing company, Calvin has the Christian education to prepare you. In the past, 98% of the school’s grads have been employed or hired, and 86% participated in an internship.
Houston Baptist University
College Choice Score: 76.34
Average Net Price: $20,181
While there are a lot of fantastic Christian Universities, not many of those schools can say they are in the lively city of Houston, Texas. Houston Baptist University (HBU) is in proximity to Downtown Houston. Students have access to numerous religious organizations, churches, and places to exercise their faith. HBU promotes academic, spiritual, and professional excellence.
“Community Life + Worship” is a staple in the school life of Houston Baptist University. The Community Life + Worship (CLW) program brings together intellect and spirituality within the matriculation of HBU students. HBU requires undergraduate students to complete 80 CLW credits before graduation, and 50 CLW credits must be earned by attending Convocation. Students gain CLW credits through Bible studies, church internships, service learning internships, the Bible Museum, and in other ways.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredits Houston Baptist University. At HBU you will not take classes with teaching assistants, faculty members teach 100% of the classes. The school has over 70 clubs and organizations and 17 Division I sports teams.
College Choice Score: 75.89
Average Net Price: $24,222
David Lipscomb and James Harding established Lipscomb University in 1891 in Nashville, Tennessee. Although Lipscomb University is not a church, it is closely tied to its ecclesiological roots in the Churches of Christ in the Stone-Campbell movement. The Christian institution is committed to “excellence, faith and practice, and community service” as global citizens.
Lipscomb University is a well-rounded, academically challenging and exciting place to learn. For students of theology, Bible, and religion, Lipscomb has some of the best faculty members from whom to learn—especially students in the Churches of Christ, Christian Church, or Disciples of Christ faith traditions. The university has ten colleges, two schools, and seven institutes.
While all students may not come from Christian or religious backgrounds, Lipscomb emphasizes faith in academics, in community, and in missions. The school requires Bible classes for all students. Mentoring, chapel, and campus ministry demonstrate the school’s faith within the community. Each year 800 members of the Lipscomb University community go out to witness to their faith near and abroad.
Azusa Pacific University
College Choice Score: 75.55
Average Net Price: $28,340
Azusa Pacific University (APU) is an educational institution within the Wesleyan religious tradition and has evangelical faith commitments. The school began as a Training School for Christian Workers in 1899, preparing men and women for ministry and service. APU stands as one of the largest and oldest Christian universities in Southern California.
The WASC Senior College and University Commission accredits Azusa Pacific University. All of the university’s colleges and degrees have proper accreditation related to the school and discipline. Azusa offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees. There are nine research centers at APU.
From professional athletes to actors, civic leaders, and religious leaders, Azusa Pacific University’s alumni stand out. Both John MacArthur and John Maxell attended APU. John Maxwell is the author of the New York Times Business Best Seller, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.
College Choice Score: 75.41
Average Net Price: $15,318
Scotch-Irish Presbyterian pioneers established Monmouth College in 1853. The school is a private, residential college in the friendly town of Monmouth, Illinois. Students enjoy small classes with and 11:1 student to faculty ratio. Approximately 1,2000 students from 35 countries attend the college.
Monmouth College is a charter member of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, the Higher Learning Commission, and North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Students choose from 35 undergraduate majors and 34 minors. Monmouth also has several pre-professional academic tracks to prepare students for graduate school.
Presbyterian House, Better Together, Meditation Group, Newman Club, Colorful Voices of Praise Gospel Choir, and Ignite enliven the religious and spiritual life of Monmouth College. These groups offer support, resources, and service for students who do and do not identify with the school’s Presbyterian faith.
Eastern Mennonite University
College Choice Score: 75.32
Average Net Price: $24,144
Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) is in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and has a rich history of service, social justice, Christian discipleship, and peacemaking. EMU students served in mental health institutions during World War II. Also, during the era of Jim-Crow, EMU was the first college in Virginia to admit African Americans.
If you are a student who likes to be involved in campus activities, EMU has many student clubs, intramural sports, and religious activities to keep you engaged. Alpha Omega Dancers for Christ, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Recreational sports, Sustainable Food Initiative, and Peace Fellowship are a few ways to keep you busy beyond the classroom.
EMU students have the opportunity to engage in original collaborative research with faculty members at the school. Students also benefit from one on one mentoring. The median class size is 14 students.
College Choice Score: 75.06
Average Net Price: $22,164
Central College is a private, four-year liberal arts college in Pella, Iowa. The school is associated with the Reformed Church in America. Central’s mission is to help “students discover and develop their greatest potential.” The college is also committed to academic excellence in light of its ecumenical Christian tradition.
What makes the “Central” difference? The school’s study abroad program has many dimensions and options that set it apart from other college’s study abroad programs. Students in the program study in over 20 different locations. Imagine going to Spain, Costa Rica, Italy, or France. You can also choose the style of education through a director-led program, faculty-led program, or a partner program.
The U.S. Green Building Council has recognized Central College as a leader in energy and environmental design. Sustainability fits into the university’s mission of social justice, economic prosperity, and environmental integrity. All of Central’s students take a class in Global Sustainability. Central College even provides food from its campus garden.
College Choice Score: 75.01
Average Net Price: $24,583
Eastern University is near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. The school is historically associated with the American Baptist Churches U.S.A. Eastern University’s President Robert G. Duffett says, “Our promise of integrating faith, reason, and justice is not just rhetoric; it’s something you will sense and feel.
At Eastern University, students study with professors who are recognized for their hard work and research. The university and seminary have 146 full-time faculty members. 80% of the Arts and Sciences professors have earned doctorate degrees. The faculty has over 300 publications and have received esteemed awards like the Lindback Awards for Excellence in Teaching, Regional Emmy for PBS Documentary and the Olaf Palma International Justice Award.
The Office of Faith and Practice includes the University Chaplain, Coordinator of Student Ministries and Service Learning, Chapel Worship, and Spiritual Formation. Each year the school takes mission trips to places like Bolivia, New York City, North Carolina, and Pittsburgh. First-year students serve and learn through the “Introduction to Faith, Reason, and Justice,” course. The course requires 20 service hours.
College Choice Score: 74.95
Average Net Price: $23,024
For just about any career that you want to have, you can get there from LeTourneau University (LETU). LeTourneau is “a Christ-centered, interdenominational institute of higher learning” in the green part of the U.S. in Longview, Texas. The University in East Texas has hybrid programs in Dallas and Houston and online programs.
LeTourneau University has 85 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Some of the university’s degree program include arts and sciences, aviation, business and technology, education, engineering, nursing, psychology and counseling, and theology and vocation. LETU teaches students everything from flying airplanes to leading ministries.
LETU has 2721 students including undergraduate students, graduate students, and high school dual enrollment students. Students from 49 states, 30 countries, and 48 denominations and religions diversify LeTourneau’s body of students. The school has more that 50 student organizations and 20 intramural sports.
College Choice Score: 74.80
Average Net Price: $28,578
Although Samford University emerged from two fires, name and location changes since 1841, the school is thriving in the 21st century. Samford is in the historic city of Birmingham, Alabama. The school is a highly ranking private university with Christian values. Samford University is the 87th oldest institution of higher learning in the nation.
Samford University has ten schools within its undergraduate and graduate body. The school enrolls about 5,471 students per year and has a student to faculty ratio of 12:1. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredits Samford University.
If you want to step into a legacy of greatness, then you should go to Samford. Samford University’s alumni are phenomenal. The university’s alumni include 60 plus U.S. congresspersons, four Rhodes scholars, two U.S. Supreme Court justices, Emmy and Grammy winning artists and Pulitzer and Nobel Peace Prize winners.
Dallas Baptist University
College Choice Score: 74.77
Average Net Price: $24,791
Dallas Baptist University (DBU) is affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. As the first two-year institution of higher education in Texas, the University was first established as Decatur Baptist College in 1898. Today, DBU offers 72 undergraduate programs, 29 master’s programs, 74 dual master’s degree programs and two doctoral programs.
DBU strives to make the student experience an experience that encompasses their spiritual, intellectual, physical, emotional, and social developmental needs. The University aims to shape students into becoming Christian servant leaders. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredits Dallas Baptists’ degrees.
Along with classes, students stay occupied in academic, honor, spiritual, service, and social organizations. The school has five religious foundations for studying, discussion, service, networking, and fellowship. Organizations like The Call, train students for church leadership.
Texas Wesleyan University
College Choice Score: 74.67
Average Net Price: $19,814
Texas Wesleyan University is a place where you can have intellectual freedom although the school is affiliated with the United Methodist religious tradition. The university values personal attention for every student and the ability to “pursue independent thought and to exercise intellectual curiosity.” Texas Wesleyan is a liberal arts and sciences school that prepares students for professional careers and graduate school.
There are 31 undergraduate majors and seven undergraduate degrees at Texas Wesleyan. The school also has four graduate programs and ten graduate degrees. By 2020 the school plans to create more opportunities for students to take online classes, internships that lead to jobs. The school is also looking to offer free tuition to qualifying transfer students.
Texas Wesleyan University is a place for you to ask intellectually stimulating questions about your faith, prepare for your future through academic study, and to show the Rams’ school spirit. Texas Wesleyan has 16 athletic teams. The Rams NAIA Division I men’s basketball team won the 2017 National Championship.
Seattle Pacific University
College Choice Score: 74.20
Average Net Price: $27,134
Free Methodist pioneers started Seattle Seminary in 1891. The Seminary evolved and became Seattle Pacific University (SPU) in 1970. SPU values academic excellence and relevance, transformative and holistic student experience, and purpose and Christian identity. The school celebrates its 125th anniversary this year.
Seattle Pacific University does not hold its students captive in classrooms. In contrast, students actively engaged the city. At SPU you experience local guest speakers in your class, theology classes visit churches, and “biology professors work with students to research some of the unique life found in the Pacific Northwest.”
SPU’s engagement with the city creates job opportunities for graduates. Many Fortune 500 companies are in the city of Seattle. The school helps you connect with companies in Seattle like Google, Brooks Running, Adobe, Amazon, Microsoft, Seattle Seahawks, Starbucks, and others. SPU has a Center for Career and Calling and a Mentor Program.
College Choice Score: 74.13
Average Net Price: $21,932
Houghton College is a liberal arts college in Houghton, New York. The college is associated with the Wesleyan tradition. The Colleges of Distinction 2017 Guidebook regards Houghton College as a featured institution in New York state and as a Christian institution.
Houghton integrates off-campus study into the school’s curriculum. In this way, students graduate on time and gain a global perspective that they can implement in the rest of their education. Theology, business, political science, or intercultural studies majors learn in places like Alaska, Tanzania, Morocco, Ecuador, and Costa Rica.
Not only does Houghton College encourage its students to have a global conscious through off-campus semesters abroad, but the college challenges students to engage their community through service actively. For example, through the Allegany County Outreach program, students mentor children in the community by helping them with their homework and participating in group outings and events. Gospel Choir, Global Partners, and Serving in Mission are other spiritual organizations at Houghton.
College Choice Score: 73.43
Average Net Price: $23,468
Liberty University is one of the largest Christian universities in the United States. Liberty is an evangelical, liberal arts university in Lynchburg, Virginia. It has 16 colleges and schools and 500 programs of study. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredits Liberty University.
Leading Evangelical professors teach Liberty’s Bible and Religion courses. Rawlings School of Divinity offers programs for all levels—from certificates to doctoral degrees. You can take classes online or as a residential student. Biblical Studies, Christian Apologetics, Theology, Evangelism and Church Planting, encompass some of the majors the divinity school has to offer.
You should not be surprised if you run into alumni of Liberty in your daily life or watching television. The University has over 250,00 alumni with jobs with CNN, ESPN, the U.S. Senate, and more. Toby Mac, a six-time Grammy award-winning Christian artist, attended Liberty University.
Oklahoma City University
College Choice Score: 73.14
Average Net Price: $27,477
Oklahoma City University (OCU) is a private educational institution that is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. After World War II, the school entered a partnership with Massachusetts Institute of Technology to improve the academic discourse and quality of education. The collaboration with MIT was called the Great Plan because it was a great success and plays a significant role in Oklahoma City University’s success today.
OCU has more than 1,800 undergraduates and 500 grad students. The school offers unique opportunities like the University Honors Program, OCU LEADS, the Washington Semester Program, and the Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film and Literature. 78% of OCU’s professors have the highest degrees in their field of study.
If you are looking for a place that has an intimate community in an urban location, OCU may be perfect for you. The campus is not too large, and the classes are not overwhelming. You do not have to wait in an endless line to speak to your professor. Oklahoma City University is a place where you can get a personalized education “that encourages service, leadership, and spiritual growth.”
Hope International University
College Choice Score: 73.13
Average Net Price: $21,374
Hope International University (HIU) is nationally-ranked Christian school in Fullerton, California. StudnetLoans.net ranks HIU as one of the top private colleges for the least debt in the nation. Other sources regard the school highly for being one of the best value colleges, one of the best in the west, and as one of the best schools in the state.
HIU seeks to “empower students through Christian higher education to serve the Church and impact the world for Christ.” The University is committed values the Restoration Movement, a Christian environment, excellent academic programs, and stewardship. The school has an undergraduate on campus and an undergraduate online program as well as a graduate school.
Hope International University’s Career Services carries out the school’s mission by connecting students to the wider world. Career Services offers valuable resources for career development by helping you connect your spiritual, academic, and vocational gifts. Discovering occupations, selecting the right major, interview training, job search training, and strengths assessments encompass the benefits students receive at HIU.
Roberts Wesleyan College
College Choice Score: 72.97
Average Net Price: $22,276
Similar to many other Christian colleges and universities, Roberts Wesleyan College began as a seminary. The school aims to address the physical, social, psychological, rational, and spiritual dimensions of their students through their curriculum. The school has been at work since 1866.
Roberts Wesleyan College is a place that emphasizes faith, academics, and community. The school offers so many avenues to grow in your faith. Chapel, missions and service, Discovery events, ministry groups, prayer partners’ small groups and Bible studies, and local churches support students at Roberts Wesleyan College.
Studying abroad, internships, and mission trips create opportunities for students to be active in their world. Roberts’ Cultural Enrichment Committee bridges liberal arts education and faith through programs like guest lectures of local professionals, authors and poets, film fests, book projects, musical events, and community projects.
Ouachita Baptist University
College Choice Score: 72.90
Average Net Price: $19,102
Ouachita Baptist University is a liberal arts school in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Ouachita is affiliated with the Arkansas Baptist Convention. Business, Christian studies, education, fine arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences encompass the seven schools at Ouachita Baptist. U.S. News & World Report and Forbes consistently ranks the school among the top in the nation.
If you know that you want to attend a Christian university, but you don’t know what subject to major in, Ouachita Baptist is here to help. When the school accepts students, students complete an online assessment to identify a career path. While all students take the CORE curriculum, faculty advising, career services, DISCOVER SUMMIT, and a guest series, aids students in choosing a career path and declare a major.
Students do well when they go to Ouachita Baptist University and when they graduate. The school has a 97% acceptance rate to graduate programs and professional schools. Although many graduates struggle with finding jobs after attending college, 93% of Ouachita’s student obtain a full-time job or go to grad school within a year.
College Choice Score: 72.79
Average Net Price: $27,365
If you want an education that will help you to “honor God, follow Christ, and serve humanity, then Whitworth University may be the school for you. Whitworth has a study body population of 3,000 and has 60 undergrad and grad degree programs. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities accredits the school. Whitworth is also a member of many other associations like the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities.
Students at Whitworth University learn with professors who are contributing to social change and also to their professional fields. Faculty members receive awards like the Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise, a grant from the Hagan Foundation, and the Washington State Music Teachers Commissioned Composer of the Year. One of its professor’s in Theology was one of 12 international scholars invited to speak at the Vatican.
You should know that Whitworth University is an institution that truly values diversity, equality, and inclusion. The president of the university declared the University as a sanctuary campus and also urged the president of the United States to extend protection for undocumented immigrants. The school even embraces inclusive classroom lectures that confront unconscious bias, racism, and communication problems. Whitworth is a university for all.
Pacific Lutheran University
College Choice Score: 72.64
Average Net Price: $26,112
Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) is private university in the scenic Pacific Northwest in Tacoma, Washington. PLU commits to sustainability, justice, and diversity. The school has an internationally-known Holocaust Studies program with a minor in Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
There are many reasons that students choose PLU. The University is affordable, military friendly, environmentally conscious and is grounded in Lutheranism. Pacific Lutheran’s nursing school is one of the best in the country, and U.S. News and World Report ranked the school’s business program as one of the best in the country.
What happens to Pacific Lutheran students when they graduate? About 65% of the students get full-time jobs while 20% enter graduate school. 75% of the students who find employment find their work to be meaningful and 85% of the graduates find employment that corresponds to the career. PLU Alumni work at Amazon, MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital, Peace Community Center, and many other places.
College Choice Score: 72.64
Average Net Price: $11,986
The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church established Erskine College in 1839. Erskine values the relationship between learning and faith as an integrated enterprise. The school gives students and faculty members the freedom to encounter and engage truth through rigorous academics and an authentically Christian tradition.
Erskine College is a small, intimate community where you can gain from meaningful discussion in class, and particular attention from your professors. The student to faculty ratio is 12:1. As opposed to major universities where you have to sit in a room with 300 other students, the largest classes at Erskine cap at 25 participants. Not only will you know your professors, but they will know you by name.
Erskine has 23 degree programs. The school allows you to customize your degree program so that it fits your educational and career goals. Erskine offers a one month January term as well as semester-long study abroad terms in Scotland, England, France, and Mexico.
William Carey University
College Choice Score: 72.54
Average Net Price: $15,026
William Carey University (WCU) is in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The private Christian university is affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention. It is ranked as one of the best colleges in the South as well as in the U.S. WCU first existed as Pearl River Boarding School in 1892.
While there is a range of degree options for undergraduate and graduate students, the Winters School of Music and Ministry of various degree concentrations that prepare students for ministry, teaching, and service. The school offers training in Biblical Studies, Christian Ministries, Music, Christian History, Biblical Languages, and Philosophy and Religion.
The Baptist Student Union (BSU) is a staple at William Carey University. BSU attempts to “uplift, encourage, reach out, help in any way possible, and serve the college community of WCU.” BSU stays faithful to its goals through the group’s worship, fellowship, and service. The Union hosts campus worship on Monday nights, free lunches on Tuesdays, and a weekly prayer breakfast.
College Choice Score: 72.49
Average Net Price: $31,902
When you visit Eckerd College’s web page, you will be blown away by its stunning images. Eckerd is in St. Petersburg, Florida where the average temperature is 74 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. Eckerd provides a liberal arts education and is in a covenant relationship with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The school is a college that changes lives.
One of Eckerd’s sayings is, “Think Outside.” The mantra embodies the school’s use of its paradise location, its commitment to sustainability, and its outlook on academics. The college “combines study, travel, research and internships to prepare you for anything.” The school has approximately 41 majors. It also has minor areas of concentration and exceptional academic offerings.
Eckerd College’s International Education program is unique. Students choose from over 300 destinations to study and do research. The college ranks as number nine in the U.S. for short-term study abroad programs. Not only do students learn by going abroad, but they hear from students who come from other countries. Eckerd includes students from 41 different countries around the world.