Best Christian Colleges

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The Religious Landscape Study shows that 70.6% of religions in the U.S. identify as Christian. Of the 70.6% of Christians in the U.S., 25.4% are Evangelical Protestant, 14.7% are Mainline Protestant, 6.5% are Historically Black Protestant, and 20.8% are Catholic.

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.

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Top 10 Best Christian Colleges

Rank School Location
1 Pepperdine University Malibu, CA
2 Agnes Scott College Decatur, GA
3 Earlham College Richmond, IN
4 St. Olaf College Northfield, MN
5 Centre College Danville, KY
6 Baylor University Waco, TX
7 Goshen College Goshen, IN
8 Chapman University Orange, CA
9 Wheaton College Wheaton, IL
10 Allegheny College Meadville, PA

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.”

Best Christian Colleges and Universites

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Pepperdine University
    Location

    Malibu, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

  2. Agnes Scott College
    Location

    Decatur, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

  3. Earlham College
    Location

    Richmond, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

  4. St. Olaf College
    Location

    Northfield, MN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

  5. Centre College
    Location

    Danville, KY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

  6. Baylor University
    Location

    Waco, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

  7. Goshen College
    Location

    Goshen, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

  8. Chapman University
    Location

    Orange, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

  9. Wheaton College
    Location

    Wheaton, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.”

  10. Allegheny College
    Location

    Meadville, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

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