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Best Online Christian Colleges

By Usmaan Farooqui | Updated 8/17/2022
2020 Best Online Christian Colleges Badge

These 25 schools are the best online Christian colleges of 2020, ranked according to their acceptance rates. All schools are accredited, offer at least one online bachelor's degree, and have acceptance rates under 50%. Many of these schools offer online programs at additional academic levels, and they span a wide variety of religious denominations, including Assemblies of God Church, Evangelical Christian, and Baptist. At #1, St. Luke's College charges $17,550 per year for their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) and Bachelor of Health Science. At #2, Southwestern Assemblies of God University charges only $14,970 per year for their various bachelor's degrees.

You can read our full methodology here.

Find an Online Degree:
RankSchool Annual Tuition Acceptance Rate
# 1 #1 St. Luke's College $17,550 26.7%
# 2 #2 Southwestern Assemblies of God University $14,970 27.9%
# 3 (tie) #3 (tie) Hope International University $13,500 28.4%
# 3 (tie) #3 (tie) Kettering College $14,508 28.4%
# 5 #5 Liberty University $9,900 29.8%
# 6 #6 Corban University $12,600 33.0%
# 7 #7 Texas Wesleyan University $27,644 34.3%
# 8 #8 Finlandia University $15,000 35.6%
# 9 #9 Villanova University $54,550 36.0%
# 10 #10 Avila University $14,850 38.9%
# 11 #11 Mississippi College $8,949 39.0%
# 12 #12 Dallas Baptist University $29,220 39.4%
# 13 #13 Pepperdine University $37,950 39.8%
# 14 #14 Kentucky Christian University $19,996 40.2%
# 15 #15 Claflin University $6,744 41.2%
# 16 #16 Warner University $10,752 41.5%
# 17 #17 Davis & Elkins College $29,000 41.6%
# 18 (tie) #18 (tie) Brescia University $13,600 42.4%
# 18 (tie) #18 (tie) Trinity Bible College $13,320 42.4%
# 20 #20 McMurry University $9,750 43.4%
# 21 #21 University of Holy Cross $16,200 46.1%
# 22 #22 University of Mobile $13,500 47.0%
# 23 (tie) #23 (tie) LeTourneau University $10,650 47.1%
# 23 (tie) #23 (tie) Oakwood University $12,000 47.1%
# 25 #25 Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University $15,885 48.4%

Highlights of the Best Online Christian Colleges

#1 St. Luke's College

  • Annual Tuition: $17,550
  • Locations: Sioux City (IA)
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: 26.7%

St. Luke’s College was formed in 1966 as a result of merging a Methodist nursing school with a Lutheran nursing school, both of which were founded in the 1890s. Today, the private, nonprofit institution focuses on providing high-quality, health-system-based education. Two online bachelor’s programs are offered: a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) and a Bachelor of Health Science. Both 120-credit programs can be completed fully online, and credits from prior coursework can be applied toward the degrees. Both full- and part-time study options are available. Coursework, delivered via the CAMS Learning Management System, is organized into learning modules comprised of course schedules, syllabi, discussions, quizzes, and assignments. Applicants must submit official high school transcripts with a minimum GPA of 2.50 along with ACT scores (or equivalent). A 2.30 GPA may be acceptable if the applicant has some transferrable college credit. Distance learners at St. Luke’s College have access to the same student services as on-campus students, including academic support, bookstore services, financial aid, advising, and student organizations.

#2 Southwestern Assemblies of God University

  • Annual Tuition: $14,970
  • Locations: Waxahachie (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 27.9%

A private Christian university and seminary, SAGU is endorsed by the Assemblies of God USA. The school offers nearly 50 online associate and bachelor’s degrees in areas of behavioral sciences, community services, Bible and ministry, business, education, and history. Religious programs include Biblical studies, church ministries, church leadership, religion and philosophy, and theological studies. Online coursework is delivered via the Blackboard online learning management system, and learning is mostly asynchronous. Distance learners have access to free one-on-one tutoring as well as non-credit study skills development courses, academic resources, counseling, career services, the university bookstore, and workshops. For some programs, students can enroll in a single three-hour course and earn up to 45 credits by demonstrating knowledge and life experience to graduate up to a year earlier. All applicants should actively engage in Christian standards and principles. A Christian character reference is required. Additionally, official high school transcripts showing a minimum overall GPA of 2.0 must be submitted along with transcripts for any prior college coursework. Placement test scores are required if the applicant has fewer than 21 transferrable college credits.

#3 (tie) Hope International University

  • Annual Tuition: $13,500
  • Locations: Fullerton (CA)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC
  • Acceptance Rate: 28.4%

Established in 1928, Hope International University is a private Christian university. It is identified with non-denominational Christian churches. The school’s online programs include an associate degree and sixteen bachelor’s degrees in areas such as criminal justice, business administration, Christian ministry, and human development. Learning is asynchronous and fully online. Coursework is delivered via eCollege software, through which students can download course material, submit assignments, interact with other students and professors, participate in class discussions, and access library services. Coursework comprises audio/video material, lectures, readings, group assignments, discussions, quizzes, and more. Services for distance learners include a counseling center, bookstore services, and the online college library. Applicants to the online undergraduate programs must complete a 250-word essay and submit high school transcripts along with transcripts from all prior college coursework. Those with 12 or more transferrable credits must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.0; those with fewer are required to have a GPA of at least 2.5. Those interested in enrolling in an online program at HIU can view a demo course on the university’s website.

#3 (tie) Kettering College

  • Annual Tuition: $14,508
  • Locations: Kettering (OH)
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: 28.4%

A small, faith-based institution, Kettering College is owned by the Kettering Medical Center and chartered by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Two online completion degrees are offered: a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) and a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences. The BSN is designed for RNs who already have an associate degree. Both part- and full-time study options are available; the 48-credit program can be completed in one to three years, but students can take up to five years to finish. Coursework is delivered in seven-week sessions. The BSHS, available with seven different concentrations, can be completed in four or eight semesters; sessions are seven or eight weeks in length, and no clinical hours are required. Both programs are available entirely online. The Canvas online learning system is used to deliver coursework. It supports email, chats, discussions, grades, lecture videos, assignments, and more. Distance learners have access to online tutoring, library resources, and a reference librarian. Learning is mostly asynchronous. Applicants to both programs must have an associate degree or equivalent, and those applying to the BSN must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.5. Students should check with the college for specific admission requirements for each program.

#5 Liberty University

  • Annual Tuition: $9,900
  • Locations: Lynchburg (VA)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 29.8%

One of the largest evangelical universities in the world, Liberty University is a private Christian institution offering more than 150 online degree programs at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Undergraduate divinity degrees include biblical studies, Christian leadership, apologetics, and a Christian counseling degree. Master-level programs include biblical exposition, divinity, religious education, and sports chaplaincy. Additionally, an online Doctor of Ministry and a Doctor of Worship Studies are available. Online learning at LU is generally asynchronous, and coursework is delivered via the Blackboard online learning management system. Blackboard allows students to receive and submit assignments, take tests and exams, share in discussions, check grades, and interact with other students as well as instructors. For many programs, courses are delivered in a convenient, eight-week format. Start dates are offered in the fall, spring, and summer. Distance learners have access to academic support, tutoring, library services, writing assistance, career counseling, and live webinars. Applicants to undergraduate programs must submit a high school self-certification form and (if applicable) transcripts from post-secondary school institutions. A minimum overall GPA of 2.0 is required. For graduate programs, students may need to submit professional recommendations, essays, and completed questionnaires. Those interested should check the specific admission requirements for each degree.

#6 Corban University

  • Annual Tuition: $12,600
  • Locations: Salem (OR)
  • Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Acceptance Rate: 33.0%

Established in 1935, Corban University is a private Christian institution and a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. The university offers online bachelor’s programs in business, psychology, and interdisciplinary studies. Online courses include web-based discussions, interaction with professors and fellow students, and personalized feedback. They are divided into eight-week sessions—two each fall, spring, and summer semester—and students can take breaks from their studies if needed. The 13:1 student-faculty ratio allows for individual feedback, support, and mentorship. CU’s faculty members have years of professional work experience, and some still work in their respective fields. Students are assigned an academic adviser who provides assistance throughout the duration of the program. Applicants to CU generally have one year of life, work, or college experience after high school graduation, believe in Jesus Christ, and live a Christian lifestyle. They must be able to write at the college level and have a minimum high school GPA of 2.7 or a college GPA of 2.0. Each applicant must submit transcripts from all academic work, a 300-word faith statement, at least one teacher reference, and a Christian character reference from a pastor or church leader.

#7 Texas Wesleyan University

  • Annual Tuition: $27,644
  • Locations: Fort Worth (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 34.3%

Texas Wesleyan University, a private Methodist university, held its first classes in 1891. The institution offers five online degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Distance learners can earn degrees in such areas as business administration (completion degree), nurse anesthesia practice (completion degree), family nurse practitioner, and education. The Blackboard online learning management system is used to deliver coursework. Through this system, students can access syllabi and course material, receive and submit assignments, participate in class discussions, take tests and exams, check grades, and interact with other students and instructors. Applicants to undergraduate programs at TWU must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.50. It is possible to apply with or without standardized test scores; those applying without test scores must answer supplemental questions and provide a graded writing sample from a junior- or senior-level class. Those without a high school diploma must have an average GED score of 500. Those applying to a graduate level program should check with the university for admission requirements. Distance learners at TWU have access to career and counseling services, financial services, academic support, technical assistance, the university bookstore, and one-on-one tutoring.

#8 Finlandia University

  • Annual Tuition: $15,000
  • Locations: Hancock (MI)
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: 35.6%

Established in 1896, Finlandia University is a private Christian institution affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The university offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN). Designed for working nurses with professional and family obligations, the program offers coursework in eight-week sessions and can be completed in as few as five semesters. Students have up to seven years to complete the degree. Learning is asynchronous, so students can study at a time that is convenient for them. Adding further flexibility to the program are the multiple start dates offered in January, March, May, August, and October. One-on-one faculty assistance is provided. Credits earned in the program are easily transferred for students who wish to pursue their master’s degree after graduation. Distance learners have access to learning resources in math, science, business, and other subjects, as well as assistance in grammar and writing via online guides and labs. Other resources include instructional videos and practice exercises. Applicants must have graduated from a state-approved nursing program, have a current and unencumbered RN license, a minimum overall GPA of 2.85, and have completed the basic math and science requirements for admission into the program.

#9 Villanova University

  • Annual Tuition: $54,550
  • Locations: Villanova (PA)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Acceptance Rate: 36.0%

A private Catholic institution, Villanova University offers over 60 fully and partially online programs at the certificate, associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Various engineering degrees are available as well as degrees in the health and nursing fields, business, and law. More than 15 of these programs—all undergraduate degrees—are delivered entirely online. Online coursework at VU is delivered via the Canvas online learning management system, through which students can receive and submit assignments, access syllabi, share content, and view courses and grades. Some features of Canvas are accessible on mobile devices. Learning is generally asynchronous. Online learners at Villanova have access to academic support, writing and research assistance, technical support, career counseling, and more. Applicants must provide official transcripts, three recommendation letters, a statement of goals, a resume, and an academic writing sample. Those applying for undergraduate degrees must submit official high school transcripts or a GED certificate (if applying with fewer than 15 college credits), an essay, and a current resume.

#10 Avila University

  • Annual Tuition: $14,850
  • Locations: Kansas City (MO)
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: 38.9%

Founded in 1916, Avila University is a private Catholic university that incorporates the values of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in its curricula. Over 60 majors are available in a hybrid format, and a Master of Arts in Management - Project Management is offered fully online. Additionally, an accelerated Bachelor of Arts in Healthcare Management is offered entirely online. Learning is generally asynchronous, and online coursework is delivered via the Canvas online learning management system. Canvas supports receiving and submitting assignments, sharing content, viewing grades, and more. Distance learners at AU have access to the university bookstore, counseling and career services, tutoring, library resources, and IT support. First-year applicants with an overall GPA of 2.75 or higher are not required to submit SAT/ACT scores. All applicants must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.50. Those applying to a graduate program must hold a bachelor’s degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and official transcripts must be submitted. Students should check with the university for additional admission requirements for each program.

#11 Mississippi College

  • Annual Tuition: $8,949
  • Locations: Clinton (MS)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 39.0%

Founded in 1926, Mississippi College is a private Baptist institution. It is the second-oldest Baptist-affiliated college in the United States and the oldest college in Mississippi. It offers online graduate, undergraduate, accelerated, and certificate programs in more than 30 areas of study, including homeland security, nursing, paralegal studies, education, finance, athletic administration, and communication. The Moodle online learning management system is used to deliver coursework. This interactive system allows instructors to post course information, hold class discussions, communicate with students, and give quizzes online. All courses are 100 percent online, and learning is mostly asynchronous, providing the flexibility needed by busy students with family and professional obligations. Online students at MC have access to the same student resources as on-campus students, including career services, student counseling, writing assistance, student organizations, IT support, and more. Those applying for an undergraduate program must submit official high school transcripts or GED certificate along with ACT/SAT/CLT test scores. For admission to a graduate program, students must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum overall GPA of 2.50, standardized test scores, and appropriate foundation courses for the desired degree. Applicants should check with the college for additional admission requirements for their specific degree program.

#12 Dallas Baptist University

  • Annual Tuition: $29,220
  • Locations: Dallas (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 39.4%

Affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, Dallas Baptist University offers over 75 degree programs entirely online. These are available at the certificate, associate, bachelor’s, and master’s levels, and the university also offers accelerated degrees and online dual master’s degrees. Programs are available in such areas as biblical studies, sociology, psychology, criminal justice, management, marketing, and project management. An MA in Christian Ministry is available with several concentrations, including Counseling Ministry and Family Ministry. Additionally, an MA in Family Ministry is available with a concentration in Christian Counseling. All online learning is asynchronous. DBU’s online learning environment includes web conferencing and media on demand. Students learn the subject material, conduct research, take quizzes and tests, and interact with fellow students and professors. Many of the web-based features are also accessible on mobile devices. Students applying to an undergraduate program must submit official high school transcripts with a minimum overall GPA of 2.5; ACT/SAT/CLT scores are also required. Applicants to graduate programs must submit all post-secondary transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a current resume. Online students have access to math and writing assistance, library services, the university bookstore, IT support, and more.

#13 Pepperdine University

  • Annual Tuition: $37,950
  • Locations: Malibu (CA)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC
  • Acceptance Rate: 39.8%

A Church of Christ institution, Pepperdine University aspires to integrate its Christian principles with traditional academic programs. Pepperdine offers online programs across several disciplines. The Graziadio Business School hosts an online Master of Business Administration (part-time or full-time), MS in Business Analytics, MS in Human Resources, MS in Management and Leadership, BS in Management, and Certificate in Financial Planning. The Caruso School of Law hosts an online Master of Legal Studies, Master of Dispute Resolution, and LLM in Dispute Resolution. The Graduate School of Education and Psychology hosts an online MA in Psychology, MA in Clinical Psychology, MS in Applied Behavioral Analysis, MS in Leadership in Higher Education, and MS in Leadership PreK–12. Pepperdine's online learning platform combines virtual classes with self-paced work. The curriculum incorporates real-world projects and group assignments. The learning management system, 2PEP (facilitated through 2U), uses Zoom video-conferencing software. Pepperdine's distance learning students have 24/7 technical support and partner with a Student Success Advisor. Admissions officers, placement specialists, career specialists, and writing specialists are available for the online community. GRE/GMAT scores are not required for admission, though a completed bachelor's degree is necessary for all master's level degrees.

#14 Kentucky Christian University

  • Annual Tuition: $19,996
  • Locations: Grayson (KY)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 40.2%

Kentucky Christian University (KCU) is a private, nonprofit institution dedicated to integrating a strong biblical foundation with its academics. Individuals interested in the field of nursing may enroll in the Yancey School of Nursing's online RN to BSN program or the online RN to MSN program. All coursework is available online, and students complete clinical requirements in their own communities. The curriculum teaches students how to apply Christian principles to the nursing profession. The Keeran School of Bible Ministry also provides online degree options, including an MA in Biblical Studies, an MA in Christian Leadership, and an MA in Religion. Online content is delivered asynchronously, though participants are expected to meet deadlines and complete weekly assignments. Coursework is housed in the Sakai learning management system. Online learners have access to resources from the Young Library and support from an academic advisor. Standardized test scores are not required for admission, though official transcripts and letters of reference must be submitted.

#15 Claflin University

  • Annual Tuition: $6,744
  • Locations: Orangeburg (SC)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 41.2%

An affiliate of the United Methodist Church, Claflin University (CU) values an inclusive community and acts of service. CU facilitates the Young Clergy Initiative, which identifies and recruits individuals for a future in pastoral leadership. Claflin University's distance education platform, CU Online, offers several different online programs: an M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction, an MBA, a BA in Criminal Justice, an MS in Criminal Justice, a BS in Psychology, a BS in Nursing (which includes one Saturday, monthly, on-campus requirement), and a BS in Organizational Management. Online content is housed in Moodle, CU's learning management system, and delivered asynchronously. Online classes are eight weeks long, and most students take two to three classes at a time. Accepted students engage in an online education orientation video and have access to all student services, including the Writing Center, the library, and virtual support services. Applicants to the master's programs must hold a completed bachelor's degree, while bachelor's program candidates should submit ACT or SAT scores. All applicants should submit official transcripts for previous college credit.

#16 Warner University

  • Annual Tuition: $10,752
  • Locations: Lake Wales (FL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 41.5%

Warner University strives to provide flexible, online courses instructed via a Christian perspective. Its mission prioritizes engagement, service, and stewardship. Adult learners can select from the following online programs: an AS in Agricultural Studies, a BA in Business Administration, a BA in Criminal Justice, a BA in Education Studies, and a AA in General Studies. An AS or a BS in Christian Ministry is also available for adults seeking employment in local church organizations or mission work. Remote learners typically take two classes every eight weeks. Part-time options are available, though most adult online learners attend full-time. Warner University Online allows students to complete assignments at their own pace, with weekly assignments. There are no required login times. Online classrooms are facilitated through Moodle learning management software. Distance learners have access to disability services, technical support, e-resources through the library, and discounts for hardware and Microsoft products. Applicants to Warner University's online degrees are expected to submit official transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, and meet GPA minimum requirements. Adult learners may leverage a prior learning assessment to gain credit for previous life experience.

#17 Davis & Elkins College

  • Annual Tuition: $29,000
  • Locations: Elkins (WV)
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: 41.6%

Students seeking a Christian, online nursing education have the option of an RN to BSN degree completion program at Davis & Elkins College (D&E). The 40-credit, 12-course curriculum emphasizes core nursing skills and current best practices in the field. D&E is a nonprofit institution that provides a cohort-based, flexible, distance-learning bachelor's degree for adults. The RN to BSN can be completed in 12 months, and all coursework is completed asynchronously, with no required login times for class. Online content is managed through the Sakai learning management system. D&E is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, but it actively partners with regional congregations from other denominations to support students of different faiths. Students at D&E can take part in mission trips and community service opportunities. Online students have access to campus opportunities and resources, including the Writing Center, which supports students in any subject. Distance education applicants can also access disability services, resources from the Booth library, and career services. Technical assistance is available through D&E's Help Desk. Candidates should be licensed nurses who can complete clinical requirements through their current place of work.

#18 (tie) Brescia University

  • Annual Tuition: $13,600
  • Locations: Owensboro (KY)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 42.4%

Brescia University is a private, Catholic institution that offers online degrees at the associate, bachelor, and master levels. The campus mission is founded in the Ursaline tradition, and Brescia was originally an all women's college. Now, all students are welcome to apply to the flexible, online Christian degree programs. Associate degrees are available in human services, liberal arts, integrated studies, psychology, and business; bachelor's degrees are available in business, accounting, integrated studies, theology, social work, and psychology; and master's degrees are available in management and social work. The online platform, BU Online, is designed for non-traditional students to complete their academic requirements with no campus commitments. Using Moodle and Zoom, online courses include weekly virtual chat sessions with faculty, and participants are expected to engage on discussion boards and complete timed exams. Remote learners receive technical support through the Help Center, available 24/7. They also have access to disability services, tutoring, technology discounts, and library resources. Interested applicants will work with an admissions counselor; BU Online operates on a rolling admissions schedule, so there are no deadlines.

#18 (tie) Trinity Bible College

  • Annual Tuition: $13,320
  • Locations: Ellendale (ND)
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: 42.4%

Trinity Bible College's online platform provides Christian degrees at the associate and bachelor levels. Trinity was founded to provide adult education via distance learning programs that maintain a strong church community. Individuals interested in a Christian studies degree may select the AA in Biblical Studies or the BA in Biblical Studies. Other degrees integrate academics with active ministry experience. Additional masters and doctoral programs are available through Trinity Seminary Online. Students have no campus-based obligations. Individuals have access to Hunter Theological Library resources, the Trinity Online Learning Center, academic advisors, and technical support. Online content is delivered through Moodle's learning management system. To apply, official transcripts and the appropriate degree prerequisites are required. Applicants may transfer previous college credit, or credit can be earned from documented life and ministry experience. Applicants may also take the Bible Knowledge Assessment for possible credit.

#20 McMurry University

  • Annual Tuition: $9,750
  • Locations: Abilene (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 43.4%

McMurry University's virtual campus offers online degrees that are transfer-friendly and flexible. Classes operate in seven-week sessions, and most participants take just two classes each session. Online programs include a Bachelor of Business Administration, a BS in Criminal Justice, and an RN to BSN. All McMurry University degrees are based on Christian values, as the institution is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Students may utilize resources from the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life; there is a chapel on campus with guest preachers weekly. Mission trips are facilitated every semester. Remote learners may also use resources through the Jay Rollins Library, including 24/7 reference help through a live-chat feature. Online content is managed in the Moodle learning management system, and individuals can contact technical support services through phone and email for assistance. Interested candidates should submit official transcripts for high school and previous college experience; incoming first-year students should also submit ACT or SAT scores. Admission counselors are available to help navigate the process, especially for students unsure as to which online degree is best for their goals. Accepted students complete a virtual orientation for online learning.

#21 University of Holy Cross

  • Annual Tuition: $16,200
  • Locations: New Orleans (LA)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 46.1%

Online options from the University of Holy Cross (UHC) are available in several disciplines, including teaching, theology, management, and counseling. UHC was founded as a ministry of the Marianites of Holy Cross; as such, students are instructed in Catholic values that emphasize service and whole-person enlightenment. Mission trips, retreats, daily mass, and mentoring programs are the main features of student life. Students seeking one of UHC's distance education programs have options at the associate, bachelor, and master levels; those interested in Christian counseling degrees may consider the following online UHC programs: an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, an MA in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling, an MA in School Counseling, a BS in Addiction Counseling, a BS in Social Counseling, an AS in Addiction Counseling, and an AS in Juvenile Counseling. An MA in Catholic Theology and a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision are also available online. Remote learning content is managed through the Blackboard learning management environment. Courses are primarily self-paced, though students are expected to meet all assigned deadlines. Participants have access to resources, including disability services, online tutorials, and the Blaine S. Kern Library. Admission requirements vary depending on the degree desired, but most programs have a GPA minimum and ask for official transcripts and letters of recommendation.

#22 University of Mobile

  • Annual Tuition: $13,500
  • Locations: Mobile (AL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 47.0%

The University of Mobile (UM) is dedicated to producing graduates well-studied in the Christian faith. Their reach is extended to working adults through their Graduate and Professional Programs, which offers online degrees in a variety of fields. Besides an AS in General Studies, the distance education programs are available at the bachelor and master levels. Students may enroll in a BS in General Studies, a BS in Christian Leadership and Ministry, a BS in Psychology, a BS in Business Administration, an MA in Education, a BSN to MSN, an MBA, and an M.Ed. The University of Mobile's online degree options are mostly asynchronous, though the MBA and M.Ed require scheduled virtual conferences. The curriculum is designed for adult learners who continue to work while completing their degree. Content is managed through the Canvas learning management platform, where students can engage on discussion boards and watch recorded lectures. Zoom video conferencing is used for live discussions. Online resources are available through the J.L. Bledsoe Library, including an Ask-a-Librarian feature. Interested candidates must complete an application and submit official transcripts.

#23 (tie) LeTourneau University

  • Annual Tuition: $10,650
  • Locations: Longview (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 47.1%

LeTourneau University (LETU) incorporates Christian values through residence life programs, mission trips, chapel services, and mentoring opportunities. LETU's online programs are designed for working adults and provide access to the same resources as on-campus students. Remote learners are welcome to join chapel services virtually three times each week. Online students may also utilize disability services, the Center for Counseling, and resources through the Margaret Estes Library. Undergraduate (associate and bachelor) degree programs are available online in the following disciplines: computer information systems, cybersecurity, criminal justice, human services, aircraft dispatch, aviation management, aviation security, unmanned aircraft systems, accounting, business, healthcare management, education, interdisciplinary studies, and psychology. A number of Christian-focused online degrees are available, including a BS in Christian Ministry, a BS in Scripture and Theology, and a BS in Theological Studies. Master's level programs are offered in business administration, mental health counseling, education, psychology, school counseling, and strategic leadership. All content, including homework, discussion boards, lectures, and exams, are housed in the Canvas learning management platform. Applicants may receive credit for prior learning for previous life, career, military, college, or exam experience. A video tutorial helps candidates complete their online applications and submit official transcripts.

#23 (tie) Oakwood University

  • Annual Tuition: $12,000
  • Locations: Huntsville (AL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 47.1%

Oakwood University was founded in 1896 as a Christian institution dedicated to those recently released from slavery. Oakwood is affiliated with the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Students have access to the Office of Spiritual Life, which facilitates frequent mission trips and worship services. Through its online platform, students from around the world can enroll in an online Christian degree program. The LEAP program (Leadership Education for the Adult Professional) is specifically designed for those without a college education who aspire to earn a degree. LEAP's online programs in organizational management, general studies, and church leadership can all be completed in 18 months. LEAP degrees are flexible and self-paced. Online content is housed in the D2L learning management system. Individuals can contact the school's Help Desk for technical assistance or review D2L tutorials. To apply to one of the LEAP online degree programs, individuals must submit official transcripts and an application. Candidates must have earned at least 30 credits from previous college, trade school, or military experience. They must also be at least 25 years old and have a minimum GPA of 2.0.

#25 Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University

  • Annual Tuition: $15,885
  • Locations: Baton Rouge (LA)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 48.4%

Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University (FranU) provides fully online programs founded in Catholic, Franciscan principles; students are encouraged to engage in Campus Ministry through acts of service, Bible study, mass, community prayer, and spiritual counseling. There are three online Christian degrees available: a Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA), a MSN-FNP, and an RN to BSN. Distance education content relies on the Moodle learning management platform and Zoom video-conferencing software. Real-time, virtual classes encourage student engagement and feedback. Most online coursework is asynchronous, relying on recorded lectures, readings, and other assignments. Individualized appointments are available online for student services, including counseling and tutoring. Research support and resources are offered through the library. Interested candidates are not required to submit standardized test scores. Applicants to the MHA program may enroll part-time or full-time and should hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants to the BSN should be registered nurses who have completed a diploma or associate degree from an accredited nursing program.

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Overview of Christian Colleges

Christian colleges allow students to combine a traditional postsecondary online education with the chance to develop a religious worldview. What sets these schools apart from secular institutions is that they offer conventional degree programs that are grounded in Christian values and beliefs. Christian colleges therefore aim to deepen a student's faith while also preparing them for careers in different economic sectors.

Christian colleges are a type of postsecondary institution where students gain a religiously-grounded education. Like other schools, Christian colleges offer degree programs in various humanities, social science, and STEM disciplines, equipping students with the knowledge and job-ready skills to find employment once they graduate. Unlike their secular counterparts, however, Christian colleges award degrees that incorporate Biblical studies as part of their core requirements. Every student who attends a Christian college must complete faith-based coursework to earn their diploma.

What Is Considered a Christian College?

In general, any school that requires students to pursue biblical studies as part of their education can be considered a Christian college or university. However, Christian colleges may be distinguished by the particular denomination they're associated with. For instance, some may follow the Jesuit Order, while others can espouse the Lutheran or Presbyterian faith. Still others may be nondenominational. The common thread uniting these schools is their emphasis on Christian values as foundational to any postsecondary education.

Christian College vs. Bible College

Though they may sound similar, Christian colleges and Bible colleges are actually quite different. While both are proponents of Christian teachings, the latter focus exclusively on training students for careers in Christian ministry. Students enrolled in Bible college study scripture and often don't have any exposure to secular topics. Furthermore, because Bible colleges tend not to be regulated or accredited, most don't award degrees. Instead, students graduate with diplomas or certificates.

On the other hand, Christian colleges offer degrees that are equivalent to those awarded by non-secular schools. While students must complete coursework in areas such as Christian philosophy and Bible study, they also study liberal arts, social science, and STEM subjects. Christian college graduates therefore typically have a wider range of career paths to choose from than their Bible college counterparts.

What Will I Learn at a Christian College?

Christian colleges encourage the development of a Christ-based outlook of the world. Most schools have a conservative campus culture that teaches students to engage in faith-based activities, such as community service, chapel attendance, and mentorship. Where academics are concerned, all students complete biblical studies coursework designed to instill Christian values.

Below is a list of common online courses students may take:

Christian Theology: In this class, students learn about the philosophical underpinnings of the Christian faith. They seek to understand the reasoning behind various Christian beliefs and practices through biblical interpretation, logical reasoning, and historical analysis.

Issues in Christian Leadership: This course covers the various challenges facing pastors, missionaries, and reverends who preach Christianity. It explores the effect of secular teachings on religious populations, focusing on how Christian leaders can reinvigorate the faith of their flock.

Life of Christ: This core course explores the life of Jesus Christ from a philosophical perspective. Aside from learning about historical events, students are encouraged to take life lessons from the experiences of early Christians.

New Testament Survey: Students gain an understanding of how the modern Christian church evolved in this class. They study early Christianity and also learn about the differences between the Old and New Testaments.

World Civilizations: A world civilizations course explores the differences between major religions, such as Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism. Students learn to appreciate how different faiths have developed, as well as the key tenants that distinguish them from one another.


Christian colleges offer degrees in a wide range of disciplines, with students having the option to enroll in humanities, social science, and STEM-focused programs. Additionally, while some Christian colleges exclusively award four-year liberal arts degrees, others also have a variety of graduate offerings — including at the master's and doctoral levels.

In addition to teaching an appreciation of religious faith, the learning outcomes for these programs are designed around equipping students with the knowledge and skills to secure employment in various industries. For instance, undergraduate degrees may qualify students for various entry-level positions in the private and nonprofit sectors, while graduate credentials can prepare them for careers in academia, research, and government.

How To Choose a Christian University or College

There are several factors to contemplate when deciding between different Christian universities and colleges, the first and most important of which is determining whether you're interested in a faith-based education. Christian colleges are ideal for individuals who come from a religious upbringing, aspire to earn a college degree, and desire a learning environment that allows them to practice and deepen their faith. Aside from this primary consideration, below are some additional points to remember when choosing a Christian university or college.

  • Affordability: It's essential to choose a college where you can afford tuition costs and other fees. This can help ensure you don't have to take out expensive student loans and may also lead to a higher return on your educational investment.

  • Denomination: While all Christian colleges expect students to complete coursework in religious topics, they may vary in terms of specific beliefs and practices. You should consider enrolling in a school that is associated with your personal denominational faith, or even enrolling in a nondenominational Chrsitian college.

  • Program Offerings: Not all Christian colleges offer the same degree programs. For instance, while some may have a wider range of choices in science and math fields, others may emphasize the liberal arts. Furthermore, Christian colleges can vary in terms of the degree levels they offer. Picking a school that offers the right program for you is important.


Like secular schools, Christian colleges must be accredited in order to qualify as degree-granting institutions. There are six institutional accrediting agencies that assess colleges and universities in different parts of the country. A Christian college that is institutionally accredited has been assessed based on its course offerings, curricula, faculty, and student facilities and has been determined to meet rigorous, nationally standardized benchmarks for academic excellence.

Unlike secular schools, Christian colleges must also receive accreditation from faith-based organizations to show that they've adopted religious teachings and practices in their curricula and campus life. There are four such nationally-based organizations recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, including the Association for Biblical Higher Education, Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools, Commission on Accrediting the Association of Theological Schools, and the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools.

Financing Your Online Degree From a Christian College

Given the rising cost of getting a higher education, it's a good idea to consider your financial aid options before applying to college. Students who plan to attend a Christian university or college qualify for the same types of assistance as those enrolled in a secular school, including various scholarships, grants, fellowships, and loans.

An effective strategy in choosing between these different options is first to exhaust free sources of funding, as you don't have to pay these back. If you decide to take out a loan, consider federal assistance rather than private lenders, as the former offer favorable repayment plans. Once you're ready to apply for financial aid, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Scholarships for Christian Students

Christian college students may qualify for special funding reserved for those who aspire to receive a faith-based education. Below is a list of grants and scholarships specifically aimed at supporting Christian students:

Amount: $1,000-$4,000

This need-based award is for Presbyterian Church members pursuing a first associate or bachelor's degree at an accredited institution. Up to 30 undergraduates receive this scholarship annually. Students must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress and submit an essay to apply.

Amount: Varies

For students who are members of the American Baptist church, this scholarship can provide tuition assistance. To be eligible, applicants must be enrolled full-time in a four-year accredited school, have a minimum 2.75 GPA, and provide a reference from their pastor.

Amount: Up to $15,000

This fellowship is for graduate students researching ways to train future scholars and Christian ministry leaders. Students must be actively enrolled or planning to enroll in a research-focused degree — such as a doctorate — and may be lay or ordained Episcopalians.

Amount: Varies

Christian students pursuing an undergraduate degree can apply for this scholarship to help pay for college tuition. To be eligible, applicants must be women who demonstrate financial need and are residents of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee or Virginia.

FAQs About Christian Colleges

Do You Have To Be Christian To Attend a Christian College?

No, you don't have to be Christian to attend a Christian College. However, there are a few caveats to remember if you're considering enrolling in such an institution. First, it is within the purview of admissions departments to make a decision based on your faith. For instance, if your religion doesn't align with a particular school's denomination, you can be denied admission. On the other hand, some Christian colleges may welcome non-Christians to increase diversity and foster new perspectives on campus.

Second, all incoming students are expected to uphold the faith-based standards of conduct at a given Christian college, regardless of their own beliefs. Non-religious or non-Christian students are also not exempt from completing core coursework based on Biblical teachings.

How Does an Online Christian College Differ From an On-Campus One?

There are no significant differences between an online Christian college and an on-campus one when it comes to academics. Online students in both learning formats can expect to complete the same number of credits, cover the same topics within a single degree program, and therefore receive the same quality of education.

The biggest difference between online and on-campus Christian colleges is that students enrolled in the former take classes based on their own schedules. This typically means completing online courses asynchronously and checking in with advisors virtually when questions arise. Additionally, distance learners may have limited access to in-person activities — such as chapel services, Bible study, or charity drives — and may be less involved in campus life.

Do Christian Colleges Offer Mission Trips?

Yes, most Christian colleges offer mission trips, and some even require students to complete a certain number of weeks or months spreading their faith in the real world and working with people from different walks of life. Mission trips vary in nature from school to school, with some offering the chance to travel abroad and others incorporating community service projects as part of their requirements. Furthermore, while some Christian colleges sponsor shorter trips, others give students the chance to pay for longer excursions.

Do Christian Colleges Teach Modern Science?

Accredited Christian colleges that meet commonly accepted standards for quality education do teach modern science. Students who take science-based classes can therefore expect to gain a comprehensive education in their chosen field of study, just like they would if they were to enroll at an accredited secular school.

At the same time, given their commitment to providing faith-based education, Christian colleges tend to cover modern science topics in a Biblical rather than secular context. Students are encouraged to think of modern science as complementary to Christian values and beliefs.

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