The Best Schools for Studying the Bible

Bianca Gonzalez
by
Updated June 15, 2023
Edited by
Looking for the right Bible college for you? Here are the best schools for studying the Bible.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

A Bible college centers its curriculum on the Bible. You’ll learn how to interpret the Bible and get a detailed understanding of its major books. You’ll be able to earn your degree in 2-4 years. Bible colleges tend to be more cost-effective than other colleges. Students are required to align their values and actions to biblical faith.

While Bible colleges mainly prepare you for roles inside the church, such as a pastor, missionary or church director after graduation, you can also work in religious roles outside of the church setting. A chaplain, for instance, can work in prisons, hospitals, and the military.

Students can also study subjects like education, social work, and communications. They may go on to work in human services roles that are less religiously oriented, such as social work and counseling.

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The Best Bible Colleges

#1 The Best Schools for Studying the Bible

Harvard University

  • Location-markerCambridge, MA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$51,143
  • Out-of-state$51,143
  • Retention Rate98%
  • Acceptance Rate3%
  • Students Enrolled21,209
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment38%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 The Best Schools for Studying the Bible

Yale University

  • Location-markerNew Haven, CT
  • 4 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$59,950
  • Out-of-state$59,950
  • Retention Rate98%
  • Acceptance Rate5%
  • Students Enrolled14,806
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment1%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 The Best Schools for Studying the Bible

University of Chicago

  • Location-markerChicago, IL
  • 4 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$59,256
  • Out-of-state$59,256
  • Retention Rate99%
  • Acceptance Rate5%
  • Students Enrolled15,946
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment0%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 The Best Schools for Studying the Bible

Emory University

  • Location-markerAtlanta, GA
  • 4 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$54,660
  • Out-of-state$54,660
  • Retention Rate95%
  • Acceptance Rate11%
  • Students Enrolled14,852
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment49%
  • AccreditationYes
#5 The Best Schools for Studying the Bible

Wheaton College

  • Location-markerWheaton, IL
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$40,570
  • Out-of-state$40,570
  • Retention Rate89%
  • Acceptance Rate86%
  • Students Enrolled3,047
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment9%
  • AccreditationYes
#6 The Best Schools for Studying the Bible

Saint Johns University

  • Location-markerCollegeville, MN
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$48,990
  • Out-of-state$48,990
  • Retention Rate86%
  • Acceptance Rate86%
  • Students Enrolled1,645
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment4%
  • AccreditationYes
#7 The Best Schools for Studying the Bible

The University of the South

  • Location-markerSewanee, TN
  • 4 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$49,146
  • Out-of-state$49,146
  • Retention Rate89%
  • Acceptance Rate52%
  • Students Enrolled1,704
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment84%
  • AccreditationYes
#8 The Best Schools for Studying the Bible

Earlham College

  • Location-markerRichmond, IN
  • 2 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$48,253
  • Out-of-state$48,253
  • Retention Rate80%
  • Acceptance Rate73%
  • Students Enrolled677
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment5%
  • AccreditationYes
#9 The Best Schools for Studying the Bible

Erskine College

  • Location-markerDue West, SC
  • 4 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$34,435
  • Out-of-state$34,435
  • Retention Rate59%
  • Acceptance Rate63%
  • Students Enrolled825
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment47%
  • AccreditationYes
#10 The Best Schools for Studying the Bible

Saint Vincent College

  • Location-markerLatrobe, PA
  • 2 year
  • Campus
Average Tuition
  • In-State$37,684
  • Out-of-state$37,684
  • Retention Rate84%
  • Acceptance Rate74%
  • Students Enrolled1,552
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment9%
  • AccreditationYes

What Is the Difference Between Bible Colleges vs. Christian Schools?

Christian colleges share some similarities with Bible colleges. Christian colleges center teaching from a Christian worldview, and Bible colleges heavily focus on a particular denomination’s teachings. For this reason, all Bible colleges can be considered Christian schools.

But Bible colleges differ from Christian Schools in a few key ways. The main distinction between the two is that Bible colleges prepare you to do work in the religious sector, while Christian colleges provide an education that can apply outside of religious institutions.

While all Christian schools have at least some emphasis on religion and the Bible, some may only require one or two religiously oriented courses. Christian colleges can offer a wider range of courses — students may be able to find coursework in the sciences, mathematics, history, and philosophy.

Bible schools prepare people for ministry roles or other religiously-oriented jobs. They go in-depth on the Bible’s teachings and more heavily incorporate them into the curriculum. Coursework includes topics on the Bible, missions, ministry, and theology.

Bible school curriculums also include areas at the intersection of faith and the professions. For example, degree offerings may also include areas like biblical counseling or music ministry. If you know you want a religiously oriented career path, Bible schools are a great option to prepare you.

How Much Does Bible College Cost?

The cost of Bible college depends on a number of factors, including whether you’re an in-state or out-of-state student or live on or off campus. Bible colleges are also private institutions, which are generally more expensive than public colleges.

You can offset the cost of Bible college through scholarships, grants, and loans. You can also get denominational funding and informal church donations. While faith-based organizations and communities may not have enough cash to pay off all your debts, they might be more generous given that their money would go to you devoting yourself to your faith.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bible Colleges

Is Bible college a real degree?

Degrees from accredited colleges meet a third-party standard. A degree from any accredited Bible college is a real degree. With that said, there are some Bible colleges that don’t have accreditation.

What’s the difference between Bible College and Seminary?

While both Bible colleges and seminaries will prepare you for religious-based roles, they have some key differences. Bible colleges are undergraduate, while seminaries are graduate-level. Students can attend either Bible college or seminary school, but they can also attend both for a more immersive experience.

How long does it take to get a degree in Bible college?

Bible college degrees can take two to four years to complete, depending on if you pursue an Associate degree or Bachelor. There are also some accelerated programs. Other schools also offer 4+1 tracks, where you can earn your master’s in Bible studies with just one additional year of study.

Can you get a job with a Bible degree?

You can get a job with a Bible degree. You can work in faith-based organizations or serve in faith-based roles at prisons, the military, and hospitals. A Bible degree demonstrates a level of devotion and ethics that is welcome in a wide range of careers.

Do you have to go to Bible College to be a pastor?

You do not necessarily need to go to Bible College to be a pastor, but some churches may require this. Keep in mind that throughout history, many religious leaders didn’t even have the option to do so. Formal education can prepare you to be a pastor, but it is not the only avenue.


Page last reviewed June 14, 2023. All rankings and school descriptions on this page were created and reviewed independently by the TBS Rankings Team.

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