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Online Christian colleges blend Christ-centered learning with the flexibility of online education.

Christian colleges benefit students who seek to enhance their religious understanding while also studying educational disciplines. These schools often hold affiliations with specific churches or religious organizations, but being Christian is not always a prerequisite to attend.

Online Christian colleges offer flexibility and convenience for learners who seek to blend religious exploration with academic learning. Online programs allow students to participate in synchronous, asynchronous, and accelerated programs. Non-Christian students, who may not conform to on-campus dress codes or service attendance requirements, can also thrive at online Christian colleges.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, studying at an online Christian college allows students to interact with like-minded peers and instructors safely. Schools associated with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) expanded their online offerings by joining forces with CampusEDU, and Acadeum has increased online learning opportunities for students at Christian colleges as well.

Read on for our ranking of the best Christian colleges.

Top Online Christian Colleges 2021
#1 Mississippi College Clinton, MS
#2 Calvary University Kansas City, MO
#3 Clarks Summit University South Abington Township, PA
#4 Lincoln Christian University Lincoln, IL
#5 Crown College St. Bonifacius, MN
#6 LeTourneau University Longview, TX
#7 North Greenville University Tigerville, SC
#8 Dallas Baptist University Dallas, TX
#9 Geneva College Beaver Falls, PA
#10 Azusa Pacific University Azusa, CA

Featured Online Schools

The Best Online Christian Colleges

  1. Mississippi College
    Location

    Clinton, MS

    Mississippi College (MC) is one of the top Christian universities in the country. It is also the oldest college in Mississippi and the second oldest college with a Baptist affiliation in the United States. As the state’s largest private college, MC serves more than 5,000 students, and its 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio ensures that all learners receive individualized attention.

    The online programs at MC provide students with flexible options for completing their degrees, allowing them to continue working as they advance their education. Students can pursue bachelor’s programs online in business administration, communication, homeland security, loss prevention, nursing, and paralegal studies. Additionally, students can pursue online certificates in loss prevention and homeland security.

    Undergraduate applicants must send in their high school transcripts and submit official ACT or SAT test scores. Graduate applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution earned with a minimum 2.5 GPA, provide standardized test scores, and check for any degree-specific requirements before applying.

  2. Calvary University
    Location

    Kansas City, MO

    Located in Kansas City, Missouri, Calvary University opened as Calvary Bible College in 1932. Today, the university offers a variety of associate and bachelor’s degrees, along with online programs and adult degree completion options. Additionally, the university’s theological seminary offers a master of arts degree and a master of divinity degree. Calvary expanded its campus in 2011, adding 13 acres of land and five new buildings. Today, Calvary is known as one of the country’s best online Christian colleges.

    Calvary features a blended model of education that allows students to earn their online degrees from anywhere in the world. Almost all of the classes are video recorded, enabling onsite and online students to access course materials and lectures through the Canvas learning management system. The program’s asynchronous format gives students the flexibility to complete coursework at their convenience.

    Calvary boasts a committee dedicated to providing students with the highest quality online education. The school offers online master’s degrees in organizational development, education, and worship arts, along with associate programs in biblical studies, children’s ministry, ministry studies, worship arts, and information technology. Twenty-seven bachelor’s programs are available in areas including Bible and theology, biblical counseling, business administration, and education.

  3. Clarks Summit University
    Location

    South Abington Township, PA

    Clarks Summit University (CSU) was founded in 1932 and functions as a private Bible college in northeast Pennsylvania. CSU boasts a variety of degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including high school dual-enrollment opportunities and associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral options. Students can pursue programming on campus or from a distance through one of the best online Christian colleges in the United States.

    CSU allows students to further their education through 40 online degree offerings. Online undergraduate programs provide a flexible format for students to earn their degrees and are well-suited for adult learners who want to start a new career. Students can choose from one of four associate concentrations or one of seven bachelor’s majors to help them reach their individual goals. Graduates gain the skills needed to carry out effective ministry practices.

    Online graduate students complete courses in five eight-week sessions each year, allowing participants to earn a master’s degree in as little as two years. Additionally, the flexible online format enables graduate students to continue working as they pursue advanced degrees.

  4. Lincoln Christian University
    Location

    Lincoln, IL

    Lincoln Christian University (LCU) features a main campus in Lincoln, Indiana, as well as extension sites in Las Vegas, Indianapolis, and Normal. In addition to coeducational, four-year Bible college offerings, LCU oversees a graduate seminary that offers master’s degrees and a doctor of ministry option. It also hosts continuing education programs at all campus sites and online.

    LCU offers six accredited degree programs entirely online. These degrees include an associate of arts in Bible; bachelor’s programs in business administration, psychology, and Christian ministry; and master’s programs in Bible and theology and organizational leadership. Aside from online degrees, students can pursue hybrid opportunities where they take a combination of online and on-campus classes. Master of divinity students can take up to two-thirds of their courses online and complete the remaining requirements through a week-long intensive session at the school’s Lincoln campus.

    Applicants must submit a written essay, high school transcripts, and ACT or SAT test scores. They also need to provide a Christian character reference. LCU admits Christian men and women who hold a desire to know God’s word, engage in God’s world, and pursue God’s will for the rest of their lives as leaders within the church and around the world. Students should also provide a record of achievement that documents their academic experiences, including any extracurricular or community service activities.

  5. Crown College
    Location

    St. Bonifacius, MN

    A private school in St. Bonifacius, Minnesota, Crown College ranks as one of the country’s top online Christian colleges. Affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance, Crown belongs to the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. The school offers more than 40 undergraduate degrees, about half of which students can complete entirely online.

    Learners interested in completing or beginning their college career can explore the flexible online opportunities offered at Crown. Crown applies Christian perspectives to solve practical problems, preparing graduates to work for corporations, nonprofits, local churches, clinics, and in the classroom. Students enrolled in any of the school’s online Christian bachelor’s programs learn how to integrate their faith with their careers, proceeding through coursework at a pace that fits with their schedule. Students build strong connections with their professors, classmates, and advisors, partaking in collaborative learning activities.

    Online students at Crown can pursue training programs, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and certificates. Programs cover a variety of topics, including Christian ministry, alcohol and drug counseling, biblical studies, and global and cultural studies. Applicants to online undergraduate programs must provide high school transcripts and submit a spiritual life essay. They must also read and agree with the Crown College Statement of Faith.

  6. LeTourneau University
    Location

    Longview, TX

    A Christian university located in Longview, Texas, LeTourneau University (LETU) offers programs in aeronautical science, education, engineering, and business. LETU also hosts graduate and undergraduate programs for working adults through online options and education centers in Houston, Dallas, and Longview.

    LETU features a variety of flexible online programs and year-round accelerated course offerings. Students can pursue many disciplines online, including computer information systems, criminal justice, aircraft dispatch, aviation management, and interdisciplinary studies. The asynchronous format of online courses allows students to complete work at their convenience. Learners can enroll in fully online programs, take classes at educational centers, or take advantage of accelerated evening programs.

    Graduate applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, earned with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Applicants who do not meet minimum GPA requirements must also submit a resume outlining relevant full-time work experience. Applicants whose native language is not English must submit test scores to prove their English proficiency.

  7. North Greenville University
    Location

    Tigerville, SC

    North Greenville University (NGU) is a Southern Baptist university in Tigerville, South Carolina. Associated with both the Southern Baptist Convention and the South Carolina Baptist Convention, NGU achieved university status in 2006. The school currently offers undergraduate and graduate programs through on-campus and online formats.

    NGU addresses the need for flexibility in its educational programs by featuring adult and online undergraduate opportunities that enable students to continue working as they advance their education. Online programs serve students over the age of 22 who want to complete undergraduate-level classes through a flexible format. Learners can earn online bachelor’s degrees in business and leadership, Christian ministries, criminal justice, applied psychology, general studies, and elementary educational studies.

    Students at NGU can also increase their marketability by pursuing an online professional certificate that requires only one year to complete. Certificate options include professional investigations, business leadership, foundational theology, business management, and church planting and revitalization. Students can also pursue a variety of online graduate degrees, including an online master of business administration, master of music education, and a doctor of ministry.

  8. Dallas Baptist University
    Location

    Dallas, TX

    Dallas Baptist University (DBU) is a Christian liberal arts university with a main campus located about 12 miles southwest of downtown Dallas. The school also has campuses in Hurst and Plano. Divided among seven colleges, DBU offers a variety of online opportunities and is one of the best online Christian colleges available to undergraduates and graduates.

    DBU features online programs within a Christ-centered community, promoting ample interaction between students and faculty members. Online courses are taught by the same instructors as on-campus classes, and fully online courses follow an asynchronous format that allows students to complete coursework according to their own schedules. Online programs include certificate, undergraduate, and master’s options. The school also offers accelerated bachelor’s and master’s tracks and dual master’s degree options.

    Undergraduate applicants must submit a completed application and pay a $25 fee, although students can have their application fee waived if they submit an application online. Applicants must also submit SAT or ACT scores and official transcripts demonstrating a minimum 2.5 GPA.

  9. Geneva College
    Location

    Beaver Falls, PA

    A Christian liberal arts college in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, Geneva College was founded in 1848 in Northwood, Ohio, and moved to its present location in 1880. Geneva serves around 1,400 undergraduate students across more than 30 majors. The school also offers online graduate degrees in leadership studies and business administration.

    Geneva features a variety of online adult degree programs that allow nontraditional students to return to college to advance their careers and increase their earning potential. Learners in these programs can continue working full time by taking advantage of the increased flexibility afforded by online coursework. Online majors including aging services, child and family services, criminal justice, human resources, management, organizational leadership, and general studies. Geneva also offers online bachelor’s degrees in accelerated formats, further catering to the busy schedules of its students.

    The instructors at Geneva keep Christian values at the forefront of instruction, and online students benefit from a supportive, caring learning environment. Almost 95% of students at Geneva receive some form of financial aid.

  10. Azusa Pacific University
    Location

    Azusa, CA

    An evangelical Christian university in southern California, Azusa Pacific University (APU) first began offering degrees in 1939, and the university’s seminary still holds true to its Wesleyan-Arminian doctrinal theology. Today, APU offers over 100 associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs, both on campus and online.

    APU’s online programs combine the benefits of attending a leading Christian university with the flexibility offered through a dynamic learning environment. Students can complete their coursework asynchronously, taking classes while still fulfilling other commitments and responsibilities.

    APU’s online programs are taught by the same instructors who lead on-campus courses. Fully online courses take advantage of a variety of communication methods between students and instructors, including blogs, multimedia presentations, video conferences, group projects, discussion forums, and email.

Best Online Colleges

Online Christian Colleges Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

What Is a Christian College?

Christian colleges provide academic programs that integrate religious faith and ideas with their curricula. Along with coursework in Christian topics, students also participate in on-campus and online activities that unite the campus community in their beliefs, ideologies, and practices.

While many Christian institutions maintain affiliations with specific churches, denominations, or religious organizations, non-religious learners can still enroll at most Christian colleges. Christian colleges typically welcome enrollees from all walks of life and belief systems.

Christian colleges offer undergraduate and graduate programs in traditional academic disciplines. Many schools also provide opportunities to earn degrees in Bible studies, divinity, and Christian ministry.

Choosing an Online Christian College

Academic and Professional Goals

When considering an online Christian college, students should ensure that the institution offers programs that align with their academic and professional goals. Determining the types of degrees and coursework offered by an online Christian institution helps learners decide if the school will provide them the skills and credentials they need to succeed after graduation.

Faith

Because many Christian colleges maintain affiliation with specific churches, prospective enrollees should consider whether they want to attend a school that adheres to their personal religious beliefs and practices. Not all Christian colleges offer the same level or amount of religious coursework or programs. Similarly, some Christian colleges stress the presence of faith among the student body and campus community more than others.

Career Services

Colleges and universities provide resources for students as they move toward graduation and enter the job market. Career services at Christian institutions may offer specific guidance for individuals seeking positions that allow them to continue their religious and spiritual journeys.

Full-Time/Part-Time Options

Online Christian colleges typically offer full-time and part-time programs to accomodate learners with different needs. Individuals who work full time or have personal obligations can earn degrees on a part-time basis, while others can enroll in full-time programs.

Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Delivery

Institutions deliver online programs synchronously, asynchronously, or through a combination of the two. Synchronous content involves specific meeting times, deadlines, and sequential classes, which may make it hard for students to successfully take part in the program while working around their schedules. Asynchronous learning allows for more flexible, self-guided study, but still with regular deadlines. It requires students to be more self-motivated.

Accreditation for Christian Colleges

Most colleges and universities hold regional or national accreditation, which applies to entire institutions. Accreditation status can influence financial aid, transfer options, and educational standards, so students should always research the status of their prospective schools. For most non-vocational degrees, regional accreditation is preferred.

Christian colleges may hold additional accreditation through organizations that review religious institutions, such as the Association for Biblical Higher Education and the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. Accreditation from one of these entities indicates that a school meets educational and faith-related standards.

Christian Professional Organizations

Cru is a community of Christ-centered disciples that promotes faith, growth, and fruitfulness around the world. This organization provides Christian students with opportunities for mission trips, internships, volunteer activities, and future employment. Represented on college and university campuses worldwide, Chi Alpha connects individuals who want to build their relationships with God. Along with spiritual resources and online events, Chi Alpha provides opportunities for learners to become involved on local, national, and international levels. Supporting students who want to dedicate their lives to serving Jesus Christ, CCO partners with local churches to build and support Christian communities on college campuses. Members can access online videos and study materials, opportunities to participate in the CCO Jubilee, and CCO's fellowship and career resources. Established in 1956, Christianity Today promotes evangelical conversations by advocating for the church and its leaders. In addition to its widely distributed magazine, Christianity Today offers a newsletter, access to preaching and Bible study resources, and employment information. IFES fosters student-led Christian organizations worldwide to help unite Christians from all cultures and traditions. This fellowship provides training and funding for evangelism efforts, engages with universities, and builds student leaders through online resources and in-person events. This fellowship promotes the presence of Jesus Christ on college campuses, offering retreat programs, published works, and online resources. Opportunities for involvement include mission activities, prayer groups, and interactive online events.

Frequently Asked Questions

true How Much Does Online Bible College Cost?

Online Bible college costs are comparable to those found at other private online colleges and universities. Students should always check if in-state or out-of-state status factors into online tuition price before enrolling in a program.

Can You Go to a Christian University if You're Not Christian?

You can attend a Christian university if you are not Christian. Most institutions welcome all students regardless of their religious affiliation or spiritual beliefs, though there are some schools that require a specific faith practice.

How Many Christian Colleges Are There?

Per the National Center for Education Statistic, the CCCU reports that there are roughly 1,000 religiously affiliated colleges and universities in the United States. All institutions directly linked to any faith are private schools; public institutions in the United States are secular.

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