Attending a good college or university is not only about academics. To some, it is about the leadership and teachings via the Christian faith. With the overwhelming surge in online education, many Christian schools are offering their degree programs online.
There are many types of religious-based colleges to choose from; some are interdenominational, meaning they accept students from all walks of life and all religious affiliations. Others adhere to specific teachings, such as Jewish, Catholic, Latter Day Saints or Protestant. Without a doubt, most religious-based colleges and universities accept students from any faith with welcome arms.
Onlineschoolscenter.com has chosen to list these Top 10 Online Christian Colleges and Universities in random order for your viewing pleasure. Each one offers their own unique degree programs sure to adhere to your Christian values and will allow you to interact with other like-minded students and faculty, as well. The following components were considered:
- Offers each student a degree program through a 100% online format; for convenience and flexibility,
- Adheres to all Accreditation requirements,
- Focuses on low student-to-faculty ratios,
- Displays overall satisfaction rates among graduates, as well as, by reputable academic journals and websites,
- Provides a wide variety of degree programs designed to fit every student’s educational needs,
- Observes Christian values and incorporates Christian teachings in each degree program,
- Promotes community involvement, as well as, volunteer and charity work,
- Establishes a meaningful and robust learning experience, developed to provide a life-changing and positive growth in one’s faith walk,
- Financial Aid opportunities,
- Available to students of all faiths and affiliations.
To learn more about our school selection process, please see our Methodology page!
ONLINE CHRISTIAN BASED DEGREE PROGRAMS
Liberty University, a conservative evangelical school, is America’s largest, non-profit, private university located in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains in Lynchburg. Established in 1971 by Jerry Falwell and affiliated with the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia, Liberty University students are held to a high level of behavioral conduct both on-campus and within the online community. LU Online provides degree programs from Associates level to Doctorate and offers 160 well defined online programs including, certificate programs and high school classes as well, with enrollment around 80,000 online students alone.
Perfect for those looking for a full Christian learning experience. Students should be aware of and prepared for the fact that Christian teachings are involved in nearly every class. Biblical integration into each subject is challenging and provides a Christian perspective.
Enabling students the flexibility they need to juggle home/work life, as well as progress themselves academically, Liberty University offers fully online courses eliminating the need to attend any on-campus classes yet an interactive portion of the class is available to feel connected if you so choose.
COLORADO CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY
FAITH-BASED ONLINE CHRISTIAN DEGREE PROGRAMS
Colorado Christian is a Protestant, Christian college, originally founded as Denver Bible Institute, that withholds a high reputation. Located in the Colorado Rockies, the liberal arts university offers online students several associates, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees along with a number of certificate programs available. Colorado Christian is an interdenominational Christian institution founded in 1914 and prides itself on their Christian-based teaching techniques as well as their faculty and staff whom embrace the Christian way.
CCU’s mission is to “cultivate knowledge and love of God in a Christ-centered community of learners and scholars, with an enduring commitment to the integration of exemplary academics, spiritual formation, and engagement with the world.”
Colorado Christian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The University is also a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities,the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the Council for Independent Colleges.
By signing the Lifestyle Covenant, a requirement to attend CCU, students are committing themselves to a higher standard of living through integrating the Christian way paired with their educational needs and wants.
SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY
CHRIST-CENTERED DEGREE PROGRAMS OFFERED ONLINE
Saint Leo University, founded in 1889 and located in Saint Leo, Florida, is a leader in online education and is one of the largest, private Catholic higher education universities in the country. Although Saint Leo is a Roman Catholic, liberal arts school (Benedictine), classes are open to students of all denominational backgrounds. With an online student enrollment of approximately 16,000 student worldwide, Saint Leo offers associates, bachelor’s, master’s and one doctoral degree, as well as, certification courses. Expect the same Christian based studies online as you would receive in the classroom.
The Center for Online Learning was established in 1998. Saint Leo is recognized highly on many lists ranking online Christian schools and is one of the largest providers of higher education for military students in the United States.
ONLINE CHRISTIAN ORIENTED DEGREE PROGRAMS
Benedictine University, founded in 1887, is a private, Roman Catholic university that is geared towards the passionate liberal arts student. Located in Lisle, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, Benedictine celebrates all faiths.
With the onset of their online education department in 2010, the university offers an associates degree in Business Administration, two bachelor’s degrees in Management and Organizational Leadership and for certificate degrees. In addition, Benedictine offers 18 graduate degrees and one doctoral degree in Education. Their focus is on Business, Education, and Nursing and ranks highly based on these three degree programs.
GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY
ONLINE INTERDENOMINATIONAL CHRISTIAN-BASED DEGREE PROGRAMS
Over 100 online degrees are offered through Grand Canyon University! This interdenominational Christian institution adheres to their Christian values whether you attend online or on-campus, even offering a twice-weekly chapel service to their online community as well. Grand Canyon’s motto is “Find Your Purpose” and the staff and faculty are there to help you do just that.
Based in Phoenix, Arizona, GCU offers a unique teaching method in that students complete one course at a time taught by their full-time faculty with, again, a Christian focus. This private university provides the opportunity for bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees along with high school dual-credit classes and continuing education classes. With an accent on Nursing, Education and Business degrees, many other options are available, such as theology, liberal arts, pre-med, health sciences, psychology, and counseling degrees.
GEORGE FOX UNIVERSITY
CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY OFFERING FAITH-BASED DEGREE PROGRAMS ONLINE
George Fox University, located in Newberg, Oregon, is a Christian university founded as a school for Quakers in 1885. The private university brings rich Christian values through its academic teachings.
Whether you enroll on-campus or online, George Fox’s promise is that their students will “Be Known” focusing on the importance of the student themselves. Online programs at George Fox are hybrid, meaning that you will be required to attend a couple of face-to-face, on-campus (usually in Portland, Oregon) meetings each year and include master’s and doctorate degree programs in Education, Business, and Seminary.
George Fox University also offers summer online courses in order to help undergraduates the opportunity to earn credits via the online route and usually run at half the price of the standard undergraduate per-credit price.
TRINITY INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY
CHRISTIAN BASED ONLINE DEGREE PROGRAMS
Trinity International University, located in Deerfield, Illinois, is operated by the Evangelical Free Church of America and is perfect for future seminarians. The university offers three online bachelor’s degrees in Business, Psychology and Christian Ministries and features courses such as “Understanding the New Testament”, “Understanding the Old Testament” and “Foundations of Christian Thinking and Living” which are incorporated into their general education core. This evangelical Christian liberal arts institution has an adjoining theological seminary called Trinity Evangelical Divinity School that also offers Online Education options. TIU is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission.
Comprised of over 100 faculty members and 3,000 students, the school’s motto is “Forming students to transform the world through Christ” and their mission statement reads as follows “Trinity educates men and women to engage in God’s redemptive work in the world by cultivating academic excellence, Christian faithfulness, and lifelong learning.”
OHIO CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY
ONLINE CHURCH OF CHRIST-CENTERED DEGREE PROGRAMS
Ohio Christian University was founded in 1948 and is denominationally affiliated with the Church of Christ in Christian Union. Located in Circleville, Ohio, this private college has seen huge growth over the past several years. Attendance is mainly throughout the online community covering about 1,800 with approximately 600 on-campus students enrolled.
Regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and the Association for Biblical Higher Education, OCU offers Adult and Online Degree Programs including associates, bachelor’s and master’s degree options in Business, Ministry, Leadership, Psychology, and Counseling. In addition, a student to faculty ratio of 15 to 1 is a valuable advantage in making Ohio Christian University a stand out among many.
ONLINE INTERDENOMINATIONAL DEGREE PROGRAMS
Regent University’s motto is “Christian Leadership to Change the World” and that was exactly Pat Robertson’s intention when he founded Regent in 1978 as the Christian Broadcasting Network University before changing the name to the now current Regent University in 1989. A private, interdenominational Christian university, Regent offers an ample online learning program offering associates, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in over 30 courses of study. In addition, the school has had 10 years experience in Distance Learning making it a highly recognized conservative Christian force. Regent University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, as well as, the Association of Theological Schools.
The “regent” in Regent University’s name, according to the school’s website, refers to “one who represents Christ, our Sovereign, in whatever sphere of life he or she may be called to serve Him.”
Known for its government and leadership degrees, the university is nationally ranked for its business and education degree programs. Seven schools of study are available, including Divinity, Education, Communication and the Arts, Government, Business and Leadership, Arts and Sciences, and Psychology & Counseling. With a 30 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio, Regent employs faculty whom many are graduates from Harvard, Oxford, Yale, and other high-end universities to educate their students.
SAINT MARY OF THE WOODS COLLEGE
ONLINE CATHOLIC-ORIENTED DEGREE PROGRAMS
Founded in 1840, Saint Mary of the Woods College is a Roman Catholic women’s college located in Indiana. A four-year liberal arts school, it is the oldest Catholic college for women in the United States, in addition to, a being a leader in distance learning open to both women and men. Noted for its equine program, Saint Mary of the Woods offers, not only pre-professional programs in pre-medicine, pre-veterinarian, pre-dentistry, and pre-law but they also provide instruction in leadership development, music, and art therapy.
SMWC offers a value-centered education and a commitment to academic excellence. Their motto is Virtus cum Scientia meaning Virtue and Knowledge United. Saint Mary of the Woods College is fully-accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and is a great option for busy adults seeking a valuable, yet affordable, online education.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the advantages of attending an online Christian college?
If you have come to rely on Jesus Christ to get you through your everyday life, why not allow Him to guide you in your studies? Many Christ-centered colleges and universities were founded by Christian leaders and continue to carry on the religious beliefs that are important to today’s Christians. There are many advantages to attending an online Christian college or university.
If you choose to attend an online Christian college or university, you can expect to be surrounded by Christian faculty members that work hard to provide their students with a faith-based learning environment. Through a faith-based school, you can connect with like-minded students with Christian roots like yours. You will gain an exceptional education, as they are expected to meet the same rigorous accreditation requirements that other universities must meet. Typically, Christian colleges have fewer students; therefore, the student to faculty ratio is acceptable and, most subjects incorporate in-depth religious-based discussions into each topic, allowing for spiritual growth.
If I attend an online Christian college or university, am I expected to pursue a career in ministry?
No, it is not expected of you; however, if you decide to that is undoubtedly a great decision. Primarily, online Christian colleges offer a wide variety of degree programs, designed to fit the needs of any career you choose. Although they incorporate religious teachings in their programs, they do not force their beliefs on anyone. In fact, most Christian colleges freely discuss all secular worldviews to help every student develop their own thought process. Christian colleges are primarily designed for students who would like to combine their morality and faith with their academic learning.
If you are planning to enter into a ministry career in any capacity, perhaps attending a Bible college is best for you. Within this setting, a Bible college will help you explore the many options available in ministry. They focus upon religion and faith-based coursework designed for those interested in leadership, pastoral duties, missionary, or church administration responsibilities. General education classes are not typically required at a Bible college; however, they are required at a traditional online Christian college or university.
What makes a Christian college, “Christian?”
A Christian college is founded upon the beliefs of their character. Do they promote Christian values? Do they support the idea of spreading the Word of God? Do their administration and faculty members adhere to the Christian faith? And, do they carry on the values promoted in their faith mission statement to their students? These are all excellent questions to research before signing on to an online Christian-based college or university. Although Christian colleges may offer more faith-inspired coursework options, they also provide just as many traditional course options as their secular counterparts do, such as needed in nursing, technology, business, and many more.