Along with Mississippi, Alabama ranks as the most religious state in the U.S. More than 77% of adults in Alabama identify as "highly religious" and more than half of adults attend religious services at least once per week. To accommodate this large population of religious learners, there are many Christian colleges in Alabama. The state hosts online Christian colleges, seminaries, and bible colleges.
More than 77% of adults in Alabama identify as ‘highly religious’ and more than half of adults attend religious services at least once per week.
Pew Research Center
Seminary schools in Alabama prepare students for careers in ministry or faith counseling. Alabama bible colleges provide students with a variety of degrees based in Christian knowledge and values. All Christian colleges in Alabama offer associate and bachelor's degrees, while some also offer master's and doctoral degrees.
Alabama Christian colleges are a good option for students who want to gain a Christian education and connect with like-minded people. At Christian colleges, faith informs every area of a student's academics, as well as their life on campus. Christian universities in Alabama are affiliated with several denominations, including Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, 7th Day Adventist, and Presbyterian. Consequently, students of all backgrounds can find a school that aligns with their faith.
There are many benefits to earning a degree from an online Christian college in Alabama. One of the greatest perks is flexibility. Online courses allow students to earn their degree from wherever they want, whenever they want, however they want. Students can study at night, on weekends, in the morning, or even during lunch breaks. Asynchronous courses mean that students can watch lectures and complete coursework at any time of day. Online students can also keep their current job, attend to family and personal obligations, and earn a quality education without moving across the state or country.
Online Christian colleges are also more affordable than their on-campus equivalents. In addition to cheaper tuition, students at Christian online colleges can also save money on transportation, housing, dining, and campus fees such as student activities, recreation services, and parking. Many online Christian colleges even offer digital spiritual resources for their distance learners. Students can stream worship services, attend online spiritual counseling sessions, and connect with other Christian students through forums and chat groups.
Students should consider a variety of factors when browsing Christian colleges in Alabama. First and foremost, students should determine whether a school's location and campus lifestyle fit their needs. Is the school located in a rural or urban location? Can students volunteer or work in the surrounding community? Can students access nearby amenities like hospitals and grocery stores? Is the surrounding community safe? That last factor is less important for students interested in online courses, though some schools require distance learners to visit campus on occasion.
Other factors to consider include campus safety, style of housing (co-ed or not co-ed dormitories), and campus values. For instance, some Bible colleges in Alabama may prohibit alcohol on campus. Others may require students to attend chapel or services. Students should research a school's lifestyle and faith requirements and decide whether these requirements align with their interests. Another detail to consider is the size of the school. Smaller colleges typically feature smaller class sizes and a lower student-to-faculty ratio. Smaller class sizes mean that students have closer access to faculty members and a more intimate classroom environment.
Students interested in attending an online Christian college should also check the school's resources for online learners.
Students looking for the right Christian college in Alabama should also investigate whether the school's academic offerings align with their scholastic and professional goals. Be sure to check whether schools under your purview offer ministry-focused degrees only, or if they also offer other programs. Students interested in attending an online Christian college should also check the school's resources for online learners. In addition to academic resources like digital libraries and tutoring services, students should check that a school offers faith-based resources like online worship services and faith counseling.
Seminary Schools vs. Bible Schools
Although they share many similarities, there are a few key differences between seminary schools in Alabama and Bible colleges in Alabama. Seminary schools specifically prepare students for careers in ministry, faith counseling, and church leadership. At seminary, students study the Bible, but also topics like leadership skills, counseling, and church organization. Seminaries also typically confer graduate-level degrees.
In contrast, Alabama Bible colleges are typically two-year or four-year schools that allow students to study the Bible without necessarily preparing them for a career in ministry or the church. Students study a range of topics that may or may not relate directly to theology. For instance, students may study scripture languages like Latin and Hebrew or take courses that examine the historical context of the Bible. These programs may or may not lead to seminary education.
Some schools offer a dual Bible college and seminary program that provides a foundational education in Bible studies and prepares students to train as church leaders and ministers.
Accreditation for Christian Colleges
When choosing a Christian college in Alabama, it's important to make sure that the school is accredited. Accrediting agencies ensure that a school meets certain standards so that students receive a quality education. Christian colleges can receive three kinds of accreditation: regional, national, and specialized. To check whether a Christian college in Alabama is accredited, consult the Department of Education's database of accredited institutions.
Regional accreditation and national accreditation are types of institutional accreditation, meaning they apply to an entire school. Specialized accreditation typically applies to a specific academic program within an institution. Of the two types of institutional accreditation, regional accreditation is generally considered more prestigious than national accreditation. While most universities and employers recognize academic credits earned at a regionally accredited school, not all schools or employers recognize credits earned from a nationally accredited school. Some financial aid may not qualify at nationally accredited schools.
When looking for an accredited Christian college in Alabama, students should keep an eye out for common accrediting agencies. The regional accrediting agency for Alabama Christian colleges is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. A common national accrediting agency is the Association for Biblical Higher Education Commision on Accreditation. Seminary schools in Alabama may hold specialized accreditation from the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools.
Students enrolling in Christian colleges in Alabama should understand their employment prospects in the state. Important aspects include Alabama's unemployment rate, average salary for state residents, and fastest-growing industries. In general, now is a fairly good time to find a job in Alabama. In 2018, the unemployment rate hovered around 3.8%, the lowest rate the state has seen in more than 10 years. This rate falls below the overall U.S. unemployment rate of 4.1%. The employment rate does change depending on location; in Mobile, for instance, the unemployment rate was 5.1% as of February 2018, while in Huntsville it was 3.7%.
Alabama residents in all occupations earned a mean annual wage of $43,170
As of May 2017, Alabama residents in all occupations earned a mean annual wage of $43,170, a rate slightly less than the mean annual wage in the U.S. overall. The mean hourly wage for all occupations as of May 2017 was $20.76.
Most of the state's 40 most demanded occupations fall within the tech or health services industries. In 2018 alone, the state experienced an increase of more than 3,000 education and health services jobs. Prospective students interested in pursuing careers in community and social service should consult the table below.
|Occupation||Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Wage|
|Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors||1,720||$20.03||$41,670|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||210||$19.19||$39,920|
|Mental Health Social Workers||1,180||$18.55||$38,580|
|Child, Family, and School Social Workers||3,280||$20.01||$41,610|
|Healthcare Social Workers||2,380||$22.68||$47,170|
|Social and Human Service Assistants||1,360||$12.87||$26,770|
|Directors, Religious Activities and Education||30||$40.13||$83,470|
|Postsecondary Religion Teachers||220||N/A||$69,730|
Hundreds of scholarship opportunities are available for students attending Christian colleges in Alabama. Not only can students apply for Christian scholarships at the local, regional, and national level, but they can also apply for scholarships specific to their major and intended career path.
Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholarship Program Varies
The Mary E. Bivins Religious Scholarship $2,500 to $3,500
Women in Ministry Scholarship $150 to $2,000
FTE Fellowships for Latino/a, Asian, and First Nationals Doctoral Students Varies
Leonard M. Perryman Scholarship $2,500
Presbyterian Student Opportunity Scholarship $2,000
Scholarships for Alabama Residents
CollegeCounts Scholarship $2,000 to $4,000
Korean American Scholarship Foundation - Southern Region $500-$5,000
The David Womack Memorial Alabama LGBT Scholarship $1,000
Linly Heflin Scholarship $6,000
SREB Doctoral Scholars Program Fellowship $20,000
Find a Church in Your Community
Students at Alabama Christian colleges who want to connect with a church in their community can use online directories like Church Finder and USA Churches. Church Finder lists churches according to their location, while USA Churches lists churches according to their location, size, and style of worship. Both websites offer free access to their directories.
Christian networking websites help Christian students and professionals connect with each other and find jobs in their field of interest. Students attending online Christian colleges in Alabama may find networking websites especially valuable.
- The Christian Business Network CBN connects Christian business professionals and provides members with both Biblical and business-related resources. Members can also promote their services and share their profiles.
- Kingdom Advisors Kingdom Advisors connects Christians in professional advising fields such as tax and accounting, real estate law, financial advising, investment, and insurance. Members enjoy continuing education opportunities, advertising to Christian clients, certifications, and professional tools.
- Association of Christian Sustainability Professionals ACSP combines a dedication to environmental sustainability with a commitment to Christ. The association offers educational training, collaboration opportunities, and professional networking.
Find Christian Ministries
Private Christian colleges in Alabama can be expensive. Luckily, students who can't afford to attend an Alabama Christian college can still connect with Christians through campus ministries. Many public schools in Alabama host at least one Christian group or ministry, and several host multiple organizations from different denominations. Below is a list of different campus ministries, as well as public colleges in Alabama that host at least one of these organizations on their campus.
- Campus Crusade for Christ Cru connects Christians on college campuses and helps students build a relationship with Christ. The group offers spiritual guidance, sponsors the Jesus film project, and provides aid to countries in need.
- Chi Alpha Chi Alpha is a network of Christian ministries that operates on college campuses throughout the world. The network builds meaningful connections between Christian students while spreading the word of Christ.
- International Fellowship of Evangelical Students IFES operates in more than 160 countries. The fellowship brings student-led Christian movements to new campuses every year and develops student leaders and disciples in the process.
- Fellowship of Christian Athletes The FCA uses sports as a way to communicate the power of Jesus Christ to coaches and athletes. Members play sports at the professional, collegiate, high school, middle school, and youth levels.
- Catholic Campus Ministry Association The CCMA provides a variety of support services to Catholic campus ministers. Resources include webinars, discounts, training, and a speaker bureau.
- Lutheran Student Movement U.S.A. The LSM-USA connects Lutheran students from all across the country. The organization operates in nine regions across the U.S. and hosts an annual gathering in Chicago.
- Reformed University Fellowship As the official campus ministry of the Presbyterian Church of America, the RUF helps students across the U.S. incorporate Christ into their everyday lives and goals.
- UKirk UKirk provides support to Presbyterian campus ministers across the country. UKirk operates seven campus locations across Alabama.
- Baptist Collegiate Ministry Life The BCM is a network of Baptist ministries serving campuses across the U.S. and Canada. The ministry connects students to Christ and to each other.
Public Universities in Alabama with Christian Ministries
- The University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama’s main campus in Tuscaloosa hosts a variety of campus ministries, including Bama Cru, Chi Alpha, College Life in Christ, and First Baptist College Ministries.
- The University of Alabama - Huntsville: UAH offers just as many campus ministries as the Tuscaloosa campus. Among these ministries are Reformed University Fellowship, Catholic Campus Ministry, and Baptist Campus Ministries.
- Jacksonville State University: JSU houses a wide selection of campus ministries, including Reformed University Fellowship, Engage JSU, Baptist Campus Ministries, and Canterbury Episcopal Campus Ministry.