Christian colleges constitute a large segment of online higher learning institutions. The best online Christian colleges offer exceptional academic programs while providing students access to spiritual support and like-minded instructors and students. Learners who wish to earn a college degree online while focusing on and expanding their Christian worldview serve as ideal candidates for online Christian institutions.
All online Christian colleges in this guide receive their score based on academic quality, affordability, and the quality of their online programs.
More than 180 Christian colleges around the world maintain accreditation through the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). Member institutions uphold the mission of the CCCU by integrating Christian ideals and Biblical values into academic curricula and extracurricular activities. These schools focus on providing Christian-centered higher education through experiential learning, professional development, scholarships, and public advocacy.
All online Christian colleges in this guide receive their score based on academic quality, affordability, and the quality of their online programs. Academics receive the greatest consideration in institutional rankings, while affordability and online programming receive equal, if less immediate, consideration.Bachelor’s in Ministry
2019 Best Online Christian Colleges
What Are The Best Online Christian Colleges in 2019?
Piedmont International University
Established in 1945, Piedmont International University offers undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs steeped in Baptist traditions. Piedmont began as a Bible institute for veterans returning from World War II, and it quickly transitioned into a Bible college in 1948. Piedmont currently houses four schools, including the School of Bible and Theology, the School of Ministry, the School of Teacher Education, and the School of Arts and Sciences.
As an online Christian college, Piedmont's programs include a certificate in Bible studies and associate degrees in Bible and in ministry. Students can also complete bachelor's degrees in Bible and ministry or pursue accelerated BA-to-MA programs in biblical studies and Christian ministry. Piedmont offers master's degrees in ministry, leadership, and divinity online, with specializations in education, language, and Ph.D. preparation. Online doctoral degrees through this Christian university online include Ph.D. programs in leadership and biblical studies, in addition to a ministry program.
Piedmont International University is a member of the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. Education programs hold accreditation from the American Association of Christian Schools and the Association of Christian Schools International.
The Baptist College of Florida
The Baptist College of Florida, founded by a group of Southern Baptist pastors in 1943, maintains the distinction of the only higher learning institution supported by the Florida Baptist Convention. Originally based in Lakeland, Florida, BCF now provides on-campus and online programs from its main campus in Graceland, Florida.
Learners can complete any BCF undergraduate or graduate program online. Associate degrees in general studies, divinity, and music prepare students for entry-level careers or further study. BCF offers 18 bachelor's degrees in disciplines such as education, music, and ministry. Students can specialize in English or history secondary education, elementary education, or leadership and Christian education. Music programs include specializations in music in worship leadership and music education. BCF's online master's degrees in music and worship leadership and Christian studies provide students with advanced knowledge and skills in researching and applying Christian doctrines and practices to a pastoral setting.
BCF holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and licensure from the State of Florida Department of Education's Commission for Independent Education.
Founded in 1971, Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia offers educational programs to train "champions for Christ." The school's online Christian college, Liberty University Online, provides more than 400 academic programs online, including over 100 undergraduate and 300 graduate degrees.
Learners can enroll in one of Liberty's 13 associate degrees online or one of the school's 95 online bachelor's programs. Online bachelor's in nursing degrees allow registered nurses to earn their four-year degree as they transition to graduate work in the field. Sports management programs online include specializations in sports communication and venue management, while students studying business administration can choose from 16 degree concentrations.
With more than 240 master's and almost 70 doctoral degrees online, learners can pursue advanced knowledge and skills in areas including education, ministry, public policy, and criminal justice. Online undergraduate and graduate certificates supplement degrees through abbreviated programs, which learners can complete in as little as one year.
Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Programmatic accreditation includes the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
Summit University of Pennsylvania
Founded in Johnson City, New York in 1932, Clarks Summit University now sits on an 111-acre campus in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. CSU serves undergraduate, graduate, and seminary students through academic programs based in Baptist doctrine and Christian authority. CSU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Association for Biblical Higher Education.
As an online Christian college, CSU offers more than 40 academic programs. Learners complete associate degrees in addictions counseling, Bible and theology, Christian ministries, and counseling ministries. All associate degrees include 61 credit hours, which students can complete in two years. Bachelor's programs in seven disciplines, including Bible and theology, business administration, and criminal justice, provide students the option to transfer as many as 90 credits into the 121-credit hour degree.
Master's programs online in such areas as education, counseling, and literature allow students to specialize their degrees in areas including leadership, the Bible, and curriculum and instruction. CSU also offers master's and doctoral degrees through its Baptist Bible Seminary.
Students currently working in the ministry may receive tuition discounts at CSU.
As the oldest institution of higher education in Mississippi, Mississippi College transitioned from Presbyterian to Baptist affiliation in 1850. Mississippi College offers more than 80 undergraduate programs, plus over 50 graduate, doctoral, and professional degrees. Programs at the online Christian college include bachelor's and master's degrees, certificate programs, and accelerated degrees in business administration and communications.
Bachelor's programs online at Mississippi College include bachelor of science degrees in loss prevention, homeland security, and paralegal studies. Degree curricula include courses on fundamental practices, principles, and tools in their respective disciplines. They also include classes in biblical analysis to help learners prepare for their careers and build strong Christian foundations. Graduate degrees in education emphasize curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, or special education; communication master's degrees focus on health service, sports, or general communication. Learners can also earn an accelerated master's degree in business administration through 10, eight-week classes. Mississippi College also offers a doctorate in professional counseling.
Mississippi College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Mississippi College's School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and its business programs maintain accreditation from the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs.
Dallas Baptist University
Once known as Decatur Baptist College, Dallas Baptist University was founded in Decatur, Texas in 1898 and moved to Dallas in 1965. DBU provides Christ-centered academic programs, integrating Baptist beliefs into undergraduate, graduate, and professional curricula. DBU maintains accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
DBU's online offerings include anything from certificates to accelerated bachelor's and master's degrees and dual master's programs. Students can complete online undergraduate and graduate certificates in areas such as business communication, ministry, worship studies, and discipleship. Undergraduate programs include associate and bachelor's degrees in Christian studies, interdisciplinary studies, psychology, and business administration. Bachelor's degrees include 120 credit hours.
Learners in one of DBU's online ministry and business administration programs can complete accelerated bachelor's to master's degrees through roughly 150 credit hours. Master's degrees include 36 credit hours, while dual master's degrees give learners the opportunity to earn multiple degrees with only one additional year of study.
As part of the larger Johnson University system, Johnson University in Knoxville, Tennessee offers academic programs online in conjunction with campuses in Florida and learning extensions around the country. Johnson University emphasizes scriptural teachings to support its mission of providing affordable, community-focused, Christ-centered learning.
Online associate degrees at Johnson University prepare students for entry-level careers and continued academic study. Students can complete two-year degrees in ministry leadership, biblical studies, intercultural studies, and applied linguistics. Bachelor's degrees online include bachelor of arts and bachelor of science options in intercultural studies, with the former emphasizing language and humanities while the latter focuses on natural sciences. Online bachelor's programs in ministry leadership and pastoral care and counseling include internships during which students apply knowledge from coursework to real-world situations.
Master of arts degrees online at Johnson allow students to delve further into intercultural studies through interdisciplinary curricula in missiological anthropology, religious studies, and cross-culture leadership. Johnson also offers a Ph.D. in leadership studies with concentrations in educational, organizational, missional, and philosophical and theological leadership.
Johnson University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Named for founder R.G. LeTourneau, LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas began as an all-male technical institute in 1946. LeTourneau University started offering four-year degrees in 1961 and currently provides educational programs to more than 3,000 learners.
As a Christian college, online programs combine spiritual teachings with coursework in more than 140 undergraduate majors. Students can earn degrees in business, education, aviation and aeronautical science, the health sciences, arts and sciences, and theology and vocation. Noteworthy programs include LeTourneau's online aviation management, aviation studies, aviation security, and remote aircraft pilot degrees. Associate degrees include between 60-70 credit hours, while bachelor's programs range from 120-122 credit hours.
LeTourneau University also offers teaching and learning master's programs online with specializations in early childhood, elementary, and secondary education. Additional online master's degrees in curriculum and instruction, educational administration, and teacher leadership let learners advance in their current professions. LeTourneau's online master's degrees in strategic leadership, engineering management, healthcare administration, and business administration offer working professionals business, interpersonal, and professional skills that apply to their fields.
LeTourneau University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas offers Christian-centric academic programs online and on campuses in Kansas, Arizona, and Wisconsin. With Baptist heritage dating back to its 1865 founding, Ottawa University also maintains ties to the Ottawa Native American Tribe, from which the school derives its name.
Ottawa University online provides distance learning undergraduate and graduate programs. Ottawa's Angell Snyder School of Business offers bachelor's degrees in accounting, business economics, healthcare management, and business administration. Master's degrees in human resources and business administration include specializations in leadership development, finance, and accounting. The School of Arts and Sciences offers online undergraduate programs in mathematics, nursing, history, and English, plus graduate degrees in nursing and counseling. Secondary education degrees at the undergraduate level accompany graduate programs in curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, school counseling, and learning technologies.
Ottawa University's business programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, and education programs maintain approval from the National Association of Teacher Education. Ottawa University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Concordia University-St. Paul
Founded as a Christian liberal arts college in 1893, Concordia University-St. Paul in St. Paul, Minnesota offers undergraduate and graduate programs to build academic, spiritual, and interpersonal development.
Online certificates and degrees provide students opportunities to develop new knowledge or advance current competencies and skills through cohort-learning models. Students enter one of Concordia's online programs and collaborate with the same group of colleagues, drawing on collective life experiences and skills.
An online Christian college, Concordia offers associate degrees in general studies and early education, plus bachelor's degrees in disciplines such as sports management, criminal justice, family science, and business. Students can transfer into one of the bachelor's programs with an associate degree and, as part of Concordia Transfer Advantage, may earn a tuition discount in the process. Graduate degrees online include master's degrees in education, nursing, and management -- and a doctorate in education. Online certificate programs supplement degree-granting programs with 15 credit hour curricula to build skills in areas such as forensic behavioral health.
Concordia University-St. Paul is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
California Baptist University
California Baptist University, founded in 1950 by the California Southern Baptist Convention, provides educational programs to more than 10,000 learners each year. From its original home in El Monte to its current location in Riverside, California, CBU continues to grow its Christian-centered offerings through nearly 40 online degrees.
Undergraduate students can earn online degrees in English, human services, and liberal studies, plus specialized business administration degrees in management, logistics, and operations. Bachelor's degrees include 48 major credit hours, which students complete in 16 months.
Graduate degrees in accounting, kinesiology, public health, and information technology management accompany education master's degrees with concentrations in disability studies, educational leadership, teaching, and early childhood studies. Master's degrees include between 30 and 35 credit hours, which students can complete in as little as one year. Students can also complete a doctorate in business administration or public administration online.
CBU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.
Toccoa Falls College
Based in Toccoa Falls, Georgia, Toccoa Falls College offers more than 30 undergraduate degrees through four academic schools. TFC integrates evangelical Christian values into academic programs to provide biblical truth, educational excellence, and spiritual formation.
Students at TFC can earn certificates in biblical studies and cross-cultural studies online. The biblical studies certificate comprises 30 credit hours in subjects including spiritual foundations and biblical theology, while the cross-cultural studies certificate incorporates 18 credit hours of interdisciplinary coursework.
Online associate degrees at TFC in business administration, general studies, and criminal justice include 60-63 credit hours. Bachelor's programs in disciplines such as counseling psychology, organizational leadership, and sport management include 126 credit hours of general education and major classes. Learners can also earn a bachelor's degree in biblical studies, youth ministry, and ministry leadership to prepare for professions in pastoral care and Christian service. Online programs include practical, applicable information on Christian teachings and doctrines for learners to use during degree internships.
TFC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Loma Linda University
Located in Loma Linda, California, Loma Linda University provides educational programs in accordance with the institution's Seventh-Day Adventist tradition. Founded in 1905, LLU's spiritual plan continues to thrive as the school extends online Christian programs to learners around the world.
Online programs at LLU include certificate programs, doctoral degrees, and anything in between. Students can earn an online certificate in polysomnography in 34 weeks, while practicing chaplains can complete an online post-baccalaureate certificate in denominational studies in two years. Learners complete LLU's online cardiac electrophysiology technology program in 12 months.
LLU offers numerous healthcare and medical undergraduate and graduate degrees online. Nursing, diagnostic sonography, and occupational therapy undergraduate programs include 2-3 years of coursework. Learners can also complete master's degrees in respiratory care, health informatics, and nutrition in 1-5 years. The online doctoral degrees in occupational therapy and nursing include 4-5 years of coursework, depending whether students enroll part time or full time.
LLU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges' Senior College University Commission and the Adventist Accrediting Association.
University of Northwestern-St. Paul
With more than 75 undergraduate majors and six graduate programs, the University of Northwestern-St. Paul provides learners with a Christian-focused education from its main campus in the suburbs of St. Paul, Minnesota. Northwestern, founded in 1902, moved to its current location in 1972. On-campus and online programs reach more than 3,000 learners each year.
Northwestern's online undergraduate programs offer nontraditional learners flexible degree options. All of Northwestern's nontraditional undergraduate degrees include online components, but Northwestern offers fully online degrees in health psychology, general studies, and business management. The university's associate degree in general studies includes 60 credit hours, while its bachelor's programs in health psychology and business management include 125 credit hours. Northwestern also offers a 60 credit online associate of arts and the Bible and a 125 credit biblical and theological studies bachelor's degree.
Students can earn a certificate in biblical studies or complete master's degrees in divinity, theological studies, education, human services, business administration, or organizational leadership. Master's degrees include a 30- to 76-credit divinity program. The divinity degree combines biblical theology with evangelicalism in anticipation of Christian ministry leadership.
Northwestern is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Northwest Christian University
Holding true to its foundation as a divinity school in 1895, Northwest Christian University continues to foster a Christ-centered learning community through on-campus and online programs. Located in Eugene, Oregon, NCU's online nontraditional programs includes undergraduate and graduate degrees in business, nursing, education, and the arts and sciences.
Online business degrees through NCU in accounting and business administration programs serve working professionals with courses that begin every eight weeks. Business administration bachelor's degree concentrations in general business, accounting, management, and marketing provide field-specific options for learners who want to advance in their current professions. NCU's teacher education degree similarly allows learners to specialize in elementary or secondary education, while online bachelor's degrees in psychology include concentrations in general and forensic psychology.
NCU offers RN-to-BSN and RN-to-MSN degrees to practicing nurses who wish to earn advanced credentials in the nursing field. The RN-to-MSN program comprises nine undergraduate classes, plus graduate coursework to accelerate degree completion.
Northwest Christian University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Business programs maintain accreditation through the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.
Warner Pacific University Nontraditional Learner Programs
Founded as Pacific Bible College in Spokane, Washington in 1937, Warner Pacific University moved to Portland, Oregon in 1940. The Christian liberal arts institution offers more than 40 academic programs to undergraduate and graduate students. Online programs give working professionals and nontraditional learners opportunities to earn a bachelor's or master's degree on a convenient, flexible schedule.
Warner Pacific University offers four bachelor's degrees online. Learners with 48-60 credit hours can transfer into business administration, psychology and human development, criminal justice, or healthcare administration programs, and earn a bachelor's degree in two years. The business administration program operates on a cohort model, bringing students together once a week for classroom interaction.
Warner Pacific University's online human services program includes on-campus requirements as well, with one night a week built into the 39-credit hour program. Learners in the master's program in education can earn endorsements in English as a second language and reading intervention. The online business administration includes a free first class when students enroll.
Warner Pacific University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Lincoln Christian University
Lincoln Christian University in Lincoln, Illinois offers educational programs from its Bloomington-Normal, Illinois campus and online. Founded in 1944, LCU prepares students to enter the world with a Christian worldview while working as leaders in the church. The online Christian college provides six degrees to further this mission, including an associate of arts in the Bible, a bachelor's in Christian ministry, and a master's in Bible and theology.
Students complete LCU's online associate degree in the Bible in two years. Coursework in the New and Old testaments accompany classes on the foundations of Christian values. LCU's online bachelor's program in Christian ministry prepares future pastors and church administrators, while bachelor's degrees in business administration and psychology integrate Christian teachings into practical knowledge and skills, applicable to students' respective fields.
Graduate degrees at LCU in Bible and theology, intercultural studies, and organizational leadership emphasize individual relationships with Christ through classes that build religious understanding, cultural awareness, and leadership skills. Students complete online master's degrees in 21-24 months.
LCU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Southwestern Assemblies of God University
Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas began as a Bible college in 1927. After moving to its current location in 1943, SAGU transitioned to a junior college and currently offers more than 70 academic programs. SAGU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' Commission on Colleges. SAGU's teaching program is approved by the Texas Education Agency.
SAGU's undergraduate programs online include associate of arts degrees in human services, church ministries, religious studies, and education. Bachelor's programs in behavioral sciences and community service include degrees in psychology, social work, criminal justice, and counseling. Students in SAGU's business administration bachelor's program can specialize in accounting, management, marketing, or human resources.
Degrees in history, interdisciplinary studies, and occupational leadership accompany Bible and ministry degrees in theological studies, religion and philosophy, and church leadership. The church leadership program includes concentrations in areas such as children and family ministry, church planting, church revitalization, spiritual formation, and worship ministry.
Learners enrolled in one of SAGU's online degrees qualify for tuition grants through the school.
Affiliated with the Assemblies of God and steeped in Pentecostal traditions, Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida was established in New Brockton, Georgia in 1935. After moving to Florida in 1946, Southeastern University became a liberal arts institution in 1970, and it is currently the largest Assemblies of God institution of higher learning in the country.
Southeastern offers online degrees in business, criminal justice, ministry studies, education, behavioral and social science, and communication. Southeastern's associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in ministerial leadership provide learners knowledge of theology, the Bible, spiritual development, and church ministry operations. Business administration bachelor's and master's programs build Christian-based business ethics while training students in accounting, finance, management, and human resources fundamentals.
In addition to a doctorate of education program online, graduate degrees in education include master's degrees in elementary education, education leadership, exceptional student education, and educational therapy.
Southeastern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
King University in Bristol, Tennessee was founded in 1867 as a Presbyterian-affiliated institution. Holding true to those origins, King University offers more than 90 academic programs from its 135-acre campus and online.
King University's online programs include several accelerated options. Learners earn accelerated bachelor's degrees in as few as 16 months and can transfer between 76-88 credit hours into bachelor's programs. Bachelor's degrees in disciplines such as English, business administration, communication, history, and religious studies include 48 credit hours of major-specific coursework. During the religious studies program, learners travel to Israel for a three- to six-week research experience.
Graduate degrees in business administration and education accompany a master's degree in nursing, with specializations in nurse education and nurse administration. The nurse education program includes 39 credit hours, while the administration concentration includes 35 credit hours. Business administration graduate students can choose between five marketing specializations, as well.
King University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' Commission on Colleges. Nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Northwest Nazarene University
Self-identified as a Christian comprehensive university, Northwest Nazarene University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in 60 areas of study. Founded in 1913, NNU's main campus in Nampa, Idaho covers 90 acres, while extension centers in Idaho Falls and throughout the state reach more than 8,000 learners each year.
Online undergraduate programs at NNU include six associate and two bachelor's degrees. Students may pursue master's degrees in business, pastoral ministry, or nursing, or graduate divinity programs in missional leadership, spiritual formation, and youth and family ministry. Learners can complete divinity degrees in 50 months.
Nursing graduate degrees include concentrations for future nurse leaders or nurse practitioners, while professional and doctoral degrees in education allow students to specialize in leadership and organizational development, building administration, special education, and superintendency.
NNU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and it holds affiliation with the Church of the Nazarene. Programmatic accreditation comes from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
For more than 100 years, Crown College in Saint Bonifacius, Minnesota has integrated biblical values and practical industry skills into its academic programs. Crown College ensures that every student enjoys access to Bible-related classes each semester. Crown College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
In addition to online training programs in emergency medical training and ministerial studies, Crown College offers online associate degrees in business, Christian ministry, general studies, and global and cultural studies. Bachelor's degrees in disciplines including biblical studies and disaster and emergency management incorporate Christian-centered coursework and field-specific classes in 120-132 credit hours.
Crown College also offers an accelerated online pastoral leadership initiative BA-to-MA program which allows learners to complete both an undergraduate and graduate degree in as few as five years. Additional graduate programs at Crown College in ministry leadership, Christian studies, global studies, and organizational leadership emphasize pastoral counseling, church development, and intercultural ministries. Graduate certificates in urban ministry, community development, Hmong ministries, intercultural ministry, and emergency management supplement advanced degrees with 12-15 credit hours.
Online learners at Crown College may also access free courses through the its Massive Open Online Courses program.
Anderson University offers more than 35 undergraduate majors, seven master's degrees, and one doctoral degree from its scenic campus in Anderson, South Carolina; its University Center in Greenville, South Carolina; and online. Affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention, Anderson University provides affordable online college programs to nontraditional learners and traditional students alike.
Anderson University's 18 undergraduate degrees online include disciplines in business administration, organizational leadership, nursing, and education. Business administration students can specialize in accounting, supply chain management, and healthcare management at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Additional master's degrees online include an education program in administration and supervision, an instructional technology program, and a master of music in music education. The online master of music program includes 30 credit hours, which students complete in two years.
Hybrid programs in nursing at the master's and doctoral levels integrate online coursework and on-campus residencies, in addition to practical clinical experience. Practicing nurses can specialize in executive leadership, family nurse practitioner, or psychiatric mental health nursing.
Anderson University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Programmatic accreditations include the National Association of Schools of Music, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
Azusa Pacific University
Founded as a Christian teaching institution in 1899 in Whittier, California, Azusa Pacific University offers educational programs across seven campuses and online. Since moving to Azusa, California in 1946, APU has grown its Christian-centric programs to include nearly 150 academic certificates and degrees.
APU's online Christian college offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in education, business, and nursing. Learners complete education master's degrees in art education, educational technology or leadership, physical education, or school librarianship. The institution offers additional online certificates and authorizations in teaching English as a second language, autism spectrum disorders, and librarian services. Online nursing programs include an RN-to-BSN degree, a master's in nursing with a specialization in nurse education, and a doctorate in nursing practice.
Additional master's degrees in art history, leadership, and music entrepreneurship offer interdisciplinary curricula. The art history program blends history and art coursework, while the leadership degree combines leadership, business, and cultural coursework -- offering specializations in executive leadership, leadership development, and sports management. The music entrepreneurship degree offers students advanced coursework in music writing, publishing, and production -- with classes to prepare them for the competitive music industry.
APU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges' Senior College and University Commission.
One of the schools within the Concordia University System, Concordia University-Chicago was founded in 1864 as a teachers' college. Located 10 miles west of downtown Chicago, Concordia University-Chicago is affiliated with the the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod and holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
The online Christian college offers certificate programs in gerontology, human resource management, teaching English as a second language, and women's and gender studies -- plus teaching endorsements in specialties including special education, teacher leadership, and teaching technology. Undergraduate programs in organizational, healthcare, sports, and human resource management accompany degrees in kinesiology and public administration.
Graduate learners complete master's degrees in business administration in one of 10 specialties, with seven additional business administration certificates available to supplement professional knowledge. Online graduate programs in education include 30-credit hour master's degrees in fields including differentiated instruction, grant writing and management, and religion. Students can complete these degrees in 12-24 months. Concordia University - Chicago also offers Ph.D. and Ed.D. degrees in leadership, which range from 60-70 credit hours, depending on the discipline. Degree options include higher education, gerontology, and health and human performance.
Difference Among Christian, Bible, and Seminary Colleges
Both Christian colleges and Bible schools provide undergraduate students with academic programs infused with religious values, spiritually based coursework, and foundational knowledge of the Bible. Christian online colleges offer broad curricula that incorporate Biblical principles and teachings, while Bible colleges prepare students for roles in the ministry. Bible colleges give students the information needed to continue onto seminary work. Seminaries confer graduate degrees to Christian learners who want to expand their roles in ministry-related professions. As professional schools, seminaries often provide advanced coursework on Biblical languages, Christian teachings, pastoral methods, theology, and religious history.
Bible colleges and seminaries focus on Christian-based teachings, training learners for roles and careers in the ministry. Students interested in studying a wider range of subjects while incorporating Christian faith into their studies and their daily lives fit better within Christian colleges.
Online Christian colleges provide convenient, flexible academic programs for nontraditional learners, distance students, and working professionals. Through online programming, students pursue degrees that correspond to their spiritual principles while receiving knowledge and skills applicable to real-world experiences. Online Christian colleges offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in the humanities, social and physical sciences, and other fields found at secular institutions.
Online Christian colleges create a sense of community for learners. With similar beliefs, worldviews, and value systems, students can relate to their colleagues in the classroom. Christian colleges also employ like-minded faculty and staff who assist students in their academic and spiritual journeys.
To learn more about Bible colleges, see our Best Online Bible Colleges page.
Bible schools and Christian colleges prepare learners to study at seminaries. Seminary schools offer certificates and graduate degrees to students who want to enter the ministry or advance their positions in church-related professions. Ministries vary by denomination, and many offer different types of degrees, including master of theology and master of divinity degrees. Students can also earn a doctorate in theology or a doctorate in ministry from a seminary.
Seminaries prepare individuals for careers in education as well, qualifying them to teach in higher education.
A master of divinity degree trains students for pastoral roles in the church. Divinity degrees sometimes include specializations in counseling, leadership, intercultural studies, and education. Learners study pastoral care, church teachings, missions, and Scriptural writings. Master's degrees in theology delve deeper into Gospel teachings, providing students theological understanding in anticipation of sharing Christ's word with others. Doctoral degrees in both fields offer in-depth coursework while training learners to research in the field.
With a degree from a seminary, learners can work in Christian counseling as a minister or pastor, within church administration, or as a missionary. Seminaries prepare individuals for careers in education as well, qualifying them to teach in higher education.Christian College Denominations
Why Choose an Online College?
Online Christian colleges offer flexible programs for learners with obligations that prevent them from attending courses in traditional classrooms. Online students can complete assignments, exams, and other activities at their convenience.
Practicing pastors, ministers, and church leaders can attend an online Christian college while maintaining their commitment to their congregation. Students can apply what they learn in real time as they continue serving Christ. Attending an online Christian college also affords students on the mission field or conducting outreach the opportunity to earn a degree at a distance.
Attending an online college offers more affordable options to students as well. Many online colleges offer flat-rate tuition or reduced fees. Online learners can study from home without worrying about accommodations, meals, parking, and other on-campus expenses.
How to Choose an Online Christian College?
Students should consider several factors when choosing an online Christian college. The denomination of the institution, such as Baptist, Lutheran, or Catholic, influences the Christian values and theological teachings at the school. The denomination also affects a school's organizational affiliation. Baptist colleges, for example, become members of groups like the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities.
Online colleges maintain accreditation through an accrediting body recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation and the United States Department of Education. When considering accreditation status, students should find out if schools maintain regional or national accreditation. Regional accreditation indicates that a school offers academically rigorous, research-based programming while private, vocational, and career-focused institutions often receive national accreditation.
When considering accreditation status, students should find out if schools maintain regional or national accreditation.
Christian, Bible, and seminary colleges may boast accreditation through one of the bodies that oversees higher education institutions that offer ministry-based programs. The Association of Biblical Higher Education accredits Christian institutions of all denominations based on how the school incorporates the Bible into its curriculum and campus environment.
The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools offers three levels of membership to schools in the U.S. and Canada while the Transnational Association on Christian Colleges and Schools accredits institutions that meet its national standards for educational programs, faculty development, and learning outcomes. The Association of Independent Christian Colleges and Seminaries similarly evaluates schools that submit themselves for voluntary oversight.
Learners should also consider financial aid options when exploring potential online Christian colleges. Many schools offer scholarship, grants, and other programs for students who demonstrate financial need and exceptional potential outside of other federal and state funding opportunities. Christian colleges may also be affiliated with church organizations and congregations that provide financial assistance.
Financial Aid for Christian Students
Students studying at online Christian colleges can apply for financial aid by filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application. The FAFSA automatically submits eligible students for federal and state loans, scholarships, grants, and work-study. Learners should check with their potential schools for additional financial aid opportunities. Many institutions offer degree-specific scholarships and grants in addition to programs for students from specific backgrounds, geographic locations, and cultural or ethnic groups.
Scholarships for Christian Students
Scholarship opportunities for students studying at online Christian colleges vary. Christian students studying online may also qualify for scholarships based on their major, especially if they intend to work in the ministry, education, or counseling.
Scholarships for Christian Students
Women's Missionary Union Foundation Scholarship Varies
Who Can Apply: The Women's Missionary Union Foundation provides scholarships for Baptist students, children of Baptist missionaries, and individuals preparing for Baptist missions. Applicants need both a connection with the Baptist church to apply and two endorsements, preferably one from a Women's Missionary Union.
Mary E. Bivens Foundation Religious Scholarship $2,500
Who Can Apply: Upper-level undergraduate students and learners entering graduate school can apply for the Mary E. Vivens Foundation Religious Scholarship. Applicants must be a resident of one of the 26 northernmost counties of Texas. Students who plan to serve as pulpit ministers upon graduation receive priority.
Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation Scholarship Varies
Who Can Apply: The Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation Scholarship supports Christian women studying at an accredited institution in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Virginia. Undergraduate students, especially those studying special education, can apply.
Marguerite Young Endowment Fund $1,500
Who Can Apply: Offered through The Pittsburgh Foundation, the Marguerite Young Endowment Fund provides funding to a student who attends a Protestant seminary, plans to attend a Protestant seminary, or is enrolled in a theology program. Applicants must complete one year of an academic program for consideration.
Christian Missionary Scholarship Foundation Varies
Who Can Apply: With a goal to provide quality college educations to students whose parents serve as missionaries, the Christian Missionary Scholarship Foundation offers financial assistance to missionary children. Parents of applicants can be current or former missionaries. Financial support goes to students who attend one of six Christian colleges in Michigan, Iowa, and Illinois.
Ruth K. Jacobs Memorial Scholarship Up to $1,500
Who Can Apply: The Ruth K. Jacobs Memorial Scholarship supports upper-level undergraduate and graduate students studying music at an accredited institution in the U.S. or Canada. Applicants must major in music with the intention of working with children and youth in church music ministry. Applicants must also submit four references, including one from a church musician.
General Conference Women's Ministries Scholarship Varies
Who Can Apply: Women who intend to study at a Seventh-Day Adventist college can apply for financial assistance through the General Conference Women's Ministries Scholarship. The scholarship supports women dedicated to serving the mission of the church. Applicants must submit a commitment statement, transcripts, and three letters of recommendation.
Youth Life Scholarship Varies
Who Can Apply: Students involved in Youth Life can apply for scholarships and financial incentives through several Christian colleges. Applicants who demonstrate an interest in Youth Live ministry, Youth Life leadership programs, and major or minor in Youth Life may qualify.
Young Christian Leaders Scholarship $1,000
Who Can Apply: High school seniors or full-time undergraduate students in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut can apply for financial assistance through the Young Christian Leaders Scholarship. Students can attend colleges outside of these states. Applicants must receive endorsement from peers, family members, and spiritual leaders attesting to their moral character, commitment to service, and financial need.
Baptist Life Scholarship $1,000
Who Can Apply: The Baptist Life Scholarship program provides funds to full-time undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at any accredited institution. Applicants must be insured through Baptist Life or one of its affiliates, provide transcript information, and fill out a formal application. Students must reapply each year.
- Seven Good Prayers For Colleges Students With prayers designed to address the concerns of college students, the seven prayers provided here offer spiritual support. Prayers apply to time management, fellow students, instructors, quizzes and exams, and maintaining purity of thoughts and deeds.
- Short Term Mission Trips Short Term Mission Trips offers information about mission options for college students with limited time and resources. Students can learn about agencies that provide missions trips over semester and spring breaks. The website also lists information about what missions entail, advice for travelers, and support for students and their families.
- Changing the Face of Christianity Changing the Face of Christianity offers programs, blogs, and quizzes to help Christians understand how faith and the world interact. The website provides guidance about putting faith into practice while combating negative Biblical stereotypes and encouraging public humility.