Colorado provides residents with a comprehensive higher education system that offers something for everyone, including two- and four-year Christian colleges that serve the state’s religious population. These colleges are especially useful given that 64% of the state's population identify as Christian. Evangelical Protestants (26%) constitute the largest subgroup, followed by Catholics (16%) and mainline Protestants (15%).
64% of the state's population identify as Christian. Evangelical Protestants (26%) constitute the largest subgroup, followed by Catholics (16%) and mainline Protestants (15%). Pew Research Center
With such a landscape, religious organizations and/or benefactors respond to this need by establishing colleges that provide instruction informed by a religious worldview. Some Christian colleges in Colorado such as Regis University, a Jesuit Catholic college in Denver, identify with a specific denomination. Likewise, Nazarene Bible College, located in Colorado Springs, serves as one of 10 Church of the Nazarene colleges in the nation. Some colleges, like Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, affiliate with no particular church. All three schools offer undergraduate programs in a range of disciplines; once students enroll they receive an academic education with like-minded peers who affirm their faith and values.
Online Christian Colleges in Colorado
Students who want a flexible education that incorporates their Christian faith may want to attend Christian colleges in Colorado through a virtual campus. Working professionals often struggle to juggle work, family, and/or church obligations. An online learning environment provides the perfect answer through asynchronous learning -- meaning students can complete assignments on their own time.
Attending online Christian colleges in Colorado reduces the overall cost given that students avoid campus accommodation and transportation costs. Since these schools offer the same on-campus curriculum to online learners, students sacrifice nothing for flexibility. Many online learners question the nature of learning outside of the classroom. Fortunately, over the last decade online learning has become more responsive to the needs of students.
Online Christian colleges offer support services to ensure that online students feel included in campus life. Services include online spiritual support, live-stream worship services, and forums that allow peers to interact with one another. According to the U.S. Department of Education, an increasing number of American learners happily embrace online learning.
Colorado's Best Online Christian Schools
A Colorado Christian college located in the Mile High City, Regis University educates students of all faith backgrounds so they can build a better society. Rooted in the Jesuit and Catholic traditions, the university helps learners strengthen their critical-thinking skills and adopt a global perspective. Moreover, Regis stresses the importance of defending and advocating for the voiceless.
The university boasts a small student-to-faculty ratio, and its award-winning instructors empower and encourage learners to make a difference in the world.
Regis offers an array of undergraduate and graduate online programs for learners who desire the convenience and flexibility of studying outside the traditional classroom setting. These programs include:
Nearly 100% of Regis alumni are employed or continuing their education, or both. The school makes free career counseling and job search assistance available to all learners and alumni. In addition, learners may qualify for acceptance to one of the university's seven academic honor societies.
Admission requirements vary by program, but Regis accepts up to 87 transfer credits for undergraduate applications who previously completed some college coursework. Graduate applicants may need to submit a resume and essay and demonstrate prior work experience.
Regis University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Colorado Christian University
Established in 1914, Colorado Christian University boasts nine consecutive years of enrollment and a reputation as one of the country's fastest-growing institutions of higher education. A leader among Christian colleges in Colorado, CCU offers students an outstanding interdenominational experience, with resources like its Centennial Institute. This policy think tank examines the most pressing issues facing the country, aiming to foster faith, family, citizenship, and freedom.
Over its 100-year heritage, CCU expanded from a one-room school with two students to a university with more than 8,000 learners and over 1,110 degrees awarded in 2018. The undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 16-to-1, while the graduate student-to-faculty ratio is 11-to-1.
Guided by the credo "grace and truth," CCU offers fully online degrees for working adults through its college of adult and graduate studies. Undergraduate and graduate degree options include:
Online classes last 5-10 weeks, depending on the program. The university uses the Blackboard learning management system, and students may download the mobile app to access their classes, watch videos, and receive mobile notifications. CCU also accepts transfer credits from other accredited institutions and awards credits for prior life experience.
Colorado Christian University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Naropa University stands out among Christian colleges and universities in Colorado thanks to its Buddhist-inspired, nonsectarian approach to teaching and learning. Located in Boulder, the university weds traditional western academics with eastern arts and wisdom studies. It grounds the student experience in contemplative education principles and hands-on, immersive learning. Graduates possess the knowledge and skills to effect meaningful change in their communities and workplaces.
With just under 1,000 students enrolled in the 2018-19 school year, Naropa maintains a 9-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio and an average class size of 14. The average undergraduate student age at Naropa is 25. Fiercely embracing diversity and inclusion, the university maintains a staunch commitment to sustainability and advocates for climate neutrality, 100% renewable energy, and zero waste.
The school offers three low-residency programs for graduate students who desire flexibility when it comes to when and where they study. These programs, which require some type of on-campus session, include:
Admission requirements vary by program but may necessitate a resume, a statement of interest, a supplemental essay, a writing sample, and transcripts. Naropa does not require graduate exam scores. As a private university, all students pay the same tuition. The school also offers several courses online that permit interaction with faculty and peers, placing emphasis on dialogue and discussion.
Naropa University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Colorado's Best Online Seminaries
Denver Seminary offers graduate-level studies in theology. Its core commitments include vigorous scholarship, charitable orthodoxy, and biblical authority, all of which define the university's core values and the foundation for its vision. Boasting more than 5,300 alumni, Denver Seminary currently enrolls nearly 900 learners representing over 50 denominations.
Among the school's recent changes include its launch of several fully online degrees. These new approaches enable Denver Seminary to keep pace with the changing global society, even as it remains true to its mission to prepare individuals to meet others' needs through biblical teachings.
This Colorado Christian college offers "next generation learning" classes for its online programs. These online courses encourage students and faculty to engage with one another to promote active learning and strive to build students' interaction with the world. Online degree options include a divinity, biblical and theological studies, leadership, and Christian studies.
The master's in divinity requires 78 credits, while the biblical and theological studies degree mandates just 39 credits, which students can complete in two years. In addition to transcripts, applicants must submit a statement highlighting their life and its important events, an essay describing their spiritual development and growth, and an essay on how degree completion supports their career pursuits. The application also asks students to state their personal strengths and weaknesses, given the school's focus on self-awareness.
Denver Seminary is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Iliff School of Theology
Iliff School of Theology calls Denver home and prides itself on educating students with courageous theological imagination. It strives to develop leaders committed to social justice, religious diversity, and inclusivity, all of which stem from the school's United Methodist relationship and heritage. Iliff envisions a transformed world thanks to renewed local and global communities, inspired by inclusive justice.
Iliff's four guiding priorities focus on nontraditional students, financial resilience, innovative differentiation, and strengthened enrollment and retention rates. Ranking among the best Christian colleges in Colorado, the school boasts a 126-year legacy and serves a student population representing 44 of the 50 states.
Students enrolled in Iliff's online and hybrid programs enjoy the advantages of self-paced learning, which still permits interaction between classmates and professors. A state-of-the-art learning management system hosts blog posts, video conversations, and live and recorded presentations to support relationship-building. The school delivers online classes asynchronously and offers over 80 online and hybrid classes each year.
Iliff offers master's degrees in divinity, pastoral and spiritual care, social justice and ethics, and theological studies. It also awards a doctor of philosophy to prepare learners for careers in teaching and research. Applicants should demonstrate a minimum 2.75 cumulative undergraduate GPA. They must also submit letters of reference, transcripts, a resume, and a plan detailing how they intend to finance their education.
Iliff School of Theology is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Nazarene Bible College
Known for making Christian education accessible, the Nazarene Bible College aims to equip its learners to minister to the world. Established in 1967, NBC maintains a rich legacy of preparing students to evangelize and disciple. One of the leading Christian colleges and universities in Colorado, the school also represents one of 10 Nazarene institutions of higher education in the country and one of only two that specifically prepare ministers.
NBC ensures affordability, thanks to its support from the Church of the Nazarene. This, coupled with what local churches provide, allows the university to maintain relatively affordable tuition rates, compared to other private institutions.
Progressive and innovative, NBC became the first Nazarene institution to offer online learning in 1998. Today, those enrolled in its online programs demonstrate a 94% completion rate, in contrast to the national average rate of 47%. NBC delivers classes asynchronously while fostering community through communication.
Students may pursue either an associate or a bachelor's in ministry, or a certificate in ministry preparation. NBC's ministry enrichment institute provides continuing education to clergy members, as well. Applicants do not need to submit essays, recommendation letters, or an application fee. NBC accepts transfer credits for classes in which learners earned a "C" grade or higher.
The college takes a personal interest in its learners, providing counseling and tutoring to support their academic, professional, and personal success.
Nazarene Bible College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
What Christian Colleges are in Colorado?
Finding the Right Christian College
Many factors go into deciding which degree to pursue at one of the Christian universities in Colorado. The decision-making process includes assessing program offerings, the values promoted by each institution, and the size and safety of the college itself. Generally, Christian colleges offer a liberal-arts-based education or a Bible- or ministry-focused education. Learners hoping to earn a degree in the arts, sciences, and similar areas within the context of a Christian worldview choose a Christian college that offers a liberal arts education. Some students want a more specific path of study that leads to Christian ministry in roles such as counseling or mission. Others want to become Christian educators themselves. These students may choose a Bible- or a ministry-focused college.
Christian colleges with education rooted in the liberal arts often offer co-ed housing and provide students with a nurturing Christian learning environment that includes chapel and services.
Campus life also plays a role in the decision-making process. Christian colleges in Colorado that emphasize a liberal arts education tend to promote a more lenient environment than a Bible-based school. Christian colleges with education rooted in the liberal arts often offer co-ed housing and provide students with a nurturing Christian learning environment that includes chapel and services. They generally neither require students to attend these events nor explicitly forbid students from drinking. Bible- or ministry-focused colleges tend to separate the sexes in living accommodation (unless married), develop non-drinking and drug policies, and require students to attend chapel and services.
Students must also take the size of the campus into consideration; bigger campuses offer more programs, student organizations, and comprehensive support services. Conversely, smaller campuses provide a low student-to-faculty ratio that facilitates personalized learning and more attentive faculty. Prospective students need to determine which type of learning environment best suits them. They must also ensure the community surrounding the school offers the requisite safety needed to participate in extracurricular activities like volunteering.
Seminary Schools vs. Bible Schools
Bible colleges in Colorado offer associate, baccalaureate, and master's degrees for students who major in Bible or religious studies. They also offer degrees in traditional fields like justice, counseling, and information technology -- incorporating a Christian worldview in each offering. A seminary, or divinity school, provides a more in-depth learning experience for graduates by offering master's degrees in specialized religious areas such as theology. Students engage in in-depth study that prepares them for ministry.
Accreditation for Christian Colleges
Accreditation from one of several issuing agencies ensures that schools and programs meet high, universally recognized standards. Two kinds of accreditation exist: regional and national. Career-oriented and for-profit schools usually boast national accreditation. Regional accreditation, however, serves as the gold standard in the U.S. Several agencies confer regional accreditation to postsecondary schools in the nation, each focusing on states in a particular region. The Higher Learning Commission provides regional accreditation to schools in Colorado. Independent agencies such as the Association for Biblical Higher Education and the Association of Christian Schools International accredit many Christian colleges in Colorado.
Students need to ensure that programs and/or colleges in Colorados possess regional accreditation. A school's accreditation status affects practical matters such as the transfer of credits and financial aid. Without regional accreditation, a student's credits may not transfer. Many, if not most, regionally accredited schools do not accept transfer credits from nationally or independently accredited institutions. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Education uses an institution's accreditation status to determine its eligibility for financial aid. Students at one of the Bible colleges in Colorado will not secure financial aid if the school does not hold accreditation status.
Career and Salary Expectations
Colorado outperforms most states economically and beats national unemployment and wage averages. According to the BLS, the state's unemployment rate stands at 3.0%, while the national unemployment rate stands at 4.1%. Colorado's mean hourly wage is $25.99, and the annual mean wage for all occupations in the state is $54,050 -- also better than the national average.
According to the BLS, the state's unemployment rate stands at 3.0%, while the national unemployment rate stands at 4.1%.
According to the 2018 Colorado Business Economic Outlook, Coloradans enjoy a healthy economy driven by traditional industries. The annual report serves as a respected analysis of the state's businesses provided by the University of Colorado Boulder's Leeds School of Business. The outlook forecasts the state's three fastest-growing industries in 2018: professional and business services; trade, transportation, and utilities; and education and health services.
Students pursuing degrees at Christian universities in Colorado may want to consider careers in the education and health services sector, where they can help others in community and social service-related occupations. The table below outlines a list of available careers to help you decide which to choose.
|Occupation||Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Wage|
|Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors||1,540||$20.95||$43,570|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||570||$28.30||$58,860|
|Mental Health Counselors||5,100||$23.53||$48,930|
|Child, Family, and School Social Workers||6,460||$23.33||$48,520|
|Healthcare Social Workers||2,280||$25.54||$53,120|
|Social and Human Service Assistants||2,360||$16.29||$33,880|
|Directors, Religious Activities and Education||180||$29.76||$61,900|
|Religious Workers, all other||380||$23.43||$48,740|
Scholarships and Financial Aid
Whether you're attending one of the many Bible colleges in Colorado or another school, paying for education often proves challenging. Most students pursue some form of financial aid to afford the cost of tuition, including federal loans, grants, and scholarships. Organizations and individuals make scholarships available to students nationwide. Specific groups, like students attending Christian universities, also receive special financial aid options. The list below introduces a few examples of the financial aid options available to students in Colorado.
Colorado Christian University Academic Scholarships $7,000 - $15,000
National Presbyterian College Scholarship Program Varies
WMU Foundation Scholarships Varies
Dollars for Scholars Program Varies
Forum for Theological Exploration $2,000
Scholarships for Colorado Residents
Boettcher Foundation Scholarship Program Full Tuition
Colorado Council Scholarships $1,500
Denver Foundation Varies
Colorado Healthcare Association for Human Resource Management $1,500
CESDA Diversity Scholarship $1,000
Find a Church in Your Community
You can join Church Finder for free and utilize the user-friendly search to find a church or pastor near you. USA Churches calls itself the most comprehensive listing of Christian churches in the United States; click on "Colorado Churches" for free and easy access.
For those attending Christian universities in Colorado, the three websites below will help you network with other believers -- whether for school, to find a job, or just to share insights.
- Christian Business Network: CBN provides followers of Christ with the networking opportunities, resources, and support necessary to reach their full career potential.
- Christian Business Men's Network: Men interested in pursuing careers in business will find this site a repository of information designed to help them take Christ to the marketplace.
- Colorado Christian Fellowship: CCF provides Christian Coloradans aged 18-30 with a variety of supports and services, including pastoral counseling and an outreach center.
Find Christian Ministries
Students attend a public, non-Christian university for any number of reasons. Some maintain their Christian faith and uphold their values by living among like-minded peers and participating in religious activities at secular colleges. Students can find the following ministries at secular institutions around Colorado.
- Campus Crusade for Christ: Cru is a network of campus ministries around the world -- with 2,696 ministries in the U.S. alone. In addition to networking, members enjoy internships, study abroad options, and national and international missions.
- Chi Alpha: College-age men and women join Chi Alpha to engage in ministry. The international organization provides members with opportunities for prayer, worship, fellowship, discipleship, and mission work.
- International Fellowship of Evangelical Students: IFES serves college students around the globe involved in ministry and other activities. As a non-denominational organization, IFES specifically works to develop future leaders able to bring a Christian perspective to academe and the world.
- Fellowship of Christian Athletes: FCA provides members the opportunity to unite two passions: faith and sport. FCA brings together coaches and athletes at the secondary and postsecondary levels to help change the world through sport and the gospel.
- Catholic Campus Ministry Association: A leading voice in campus ministry, CCMA works to expand Catholic ministry in higher education. CCMA develops campus ministers, equips them with research, and prepares them to lead and advocate for the Church.
- Lutheran Student Movement U.S.A.: A student-led organization, LSM-USA provides resources to help young Christian leaders in their mission work on campuses and in the world.
- Reformed University Fellowship: RUF provides fellows with access to seminary-trained ministers and interns who hold meetings on campus; members participate in regional and national conferences and engage in service opportunities to help those in need.
- Baptist Collegiate Ministry Life: BCMLife provides Christian students with a network of Baptist ministries on college campuses around the nation. The group gives students access to the network and support services necessary to equip them for discipleship and leadership.
Public Universities in Colorado with Christian Ministries
- Metropolitan State University of Denver: MSU-D offers diverse student organizations to its 24,000 students, including groups with ministries and networking opportunities. MSU hosts a Campus Crusade for Christ chapter, the Christian Student Association, and Christians on Campus MSU Denver.
- Colorado State University: CSU students of faith blend academics and religion through Christian groups such as Campus Crusade for Christ, Alpha Delta Chi, and Adventist Christian Fellowship -- all campus ministries devoted to community and outreach.
- Colorado Mesa University: CMU students enjoy a number of organizations in which they can network with peers and engage in ministry, including Chi Alpha -- a Mesa outpost for the national organization. They also network on campus with Christian Challenge and Christian Student Fellowship.