Online Christian Colleges in Connecticut

According to data from the Pew Research Center, 70% of adults in Connecticut identify as Christians. This value is higher than adults in the Northeast as a whole (65%), making Connecticut one of the more devout states in region. Catholics comprise many of these Christians; Connecticut is among the country’s most Catholic states, with 33% of adults identifying as Catholic. Only Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Jersey have a higher percentage of Catholics than Connecticut. Mainline Protestants make up the next largest group in the state, accounting for 17% of the population. This is followed by evangelical Protestants.

70% of adults in Connecticut identify as Christians. This value is higher than adults in the Northeast as a whole (65%), making Connecticut one of the more devout states in region. Pew Research Center

According to a 2017 report by U.S. News & World Report, Connecticut also ranks as one of the best-educated states in the nation. Almost half of the state’s adult residents (47%) hold an associate degree or higher, and more than 16% of adults hold a graduate degree. According to the Washington Post, Connecticut spends more on education per capita than most other states, ranking fifth in the country.

These numbers illustrate the importance of both religion and education in the state, creating a favorable environment for Christian colleges in Connecticut. Christians can find many educational opportunities in the state by attending online Christian colleges, Catholic colleges in Connecticut, and even public universities.

Online Christian colleges continue to grow and prosper. According to a recent report published in U.S. News & World Report, religious schools saw enrollments jump by nearly 18% between 2003 to 2015 among first-time attendees. Internet-based students accounted for a large part of that growth.

Many students appreciate the benefits that Christian online colleges provide. For example, internet-based university programs typically offer the same faith-based curricula as on-campus programs, while using technology to provide distance learners with access to a Christian community. Many schools broadcast live streams of student worship, web-based spiritual support and counseling, and forums and discussion groups to keep online students feeling connected and spiritually fulfilled.

Perhaps the largest advantage of Christian online colleges is the flexibility they provide to degree seekers. Students can continue to work, stay home with their family, and/or meet church obligations all while pursuing an education. Asynchronous learning gives enrollees the ability to attend classes at their convenience. Additionally, online programs often charge lower tuition; further savings come from not having to travel or pay for on-campus accommodations.

Students must consider many factors when choosing between Christian colleges in Connecticut, including many of the same variables learners at traditional schools think about. For example, would you prefer to take online classes or attend an on-campus program? Do you want to attend a big school or a small school? And do you want to be in a large city or small town?

Christian students, however, also think about several additional factors related to their faith. When deciding between a large campus and a smaller one, for example, you might want to consider the ramifications of school size on Christian amenities. Many students prefer a smaller school, where they can more easily feel a sense of community. A smaller student body could also mean a lower student-to-faculty ratio and more personalized attention in class; close connections with classmates and professors can make a big difference in a student’s college experience.

Many students prefer a smaller school, where they can more easily feel a sense of community.

Additionally, students may have curriculum-related concerns. What do degree programs look like at the institutions that interest you? Is coursework Bible-based or more secular? Do faculty members offer as much biblical instruction in the general-education curriculum as you would like? Christians must also look at a school’s values. Many institutions require a faith-based lifestyle commitment that restricts how students use certain substances or interact with members of the opposite sex. Many Christian and Catholic colleges in Connecticut seem very similar to traditional universities, while others enforce much stricter codes of conduct.

Finally, Christians should consider whether they can meet their spiritual needs while on campus. Does a school offer prayer groups and worship services? And what opportunities are available for community service and charitable work? Careful consideration of these factors should help you find the right Christian college in Connecticut.

Seminary Schools vs. Bible Schools

The terminology used to identify Christian schools can sometimes confuse prospective students, particularly the distinction between seminaries and Bible colleges. Although sometimes used interchangeably, these terms denote very different types of institutions, especially in the United States. Broadly put, a Bible college is an undergraduate institution -- either two-year or four-year -- that offers a Christian-based liberal arts education. On the other hand, a seminary is a graduate-level school that almost exclusively trains future pastors and ministers.

In addition to undergraduate degrees in religion, Bible studies, and theology, Bible colleges generally offer traditional college disciplines like education, mathematics, psychology, and business. Most schools require students to earn a certain number of credits in religious studies as part of the general education core, but learners also fulfill requirements in English, math, and the sciences, just like any other school. Bible colleges may be particularly attractive to students who want a Christian basis for their education but do not intend to pursue church-related work. Alternatively, seminaries provide post-baccalaureate instruction in theology, ministry, and divinity. Often affiliated with a specific denomination, these schools prepare students for practical ministry and ordination.

Accreditation for Christian Colleges

One of the most important considerations when looking into Christian colleges in Connecticut is a school’s accreditation. Many students over the past 20 years graduated with a degree only to discover that it was virtually worthless because their college was not appropriately accredited.

Accreditation is a form of collegiate quality control, providing students with assurance that their school meets certain academic standards. Additionally, many colleges won’t accept transfer credits from an unaccredited school. The same is true of financial aid lenders -- many only issue money for use at accredited schools.

Accreditation is a form of collegiate quality control, providing students with assurance that their school meets certain academic standards.

Many Christian colleges in Connecticut hold regional accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). One of six regional accrediting agencies across the country, the NEASC audits schools in the six New England states. The most well-respected colleges and universities in the U.S. carry regional accreditation. Additionally, Bible colleges may carry accreditation from the Association of Christian Colleges International, which is a global accrediting agency.

The U.S. Department of Education oversees the nation’s educational system, including the process of accreditation. It hosts a helpful database of accredited postsecondary institutions, making it simple to determine whether a school holds accreditation.

According to an article in the Hartford Courant, Connecticut’s economy is currently enjoying a growth surge. Despite trailing the rest of New England in terms of growth for much of 2016, the state boomed in 2017, outpacing the other states in the region. Connecticut’s economy expanded by a robust 3.9%, thanks in large part to growth in manufacturing, insurance, and finance -- three of the state’s primary industries. According to the Connecticut Department of Labor, the fastest-growing economic areas include technology and healthcare. The same report also mentions that the state lags behind the nation in terms of unemployment. Connecticut’s 4.5% unemployment rate is slightly worse than the national average of 4.1%. However, the state’s recent growth should spur the creation of more jobs.

Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals working in Connecticut earn significantly higher wages than their counterparts in the rest of the nation. Across all industries, the mean annual wage in Connecticut is $59,410, compared to $50,620 nationally. Graduates of Christian colleges in Connecticut commonly find work at religious, social service, and charitable organizations; a breakdown of these occupations and their accompanying compensation is included in the table below.

Community and Social Service Occupations in Connecticut
Occupation Employment Average Hourly Wage Average Annual Wage
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors 2,600 $23.39 $48,660
Marriage and Family Therapists 370 $25.46 $52,960
Mental Health Counselors 2,090 $24.61 $51,200
Rehabilitation Counselors 2,490 $20.49 $42,630
Child, Family, and School Social Workers 5,650 $31.93 $66,410
Healthcare Social Workers 2,120 $32.29 $67,170
Social and Human Service Assistants 7,760 $19.32 $40,180
Clergy 450 $26.70 $55,540
Directors of Religious Activities and Education 70 $25.36 $52,750
Source: BLS, May 2017

Christian are generally more expensive than traditional institutions, and some students struggle to pay for their education. Fortunately, help is available. Degree seekers attending Bible schools can access a variety of scholarships, many of which target learners attending Christian schools specifically.

Christian Scholarships

Young Christian Leaders Scholarship $1,000

Who Can Apply: Sponsored by the Daniel P. Buttafuoco & Associates law firm, these scholarships go to full-time college students from Connecticut, New York, or New Jersey. Applicants must attend church regularly and maintain a GPA of at least 3.0. View Scholarship

Baptist Life Scholarships $1,000

Who Can Apply: The Baptist Life Insurance Agency offers several scholarships to full-time students at the undergraduate or graduate level who carry insurance from the company. View Scholarship

Catholic Financial Life Scholarship $1,000-$5,000

Who Can Apply: Catholic Financial Life, the second-largest Catholic nonprofit financial services company, provides scholarships to member college students. These grants come with a public service requirement and may be particularly appealing to students at Catholic colleges in Connecticut. View Scholarship

Clare Boothe Luce Scholarship Varies

Who Can Apply: The Henry Luce Foundation grants scholarships to women, particularly at Catholic universities, studying the sciences. These funds go to undergraduates in their junior and senior years. View Scholarship

National Presbyterian College Scholarship $2,500

Who Can Apply: Any member of the Presbyterian Church entering a Presbyterian university for their first year of college is eligible to apply for these scholarships. Recipients must maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher. View Scholarship

Scholarships for Connecticut Residents

Eileen Kraus Scholarship $5,000

Who Can Apply: Administered by the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame, in honor of 2002 inductee Eileen Kraus, this scholarship goes to a young woman of outstanding achievement entering her first year of college. View Scholarship

Bruce Fishkin Scholarship Fund Varies

Who Can Apply: The Fishkin Fund awards six scholarships to undergraduates from Fairfield, Redding, Greens Farms, and Westport. The organization selects winners based on individuality, potential, and ability rather than sheer need. Students must hold a 3.0 GPA or higher. View Scholarship

Milton Fisher Scholarship for Innovation and Creativity $20,000

Who Can Apply: These nontraditional scholarships reward students based on their ability to creatively solve problems. Applicants should be undergraduates who live or attend school in Connecticut or New York. Students must have solved an artistic, scientific, or technical problem in a new way or found a distinctive solution to a problem faced by their school, community, or family. View Scholarship

Roothbert Fund Scholarships $2,000-$3,000

Who Can Apply: These grants provide students who show spiritual values with funds for their undergraduate educations. Not affiliated with any religious organization, awards go to students from Connecticut and several other states. The foundation prefers applicants who demonstrate high academic achievement and plan to study education. View Scholarship

Live Out Loud Young Trailblazers Scholarship $10,000

Who Can Apply: These awards help graduating high school seniors who identify as LGBTQ pay for a college education. Applicants must be from Connecticut, New York, or New Jersey. Considered criteria include academics, community service, and extracurricular activities. View Scholarship

Find a Church in Your Community

Looking for mass while attending one of the Catholic colleges in Connecticut? Having trouble finding a church in your community? Both www.churchfinder.com and www.usachurches.com offer helpful lists of churches across the country.

Get Connected

A variety of websites offer Christian networking opportunities that can help Connecticut students connect with like-minded individuals. These sites make it easier to find friends, jobs, and upcoming events.

  • The Christian Business Network A global network of Christ-serving businesses and business leaders, the CBN connects Christians and fosters potential business opportunities and collaboration between students and professionals.
  • Faith Christian Singles Network The FCSN provides singles with a forum to meet other Christians for Christ-approved companionship. Based in New Milford, Connecticut, the organization sponsors social events, Bible study, and conferences for singles.
  • Christian Jobs An online job search site, Christian Jobs helps Christians find employment in workplaces that align with their faith. Christian employers list open positions, while Christians looking for work post resumes.

Find Christian Ministries

Not everyone can afford to attend a Christian university. As the cost of college continues to skyrocket, private schools have become especially expensive. For most students, less costly public universities make more financial sense. Fortunately, students attending secular institutions in Connecticut can find Christian ministries that cater to their spiritual needs.

Interdenominational
  • Campus Crusade for Christ This global organization helps students grow their faith on more than 2,600 campuses across the U.S. and 5,300 campuses around the world.
  • Chi Alpha A fraternal group of college-age Christians, Chi Alpha offers ministry services on 320 campuses across the country. These include the University of Connecticut and Yale.
  • International Fellowship of Evangelical Students With a presence on thousands of universities across the world, the IFES brings together college students of all Christian faiths. The organization offers Bible study, prayer groups, and advocacy.
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes A non-denominational, evangelical organization, the FCA brings together athletes and coaches, transforming teams in the name of Christ. The FCA trains coaches, sponsors team gatherings, and hosts sports camps that combine athletics and worship.
Catholic
  • Catholic Campus Ministry Association The leading Catholic organization on college campuses, the CCMA links students from across the nation, provides ministry services, and helps establish standards of care for campus ministry.
Lutheran
  • Lutheran Student Movement U.S.A. The Lutheran Student Movement is a student-led, Christ-centered group that connects young collegiate Lutherans nationwide. The organization hosts an annual national gathering, sponsors “alternative spring break” festivities, and provides ministry services on campuses.
Presbyterian
  • Reformed University Fellowship The RUF sponsors ordained ministers and interns on campuses across the country. The organization gathers students for worship, Bible study, charitable work, and socializing.
  • UKirk UKirk provides support, resources, and a sense of community to individuals ministering on campuses on behalf of the Presbyterian Church. This national organization plans events, advocates for the Church, and facilitates connections between college groups.
Baptist
  • Baptist Collegiate Ministry Life BCMLife maintains a network of Baptist college ministries on campuses across the country. The organization connects area church groups, students, and campus ministries for fellowship. It also sponsors collegiate summits and other events.

Public Universities in Connecticut with Christian Ministries

  • The University of Connecticut: The flagship institution in the Connecticut State University System, Storrs-based UConn hosts a Chi Alpha ministry group and a chapter of the Campus Crusade for Christ. CRU meets on Tuesdays at 7:30 in the Wilbur Cross building.
  • Central Connecticut State University: Based in New Britain, CCSU hosts a Catholic Campus Ministry group at its Newman House, offering a place to gather, worship, or simply hang out. Students gather for Catholic mass at the student center on Sundays at 6 p.m.
  • Eastern Connecticut University: The Catholic Campus Ministry maintains a presence on ECU, sponsoring gatherings at the Willimantic institution and holding Sunday mass at 7 p.m. in the library.
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