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 in Connecticut

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.

Connecticut's Best Online Christian Schools

Sacred Heart University

Founded in 1953, Sacred Heart University serves over 8,500 students and is one of a handful of Christian colleges in Connecticut. Located in Fairfield, this private Catholic university administers over 80 programs through six colleges and two schools. Students can pursue a degree in areas such as digital marketing, healthcare informatics, nursing, and social work.

  • SHU administers five online programs in nursing, helping nursing professionals to earn their bachelor's (BSN), master's (MSN), or doctorate (DNP) on a flexible schedule.
  • Students can also pursue a master's degree in social work or strategic communication and public relations, along with an online certificate in English as a second language.
  • The 120-credit RN-BSN program focuses on evidence-based practice and explores the human experience through literature, religion, and sociology. Professional topics include healthcare policy, finance, and regulatory environments. Students may transfer up to 90 credits into the program.
  • The RN-BSN-MSN program fast tracks students to two in-demand nursing degrees. Students can choose from three specializations: clinical nurse leader, nursing education, or management and executive leadership.
  • The MSN program at SHU does not require students to complete their BSN first. The curriculum equips students with clinical, leadership, and educational competencies and the option to focus on becoming a family nurse practitioner (FNP). By program's end, graduates can sit for FNP certification exams.
  • To apply to either the RN-BSN or RN-BSN-MSN program, applicants must hold an RN license and an associate degree or diploma in nursing for which they earned a 2.5 GPA or higher.
  • To apply directly to the MSN program, applicants must hold an associate degree or a diploma in nursing, along with a bachelor's degree (in any subject area).
  • The university features six start dates per year, allowing students to set their own pace. The nursing and social work programs allow learners to fulfill clinical hours locally.

Sacred Heart University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

Albertus Magnus College

Albertus Magnus College in New Haven enrolls an estimated 1,500 students each year, with more than 75% of learners pursuing continuing education or graduate studies. As one of the top private Christian colleges in Connecticut, this Catholic liberal arts school upholds the four pillars of the Dominican tradition — study, prayer, community, and service.

Albertus Magnus first offered programs for working professionals in 1985. Today, the college supports online and flex programs that enable students to earn a college degree quickly and efficiently. Eight-week classes allow learners to earn 30 credits in a year. In the tradition of other Christian colleges and universities in Connecticut, Albertus Magnus provides learners with both focused study and a liberal arts education.

  • Students may choose from 13 distinct majors, including liberal studies, criminal justice, accounting, and computer information systems.
  • The BS in business management — one of five bachelor's programs in business — offers concentrations in entrepreneurship, human resource management, and marketing management. Students complete 48 credits in the core and chosen concentration.
  • The MA in leadership integrates concepts from philosophy, religion, organizational theory and development, political science, and human resource management.
  • The bachelor's degree in general studies, meanwhile, allows students to craft a 45-credit major that crosses departmental lines.
  • All programs at Albertus Magnus follow an accelerated format, with 75% of all courses using a blended or online approach.
  • The college offers a generous transfer credit policy. Students may apply up to 90 credits from previous college courses for which they earned a C or better. Albertus Magnus also offers credit for life experience. Students may transfer a maximum of 64 credits from courses taken at a junior or community college.

Albertus Magnus College is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

St. Vincent's College at Sacred Heart University

In 2018, St. Vincent's College transferred the school's nursing and radiography programs and healthcare certificates to Sacred Heart University, effectively creating SVC at SHU. Today, SVC at SHU continues to support educational programs for aspiring healthcare professionals looking to grow professionally.

Formed in 1905 as a training school for nurses, SVC long stood as one of the Christian colleges and universities in Connecticut dedicated to the health services. Now, operating under SHU, SVC carries on a tradition of education for future nurses and allied health professionals.

  • The AS in nursing sets students on a path toward becoming a licensed registered nurse (RN). The program takes 2-3 years to complete, with clinicals taking place in and around Bridgeport, including at St. Vincent's Medical Center. The program covers topics such as family care, physiological systems, nutrition, pharmacology, and legal-ethical principles.
  • The AS in radiography blends online theory courses with hands-on diagnostic work. This 72-credit program takes 2-3 years to complete and prepares graduates for entry-level employment as certified radiologists.
  • To apply to either associate program, students must possess a high school diploma or GED and a GPA of 2.75. SVC at SHU does not require the SAT or ACT, but does consider scores during the review process (if submitted).
  • The AS in nursing for licensed professional nurses (LPNs), meanwhile, requires all students to take an online bridge or transition course. The program enables LPNs to become RNs in two semesters and one summer session.
  • SVC at SHU also offers short-term online and classroom certificates that help students develop marketable skills and specialized expertise. These programs last between 6 weeks and 12 months.
  • For example, the online certificate in healthcare management program explores organizational structures, economics and finance related to healthcare, and resource management. The 18-credit program takes 11 months to complete.

As administered under Sacred Heart University, St. Vincent's College at Sacred Heart University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).


Connecticut's Best Online Seminaries

Hartford Seminary

Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut, serves the educational needs of graduate students pursuing advanced leadership training or degrees in religious or theological studies.

With roots dating back to 1834, the nondenominational private school operates as one of the oldest Christian colleges in Connecticut. The school offers on-campus and online courses; all of Hartford Seminary's online learning allows for asynchronous participation.

  • The online master of arts in religious studies helps students deepen and broaden their understanding of faith, skills in religious leadership, and practice of ministry in daily life. The 48-credit degree gives students six years to complete all requirements.
  • To apply to the MA in religious studies, students must submit a personal statement covering their personal goals, perceived strengths, and potential areas of development, plus official transcripts and three letters of recommendation. Candidates also must undergo an interview.
  • The online graduate certificate in religious studies, meanwhile, requires students to complete six courses for 18 credits. As with other Hartford Seminary certificates, this online program offers learners an accelerated alternative for professional growth.
  • To apply to a Hartford Seminary graduate certificate program, applicants must submit a brief statement explaining their educational objectives, official transcripts, and one letter of recommendation.
  • Applicants to any graduate program at Hartford Seminary must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.
  • Students may also obtain credits from intensive one-week courses held in January and June and travel seminars year-round.
  • The school allows students to transfer graduate-level credit not yet applied to a degree. Students enrolled in the MA in religious studies may apply up to 18 credits.

Hartford Seminary is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

Holy Apostles College and Seminary

Founded in 1956, Holy Apostles College and Seminary administers online and on-campus liberal arts degrees for undergraduates, plus completely online programs in philosophy, theology, and pastoral studies for graduate students.

Located in Cromwell, Holy Apostles enjoys a central location, just minutes from other Christian colleges near Connecticut's capital, Hartford. Students also enjoy proximity to the historic town of Middletown in Middlesex County. Holy Apostles students come from all 50 states and 14 countries.

  • Available online programs include undergraduate degrees in theology, liberal arts, English, history, and sacred art, plus three graduate and three postmaster's certificates in topics such as pastoral counseling, spiritual direction, sacred scripture, and apologetics.
  • The 60-credit AA in theology facilitates transfer into a four-year program. The program requires students to gain an understanding of theology, philosophy, the humanities, social science, and math, along with knowledge in the areas of catechism, poetry, drama, and western civilization.
  • The BA in English in the humanities requires students to complete 120 credits to graduate. The online format allows students to fulfill all requirements in as little as 2.5 years. The curriculum covers art, English, literature, and speech.
  • The double-major option at Holy Apostles allows students to earn two degrees at the bachelor's level in relatively the same amount of time. To do so, students must complete at least 30 credits in each major.
  • Each MA degree features 5-9 concentrations.
  • In addition to official transcripts and a personal essay, prospective undergraduate and graduate students must submit a letter of recommendation from a priest, deacon, or minister and one letter from a professor, supervisor, or mentor.
  • Students can transfer up to 30 college credits into an associate program, 60 into a bachelor's, and six into a master's.

Holy Apostles College and Seminary is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

What Christian Colleges are in Connecticut?

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Finding the Right Christian College

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.

Career and Salary Expectations

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

Scholarships and Financial Aid

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

Resources

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.