Florida occupies a unique position in the U.S., both geographically and culturally. The only continental state with a tropical climate, Florida boasts both a diverse population and an emphasis on conservative, Christian values. The Pew Research Center reports that 78% of adults in Florida describe religion as either "very important" or "somewhat important," and 35% attend religious services at least once a week. Christians constitute about 70% of the state's religious population, and more than a dozen Christian colleges in Florida offer degrees of all types to accommodate them.
78% of adults in Florida describe religion as either "very important" or "somewhat important," and 35% attend religious services at least once a week Pew Research Center
Religious demographics in Florida generally align with the rest of the country, and the state harbors many institutions that reflect both the Protestant and Catholic traditions. Florida Christian colleges offer an assortment of educational options, from bible colleges and seminaries focused primarily on religious studies to major universities that offer academic degrees in all disciplines. In general, these schools offer Christian students a supportive campus environment, with academic programs that integrate faith with traditional scholarship. As home to several online Christian colleges, Florida offers the same sense of support and community through distance education.
Online Christian Colleges in Florida
Florida embraces online education for the convenience, affordability, and efficiency it offers students. Students attending Christian online colleges receive the same education and support services that on-campus students receive. Adding to the flexibility, many schools conduct online courses asynchronously to enable students to complete coursework on their own schedules, without set login times or class meetings. Asynchronous courses prove ideal for online learners with work, family, or church obligations. Online learning also eliminates commuting expenses.
For many students, the supportive religious community of a Christian school serves as a large part of its appeal, and increasingly, online Christian colleges in Florida offer unique services to help online learners better connect to campus communities. Online students often join college groups and forums that enable Christian students with similar interests to connect with one another. Many schools also offer online counseling, spiritual support, and live-stream worship services and other campus events.
STATENAME's Best Online Christian Schools
Baptist College of Florida
Founded by a group of Southern Baptist pastors in 1943, BCF maintains its distinction as 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. Today, the school enrolls more than 3,000 students who can complete any BCF undergraduate or graduate program online.
Learners can earn associate degrees online in:
Online associate degrees require about 60 credits and take two years of full-time or four years of part-time study. Students can transfer in up to 15 credits from a regionally accredited school.
BCF also offers 18 bachelor's degrees online in disciplines such as:
Students can specialize in English or history secondary education, elementary education, or leadership and Christian education. Music programs include specializations in worship leadership and music education. Online bachelor's degrees require around 128 credits and four years of full-time study or six years of part-time work. Students can transfer up to 30 credits from a regionally accredited school.
The college's online master's degrees provide students with advanced knowledge and skills in researching and applying Christian doctrines and practices to a pastoral setting. Master's degrees include:
Online master's degrees require roughly 30 credits and take 2-4 years to complete. Students can transfer in up to 9 credits from a regionally accredited school. Online students benefit from comprehensive support services, such as tutoring and success coaches. The program costs $7,220 for 10 credits, and admission requirements include a minimum 3.0 GPA and acceptable GRE or MAT scores.
Baptist College of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
Saint Leo University
The oldest Catholic higher education institution in Florida, Saint Leo welcomes students of all faiths as it has for more than 100 years. The school serves more than 13,000 students, making it one of the largest private Christian colleges in Florida. Students can take Saint Leo's academic programs on campus or online.
Online associate degrees include:
Online associate degrees typically require 60 credits or two years of full-time study and may include field education and hands-on learning experiences.
Saint Leo also offers 24 bachelor's degrees online in disciplines such as:
Online bachelor's degrees require around 120 credits, which equals about four years of full-time work. Students can take specializations such as marketing, homeland security, or information assurance.
Saint Leo provides a variety of master's programs, including in fields such as:
These degrees usually require 36 credits and take two years to earn. Some students pursue accelerated programs to finish their degree more quickly.
The university also offers online doctorates, including:
These flexible, practical degrees require 60 credits.
Undergraduate applicants must show proof of a high school diploma or GED, and prospective graduate students must meet the specific admission requirements of their program.
Saint Le University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Affiliated with the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana), Warner University serves about 1,200 students through both online and on-campus academic programs. Warner offers associate, bachelor's, and master's programs.
Online associate degrees include:
Like other private Christian colleges in Florida, Warner's online associate degrees require students to complete 60 credits, which takes about two years of full-time study. Applicants must hold a high school diploma and be willing to sign Warner's biblical lifestyle agreement.
Warner also offers three bachelor's degrees online in disciplines such as:
Students pursuing online bachelor's degrees need roughly 120 credits, and admission to these programs requires applicants to hold a 60-credit associate degree. Depending on how many credits a student transfers, they can complete the degree in 12-36 months. Warner provides free transcript assessments prior to enrollment, so transfer students can maximize the value of the school's generous policies.
Warner also provides several master's programs in disciplines such as:
These degrees usually require 30-39 credits and take two years to earn if pursued full time. Admission varies by program, but students can transfer six credits toward their degree.
Courses begin every eight weeks, and students can enroll part time or full time. Learners can transfer courses from accredited schools, the military, life experience assessments, and standardized tests like CLEP and DANTES.
Warner University is regionally accredited by the Southern Asso iation of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Palm Beach Atlantic University
Founded in 1968 and located in West Palm Beach, Florida, PBA is one of the interdenominational Christian colleges in Florida. The college serves more than 3,000 graduate and undergraduate students. PBA students can enroll in one of five bachelor's degrees or one master's program. These learners can pursue online programs in any of 49 states (excluding only California).
Online bachelor's degrees include:
PBA also offers an online RN-to-BSN program to help currently practicing registered nurses complete their bachelor's degrees. Applicants to this program must hold an associate degree in nursing with a 3.0 GPA or higher, along with one year of nursing experience and a valid license to practice as a nurse in the state of Florida.
Students pursuing other online bachelor's degrees at PBA need 120 credits to graduate, which generally comprises 45 general education credits, 48 credits in the major, and 30 elective credits. While this program takes about four years for full-time students to complete, PBA offers a liberal transfer credit policy, accepting up to 42 credits of upper-level coursework earned at an accredited college or university.
PBA also offers one master's program in leadership. This 36-credit program takes about 24 months to complete. Applicants need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and a 3.0 GPA or higher. New students can enroll in either the fall or spring semester.
Palm Beach Atlantic Univ rsity is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Affiliated with the Assemblies of God denomination and located in Lakeland, Florida, SEU educates more than 7,000 students. The school opened its doors in 1935 and now serves as the largest Assembly of God university in the United States and one of the largest private Christian colleges in Florida. Students can choose from over 30 online programs at SEU.
Online associate degrees include:
Online associate programs require 60 credits and take about 24 months to complete.
The university also offers nine bachelor's degrees online, including:
To earn an online bachelor's degree, students must complete 120 credits, which takes 48 months. Learners can shorten their degrees by transferring in up to 90 credits.
SEU offers master's degrees in 17 disciplines, such as:
Online master's degree curricula vary from 36 credits for most programs to 72 credits for the master of divinity. Admission requirements vary by program. The university also offers online doctoral degrees in education and leadership. Students in these programs complete 54-60 credits, and the leadership programs require some on-campus residencies.
Undergraduate applicants need a high school diploma or GED, but the school does not require SAT, ACT, GRE, or other standardized tests. SEU accepts transfer credits from regionally accredited schools, along with credits earned at institutions with accreditation from the Association for Biblical Higher Education.
Southeastern University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
St. Thomas University
A Catholic institution located in Miami Gardens, Florida, STU serves just under 5,000 students in about 70 academic programs. The university began in Cuba in 1946 and relocated to Miami after the Augustinians left Cuba in 1961. Today, students can earn graduate and undergraduate degrees from STU on campus and online.
The university offers just one bachelor's degree online, the RN-to-BSN. Since prospective students in this program must already hold an associate degree before matriculating, the RN to BSN only requires a minimum of 36 credits, and students can finish the program in just 12 months.
STU also offers master's degrees in nursing, education, and business. Selected programs include:
Online master's degrees require 30-47 credits and take anywhere from 10-24 months to complete. Applicants to most graduate programs at STU need a bachelor's degree with a 2.75 GPA or higher. Applicants with lower GPAs may receive admission provided they can demonstrate a significant professional background or strong GRE or GMAT scores. Nursing admission requires a 3.0 GPA and nursing license.
The university also offers a doctorate of education in leadership and innovation online. Applicants to this program need a master's degree with a 2.6 GPA or higher. Once enrolled, students complete 60 credits over 36 months.
St. Thomas University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
Located in Orlando, Florida, and affiliated with the Seventh Day Adventist Church, AHU serves about 2,000 students earning one of more than 20 degrees in healthcare professions. The college's emphasis on healthcare makes AHU distinct among private Christian colleges in Florida. Learners at AHU can take some of the school's graduate and undergraduate programs online.
Online certificate programs include:
Each of these certificates requires entering students to hold an associate degree in the field and takes learners roughly one year to complete.
The university also offers three bachelor's degrees online, including:
Earning an online bachelor's degree at AHU requires 60 credits in the major plus 60 credits of additional coursework for students who do not already hold an associate degree. Applicants typically need an associate degree, certificate, or diploma in the field along with a 2.5 or 2.6 minimum GPA, depending on the program.
AHU offers master's degrees in three disciplines:
Nursing applicants require a BSN with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Healthcare administration students only need a qualifying associate degree to finish in as little as three years. AHU does not require the GRE or GMAT.
AdventHealth University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). AdventHealth University also holds accreditation with the Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools, Colleges, and Universities (AAA), and its nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Johnson University - Florida
Part of the Johnson University System, Johnson University - Florida sits in Kissimmee, Florida, and is one of the Christian colleges in Florida that affiliates with the Churches of Christ. Johnson's Florida campus serves about 200 students, while the larger Johnson University system serves many more. Students at Johnson University can pursue several online degrees.
Online associate programs include:
These programs require 60-62 credits and take two years for full-time students to complete.
The university also offers six bachelor's degrees online in the following fields:
The business administration degree includes concentrations in management and marketing, and Johnson also offers online minors in business administration and intercultural studies. These bachelor's degrees require 120 credits and take full-time students four years to complete.
Johnson University offers master's degrees in three disciplines:
Each master's degree requires at least 36 credits of coursework, and all of Johnson's graduate programs include concentration options.
Johnson also provides a Ph.D. in leadership studies comprising 60 credits, along with certificates in fields such as translation, intercultural studies, Christian ministry, and economic community development. Except for the Ph.D. program, Johnson's graduate degrees and certificates do not require GRE or GMAT scores for admission.
Johnson University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Johnson also holds accreditation with the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE).
A Catholic institution located in Miami Shores, Florida, Barry maintains an enrollment of about 7,000 students on its main campus, at its branch campuses, and through its online degrees. Founded in 1940, Barry now holds distinction as one of the largest Catholic universities in the southeast and one of the largest private Christian colleges. The school offers about 100 academic programs.
Online bachelor's programs include:
These degrees require 120 credits, but students can transfer in as many as 90 credits, reducing their degree completion time to about 12 months. Generally, applicants need a high school diploma and three years of work experience.
The university also offers several master's degrees online in disciplines such as:
Most of Barry's master's programs require 36 credits and take 12-24 months for full-time students. Admission requirements vary by program. For instance, most education programs require a current teaching license, while other degrees do not.
Barry University offers four online doctorates:
Barry University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Barry's nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and its anesthesiology nursing programs are accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs.
What Christian Colleges are in Florida?
Finding the Right Christian College
Several factors come into play when choosing a college, including size, location, campus culture, resources, and academic program offerings. Online research and communication with admissions counselors can help you narrow down the school that works best for you.
Many schools offer a variety of degrees in both secular and non-secular subjects; others primarily offer Bible or ministry-focused programs
Whether you enroll in online or campus courses, a school's size makes a difference. While larger colleges offer a wider variety of academic programs and resources, the sizes of each class reduces the amount of individual attention each student receives. A smaller school, on the other hand, often provides students with a more personalized experience while omitting some of the resources. What you plan to study may influence the school you choose, too. Many schools offer a variety of degrees in both secular and non-secular subjects; others primarily offer Bible or ministry-focused programs. For those enrolling online, investigate what sort of resources and support services schools offer their distance education students.
Additionally, many Christian colleges in Florida expect students to live by certain standards. Different schools' policies may prohibit the use of alcohol, forbid co-ed housing, or require students to attend chapel or other services. Prospective students should consider which college’s culture works best for them.
Seminary Schools vs. Bible Schools
For those pursuing a Bible-focused degree, such as ministry or theology, seminaries or one of the Bible colleges in Florida focus primarily on religious education. In general, Bible colleges concentrate on undergraduate education, offering associate and bachelor's degrees in religious studies. These schools provide affordable religious education. Not all Bible college hold accreditation, however, which is why you should ensure you know a school's status before attending.
Seminaries focus on graduate-level education, offering advanced degrees in subjects such as divinity, ministry, theology, biblical languages, and religious history. These institutions typically align with a certain Christian denomination, such as Methodist or Baptist. Seminary education often combines the practical with the theoretical, with many graduates becoming ministers. Most seminaries also enjoy accreditation status, meaning students receive a quality education.
Accreditation for Christian Colleges
Accreditation serves as another important factor to consider when researching Christian colleges in Florida. Many Christian schools do not hold accreditation, which can create problems with federally funded financial aid and school credit transfers. Students should verify a school’s accreditation status prior to attending any of the Christian colleges online.
Multiple types of accreditation exist for different types of schools. In general, regional accreditation counts as the most reputable accreditation type. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges serves as the regional accrediting body for Florida.
National accreditation is typically reserved for technical and vocational schools, though some Christian colleges may also hold national accreditation. Other, specialized accreditation organizations focus specifically on Christian colleges, including the Association for Biblical Higher Education, the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, and the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. The U.S. Department of Education maintains a database of accredited postsecondary institutions and programs to help determine a school’s reputability.
Career and Salary Expectations
If Florida were a country, its economy would rank 17th in the world. The third-largest population in the U.S., a high GDP, and a robust job market make the state an ideal location to pursue a career. Florida's unemployment rate sits at 3.9%, which rests slightly lower than the national average. Additionally, its rapidly expanding population will likely fuel economic growth.
The mean hourly wage for all occupations in Florida is $21.53, and the mean annual wage is $44,790.
Because Florida boasts one of the country's strongest economies, a slight slowdown still puts it ahead of most other U.S. states in terms of job opportunities. Several key industries fuel Florida's bustling economy, including tourism, international trade, aerospace and aviation, and financial services.
The mean hourly wage for all occupations in Florida is $21.53, and the mean annual wage is $44,790. While these numbers sit slightly lower than the national average, the figures fail to account for the differences in wages between industries. Many graduates of Florida Christian colleges pursue community and social service careers; the chart below gives a better sense of the expected wages for careers in these fields.
|Occupation||Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Wage|
|Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors||4,440||$22.12||$46,010|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||3,030||$23.15||$48,140|
|Mental Health Counselors||3,990||$21.39||$44,490|
|Child, Family, and School Social Workers||9,780||$19.81||$41,210|
|Healthcare Social Workers||6,390||$24.82||$51,640|
|Social and Human Service Assistants||11,730||$15.42||$32,070|
|Directors, Religious Activities and Education||1,190||$19.94||$41,470|
|Religious Workers, all other||630||$14.35||$29,850|
Scholarships and Financial Aid
Scholarships serve as one of the most effective methods of paying for education, and many Christian colleges in Florida cater their scholarships offerings to Christian students. Florida residents can also pursue scholarship opportunities intended for college students in the state.
National Presbyterian College Scholarship $1,000
Paleologos Graduate Scholarship $5,000
Ruth K Jacobs Scholarship $1,500
Valerie Russell Scholarship Fund $1,500
Disciples Home Missions Scholarships Varies
Scholarships for Florida Residents
Arts for Life Scholarships $1,000
American Legion Department of Florida Scholarships $2,500-$500
George Snow Scholarship Fund Varies
Central Florida Fair Scholarships $2,500
Ford Salute to Education Scholarships $1,500
Find a Church in Your Community
For those moving to a new city to attend college, websites such as Church Finder and USAChurches can help you find churches that meet your denominational, cultural, and spiritual needs. Incoming students can navigate these websites easily to find a new church home.
Christian networking websites allow students and professionals to connect with one another to share information, job opportunities, and other useful resources.
- Christian Business Network A wide-ranging global network of Christian professionals, the Christian Business Network offers educational resources, member services, and networking opportunities that enable members from various industries to connect.
- Christian Educators Association International Founded in 1953, CEAI counts teachers, administrators, and other education professionals among its members. It aims to encourage, equip, and empower Christian educators.
- Christian Legal Society Serving lawyers, law students, and other legal professionals, this group emphasizes the protection of religious freedom and the legal defense of the underserved.
Find Christian Ministries
Christians pursuing higher education often enter secular colleges without sacrificing their community life. Many of the state's public colleges host campus ministries and other student groups that enable Christians to come together and build community.
- Campus Crusade for Christ Engaging Christian students through campus ministries, social events, and missionary services, CRU performs outreach at U.S. colleges and in cities around the world.
- Chi Alpha Based on college campuses around the country, Chi Alpha offers resources and events that promote Christian leadership, fellowship, and spiritual empowerment.
- International Fellowship of Evangelical Students Operating around the world, IFES emphasizes community service, evangelism, and leadership. The organization also publishes several journals related to faith and theology.
- Fellowship of Christian Athletes Combining athletics and Christian worship, FCA brings together players, coaches, and other athletic participants to encourage personal growth, training, and ministry.
- Catholic Campus Ministry Association CCMA supports campus ministers through advocacy, networking, and education. The organization also offers leadership resources for ministers and hosts Called, a convention for Catholic campus ministers.
- Lutheran Student Movement U.S.A. LSM offers service learning opportunities, professional development, and an annual national gathering that brings together leaders from around the country.
- Reformed University Fellowship Founded in 1971, RUF provides campus ministry services with a global focus. The organization emphasizes cross-cultural exchange and helps Christian students travel internationally.
- UKirk UKirk brings together campus ministers for networking opportunities and collaborative learning. Members also benefit from academic resources and financial support in the form of grants.
- Baptist Collegiate Ministry Life Focusing on campus ministry, church ministry, and college campus church planting, BCM seeks to lead Baptist students and help them develop as Christian leaders.
Public Universities in Florida with Christian Ministries
- University of Florida: Gainesville-based UF serves as home to a Chi Alpha chapter and a Baptist Collegiate Ministry chapter, both of which host regular campus events.
- Florida Southern College: Based in Lakeland, FSC hosts a chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, along with several other campus ministry groups and weekly services.
- Florida Institute of Technology: FIT operates a chapter of the Catholic Campus Ministry, which hosts worship services, community activities, service learning trips, and intramural sports activities.