Christian Colleges in Idaho

With 60% of adult residents professing faith in Jesus Christ, Idaho is home to a thriving Christian culture. According to the Pew Research Center, most Idahoans identify as evangelical or mainline Protestants; however, the state also has a large Mormon population. More than half of all residents say that religion plays a major part in their lives. Given this religious landscape, it's no surprise that the state hosts several Christian institutions -- mostly private, four-year schools affiliated with various Protestant denominations.

most Idahoans identify as evangelical or mainline Protestants; however, the state also has a large Mormon population Pew Research Center

Attending one of the many Christian colleges in Idaho can both strengthen your faith and help you earn a degree. For those interested in religious studies or a pastoral career, or those who wish to pursue a different major in a Christian setting, Bible colleges in Idaho offer programs to meet your personal, religious, and professional goals. Christian colleges and universities present new ways to grow intellectually and spiritually. In this guide, we explore which Christian colleges in Idaho offer both traditional and online degrees, how to choose a program, and ways to help pay for your degree.

There are several advantages for distance learners who attend online Christian colleges. Both first-time students and working professionals seeking to enhance their career options benefit from the convenience and affordability of online degrees. Many Christian colleges in Idaho offer faith-based online programs that combine flexible scheduling with the experience of an authentic Christian community.

Some online Bible colleges in Idaho feature programs that include asynchronous, self-paced coursework. This flexible format allows even the busiest of students to complete assignments, review course materials, and view lectures conveniently. Studying from home proves more affordable, too, by removing the need to pay for transportation, relocation, or campus facility fees. Unlike traditional on-campus students, in- and out-of-state distance learners often pay the same flat per-credit tuition rate. Living off-campus or out-of-state does not exclude you from participating in Christian fellowship, however. Plenty of Christian colleges in Idaho offer spiritual services intended just for online students. Many schools offer live streaming church services, virtual meetings, Bible study sessions, and discussion forums.

Knowing what you want from a school or program helps you make the right decision. Do you prefer a career in ministry or do you simply want a faith-based, liberal arts degree?

Choosing the right Christian college in Idaho might seem daunting. By keeping a few important factors in mind, however, researching online Christian colleges can become much easier. Knowing what you want from a school or program helps you make the right decision. Do you prefer a career in ministry or do you simply want a faith-based, liberal arts degree? Many Christian online colleges feature religious studies or Bible-based degrees. Alternatively, schools typically make advanced or specialized programs available only at seminary schools. In addition, schools may not offer all of their programs online. If you’re looking for a distance learning program, explore the resources each school can offer its online students.

For traditional students, campus size and lifestyle guidelines both play an important part in the decision-making process. Small schools feature lower faculty-student ratios that present greater opportunities for collaboration and individual attention. They may not, however, offer the same variety of degree options, service learning opportunities, and school resources. Conduct expectations are another factor to keep in mind. Some schools prohibit drug or alcohol use on campus. Many religious schools also forbid co-ed housing or require that all students attend religious services at prescribed times.

Seminary Schools vs. Bible Schools

Should you attend one of the many online Christian colleges or Bible colleges in Idaho, or enroll in seminary school instead? The answer to this question depends on your academic interests and career ambitions.

Most Bible schools and Christian colleges in Idaho offer religious studies degrees in addition to traditional liberal arts programs. While some also feature graduate programs, including minister preparation training, Bible colleges generally offer multiple majors at various degree levels. In contrast, seminary schools provide theological instruction for prospective pastors, priests, and ministers at the graduate level. Although programs of study vary considerably according to denomination and school, seminaries tend to focus on preparing students for religious leadership roles. Students need an undergraduate degree to enter seminary.

Accreditation for Christian Colleges

As you research Christian online colleges and Bible colleges in Idaho, make sure they are properly accredited. Choosing an accredited school ensures that you will receive a quality education and safeguards your future employment options. The accreditation process serves as a form of quality control performed by universally-recognized accrediting bodies who require that schools meet specific academic and ethical standards.

Choosing an accredited school ensures that you will receive a quality education and safeguards your future employment options.

Schools are either regionally or nationally accredited. Regionally accredited schools are typically nonprofit institutions, while nationally accredited schools are generally for-profit colleges or vocational schools. Credits earned at regionally accredited schools easily transfer to other institutions, while those from nationally accredited colleges do not. In addition, many employers prefer to hire graduates from regionally accredited schools. Some Christian colleges in Idaho may also hold additional, specialized accreditation from religious accrediting bodies like the Association of Christian Schools International.

As a whole, Idaho’s economy is growing. The state's 2.9% unemployment rate is not only significantly lower than the national average of 4.1%, but has decreased by .4% over the past year. While many attribute this trend to recent growth in the construction and manufacturing sectors, the state’s economy also remains relatively stable overall. Idaho's low cost of living helps compensate for the state's relatively low hourly and annual mean salaries of $20.31 and $42,240, respectively. Nationally, social and community service directors face an unusually large job growth rate of 18%.

While relatively few prospective clergy members find employment in Idaho, social service assistants and rehabilitation counselors are somewhat in demand. Below, our table lists popular religious employment opportunities and their salaries in Idaho.

Community and Social Service Occupations in Idaho
Occupation Employment Average Hourly Wage Average Annual Wage
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors 380 $21.20 $44,090
Marriage and Family Therapists N/A $24.95 $51,900
Mental Health Counselors 1,080 $24.45 $50,860
Rehabilitation Counselors 1,910 $23.05 $47,930
Child, Family, and School Social Workers 1,470 $23.17 $48,180
Healthcare Social Workers 550 $26.90 $55,940
Social and Human Service Assistants 2,630 $15.59 $32,430
Clergy 210 $20.58 $42,810
Directors, Religious Activities and Education 50 $27.66 $57,530
Source: BLS, May 2016

Students attending Christian colleges in Idaho can pursue many scholarship opportunities -- some faith-based and others intended specifically for state residents. The scholarships listed below showcase a few of the awards offered to Idaho students, Christian students, or both.

Christian Scholarships

Paleologos Graduate Scholarship $5,000

Who Can Apply: Orthodox Christian graduate students pursuing a non-theological degree full-time. Applicants must submit a resume or CV, tax return, baptismal or chrismation certificate, scholarship proposal, personal statement, and five letters of recommendation.

Baptist Life Scholarship $1,000

Who Can Apply: Full-time undergraduate and graduate students insured by Baptist Life. Students receive funds based on academic achievement. View Scholarship

Rowley Wolfe Ministerial Education Fund $3,500

Who Can Apply: Students preparing for ministerial positions in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) who reside in the U.S. or Canada. View Scholarship

Interfaith Spirituality Scholarship Varies

Who Can Apply: Students enrolled at least half-time in a master’s of divinity program with the intention of becoming a Unitarian Universalist minister. People of color and those with significant financial need get priority. View Scholarship

Presbyterian Student Opportunity Scholarship $2,000

Who Can Apply: Presbyterian undergraduate students enrolled full-time at an accredited institution who demonstrate a 2.5 GPA or better and financial need. View Scholarship

Scholarships for Idaho Residents

Idaho Governor’s Cup Scholarship $3,000

Who Can Apply: Graduating seniors at Idaho high schools who plan to attend an Idaho college or university. Eligible students must hold a GPA of 2.8 or better, enroll in college the first semester after graduation, and submit a personal essay and documentation of community service. View Scholarship

Idaho Opportunity Scholarship $3,500

Who Can Apply: State residents with a high school GPA of 3.0 or better who demonstrate significant financial need. View Scholarship

Community Council of Idaho Hispanic Scholarship $1,000

Who Can Apply: Incoming freshmen from Idaho of Hispanic origin who boast a minimum GPA of 2.5. Applicants must provide a personal essay, three letters of recommendation, a copy of their parents’ tax return, and three letters of recommendation. View Scholarship

GEAR UP Idaho Scholarship $5,575

Who Can Apply: Graduating seniors from select Idaho high schools under 22 years of age accepted for enrollment at an Idaho postsecondary institution. View Scholarship

Marsden Scholarship Varies

Who Can Apply: Permanent legal residents of the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane (including Idaho north of the Salmon River). Applicants must hold a GPA of 3.5 or better and possess a combined SAT score above 1300. View Scholarship

Find a Church in Your Community

Churches offer support, fellowship, and spiritual guidance. For those new to a community or simply hoping to explore new ways of worshipping God, sites like USA Churches and ChurchFinder enable students to locate spiritual centers of every denomination and affiliation.

Get Connected

Christian professional organizations and social networks are a great way to build industry, academic, and spiritual connections with like-minded people. The list below includes some example organizations.

  • The Christian Business Network Uniting Christian professionals from around the world, the CBN provides its members with a variety of networking opportunities and promotional services.
  • Conference on Faith & History This scholarly organization explores history and historiography from a Christian perspective. Members promote their own scholarship and collaborate on research.
  • Association of Professional Chaplains The APC offers resources such as publications, educational webinars, and program development materials to more than 5,000 professional chaplains from a variety of faiths.

Find Christian Ministries

For some students, secular public universities provide an affordable alternative to private Christian colleges. Along with comprehensive religious studies programs, many public schools host campus ministries and Christian clubs:

Interdenominational
  • Campus Crusade for Christ Commonly knowns as “Cru,” this organization engages with more than 101,000 college students through 2,300 campus ministries around the United States.
  • Chi Alpha Sponsored by the Assemblies of God, Chi Alpha hosts on-campus Bible studies and other fellowship events. Many members receive sponsorships to study abroad or participate in mission trips.
  • International Fellowship of Evangelical Students The IFES sponsors student-led Christian movements among indigenous peoples in 160 countries.
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes One of the largest groups of its kind, the FCA engages, equips, and empowers student athletes through ministry in over 62 countries. More than 113,470 individuals attend its annual camp.
Catholic
  • Catholic Campus Ministry Association The CCMA seeks to empower Catholic campus ministers by setting the highest standards of care and providing the resources student worship leaders need to meet them.
Lutheran
  • Lutheran Student Movement U.S.A. Based in Chicago, this association provides Lutheran college students with unique service learning and alternative spring break opportunities, as well as an annual fellowship gathering.
Presbyterian
  • Reformed University Fellowship Comprised of seminary-trained campus ministers, the RUF sponsors a variety of activities, including Bible study groups and regional conferences.
  • UKirk More than just a campus ministry, UKirk sponsors grants, fundraising initiatives, and service-learning programs. Participants often receive financial aid for their services.
Baptist
  • Baptist Collegiate Ministry Life Known as BCMLife, this association brings together Baptist students throughout the country through conferences, summits, and mission trips. Most chapters operate through on-campus Baptist Student Centers.

Public Universities in Idaho with Christian Ministries

  • University of Idaho: Cru maintains a strong presence at the University of Idaho, where it hosts retreats and conferences, weekly meetings, and small group Bible study sessions.
  • Idaho State University: Chi Alpha holds weekly meetings and Bible studies on campus, as well as special events throughout the year. Its members enjoy global missions and service trips.
  • Lewis-Clark State College: This public college in Lewiston serves as home to a vibrant Cru chapter known for its popular and exciting annual Winter Conference.
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