Indiana provides an expansive educational landscape for learners seeking brick-and-mortar or online Christian colleges. Data from the Pew Research Center found that 72% of the state's adult population considered themselves to be Christian, with 31% identifying as Evangelicals, followed by mainline Catholics (18%) and Protestants (16%). Information from the same study shows that 37% of adult residents attend a religious service at least once a week, while an additional 32% attend at least a few times per year.
72% of the state's adult population considered themselves to be Christian, with 31% identifying as Evangelicals, followed by mainline Catholics (18%) and Protestants (16%) Pew Research Center
A total of 23 Christian colleges can be found in Indiana, with a mix of Bible colleges, Christian colleges, and ministry-preparation schools such as the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. A number of secular public and private colleges with Christian student organizations and ministries also operate in the state. Christian higher education options exist from the associate to the doctoral levels, ensuring that students at all academic levels can access Christ-centered curricula. Indiana Christian colleges meet the needs of students who want to be surrounded by like-minded peers and professors and take part in faith-based programs.
Online Christian colleges in Indiana offer numerous benefits to attendees from both religious and academic standpoints. The most appealing factor of online programs for many students is the increased flexibility. Because distance learning rarely requires a participant to visit campus, degree seekers can work from their homes without worrying about commuting to and from campus. This style of learning also makes it possible to save money related to on-campus room and board. Additionally, faculty often deliver coursework in an asynchronous format, allowing online students to turn in assignments and complete readings at their convenience.
Christian online colleges in Indiana prioritize faith-based learning, no matter the discipline area. Students taking online coursework complete the same general education requirements as their on-campus peers. Additionally, online learners need not worry about missing out on faith-filled extracurriculars; schools have begun to make these available online. No matter their location, distance learners at many schools can now take advantage of virtual counseling and spiritual support or tune into campus-based chapel services without leaving their homes.
Since all Christian colleges in Indiana exist as private institutions, they tend to be more expensive than public, in-state universities. Due to this increased cost, Christian students should be extra careful about investigating a school's offerings before making a final decision.
Campus size is a critical decision for many learners; the number of students and faculty at an institution greatly impact the overall experience. For example, smaller campuses tend to offer a more intimate community and a lower student-to-faculty ratio, making it easier to connect with professors and peers.
Many Christian colleges in Indiana have stricter lifestyle expectations more attuned to biblical principles than secular institutions.
Values espoused by a school should also be considered. Many Christian colleges in Indiana have stricter lifestyle expectations more attuned to biblical principles than secular institutions. Examples of these may include curfews, gender-separated dormitories, rules about when members of the opposite sex can spend time together, and strict no-tolerance policies about drugs, alcohol, and smoking. Many Indiana Christian colleges also require learners to attend a specific number of chapel services each semester. Another important consideration is the location of a school. Students who plan to study on campus should consider how safe the surrounding area feels and whether or not local opportunities exist for volunteerism.
From an academic standpoint, a school should have suitable program offerings. Does the curriculum emphasize more of a liberal arts core or is it more biblically based? Do faculty design coursework to prepare graduates to enter the ministry or assume general workforce jobs? Online students also need to understand the resources available to them. While distance learning programs increasingly offer easy access to academic resources, this is not always a given. Speak to an admissions counselor to find out if a school offers online students the chance to join student organizations, sign up for tutoring, access library materials, and/or receive disability support.
Seminary Schools vs. Bible Schools
When researching Christian colleges in Indiana, students frequently come across schools labeling themselves as seminaries or Bible schools. Confusion exists between these terms, and some students think both provide similar offerings. However, these types of institutions differ dramatically; students should understand these differences before selecting a program.
Bible schools typically offer two- and four-year degree programs. Many of the available majors focus on Christian topics, such as biblical history, Christian ethics, and church history, but some schools also provide additional traditional majors, such as business administration, mathematics, and social work. Conversely, seminaries offer coursework that is exclusively devoted to graduate education related to Christian topics. Schools such as the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis provide master's and doctoral degrees that prepare graduates for ministry roles. Examples of available majors include Christian ministry, theological studies, and marriage and family therapy.
Accreditation for Christian Colleges
Accreditation refers to the process a school goes through to have its programs and services reviewed, ensuring that it provides a quality education. Accreditation is vitally important; students who attend unaccredited or poorly accredited schools may find it difficult to secure financial aid, transfer to a different school, or find a job.
Three main types of accreditation exist for Christian online colleges: regional, national, and specialized. Regional accreditation ranks highest in terms of credibility, due to the rigorous standards employed. The U.S. Department of Education provides a database of accredited postsecondary institutions and programs that all prospective students should review.
Numerous accrediting agencies under the specialized accreditation umbrella also exist for Christian colleges in Indiana. Some of these organizations include the Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education, the Association of Christian Schools International, Christian Schools International, and the American Association of Christian Schools. A number of denomination-specific accreditation agencies also exist, such as the Accrediting Association of Seventh-Day Adventist Schools, Colleges, and Universities.
According to the Indiana Business Research Center, the state ranks favorably in terms of growth and stability. Economists project the state's economy to grow by 2.0-2.8% in 2018, with Indiana ranking 15th in the nation in terms of its gross domestic product. In March 2018, the unemployment in the state was just 3.2%, well below the national average (4.1%).
Workers in the state receive an hourly mean wage of $21.13, while the annual mean salary currently sits at $43,950
Workers in the state receive an hourly mean wage of $21.13, while the annual mean salary currently sits at $43,950. Individuals with postsecondary degrees typically earn more than the state average, meaning graduates from one of Indiana's online Christian colleges have the potential to take home larger paychecks. Indiana industries projected to perform well in the near future include auto and light truck manufacturing, machine manufacturing, and computer/electronics manufacturing.
Many Christian students go on to work in rolls that benefit the community, and many of these positions exist in Indiana. The following table shows some of the most promising community- and social service-related positions in the state, as well as their accompanying compensation.
|Occupation||Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Wage|
|Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors||900||$18.17||$37,800|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||620||$23.40||$48,670|
|Mental Health Counselors||2,210||$20.12||$41,840|
|Child, Family, and School Social Workers||6,100||$18.72||$38,940|
|Healthcare Social Workers||4,470||$23.12||$48,080|
|Social and Human Service Assistants||6,480||$14.19||$29,510|
|Directors, Religious Activities and Education||240||$26.48||$55,090|
|Religious Workers, All Other||130||$17.91||$37,250|
Many Christian colleges in Indiana come with an expensive price tag; however, several regional, national, and religious scholarships exist to help offset the costs of a higher education. Additionally, many of these awards specifically target Christian students.
J.J. ODaniel Memorial Scholarship $1,000
Sheaves for Christ Scholarship $1,500
Clare Booth Luce Scholarships Varies
Make a Difference Scholarship $2,500
Indiana United Methodist Church Scholarship Varies
Scholarships for Indiana Residents
Mitch Daniels Early Graduation Scholarship $4,000
William A. Crawford Minority Teacher Scholarship $1,000
Indiana Quarter Horse Youth Scholarship $1,500
Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship $7,500
Find a Church in Your Community
One of the first things newly enrolled students at Indiana Christian colleges do is find a local church that meets their spiritual and social needs. Rather than visiting dozens of churches before finding the right fit, students can use Church Finder or USA Churches to locate churches of a specific denomination and a place of worship one near campus.
Similar to the many industry-specific professional organizations that exist to help individuals find networking opportunities and job openings, Christian networking sites help connect believers.
- Christian Business Network This international group of Christian professionals allows members to connect with fellow believers across the globe and leverage their skills and talents into successful careers.
- Christian Women Business Organization In addition to receiving support from the national organization, CWBO members benefit from local chapters offering business building, networking, mentoring, prayer partners, and web advertising.
- Christian Network Groups CNG is an ever-expanding group of local networking pods scattered throughout the U.S. that work to build up and support Christian business professionals and share helpful resources.
Find Christian Ministries
Because many Indiana Christian colleges require a substantial financial commitment, not all students can afford to attend a Christian school. Fortunately, Christian ministries also exist at secular public and private colleges throughout Indiana. The list below contains a few of the many Christian groups in the state found on secular campuses.
- Campus Crusade for Christ CCC maintains hundreds of college campus chapters throughout the U.S. to provide a community where students seeking God can come together in an attempt to find answers.
- Chi Alpha This group of campus chapters works to provide a space where lehttps://chialpha.com/arners can engage in fellowship, worship, and pray together as disciples of Christ.
- International Fellowship of Evangelical Students Specifically designed for evangelical students, IFES operates on campuses throughout the U.S. and abroad.
- Fellowship of Christian Athletes With nearly 18,000 campus groups throughout the U.S. and internationally, FCA serves more than 113,000 student athletes in 62 countries, helping individuals grow in their faith and athleticism.
- Catholic Campus Ministry Association Aside from providing campus-based ministry programs, CCMA hosts a blog, podcast, webinars, and an annual convention designed to bring students together from across the country.
- Lutheran Student Movement U.S.A. LSM-USA operates throughout the United States, providing individualized campus ministries, alternative spring breaks, service-learning opportunities, and an annual national gathering.
- Reformed University Fellowship RUF is a popular campus program that brings young Christians together for fellowship, ministry, and worship. Students can access a full list of active locations on RUF's website.
- UKirk Operating as an affiliate of the Presbyterian Church, UKirk offers campus ministries in 37 states and Puerto Rico, including four ministries in Indiana.
- Baptist Collegiate Ministry Life Aside from campus-based ministry, BCM Life works to plant churches, provide discipleship opportunities, encourage mission trips, and host local and national events.
Public Universities in Indiana with Christian Ministries
- Indiana State University's Chi Alpha Chapter: In addition to holding a weekly large group meeting, several life groups and Bible study groups meet throughout the week. The group also has an active Facebook page.
- Indiana University's RUF Chapter: Students at IU can take part in weekly guys' and girls' Bible studies, social gatherings, and opportunities to receive ministry and mentoring from RUF staff.
- Ball State's Campus Crusade for Christ: The CRU chapter at Ball State offers community groups, weekly meetings and Bible studies, and a number of social events throughout the semester.