According to the Pew Research Center, 63% of Kentucky adults consider religion a "very important" part of their lives, and 39% attend church at least once a week. Pew figures also indicate that 76% of Kentucky residents consider themselves Christian. Of these believers, 49% — more than one million — are Evangelical Protestants, 11% are Mainline Protestant, and 10% identify as Catholic.
63% of Kentucky adults consider religion a "very important" part of their lives, and 39% attend church at least once a week. Pew figures also indicate that 76% of Kentucky residents consider themselves Christian Pew Research Center
In keeping with its religious landscape, Kentucky features several Christ-centered higher education institutions. Many of the state's undergraduate students earn liberal arts degrees at biblically oriented Christian colleges and universities, while graduate students prepare for ministry careers by attending theological seminary schools.
Most Christian colleges and universities in Kentucky are private, nonprofit institutions. Christian colleges in Kentucky offer associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, and several also offer certificate programs. Kentucky's Christian colleges and universities represent Baptist, Presbyterian, and other Evangelical denominations.
Learning within a faith-based community is important to many students. Christian colleges in Kentucky encourage students to find fellowship with like-minded peers who share their Christ-centered worldview. Additionally, curricula feature academic and spiritual components, which strengthen students' faith as they prepare for their academic and professional futures.
Online Christian Colleges in Kentucky
Many students interested in Christian colleges in Kentucky prefer online learning. Online programs offer students the ability to work from home, coffee shops, or anywhere else with an internet connection. Many Christian online colleges feature asynchronous classes, allowing learners to complete coursework at their own pace. This flexibility makes distance learning a convenient option for students with work, family, or church obligations.
Additionally, online Christian colleges tend to be more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. Distance learning eliminates costs associated with campus accommodations and commuting. Additionally, online learners pay fewer fees than on-campus students.
Distance programs integrate faith-based learning into an online setting. Online Christian colleges typically require students to complete the same coursework as on-campus learners, which means remote students earn a degree of equal caliber. Online students often have access to services such as remote spiritual counseling, worship service livestreams, and online forums for student fellowship.
Kentucky's Best Online Christian Schools
Asbury is a private liberal arts institution established in 1890. Located in Wilmore, Kentucky, the school boasts approximately 2,000 students and offers more than 50 academic programs, including a robust online degree division. Asbury's online curricula feature eight-week classes with four starting dates per calendar year. The school holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Distance learners at this nondenominational Christian college take advantage of online bachelor's programs in areas such as health promotion and wellness, social work, instructional design, ministry management, organizational management, and public health. Asbury also offers a two-year associate of science program online. Bachelor's degrees typically take students four years to complete.
Prospective students only need to complete a free online application for consideration. Applications should include official high school transcripts and financial aid information. Incoming learners with a GPA of 3.0 or higher receive a $1,200 scholarship per academic year. Similarly, students with a GPA between 2.00 and 2.99 receive $600 per year. Over the course of their enrollment, learners in the lower bracket can improve their academic record and earn the $1,200 scholarship.
Midway is a private liberal arts institution in Midway, Kentucky. The school holds a religious affiliation with the Disciples of Christ Christian Church and regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
This private Christian college offers a wide variety of online degrees, including associate, bachelor's, and graduate degrees. Remote learners can pursue associate degrees in business administration or nursing. Available bachelor's programs include business administration, criminal justice, education, healthcare administration, marketing communication, psychology, and mathematics. Additionally, online graduate degrees available at Midway include master's degrees in business administration, education, and nursing.
Incoming undergraduate students may transfer up to 21 credit hours toward their degree. Prospective undergraduate students must submit their ACT or SAT scores if under the age of 24. Additionally, applications must include official high school transcripts that reflect a history of coursework in algebra, English, social sciences, and science. Competitive applicants possess an 18 or higher on the ACT or the equivalent SAT score. Midway expects applicants to possess a GPA of 2.5 or higher.
Brescia is a private institution located in Owensboro, Kentucky. Established in 1925, the school boasts approximately 1,300 students and offers a variety of online associate, bachelor's, and master's programs for distance students. Brescia also holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and an affiliation with the Catholic Church.
Remote learners take advantage of the university's online bachelor's degrees in theology, social work, business, accounting, psychology, and integrated studies. Additionally, learners may pursue associate degrees in business, human services, liberal arts, and integrated studies. Online graduate programs available through Brescia include a master of social work, a master of science in management, and a graduate certificate in accounting.
This Christian college features flexible online classes with the working professional in mind. In fact, learners with applicable transfer credits can complete a bachelor's program in as few as two years. Incoming undergraduate students may transfer up to 67 credits from a community college or 86 credits from a four-year college or university toward their degree.
SU is a four-year university established in 1814. This private Christian college in Louisville, Kentucky holds an affiliation with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. SU also possesses regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Distance students at SU can earn online bachelor's degrees in business administration, psychology, and nursing. The university also offers graduate degrees, such as a master's in business communication and a master of science in nursing. Doctoral programs include the doctor of nursing practice and a post-professional doctor of occupational therapy program.
SU's online business administration program features concentrations in several areas including marketing, financial planning, sports management, and human resource management.
Prospective undergraduate students need to submit an online application and their high school transcripts for consideration. Learners interested in graduate programs must follow the specific admission guidelines for each program.
Established in 1950, Bellarmine is a private university in Louisville, Kentucky. The school possesses a religious affiliation with the Catholic Church and is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
This Christian college offers more than 50 academic programs, several of which are entirely online and feature no on-campus obligations. Remote students can take advantage of Bellarmine's master's degrees in education, health science, and higher education leadership and social justice. The school also offers a flexible liberal studies bachelor's degree and a remote doctor of nursing practice program.
The online master's programs typically follow a cohort-based learning format and take full-time learners approximately two years to complete. The master of arts in education features concentrations areas such as the literary specialist endorsement and teaching leadership in preschool through 12th grade.
The registrar evaluates transcripts for transfer credit on a case-by-case basis. Incoming students can upload copies of their transcripts using an online form before applying and receive a preliminary review of potential transfer credits toward their degree at Bellarmine.
Established in 1906, Campbellsville is a private university in Campbellsville, Kentucky, associated with the Baptist Church. The school holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Distance students at Campbellsville can pursue associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees. Associate degree offerings include programs in Christian studies, criminal justice, business administration, education, and mass communication. Additional undergraduate programs include bachelor's degrees in pastoral ministries, leadership and missions, criminal justice administration, and general business.
This Christian college in Kentucky also offers a variety of certificates and endorsements that take approximately one year to complete. Learners choose from programs in digital and social media, accounting, Christian ministry, school counseling, and graduate English studies.
Incoming undergraduate students may transfer up to 72 credit hours from an accredited university or community college. Master's students can also transfer previously earned credits toward their degrees. The maximum amount of transfer credits allowed varies by graduate program.
Kentucky Christian University
Located in Grayson, KCU is a private four-year institution. The school holds a religious affiliation with the Churches of Christ and regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Distance students at this Christian college in Kentucky can pursue online bachelor's degrees in history, choosing either a bachelor of science or a bachelor of arts. While these programs provide remote learners with a solid foundation in history and Christian studies, many alums of these programs move on to law school. As such, KCU officially lists these online degrees as prelaw programs.
Incoming transfer students must possess a GPA of 2.0 or higher. They may transfer credits toward their bachelor's degree provided those credits come from a regionally accredited college or university with a "C" grade or higher.
Degree seekers interested in applying for internal scholarships need to submit their financial aid information, transcripts, and ACT scores to the office of financial aid. The school reserves scholarship money for in-state and out-of-state students. Online students pay the same tuition rates as on-campus learners at KCU.
University of the Cumberlands
Cumberlands is a private nonprofit institution located in Williamsburg, Kentucky. Established in 1888, the school today serves approximately 13,500 students. Cumberlands is religiously affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist convention and is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Cumberlands features more than 25 online undergraduate programs for remote learners. Distance students can complete online programs in areas such as business, religious studies, social and behavioral sciences, humanities, education, and technology. Online offerings include associate and bachelor's programs in public health, criminal justice, human services, and general studies.
Incoming transfer students who possess an associate degree from a regionally accredited institution receive guaranteed admission into Cumberlands. Students pursuing a bachelor's degree may transfer up to 90-92 credits, depending on the program. Associate degree seekers may transfer up to 45 credits toward their degree.
Eligible undergraduate military students can receive up to 100% tuition assistance. Cumberlands also accepts all VA benefits programs.
Lindsey Wilson College
Established in 1903, LWC is a private nonprofit university associated with the United Methodist Church. Located in Columbia, Kentucky, the school serves approximately 2,600 students and offers a wide variety of online programs. LWC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Undergraduate programs at LWC include business administration, criminal justice, human services and counseling, and nursing. Distance students can also pursue graduate programs in business administration or counseling and human development.
LWC's MBA program is a 30-credit hour degree that requires no on-campus participation from graduate students. This Christian college in Kentucky does not require a GRE or GMAT score from graduate applicants with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Full-time students typically take nine credit hours per semester and finish the program in 18 months.
Most online classes at this Christian college in Kentucky follow an eight-week, synchronous course schedule. Nursing students complete their classes synchronously and follow a cohort-learning model. Incoming students with an associate degree or a general education certification from a Kentucky school can finish their online bachelor's program in as few as 18 months. Incoming remote learners may also earn up to 30 credit hours toward their degree for prior coursework and approved learning experiences.
Union is a private liberal arts college located in Barbourville, Kentucky. The college is religiously affiliated with the United Methodist Church and boasts approximately 1,300 students. Remote students take advantage of a variety of affordable online undergraduate and graduate programs. Union is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Undergraduate offerings at Union include bachelor's degrees in business administration, general management, law enforcement, general studies, and substance abuse. Available online graduate programs include master's degrees in business administration, athletic administration, healthcare administration, and information systems management. Additionally, degree seekers can pursue a variety of master's degrees and concentrations in education and psychology.
Union's online programs offer six flexible starting dates each year and follow an accelerated eight-week course schedule. Prospective graduate students need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution.
Graduate applications must include two letters of recommendation, a statement of goals, and official transcripts that reflect a GPA of 2.5 or higher. Union expects incoming MBA students to possess an undergraduate degree in business. Undergraduate applicants need a GPA of 2.0 or higher. Transfer students are eligible for merit-based scholarships worth up to $14,000.
Kentucky Wesleyan College
KWC is a private liberal arts college in Owensboro, Kentucky, and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Established in 1858, this small suburban school serves approximately 800 students. KWC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
All of KWC's distance learning programs are available entirely online. Students can pursue bachelor's degrees in business administration, criminal justice and criminology, general studies, religion, psychology, or graphic design. The bachelor of arts in religion best serves learners interested in pursuing careers in ministry, nonprofit work, journalism, business, and related fields.
This Christian college in Kentucky follows an accelerated eight-week schedule and offers four starting dates each year. Students at KWC access classes through the Brightspace learning platform and take advantage of student services such as academic advisors, disability support services, and full-text library access.
Bachelor's degree seekers need to submit an online application including their official transcripts. Applicants with fewer than 24 semester hours of college-level work may need to submit their ACT or SAT scores. Incoming students can transfer up to 90 semester hours toward their four-year bachelor's degree. Competitive online applicants typically possess a GPA of 2.0 or higher.
Kentucky's Best Online Seminaries
Asbury Theological Seminary
Located in Wilmore, Kentucky, Asbury Seminary is a private nonprofit institution with regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
This Christian college in Kentucky offers a wide variety of hybrid degree options for remote learners. The school offers master of arts programs such as divinity, mental health counseling, pastoral counseling, Christian ministries, biblical studies, and marriage and family counseling. Additionally, distance pupils can also obtain post-graduate degrees such as the doctor of ministry, doctor of philosophy in biblical studies or intercultural studies, or the master of theology in biblical studies or intercultural studies.
The majority of classes at Asbury Seminary follow an asynchronous schedule. Students may complete up to 30 credit hours remotely toward a master's degree. Learners complete all other in-person requirements on one of the campuses located in Kentucky or Florida.
Online students take advantage of streaming technology to virtually attend the school's chapel services and worship services. The school also offers online prayer forms, virtual group assignments, and live chat features to help distance learners develop a strong sense of community.
Clear Creek Baptist Bible College
Established in 1926, CCBBC is a private four-year institution located in Pineville, Kentucky. The school holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and an affiliation with the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
This Christian college in Kentucky offers several online programs that best serve students interested in religious studies and ministry. Remote learners can pursue a bachelor of arts in ministry. Distance students in this major take required classes such as New Testament studies, Hebrew Bible, English composition, church administration and leadership, and psychology of lifespan development. Full-time learners typically need four years to complete bachelor's degrees at CCBBC.
Additionally, the school offers a three-plus-one initiative bachelor's program that combines biblical, ministry education, and theological studies for learners who wish to pursue a career as a church planter.
CCBBC also features a 22-credit associate of arts in ministry with available specializations in Bible/theology, ministry studies, or general studies. The school's online certificate offerings include two-year programs in Bible studies and bivocational ministry. Regardless of their major, online students at CCBBC pay the same tuition rates as on-campus learners.
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Established in 1859, Southern is one of the oldest seminaries affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. Located in Louisville, Kentucky, this private suburban seminary boasts approximately 3,200 students. The school is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Similar to students at other Christian colleges and universities in Kentucky, learners at Southern can pursue degrees entirely online or in a hybrid format. Students enrolled as distance learners can take up to 13 credit hours on campus each semester. All classes for online and hybrid pupils follow eight-week course schedules, except for 16-week language and applied ministry classes.
Distance students at Southern can pursue a master of divinity or master of arts and choose one of several concentration areas. Master of divinity students select from concentrations in apologetics, biblical counseling, Christian ministry, or great commission studies. In addition to apologetics or biblical counseling, master of arts students can choose from specializations in theological studies, intercultural leadership, or lay leadership.
What Christian Colleges are in Kentucky?
Finding the Right Christian College
Before committing to a Christian college in Kentucky, students should consider factors including campus size, institutional values, the surrounding community, online resources, and program offerings. Although some students apply to large universities, others find a small campus more conducive to finding a tight-knit community. For both on-campus and online learners, low student-to-faculty ratios can also mean more learning support and greater access to professors.
Online students may inquire about the resources schools offer to help distance learners find local religious communities and integrate faith into their studies.
Many students apply to Bible colleges in Kentucky because they want to attend a school that strengthens their beliefs. Degree seekers should consider whether an institution's values align with their own. Before enrolling, research the school's policies on issues such as alcohol use, co-ed housing arrangements, mandatory chapel attendance, and community service requirements. Although these issues may not impact online learners directly, they speak to an institution's spiritual priorities.
Another consideration for on-campus students is the surrounding community. In addition to researching the local culture, students should consider the area's safety. Service-minded students may also research community programs and volunteer opportunities near Christian colleges in Kentucky. Online students may inquire about the resources schools offer to help distance learners find local religious communities and integrate faith into their studies.
Some schools offer a biblically influenced liberal arts education, and others specialize in preparing ministry professionals. Students should consider whether an institution fits their academic and professional goals.
Seminary Schools vs. Bible Schools
Although seminary schools and Bible colleges in Kentucky share Christian underpinnings, several important differences exist.
Bible colleges are typically interdenominational. They provide students with a general academic foundation similar to that students receive at secular institutions. Bible colleges typically educate undergraduate students, though some also offer graduate and associate programs. The Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) accredits most Bible colleges.
Seminary schools, by comparison, educate students according to the doctrine of a specific Christian denomination. Seminary schools typically feature practical and career-focused curricula, as each course of study prepares students for a specific religious career path. Seminary students have already completed undergraduate studies. The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) accredits seminary programs.
Accreditation for Christian Colleges
Before enrolling in a Kentucky Christian university or college, students should consider the institution's accreditation status. Meeting external accreditation requirements demonstrates the quality and rigor of a school's programs. Attending an accredited school can also benefit students professionally, as most employers prefer to hire candidates with accredited credentials.
In addition to maintaining ATS or ABHE accreditation, many seminary schools and Bible colleges in Kentucky hold regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. To earn regional accreditation, schools must complete a more rigorous evaluation process; therefore, regional accreditation is more widely respected than national accreditation. Regionally accredited institutions are typically academically oriented, whereas nationally accredited schools tend to be career-focused.
While nationally accredited institutions usually accept transfer credits from both nationally and regionally accredited schools, regionally accredited schools only accept credits from other regionally accredited institutions. Although Christian institutions can legally opt out of accreditation on religious grounds, students attending unaccredited colleges are ineligible for federal financial aid.
For these reasons, students should attend a regionally accredited online Christian college or Bible college in Kentucky. The U.S. Department of Education maintains a searchable database of accredited postsecondary institutions and programs.
Career and Salary Expectations
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate in Kentucky is 4%, just under the national average of 4.1%. The mean hourly wage for all occupations in the state is $20.39, and the mean annual wage is $42,410. The Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS) projects a 15.2% employment growth from 2014 to 2024.
The mean hourly wage for all occupations in the state is $20.39, and the mean annual wage is $42,410
Graduates of Christian online colleges or Kentucky Bible colleges often dedicate themselves to the state's neediest populations. KCEWS projects a 38.2% employment growth in healthcare support occupations by 2024, a 29.6% increase in the number of healthcare practitioners and technicians, and a 21.8% growth in community and social service workers.
The following table features employment and salary data for 10 community and social service occupations in Kentucky.
|Occupation||Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Wage|
|Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors||1,260||$18.80||$39,100|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||240||$19.14||$39,810|
|Mental Health Counselors||2,140||$21.31||$44,320|
|Child, Family, and School Social Workers||7,800||$18.64||$38,780|
|Healthcare Social Workers||1,740||$23.38||$48,630|
|Social and Human Service Assistants||4,020||$13.97||$29,060|
|Directors, Religious Activities and Education||40||$32.04||$66,640|
Scholarships and Financial Aid
Students applying to a Kentucky Christian university or online Christian college should begin researching financial aid options as early as possible. Students can determine their eligibility for government assistance by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students can also apply for scholarships; many scholarships exist to help Christian students attend faith-based colleges, and several organizations offer financial resources to Kentucky residents.
Herbert W. and Corinne Chilstrom Scholarship $600-1,000
Baptist Life Scholarship $1,000
Lydia Scholarship $2,500
Make a Difference! Seminarian Scholarship $500-2,500
National Presbyterian College Scholarship $2,500
Scholarships for Kentucky Residents
Women Leading Kentucky Scholarship $1,000-1,500
Stephen L. Keller Scholarship $2,000
Kentucky Coal County College Completion Scholarship $2,630-3,880
KSBA First Degree College Scholarship $2,500
STLP Scholarship $1,000
Find a Church in Your Community
- ChurchFinder.com This directory contains information about more than 280,000 U.S. Christian churches. The website provides tools for shortlisting churches of interest, making notes about service experiences, and reviewing houses of worship. Students attending Christian colleges in Kentucky can consult ChurchFinder.com to locate a faith community in the area.
- USA Churches This nondenominational organization serves church-seekers across the United States. Users access information about church sizes, ministry opportunities, locations, and service times. The organization also offers insight into attendees' dress, worship practices, and beliefs. Kentucky Christian university students can use USA Churches to find the right congregation for them.
Students attending Bible colleges in Kentucky or online can benefit from professional Christian networking websites, which connect Christian students and graduates to professionals with shared values. Common member benefits include career assistance, conferences, and mentorship programs.
- Christian Business Network This organization connects Christian professionals to a faith-based international business community. Member resources include career assistance, regional networking opportunities, and industry-specific interest groups.
- Christian Business Meetup This Louisville-based collective welcomes Christian business owners, employees, CEOs, and young professionals. The meetup offers networking events that feature guest speakers, roundtable discussions, and moderated panel talks.
- Christian Business and Marketplace Connection International This interdenominational organization provides Christian professionals worldwide with research insights, best practices training, and regional conferences related to business and evangelism.
Find Christian Ministries
Factors such as cost, program offerings, and location prohibit many students from attending a Kentucky Christian university. However, many public institutions feature campus ministries, which offer students opportunities for fellowship, discipleship, and service.
Students at public universities in Kentucky can join the Christian ministries listed below.
- Campus Crusade for Christ This ministry provides opportunities for members on 2,300 campuses to receive spiritual guidance, participate in sports-based Evangelical outreach, and witness to local, international, and military communities.
- Chi Alpha Campus Ministries This organization emphasizes community, creativity, diversity, and servant leadership. Chi Alpha students connect to Christ and each other through prayer, worship, fellowship, discipleship, and missions.
- International Fellowship of Evangelical Students This community encourages students to become spiritual leaders and to engage their peers through open discussions, Bible studies, and mission events.
- Fellowship of Christian Athletes This collective of Christian coaches and athletes engages professional, collegiate, and youth athletes in fellowship and outreach. The organization facilitates events such as Bible studies, athletic camps, and international mission trips.
- Catholic Campus Ministry Association This network supports Christ-centered student communities by providing spiritual support, professional training, research data, and advocacy resources to Catholic campus ministers.
- Lutheran Student Movement U.S.A. This decentralized, student-led organization encourages members on college campuses across the U.S. to participate in service-learning initiatives, missions-oriented spring break trips, and faith-based conferences.
- Reformed University Fellowship This student collective emphasizes the responsibility of Christ followers to transform the world through servant leadership and restorative fellowship with other believers and with non-believers.
- UKirk This network helps Presbyterian campus ministers strengthen relationships between faith-based communities, on and off campus. UKirk offers campus ministers professional resources and facilitates multi-organizational events, prayer, and cooperation.
- Baptist Collegiate Ministry Life This organization promotes spiritual leadership, discipleship, and fellowship at colleges throughout North America. Chapters reach students through school communities, local congregations, and campus churches.
Public Universities in Kentucky with Christian Ministries
- University of Kentucky: Popular ministries at UK include BCM, RUF, and Chi Alpha. Other Christian student groups include the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry and the Catholic Wildcats.
- Western Kentucky University: Christian organization chapters at WKU include BCM, Campus Crusade for Christ, Chi Alpha, and RUF. Students can also join the Methodist-founded Wesley Foundation or the Episcopal Campus Ministry.
- Eastern Kentucky University: The EKU campus features BCM, Chi Alpha, and Wesley groups. Students can also participate in evangelical community outreach through Servant People Awakening Richmond Kentucky.