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.
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.
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.
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|
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.