Online Christian Colleges in Kentucky

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.

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
Rehabilitation Counselors 870 $17.27 $35,910
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
Clergy 580 $22.59 $46,980
Directors, Religious Activities and Education 40 $32.04 $66,640
Source: BLS, May 2017

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.

Christian Scholarships

Herbert W. and Corinne Chilstrom Scholarship $600-1,000

Who Can Apply: The Herbert W. and Corinne Chilstrom Foundation provides financial assistance to women who intend to become Lutheran ministers. Applicants must be in their final year of seminary studies after experiencing an interruption in their post-undergraduate education. View Scholarship

Baptist Life Scholarship $1,000

Who Can Apply: The Baptist Life Insurance Agency supports full-time undergraduate and graduate students. Applicants must utilize one of the company's policies. Additional considerations include the applicant's academic achievement, financial need, and professional goals. View Scholarship

Lydia Scholarship $2,500

Who Can Apply: The Network of Presbyterian Women in Leadership offers this two-year scholarship to women who intend to earn a master's in divinity and become ordained pastoral ministers. View Scholarship

Make a Difference! Seminarian Scholarship $500-2,500

Who Can Apply: The United Church of Christ awards scholarships to students who receive a nomination from a UCC seminary president. Applicants must be UCC members who intend to become authorized ministers. Other considerations include academic performance and demonstrated leadership ability. View Scholarship

National Presbyterian College Scholarship $2,500

Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports rising college freshmen who plan to attend a Presbyterian institution. Applicants must be full-time students who demonstrate financial need and have a pastor's endorsement. Other factors for selection include personal character, creativity, leadership experience, and academic achievement. View Scholarship

Scholarships for Kentucky Residents

Women Leading Kentucky Scholarship $1,000-1,500

Who Can Apply: Women Leading Kentucky, a nonprofit for professional women, selects one female high school senior and one college undergraduate student each year to receive financial assistance. Selection is based on academic performance, community involvement, and demonstrated leadership skills. Applicants must plan to attend a Kentucky college or university. View Scholarship

Stephen L. Keller Scholarship $2,000

Who Can Apply: The Blue Grass Community Foundation offers scholarships to three undergraduate students from several Kentucky counties. Applicants must be full-time business administration students at four-year Kentucky universities. They must meet academic performance requirements and must demonstrate unmet financial need. View Scholarship

Kentucky Coal County College Completion Scholarship $2,630-3,880

Who Can Apply: The Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority provides financial assistance to permanent residents of rural, coal-producing counties who are pursuing a bachelor's degree at a Kentucky college or university. Applicants must have at least 60 credits and must be in good academic standing. Award amounts vary by institution type and location. View Scholarship

KSBA First Degree College Scholarship $2,500

Who Can Apply: The Board of Directors of the Kentucky School Boards Association awards two scholarships each year to rising freshmen who will be first-generation college students. High school guidance counselors nominate students, who must meet academic requirements and must plan to attend a two- or four-year U.S. college. View Scholarship

STLP Scholarship $1,000

Who Can Apply: The Kentucky Society for Technology in Education grants two scholarships annually to college-bound Kentucky high school seniors who participate in the Student Technology Leadership Program. Applicants must plan to study computer science or technology and must demonstrate a commitment to effecting social change through technology. View Scholarship

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.

Get Connected

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.

Interdenominational
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
Presbyterian
  • 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
  • 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.
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