The state of Louisiana may be an ideal choice for students interested in attending a Bible college. The Pew Research Center reports that 84% of adults in Louisiana identify as Christian, and 74% profess a belief in God with absolute certainty. Furthermore, 71% of adults in Louisiana claim that religion is very important in their lives. Forty-eight percent of Louisiana adults attend at least one weekly religious service, and 68% pray at least daily.
71% of adults in Louisiana claim that religion is very important in their lives. Forty-eight percent of Louisiana adults attend at least one weekly religious service, and 68% pray at least daily Pew Research Center
Due to this highly religious landscape, there are several Christian colleges in Louisiana. According to a 2010 report from the Association of Religion Data Archives, Evangelical Protestants were the largest religious group, with most identifying as Southern Baptists or Methodists. Most Christian colleges and universities in Louisiana align with Baptist or Catholic denominations.
Christian colleges in Louisiana offer many benefits to students who want to integrate their religious practice into as many elements of their life as possible. These religious environments may suit Christian individuals who prefer to learn from like-minded professors that share their faith and spiritual worldview. Whether on campus or online, Christian colleges in Louisiana offer a variety of options for such students.
Online Christian Colleges in Louisiana
Online Christian colleges in Louisiana provide several benefits to their students, including flexibility, affordability, and faith-based resources. Students at online Christian colleges may complete their work from the comfort of their own homes. Since classes are often asynchronous, online programs provide a convenient option for students with obligations such as work, childcare, and church services. In terms of affordability, online schooling usually costs less than on-campus options. Distance learners also save money on transportation and accommodation.
Christian online colleges typically provide the same faith-based curriculum as their on-campus counterparts. In addition to faith-based learning, many online Christian colleges and universities offer online services such as counseling, spiritual support, and worship service live streams. Many schools also host forums and chat rooms allowing students to connect with each other.
Finding the Right Christian College
When researching Christian online colleges, there are several factors students should take into consideration, including campus size, campus values, surrounding community, online resources, and program offerings. While a larger campus may offer more resources and internship opportunities, a smaller campus fosters a closer Christian community. A lower student-to-faculty ratio leads to more one-on-one time between students and professors.
Some Christian colleges in Louisiana also provide resources to distance learners seeking to integrate faith into their online learning experience.
Different schools employ different policies regarding lifestyle expectations. Some colleges prohibit the use of drugs and alcohol and ban co-ed housing. Many Bible colleges in Louisiana require students to perform service work or attend worship services. When considering on-campus options, applicants should investigate the surrounding community, including whether the school is urban or rural. Service-oriented students may find opportunities for volunteering with local organizations.
Some Christian colleges in Louisiana also provide resources to distance learners seeking to integrate faith into their online learning experience. Online learners should find out which services are available to them at each school. Perhaps most importantly, students should research program options at each school. Some schools offer liberal arts education, while others offer ministry-focused degrees. Students should ensure that their chosen school offers an academic program that aligns with their career interests.
Seminary Schools vs. Bible Schools
While both seminary schools and Bible schools include the study of Christianity and the Bible, there are significant differences between the two. Seminary schools specifically educate individuals who intend to become church leaders or ministers. Seminaries prepare students for careers within Christian institutions and offices. Usually, seminary schools focus on graduate-level education. These schools offer degrees in fields such as biblical languages, biblical counseling, and cross-cultural ministries.
Although Bible schools confer theology degrees, they generally offer a wider range of programs. Bible schools do not explicitly prepare students for careers within the church or ministry. Consequently, students can major in fields such as nursing or education. All programs at Louisiana Bible colleges follow a faith-based curriculum, regardless of major. Each Bible college in Louisiana offers undergraduate programs, and some may offer graduate degrees. Some students earn a degree from a Bible school in preparation for seminary school.
Accreditation for Christian Colleges
The main accrediting agency for Christian Colleges in Louisiana is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. SACSCOC accredits schools in Louisiana, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Virginia, Texas, and Latin America.
the government only provides federal grants, loans, and other student assistance to accredited institutions
Colleges may receive three kinds of accreditation: national, regional, and specialized. Typically, national accrediting agencies review institutions that specialize in vocational or career training. Regional accrediting agencies assess academically focused colleges located within a specific geographic region. Both national and regional accreditation applies to every program within a school. Specialized accrediting agencies accredit particular programs or disciplines.
Accreditation is important for several reasons. Generally speaking, accrediting bodies set standards of quality and determine whether institutions meet those standards. Accreditation also determines whether schools provide students with adequate education and prepare them for employment. In terms of financial aid, the government only provides federal grants, loans, and other student assistance to accredited institutions. Most schools only accept transfer credits from accredited institutions. The U.S. Department of Education hosts a database of accredited postsecondary institutions on its website.
Career and Salary Expectations
The general economic outlook for Louisiana is fair. The BLS reports that the unemployment rate in Louisiana was 4.4% as of March 2018. The mean hourly wage for all occupations in Louisiana currently sits at $19.99 and the annual mean wage sits at $41,590. The Louisiana Workforce Commission, a division of the Louisiana Department of Labor, states that some of the fastest growing occupations in Louisiana are software developers, biomedical engineers, computer and information systems managers, statisticians, postsecondary teachers, occupational therapy assistants, interpreters and translators, and home health aides. Many of the fastest-growing jobs are in the fields of technology, healthcare, and education.
Many students attending Louisiana Bible colleges dedicate themselves to serving others and helping those in need. Students interested in social service and community occupations may find the following table helpful. The table breaks down employment numbers, average hourly wages, and average annual wages for a few community and social service occupations in Louisiana.
|Occupation||Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Wage|
|Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors||650||$19.19||$39,910|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||N/A||$21.41||$44,520|
|Mental Health Counselors||2,310||$17.32||$36,020|
|Child, Family, and School Social Workers||1,090||$24.86||$51,710|
|Healthcare Social Workers||1,740||$23.84||$49,580|
|Social and Human Service Assistants||3,490||$14.14||$29,410|
Scholarships and Financial Aid
There are multiple scholarships, both nationally and regionally, available to students attending a Christian college or Bible college in Louisiana. Students at Christian schools may also apply for general scholarships available for students attending college in the state.
Catholic Financial Life Orphan's College Scholarship $4,000 per year
Journey Toward Ordained Ministry Program $5,000 per year
United Methodist Dollars for Scholars $4,000
National Presbyterian College Scholarship $2,500
Scholarships for Louisiana Residents
Louisiana Certified Public Accountants Scholarships $500-$2,000
Associated Grocers - Sam S. Politz Scholarship Fund $1,000
Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Scholarship $500-$2,500
Southern Automotive Women's Forum Scholarship Program $500-$5,000
Ark-La-Tex Agricultural Council Scholarship Fund $2,000
Find a Church in Your Community
Students attending Christian colleges in Louisiana may feed their desire for fellowship and community by finding a nearby church that represents their preferred denomination. Church Finder's Louisiana church directory allows users to search for churches by town. Similarly, USA Churches allows Louisiana residents to search for churches based on keyword, church size, city, or worship style.
Current students and recent graduates may use Christian networking sites to connect with other members of their faith. These networks can help students and recent graduates find career opportunities and additional resources.
- Christian Business Network A global network of Christian business professionals, CBN connects members through in-person networking opportunities and online profiles.
- Christian Businessmen's Connection International CBMC International provides resources to Christian professionals and business leaders in 96 countries. The organization seeks to influence the global marketplace through personal examples of faith.
- Christian Leadership Alliance Representing over 1,200 faith-based organizations and influencing over 150,000 leaders each year, CLA connects Christian leaders across many disciplines. Members are committed to inspiring and investing in other leaders.
Find Christian Ministries
Even with scholarships, not all students can afford to attend private Christian universities. However, students may still find Christian ministries at public, non-Christian universities in Louisiana. The following list provides a few examples of Christian ministries available on campuses worldwide.
- Campus Crusade for Christ Founded in 1951, Cru offers ministries in 109 countries. Cru also focuses on international aid, with 25 nations in its global aid network. Cru maintains a presence on 5,300 campuses worldwide.
- Chi Alpha Backed by Assemblies of God, Chi Alpha is a non-denominational ministry organization founded in 1953. Chi Alpha currently operates on over 300 campuses around the US and the world.
- International Fellowship of Evangelical Students A self-proclaimed movement of over half a million evangelical students, IFES operates in more than 160 countries.
- Fellowship of Christian Athletes FCA connects Christian coaches and athletes at the college, professional, youth, junior high, and high school level. FCA is active in local communities around the globe.
- Catholic Campus Ministry Association CCMA provides valuable resources to Catholic campus ministers. Membership benefits include access to organization-only information, tools, resources, and networking opportunities.
- Lutheran Student Movement U.S.A. The Lutheran Student Movement is a student-led organization of Lutheran college students. The ministry hosts an annual gathering in Chicago, Illinois.
- Reformed University Fellowship RUF is the official campus ministry of the Presbyterian Church in America. Since the mid 1970s, RUF has placed ordained ministers on college campuses.
- UKirk UKirk offers professional support, community, and empowerment for individuals who are engaged in Presbyterian ministry on college campuses. UKirk provides resources and fosters connections between college ministries.
- Baptist Collegiate Ministry Life BCM Life unites Baptist college ministries, church groups, campus groups, and campus churches across North America.
Public Universities in Louisiana with Christian Ministries
- Louisiana State University: BCM Life at LSU provides students with opportunities to develop friendships with other Christian college students while growing in their faith. BCM also assists students with finding a church and staying active in their community.
- McNeese State University: UKirk hosts Presbyterian campus fellowships on McNeese State University and SOWELA Technical College, both located in Lake Charles.
- Xavier University of Louisiana: Chi Alpha maintains a chapter at Xavier University of Louisiana, located in New Orleans. Backed by the Assemblies of God, Chi Alpha welcomes Christians from all denominations to their campus ministries.