Maryland is a culturally diverse state with an equally varied religious landscape. Although 69% of Marylanders identify as Christians, this statistic represents a broad range of denominations and sects, with most residents adhering to Evangelical, mainline, or historically black Protestant traditions. Originally founded by Catholic settlers fleeing religious strife in England, Maryland is still home to a sizable Roman Catholic population. Eastern Orthodox Christians and Mormons also maintain a small but strong presence throughout the state.
69% of Marylanders identify as Christians, this statistic represents a broad range of denominations and sects, with most residents adhering to Evangelical, mainline, or historically black Protestant traditions Pew Research Center
This spiritually diverse environment has inspired the founding of many Christian colleges in Maryland. These institutions span a range of denominations, including Baptist theological seminaries and Catholic Jesuit universities and colleges affiliated with the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Members of all denominations who are considering attending a religious university, seminary school, or one of the many Bible colleges in Maryland have plenty of options. In this guide, we'll explore faith-based institutions and programs, the benefits of learning online, and the job outlook for Maryland graduates.
A college degree opens up employment opportunities, boosts earning power, and provides graduates with new skills and knowledge, but it also requires time and money. For working professionals and individuals juggling personal, family, and spiritual obligations, higher education often seems out of reach. Fortunately, many Christian colleges in Maryland offer online degrees that are tailored for busy individuals who require flexible schedules and affordable tuition rates. Many online programs are presented in an asynchronous, self-paced format that lets students complete assignments and review course materials when and where they find it most convenient.
Online students avoid paying fees associated with on-campus housing and transportation, and most are able to remain employed throughout their studies. Some Bible colleges in Maryland charge all distance students the same flat, per-credit rate, regardless of their residency status. And learning online doesn't mean you'll be isolated or left out. Many distance learners can interact with peers and professors through live streaming worship and Bible study sessions, discussion forums, and one-on-one virtual spiritual counseling. Most Christian colleges in Maryland provide exciting opportunities for online students to take part in an authentic, faith-based community.
With so many Christian online colleges, Bible schools, and Christian colleges in Maryland to choose from, selecting the right one might seem like an overwhelming task. To simplify the decision-making process, it's important to examine your personal, professional, and academic goals and define what you want from a school. All Bible colleges in Maryland offer different majors and programs, and some are more specialized than others.
Students who intend to live on campus should also consider a school's lifestyle guidelines and expectations
Are you seeking a doctoral program that prepares candidates for pastoral roles or priesthood, or do you want to earn a liberal arts degree in a Christian environment? Students who intend to live on campus should also consider a school's lifestyle guidelines and expectations. Some colleges prohibit alcohol, certain activities, and co-ed housing, or require residents to complete volunteer or mission work in addition to their academic pursuits. Students might be expected to attend religious services or events at particular times.
School size is another important factor, particularly for those exploring Christian online colleges. With lower student-to-faculty ratios, smaller schools provide a more intimate learning experience and more opportunities for learners to receive individual guidance. However, small colleges may not offer as many web-based degree and major options as large universities, and often have fewer resources available to distance learners. If you're considering an online degree, take the time to examine the academic and spiritual resources offered through each institution. Many Christian colleges in Maryland provide online learners with the same library access, technology support, and spiritual opportunities granted to traditional students.
Seminary Schools vs. Bible Schools
There are many types of Christian schools in Maryland, and choosing one might seem difficult at first. Should you attend one of the state's online Christian colleges, or a seminary school? The answer depends on the kind of degree you intend to pursue, as well as your academic history and career goals.
Many Christian schools and Bible colleges in Maryland offer four-year undergraduate degrees and master's programs in a faith-based setting. In addition to religious studies majors, they often feature traditional liberal arts programs in areas such as history, education, and social science. Some may offer graduate-level ministry degrees or pastor preparation programs. In contrast, seminary schools focus exclusively on postgraduate training for students who intend to become pastors, ministers, or priests. Seminary admissions and program requirements vary considerably between denominations, but most programs consist of doctoral-level studies in theology, biblical languages, and other advanced religious topics.
Accreditation for Christian Colleges
As you explore online Christian colleges and Bible schools in Maryland, it's important to keep accreditation in mind. Accredited institutions undergo a rigorous quality control process to ensure that they uphold the highest academic and ethical standards. These guidelines are defined by agencies known as accrediting bodies. Schools may be regionally or nationally accredited, depending on the organization that assesses them. There are also specialized agencies that accredit certain types of schools or programs. Many Christian colleges in Maryland hold accreditation from bodies such as Christian Schools International, the Association of Christian Schools International, and the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools.
Accredited institutions undergo a rigorous quality control process to ensure that they uphold the highest academic and ethical standards.
In terms of institutional accreditation, many prefer to attend and hire graduates of regionally accredited colleges. Regional accreditation is usually granted to public, nonprofit institutions like state universities, while most for-profit vocational schools are nationally accredited. Regional accreditation is often viewed as the more prestigious designation, and credits earned at regionally accredited schools easily transfer between programs, while those from nationally accredited colleges do not. A full list of accredited programs and Christian schools in Maryland can be found on the U.S. Department of Education's website.
While Maryland is home to some of the most expensive communities and prestigious universities on the East Coast, the state's overall economic situation is a bit more complex. Maryland residents enjoy a mean annual wage of $57,270 and a mean hourly wage of $27.53, both of which are significantly higher than the combined national averages. The past year has seen economic decline in numerous Maryland industries, with the information sector experiencing a -4.2% decrease in available positions. Demand for finance, hospitality, and government positions has also decreased considerably, leading to a 4.3% unemployment rate.
Despite these recent changes, the education and social service sector remains one of Maryland's strongest occupational fields. As the following table demonstrates, counseling, social work, and religious leadership positions continue to enjoy a period of growth and demand. Members of the clergy residing in Maryland earn more annually than those in many other states, and some commute to jobs in nearby Washington, D.C., where salaries for religious leaders are the highest in the nation. While most Maryland industries continue to experience significant economic changes, individuals with academic backgrounds in religious studies or social science have a variety of employment opportunities at their disposal.
|Occupation||Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Wage|
|Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors||2,540||$22.20||$46,170|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||1,310||$23.81||$49,520|
|Mental Health Counselors||2,390||$20.53||$42,690|
|Child, Family, and School Social Workers||4,720||$24.62||$51,210|
|Healthcare Social Workers||3,960||$27.60||$57,400|
|Social and Human Service Assistants||8,200||$17.05||$35,460|
|Directors, Religious Activities and Education||380||$23.50||$48,870|
|Religious Workers, all other||N/A||$15.17||$31,550|
There are hundreds of scholarships available to students of all degree levels and majors, some are for Christian students and Maryland residents. If you're thinking of attending a Bible college in Maryland, scholarships like the ones listed below can help you pay for your degree.
Eastern Diocese Scholarships $2,000
John W. McDevitt Scholarships $1,500
Student Ministry Scholarship $1,000
United Church of Christ Undergraduate Scholarship Varies
Harvey Fellows Program $16,000
Scholarships for Maryland Residents
Jack F. Tolbert Memorial Student Grant Program $500
Maryland Part-Time Grant $200-$2,000
Roothbert Fund Scholarships $2,000-$3,000
Legacy of Life Essay and Video Scholarships $1,000-$5,000
Kahdine Ann Dacosta Scholarship for Excellence in Leadership $1,000
Find a Church in Your Community
Church isn't just a place to worship and renew your faith; it's also a source of support and fellowship with like-minded individuals. If you're new to the area, or just want to explore different perspectives, sites like ChurchFinder and USA Churches are there to help you find the right spiritual home.
Joining a faith-based networking site is another great way to connect with other Christian students and professionals. Below, we list a few websites that will help you connect.
- Christian Business Network Uniting Christian professionals in a variety of industries and fields, CBN encourages collaboration and provides member benefits, promotional services, and regional job listings.
- Christian Women Entrepreneurs Network Known for its annual members-only breakthrough retreat, CWEN also hosts monthly Sister Circle meetings, professional mixers, educational sessions, and women-only prayer groups.
- myCBN This Christian alternative to Facebook has many of the same features, including groups, photo and video sharing, and the ability to network with like-minded individuals worldwide.
Find Christian Ministries
Because many Christian colleges in Maryland are private institutions, they tend to charge higher tuition than state universities. For this reason, some students choose to attend secular public schools instead of Bible schools in Maryland. Fortunately, many universities maintain campus ministries, religious clubs, and other resources for Christian students.
- Campus Crusade for Christ Known among its members as Cru, Campus Crusade for Christ is one of the largest organizations of its kind, with 5,300 campus ministry chapters worldwide.
- Chi Alpha Despite its affiliation with the Assemblies of God, Chi Alpha welcomes all Christian students to take part in its fellowship meetings, mission trips, and worship events.
- International Fellowship of Evangelical Students IFES sponsors locally led campus ministries and mission efforts in 160 countries. Its World Assembly is held every four years, and regional events take place year round.
- Fellowship of Christian Athletes With 17,783 members worldwide, FCA is one of the world's largest student ministry groups, and the biggest organization dedicated to spiritually serving coaches and athletes.
- Catholic Campus Ministry Association Serving as an advocacy group for Catholic campus ministers, CCMA offers members small-group and Bible study resources, digital and print publications, and grants.
- Lutheran Student Movement U.S.A. This association organizes and sponsors service learning and alternative spring break opportunities for Lutheran college students in nine national regions, as well as an annual national gathering.
- Reformed University Fellowship RUF strives to meet the spiritual needs of college-bound Presbyterians through fellowship. Campus events include large and small group meetings, annual conferences, and concerts.
- UKirk While UKirk hosts events and mission opportunities, it also encourages literary arts and criticism from a faith-based standpoint. Members may participate in its ULit project through writing reviews.
- Baptist Collegiate Ministry Life In addition to traditional campus ministries, BCMLife supports church planting initiatives near colleges and universities. Its missions job board features a variety of international opportunities.
Public Universities in Maryland with Christian Ministries
- Towson University: Made up of religious leaders from diverse faiths, including numerous Christian denominations, Towson's campus ministry department seeks to promote understanding between religions and spiritual well-being among students.
- University of Maryland: The University of Maryland is home to a thriving Cru chapter, which hosts retreats, weekly meetings and Bible study sessions, and summer mission trips.
- Johns Hopkins University: JHU's Catholic campus ministry holds several weekly events in addition to Sunday Mass. Prospective Catholics may pursue the RCIA initiation process through the JHU Catholic Community.