Prospective students interested in attending a Christian college in Massachusetts will find they have a host of options to choose from, including many institutions affiliated with specific denominations. In its religious landscape study, the Pew Research Center found that approximately 58% of the state's population identifies as Christian. Catholics account for a significant portion (34%) of this number, while mainline Protestants (10%) and Evangelical Protestants (9%) comprise the other largest Christian groups.
approximately 58% of the state's population identifies as Christian. Catholics account for a significant portion (34%) of this number, while mainline Protestants (10%) and Evangelical Protestants (9%) comprise the other largest Christian groups Pew Research Center
There are currently 16 Christian universities in Massachusetts, some of which provide a traditional liberal arts education from a Christian perspective, while others offer theological degrees that prepare graduates for specific roles in ministry. Reflecting the religious leanings of the state's population, many of the Christian Colleges in Massachusetts are Catholic, including Assumption College and College of Our Lady of the Elms.
Christian online colleges are also a terrific option for students looking for an academically challenging environment to grow both their knowledge and their faith. These campuses provide safe harbors for Christian viewpoints, interaction with likeminded faculty and peers, and an intimate space where beliefs can be shared and celebrated. Read on to learn more about what the many Bible colleges in Massachusetts have to offer.
Online Christian Colleges in Massachusetts
Thanks to a helpful blend of flexibility, affordability, and faith-based teaching, online Christian colleges in Massachusetts allow learners to complete an impactful degree no matter their circumstances. A flexible education is essential for busy students juggling professional, personal, and academic requirements, as it allows them to complete assignments and projects from their homes or any place with an internet connection.
Many online Christian colleges now provide asynchronous classes, so degree seekers need not worry about signing in at particular times to listen to lectures or converse with peers. Bible colleges in Massachusetts are also typically more expensive than public schools, making the affordability of distance learning a big advantage. Instead of moving into expensive campus housing and paying for a meal plan and transportation, students can stay in their current living situation.
Most online Christian colleges in Massachusetts now provide the exact same curriculum used at brick-and-mortar campuses, ensuring remote and on-campus learners receive an identical education. Additionally, these institutions emphasize the role of Christian community in one's education by providing a wealth of meaningful resources for students and faculty to connect with one another. This often includes virtual counseling and spiritual support, access to chapel and campus worship services through live streams, and online forums to help students connect and share their lives with each other.
Finding the Right Christian College
Locating the right Christian college in Massachusetts takes time and perseverance, but finding a school that meets your spiritual, academic, and career goals can make all the difference. Before making any big decisions, however, learners should consider a few important factors.
Degree seekers must ensure that a Bible college in Massachusetts has a program tailored to their future goals. Campus size also deserves consideration. While many learners feel drawn to large schools, others find that smaller campuses offer better opportunities to connect with peers and professors. The location of the campus merits consideration, as well. Does the surrounding area feel safe? Does a nearby church meets your needs?
While many learners feel drawn to large schools, others find that smaller campuses offer better opportunities to connect with peers and professors.
Prospective students should also consider a school's values. Many Christians attend faith-based schools to avoid some of the ruckus of traditional campus life. Does the school you're considering uphold specific Christian standards? Some rules to consider include whether members of the opposite sex can visit each other's dorm rooms, if a curfew exists, and how the school handles issues arising with nicotine, drug, or alcohol use.
Lastly, remember to consider online resources. Even if you plan to study mostly on campus, you may need to take a few online classes as well. Does the school offer substantial support mechanisms? If there's a chance you need return home for semester -- but still want to continue your education -- make sure the school can adequately cater to those needs.
Seminary Schools vs. Bible Schools
In the process of researching prospective schools, degree seekers are bound to come across both seminaries and Bible schools in Massachusetts alongside traditional Christian institutions. While each provide a meaningful educational opportunity, students should be aware of the differences between them.
Bible schools in Massachusetts typically provide two- and four-year degrees that cater to those entering the ministry and those considering mainstream careers. Degree offerings run the gamut from biblical studies and theological history, to political science and elementary education.
Seminaries, by comparison, provide graduate-level degrees to individuals pursuing roles at churches, Christian nonprofits, missions organizations, and other faith-based enterprises. Standard course offerings include Old and New Testament studies, hermeneutics, and church history. Both seminaries and Bible colleges in Massachusetts open many doors to graduates, but learners must ensure they offer programs that meet future career goals.
Accreditation for Christian Colleges
Before attending a Christian or mainstream college, prospective learners must research their accreditation status. Accreditation falls into three categories: regional, national, and specialized/programmatic. Nationally accredited schools are usually vocational or technical programs; however, students should note that credits earned at these institutions usually do not transfer to regionally accredited programs.
Regional accreditation is a more rigorous accreditation process in which schools -- usually nonprofit -- undergo a multiyear review process. Specific programs or departments within universities may also receive accreditation from industry-leading organizations or agencies. This may include the Association for Biblical Higher Education, the Association of Independent Christian Colleges and Seminaries, or the Association of Christian Schools International.
Degree seekers wanting more information about properly accredited schools can visit the U.S. Department of Education's database of accredited postsecondary institutions and programs.
Career and Salary Expectations
After completing a degree at a Christian college in Massachusetts, graduates may wonder if they should stay in the state or look elsewhere for jobs. Thankfully, Massachusetts maintains a low unemployment rate of just 3.5% as of March 2018, compared to the national unemployment average of 4.1%. An economic outlook report on the state for 2016-2020 compiled by researchers at Northeastern University found that, although new jobs are being created, growth within the labor force is expected to decline due to retiring baby boomers.
While the current mean hourly wage for all occupations is $29.86 and the annual mean wage is $62,110, the same economic forecast predicted that wage and salary incomes will grow at reasonable rates of 4.8% to 5.2% between 2016 and 2020.
While the current mean hourly wage for all occupations is $29.86 and the annual mean wage is $62,110, the same economic forecast predicted that wage and salary incomes will grow at reasonable rates of 4.8% to 5.2% between 2016 and 2020. While the state's annual mean wage is higher than the national average, Massachusetts also has a higher cost of living than other locales, making it important for graduates to find a job that meets their financial goals. Northeastern researchers also found that construction, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, education, and health services are poised to expand in the coming years. Manufacturing, however, is set to decline by one percentage point each year.
Many graduates of Christian online colleges in Massachusetts may want to use their degree to help others, and the good news is that many community and social service-related occupations can be found in the state.
|Occupation||Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Wage|
|Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors||5,010||$21.89||$45,520|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||330||$24.46||$50,890|
|Mental Health Counselors||6,830||$21.65||$45,030|
|Child, Family, and School Social Workers||11,970||$22.59||$46,990|
|Healthcare Social Workers||12,610||$26.13||$54,350|
|Social and Human Service Assistants||16,760||$17.19||$35,750|
|Directors, Religious Activities and Education||200||$27.03||$56,220|
Scholarships and Financial Aid
Even though Christian universities in Massachusetts come with a significant price tag, many students offset those costs with scholarships. The following list highlights a range of Christian and mainstream scholarships that support Bay Staters attending college. Learners should do additional research to find more funding opportunities.
Presidential Scholarship for Future Leaders $10,000
Margaret J. Hyland Scholarship Varies
Church Student Assistance Scholarship $1,250
Roothbert Fund Scholarship $3,000
The Cannon Endowment Scholarship Varies
Scholarships for Massachusetts Residents
Christian A. Herter Memorial Scholarship Varies
Women's Italian Club of Boston Scholarships $1,000
Massachusetts Foster Child Grant $6,000
Public Service Grant $2,500
George E. Watters Memorial Scholarship $5,000
Find a Church in Your Community
Students who recently moved to a new city or town for school may want to find a new church family, but may not know where to start. Thanks to Church Finder and USA Churches, the process now requires less research. Each website allows users to search for congregations by denomination or distance from school.
Students and recent graduates alike can benefit from the Christian networking websites highlighted below to meet like-minded professionals, share job opportunities, and continue growing in their faith.
- Christian Business Network This global organization connects like-minded Christian business leader and equips and empowers them to further God's kingdom through business.
- Massachusetts Nonprofit Network The MNN website offers networking opportunities, job resources, and regular events for fellowship with others bringing light and hope to the state.
- Christian Networking Ministries Association CNMA brings together members of the clergy and business professionals to provide fellowship, prayer, networking, and accountability to members.
Find Christian Ministries
Although not everyone can afford to attend a Christian college in Massachusetts, opportunities abound for Christian fellowship at non-Christian schools. Hundreds of faith-based student clubs and organizations exist on both Christian and secular campuses alike. Check out just a few of the many options below.
- Campus Crusade for Christ Also known as Cru, CCC works on thousands of mainstream and Christian campuses throughout America to provide bible study, prayer, and social events.
- Chi Alpha Chi Alpha operates on hundreds of campuses and supports Bible-believing learners through large and small groups, worship services, community volunteerism initiatives, and prayer support.
- International Fellowship of Evangelical Students IFES is a worldwide organization shaping students into disciples and helping them be transformed by the power of God's word.
- Fellowship of Christian Athletes Serving hundreds of thousands of secondary and postsecondary students each year, FCA helps learners focus on both their faith and their athletic pursuits.
- Catholic Campus Ministry Association CCMA brings together students of similar faith traditions at hundreds of campuses throughout America and abroad. Learners can also take part in a yearly convention.
- Lutheran Student Movement U.S.A. With nine regions throughout the USA, LSM serves Evangelical Lutherans attending Christian and mainstream colleges with alternative spring breaks, service learning initiatives, and an annual gathering.
- Reformed University Fellowship RUF offers male and female Bible studies each week, alongside opportunities to connect to the larger Christian community and make a difference at school.
- UKirk UKirk has campus locations in all but 13 states and is adding new schools to its list of ministries. Aside from an annual summit, learners also take part in service/mission trips and weekly meetings.
- Baptist Collegiate Ministry Life Students interested in learning more about BCM Life can check out the collegiate ministry directory and explore the different ministry focuses of the group.
Public Universities in Massachusetts with Christian Ministries
- UMass Dartmouth - Cru: Campus Crusade for Christ maintains a bustling group of dedicated Christian learners at UMass Dartmouth with weekly meetings and other fellowship opportunities throughout the semester.
- UMass Amherst Chi Alpha: Chi Alpha hosts numerous events throughout the term, including a weekly gathering and lots of volunteer initiatives.
- MIT RUF: Students meet for RUF Bible studies and other numerous large groups, conferences, social gatherings, and missions outings.