Online Christian Colleges in Michigan

Michigan features a robust Christian community, making it a great place for students to earn a faith-centered degree. Half of all Michigan adults consider religion a "very important" part of their life, while a third of adults attend religious services at least once a week. In fact, 70% of all Michigan adults identify as Christian, coming from traditions like Evangelical Protestant, mainline Protestant, Catholic, and historically black Protestant. As a result of this large Christian population, Michigan hosts a number of top notch Christian universities.

70% of all Michigan adults identify as Christian, coming from traditions like Evangelical Protestant, mainline Protestant, Catholic, and historically black Protestant Pew Research Center

Christian schools and Bible colleges in Michigan provide students the same academic opportunities as traditional colleges, while also helping them deepen their faith, learn more about their religion, and meet students who share similar values and beliefs. Michigan offers Christian colleges that range from vibrant liberal arts universities to small, intimate Bible colleges. Due to the diversity of schools, students can pursue virtually any degree at a Christian college in Michigan. Most Christian colleges in Michigan offer at least an associate and bachelor's degree, but many also offer higher-level degrees and certifications. Theological seminaries in the state also offer advanced degrees that specifically lead to careers in ministry.

Online Christian Colleges in Michigan

An online Christian college in Michigan provides several benefits over an on-campus equivalent. Students earning their degree at a Christian online college can build their own academic schedule to accommodate their professional, family, or church obligations. Asynchronous courses allow students to log on at any time of day from the comfort of their home, and online Christian colleges are also significantly more affordable than on-campus programs. Aside from cheaper tuition rates, online learners save money on costs like on-campus housing, dining, recreation fees, and transportation to and from on-campus classes. Most significantly, online learners can continue working, which allows them to help finance their education.

Students attending online Christian colleges in Michigan can experience the same faith-based curriculum as their on-campus peers. Many Christian online colleges offer spiritual support to their distance learners, and access to digital resources featuring live worship services, online faith counseling sessions, and chat groups and forums that provide a platform to connect and discuss one's faith.

Michigan's Best Online Christian Schools

Madonna University

A private Catholic school based in Livonia, MU operates under the Felician Sisters, serving more than 3,000 students annually. The school also maintains satellite campuses in Orchard Lake (a suburb of Detroit), Gaylord, and Clinton Township (in Macomb County), as well as a popular online program. Many of MU's programs operate entirely online in a fully asynchronous format, enabling students to complete their coursework at any time without visiting campus.

MU offers28 online programs at the associate, certificate, undergraduate, and graduate levels, grouped into seven main fields of study: arts and humanities, business, criminal justice and law, education, nursing and health sciences, psychology and social sciences, and social work and sociology. Its many career-focused degree options, such as nursing and organizational leadership, make MU one of the most popular Christian schools in Michigan.

MU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Andrews University

Founded in 1874 in Berrien Springs, Andrews is the oldest Seventh-day Adventist institute of higher learning in the country and operates as the flagship institution of the Seventh-day Adventist education system. Online learners can choose from associate degrees, certificates, bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and doctorates.

Andrews offersonline programs in several fields, including business, education, health professions, and religion. The school ranks among the best Christian schools in Michigan for education majors, with more than a dozen options available at the graduate level, including curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, and higher education administration tracks. Students can also choose from popular programs such as business administration, nursing, and physical therapy.

Andrews holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The school also holds accreditation from the Adventist Accrediting Association of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

Spring Arbor University

A liberal arts school affiliated with the Free Methodist Church, SAU serves more than 1,300 students annually, making it one of the largest evangelical Christian schools in Michigan. The school offers a sizeabledistance education program. Online learners can choose from undergraduate and graduate degrees in fields like business, nursing, social work, education, communication, and organizational leadership. Online students can also mix in classroom courses at SAU's main campus or satellite locations around Michigan and Ohio.

Working adult students comprise about half of SAU's student body, and the school provides generous support services for online degree candidates. SAU pairs each distance learner with a Student Success Coach, who offers advice on course selections, study strategies, and school resources. The school also offers career services and spiritual development support for all online learners.

SAU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Siena Heights University

A Roman Catholic school based in Adrian, SHU also operates satellite campuses in cities including Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Dearborn, and Lansing. Affiliated with the Adrian Dominican Sisters, the university ranks among the best Christian schools in Michigan and has a strong focus on education for working adult students. SHU offers online degrees at the associate, bachelor's, and master's levels in areas including business, healthcare, information technology, and communication.

Many of SHU's online tracks are degree completion programs, which require students to complete lower-division credits at another school (typically a community college) before transferring to complete their upper-division credits at SHU. Some of the school's degree-completion programs include accounting, applied science, business administration, healthcare management, and marketing. Some programs, such as healthcare management, require applicants to hold relevant professional experience.

SHU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Cornerstone University

A nondenominational liberal arts school based in Grand Rapids, CU enrolls more than 3,000 Christian students of various backgrounds. The school offers online programs at all levels of study, including associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Primarily geared toward working students, CU's online programs do not require campus visits and use a primarily asynchronous format, enabling students to complete coursework on their own schedule.

The school groups its distance education programs into five main fields: business, counseling and psychology, human services, ministry, and education. Many of the school's undergraduate tracks are degree completion degrees, which require students to complete some credits at another institution (or complete an associate degree at CU) before transferring into a bachelor's program. Most completion programs also require applicants to possess at least two years of full-time work experience.

CUholds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Concordia University Ann Arbor

A private Lutheran school, CUAA's main campus sits on the Huron River, just outside of Ann Arbor. Serving about 1,000 students annually, the school's small size leads to an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. A large selection ofonline programs coupled with significant support for distance learners make CUAA one of the best Christian schools in Michigan.

CUAA offers dozens of fully online degrees and certificates, primarily at the master's level. Graduate students can choose from programs in fields like sports and entertainment business, sustainability management and analytics, child life, and student personnel administration in higher education. Business students can also pursue an MBA with 16 concentration options, including innovation and entrepreneurship, strategic marketing, and healthcare administration.

CUAA holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Great Lakes Christian College

One of the best Christian colleges in Michigan, GLCC is based in Delta Township just outside of Lansing. This small, primarily undergraduate college serves around 150 students annually. Affiliated with the Christian Church/Churches of Christ, the school is part of the Stone Campbell Restoration Movement, enrolling students of varied Christian backgrounds. GLCC offersonline degrees at the associate and bachelor's levels in disciplines such as church planting, Christian leadership and communication, and youth ministry.

GLCC's online programs use accelerated five-week courses and boast multiple start dates each year. Students complete courses in a cohort model, working through a set course sequence with the same group of 5-10 peers. All programs use a fully online, asynchronous format, with no required login times or campus visits. Associate programs require 60 credits, while bachelor's programs require 120 credits.

GLCCholds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Grace Christian University

An evangelical university based in Grand Rapids, GCU serves more than 900 students annually, offering both religious and professional degrees on campus and online. Most of the school'sonline programs require no campus visits and use an accelerated format. Online learners also benefit from no state residency requirements and no application fees.

As one of the top online Christian schools in Michigan, GCU offers more than a dozen distance education programs, awarding associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees. Undergraduates can choose from degrees such as business, criminal justice, human services, and psychology. Master's students can pursue degrees in ministry or organizational leadership. Most bachelor's tracks function as degree completion programs, requiring online students to transfer in 60 undergraduate credits and complete the second half of their bachelor's online at GCU.

GCUholds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and national accreditation from the Association for Biblical Higher Education.

Sacred Heart Major Seminary

A Catholic seminary located in Detroit, SHMS serves over 400 lay students along with more than 100 seminarians from 11 dioceses. Several SHMS alumni have served in the episcopacy, propelling the seminary into the ranks of the best Christian schools in Michigan.

SHMS offers several certificates along withassociate, bachelor's, and master's degrees. Undergraduate offerings include a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of philosophy, while graduate programs include pastoral studies, theology, and divinity. Many of SMHS's programs use a blended format that combines on-campus and online courses. The school also offers a fully online undergraduate certificate in Catholic theology and a postgraduate licentiate in sacred theology that is delivered primarily online with five-week summer residency sessions.

SHMS holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

What Christian Colleges are in Michigan?

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Finding the Right Christian College

When selecting a Christian college in Michigan, students should consider the size of school they'd like to attend. Small Christian colleges in Michigan offer a more intimate campus setting that fosters tight-knit communities and a sense of belonging. Smaller colleges also boast lower student-to-faculty ratios, providing students more individual attention from their teachers. Larger schools, on the other hand, may offer more social opportunities like clubs and activities, or a wider variety of majors, courses, or degree options.

Christian colleges in Michigan feature diverse academic offerings, therefore students should consider whether a particular school aligns with their goals.

Location is also an important factor for students to consider. Some Christian colleges in Michigan are located in rural towns like Berrien Springs, while others are based in urban areas like Detroit. These surrounding communities may or may not suit a student's personality and interests, so carefully consider what opportunities they may afford. Does the community offer service or work opportunities? Is it safe? A school's values and campus culture are also important to explore. Some Bible colleges in Michigan may prohibit alcohol or co-ed housing, while other schools may require that students attend chapel or fulfill community service obligations.

Christian colleges in Michigan feature diverse academic offerings, therefore students should consider whether a particular school aligns with their goals. Does the school offer liberal arts-based degrees? Does it offer a Bible- or ministry-focused education? Also consider what resources the school offers digital learners, such as technology, faith, and academic support. It is important to develop a complete picture of the social, academic, and religious quality of life a school can offer.

Seminary Schools vs. Bible Schools

Although they both offer a faith-centered education, seminary schools and Bible colleges differ in several fundamental aspects. Most significantly, seminary schools prepare graduates for careers in the church, specifically as ministers or church leaders, while Bible colleges prepare graduates for careers that may or may not relate to the church or ministry.

Seminary schools in Michigan are often graduate-level programs that offer master's and doctoral degrees and directly qualify students for careers in ministry. Bible colleges in Michigan, however, offer associate or bachelor's degrees in biblical studies or worship arts, but also feature undergraduate programs in areas like business, psychology, and human services.

Some Bible colleges in Michigan also offer master's degrees in ministry or organizational leadership, and prepare graduates for seminary or entry-level positions in the church or other religious organizations. Unlike most seminaries, not all Bible colleges are regionally accredited, a significant distinction for graduates interested in a career in ministry or church leadership.

Accreditation for Christian Colleges

Accreditation is an important consideration for students researching Christian colleges and Bible colleges in Michigan. This certification means that an accrediting agency has reviewed a school's programs and determined the school meets certain standards of academic quality. Christian colleges in Michigan can receive regional or national accreditation, as well as a type of program-based accreditation called specialized accreditation.

Regional accreditation is often considered more prestigious than national accreditation; while most schools recognize credits from a regionally accredited school, not all schools recognize credits earned at a nationally accredited school. The most common regional accrediting agency for Christian colleges in Michigan is the Higher Learning Commission. A common national accrediting agency is the Association for Biblical Higher Education Commission on Accreditation.

While national and regional accreditation apply to an entire institution, specialized accreditation applies to specific programs or schools within a larger institution. For instance, seminary schools and theology programs may boast specialized accreditation. One common specialized accreditation agency for Christian schools and programs is the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools. Students researching Christian colleges, seminaries, or Michigan Bible colleges should consult the U.S. Department of Education's database of accredited schools and programs.

Career and Salary Expectations

Graduates of Christian colleges in Michigan can expect to enter a strong job market. As of March 2018, the unemployment rate in Michigan sat at 4.7% -- a promising number compared to the state's 14.9% unemployment rate during the summer of 2009 in the wake of the recession. The unemployment rate also differs dramatically based on location. In Ann Arbor, for instance, the unemployment rate sits at 3.6%, while in Flint the rate was 6.5% as of February 2018.

Of all occupations in Michigan, the mean annual salary was $48,300 as of May 2017, and the mean hourly wage was $23.22.

Although Michigan's economy has suffered significantly over the past 15 years, fluctuating along with the auto industry, BLS data suggests that the state's unemployment rate is leveling out after dropping significantly in recent years. Of all occupations in Michigan, the mean annual salary was $48,300 as of May 2017, and the mean hourly wage was $23.22.

The state of Michigan projects that employment will increase by 8.7% between 2012 and 2022, adding more than 350,000 new jobs. The two fastest growing industries in Michigan are educational and health services and professional and business services. Of all the occupational areas in Michigan projected to increase the fastest by 2022, healthcare support occupations top the list.

Community and Social Service Occupations in Michigan
Occupation Employment Average Hourly Wage Average Annual Wage
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors 1,840 $18.72 $38,930
Marriage and Family Therapists 320 $24.47 $50,900
Mental Health Counselors 2,580 $23.17 $48,190
Rehabilitation Counselors 2,700 $19.56 $40,690
Child, Family, and School Social Workers 13,490 $22.83 $47,480
Healthcare Social Workers 6,070 $26.57 $55,260
Social and Human Service Assistants 9,480 $14.15 $29,440
Clergy 2,460 $20.31 $42,240
Directors, Religious Activities and Education 1,730 $16.81 $34,970
Religious Workers, all other 140 $17.62 $36,640
Source: BLS, May 2017

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Students attending Christian colleges in Michigan enjoy a variety of scholarship opportunities at the local, state, and national levels. Not only are there scholarships designed for Michigan students, but there are also plenty of funding opportunities specifically for Christian students. While some scholarships are merit-based, others target specific groups or denominations of students.

Christian Scholarships

Michmerhuizen Family Scholarship $900

Who Can Apply: Calvin College offers this renewable scholarship to entering freshman who possess a minimum 3.0 GPA and exhibit strong Christian character. The school gives preference to applicants with MS but also considers each applicant's financial need. View Scholarship

National Presbyterian College Scholarship $2,500

Who Can Apply: Each year, the Presbyterian Church awards scholarships to Presbyterian freshmen entering a Presbyterian college or university. Students must demonstrate financial need and possess a minimum 2.5 GPA. View Scholarship

The Mary E. Bivins Religious Scholarship Program $2,500

Who Can Apply: Every year, the Mary Bivins Foundation awards a scholarship to undergraduate juniors and seniors or graduate students pursuing a degree that prepares them for ministry. The foundation prefers students who plan to preach upon graduating. View Scholarship

Women in Ministry Scholarship $150 to $2,000

Who Can Apply: Each year, Time for Equality in Advent Ministry (TEAM) awards scholarships to women who plan to become pastoral counselors, chaplains, youth ministers, religious educators, or Seventh-day Adventist ministers. TEAM gives the award to students entering their final year of religious or biblical studies or those already accepted into graduate a program. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA (or 3.0 for graduate students) and work at least 15 hours a week. View Scholarship

Ruth K. Jacobs Memorial Scholarship $1,500

Who Can Apply: The Choristers Guild presents scholarships to college juniors and seniors or graduate students majoring in music who intend to pursue a career in church music ministry. Eligible students must attend an accredited university in the U.S. or Canada, demonstrate a passion for teaching music to youth, and exhibit strong academic standing. View Scholarship

Scholarships for Michigan Residents

Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church Scholarship Fund $2,000

Who Can Apply: Each year, Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church awards students at Western Michigan University who are members of the church or whose parents or grandparents are members of the church. Eligible students must demonstrate financial need, possess a 2.0 GPA, and participate in community service. View Scholarship

Larry Laeding Memorial Scholarship Varies

Who Can Apply: Each year, the Saginaw Community Foundation awards the Larry Laeding Memorial Scholarship to Saginaw County high school graduates who participated in high school sports for at least two years and who possess a minimum 3.0 GPA. View Scholarship

National Management Association Leadership Speech Contest $100-$5,500

Who Can Apply: Every year the NMA hosts a national speech contest in which high school students write and deliver a six-minute speech on leadership. The southeast Michigan NMA Chapter holds a contest whose top three winners receive scholarship money. Winners advance to a regional competition, and possibly all the way to nationals. The national winner receives a $5,000 scholarship. View Scholarship

Kids' Chance of Michigan Scholarship $2,500-$5,000

Who Can Apply: Each year, Kids' Chance of Michigan provides scholarship money to Michigan residents 17-22 years of age who exhibit financial need because a parent was injured or killed in a workplace accident. Students must attend an accredited Michigan school and may apply to renew the scholarship each year. View Scholarship

Kelsey's Law Scholarship Varies

Who Can Apply: The Stop Distracted Driving Contest awards scholarships to four Michigan high school juniors or seniors who submit a creative, persuasive message in the form of a video, Tweet, or graphic. The message must convince other teens to drive without distractions, specifically never to text while driving. View Scholarship


Find a Church in Your Community

Students attending Christian colleges in Michigan, including online Christian colleges, can find churches near their university or hometown using Church Finder and USA Churches. Both websites offer directories of churches in Michigan. Students can search for churches based on their location, size of congregation, and style of worship.

Get Connected

Christian networking sites help Christians connect with other faith-centered students and professionals across the country -- and even the world. Many networking sites offer job boards and professional development opportunities.

  • Christian Business Network CBN builds trustworthy connections between Christian business professionals. It offers professional development opportunities, collaboration, group services, promotional services, job leads, and educational webinars.
  • Christian Women Business Organization CWBO connects Christian women business owners dedicated to Christ-driven business methods. Members enjoy professional development opportunities, members-only events, spiritual encouragement, and business resources.
  • Christian Legal Society CLS brings together Christian lawyers and law students from across the U.S. It promotes justice, protects American religious liberties, and creates a community for Christian legal professionals.

Find Christian Ministries

Not all students can afford the steep price of tuition associated with private Christian colleges in Michigan. Luckily, many public universities in Michigan offer campus ministries where students can deepen their faith and connect with other students who share their beliefs and values. Students interested in non-Christian universities in Michigan can peruse the list of common campus ministries below.

  • Campus Crusade for Christ Known as Cru, the Campus Crusade for Christ operates more than 5,300 campus ministries across the world. It strives to create and equip disciples to spread the word of Christ.
  • Chi Alpha Founded at Missouri State University in the 1950s, Chi Alpha now connects students to Christ through more than 300 campus ministries across the country and the world.
  • International Fellowship of Evangelical Students As a completely student-run ministry, IFES connects more than 500,000 Christian students across the country and the world. It teaches Christian student leaders how to shape and influence their university and their church.
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes FCA uses athletics as a way to connect student athletes and their coaches to Christ. FCA works with all levels of athletes, from youth leagues to college and professional athletes.
  • Catholic Campus Ministry Association CCMA promotes the Catholic Church and its ministry leaders on college campuses. It empowers and equips campus ministers to affect change in church and in higher education.
  • Lutheran Student Movement U.S.A. LSM U.S.A. connects Lutheran student leaders across campuses in the U.S. It offers national gatherings, alternative breaks, and service learning trips.
  • Reformed University Fellowship As the official campus ministry of the Presbyterian Church, RUF serves students on college campuses across the U.S. and the globe.
  • UKirk UKirk supports campus ministers and those engaged in campus ministry for the Presbyterian Church. It provides resources, best practices, advocacy, and models for campus ministers to succeed.
  • Baptist Collegiate Ministry Life Serving campuses in North America, BCM Life connects Baptist ministries and leads students toward their faith in Christ. It develops students into disciples and connects them to the church's mission.

Public Universities in Michigan with Christian Ministries

  • The University of Michigan: The University of Michigan in Ann-Arbor offers a large selection of campus resources for its Christian students. Some of the school's campus ministries include GradCru, Young Life Leadership, and the Wesley Foundation.
  • Wayne State University: Located in Detroit, Wayne State University features campus ministries such as Detroit Cru, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Christians on Campus.
  • Western Michigan University: Western Michigan University offers several ministries on its Kalamazoo campus. These include Chi Alpha WMU, Cru, United Campus Ministry, Wesley Foundation of Kalamazoo, and Young Life.