According to the Pew Research Center, Mississippi is tied with Alabama for the most religious state in the U.S. Over 75% of adults in Mississippi self identify as "highly religious," while 74% say religion is very important in their lives. Additionally, 49% say they attend church services at least weekly, and 75% of adults say they pray daily. With 82% of adults in Mississippi also saying they believe in God with absolute certainty -- and an overwhelming 83% identifying as Christian -- Mississippi is a fertile ground for many Christian colleges.
Mississippi is tied with Alabama for the most religious state in the U.S. Over 75% of adults in Mississippi self identify as "highly religious," while 74% say religion is very important in their lives Pew Research Center
Christian colleges in Mississippi are predominantly Protestant and evangelical, and include traditions such as Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, and non-denominational Christianity. One can find both public and private Christian institutions of higher learning in Mississippi, with programs available in two-year and four-year formats. Most institutions also offer certificates alongside degrees from the associate to the master's level.
Attending a Christian college or university is an excellent choice for students who value a religious worldview in their education. The spiritual connections these campuses facilitate between classmates and instructors provides a unique and well-rounded educational experience for students.
Online Christian Colleges in Mississippi
Students considering Christian colleges in Mississippi have several options available to them, including earning their degree online. Online Christian colleges offer several distinct advantages over traditional, brick-and-mortar campuses. Distance learners can "attend" class and complete schoolwork from the comfort of their own homes, which often means no relocating to expensive college towns or paying for on-campus housing. These students are spared commuting and parking costs, as well.
In addition to cost savings, Christian online colleges often present course material asynchronously, letting students fit in their classwork when it's convenient for them. This allows online students to accommodate the needs of their jobs, family, and church obligations.
Online Christian colleges typically offer the same, faith-based curriculum as their on-campus counterparts. Earning a degree from a distance doesn't have to mean students miss out on peer-to-peer interaction, or the opportunity to practice their faith with their fellow students. Many Christian online colleges and universities offer services such as online spiritual support and counseling, live streams of student worship services, and groups and forums that allow students to connect with one another.
Students should compare the experience of an online university to a traditional campus to find the right fit for them when choosing a Mississippi Christian college.
Finding the Right Christian College
There are several factors to consider when selecting a Christian college in Mississippi. This guide will help you identify some of the important considerations to keep in mind when making this important choice.
One way that Christian colleges in Mississippi differ from each other is the size of their campuses. Some students are eager to find themselves on a large campus to experience a diverse set of peers in a new environment. Other students prefer a smaller campus, which allows for a more unique Christian community experience. Additionally, a low student-to-faculty ratio generally means more attention from faculty than a larger campus may be able to offer.
a low student-to-faculty ratio generally means more attention from faculty than a larger campus may be able to offer
Different schools may also have different values and lifestyle policies; for example, some may prohibit drug and alcohol use. On-campus housing often carries certain requirements, as well, such as required chapel or service attendance, and may or may not allow for co-ed housing. Students should also pay careful attention to the surrounding communities of the colleges or universities they are considering. Determine whether the area is safe, and what opportunities it may offer for service work and volunteering.
Students interested in an online Christian college should explore what kind of education they'll receive. Some programs offer a traditional liberal arts-based education, while other Christian colleges in Mississippi feature a Bible or ministry-focused degrees.
Seminary Schools vs. Bible Schools
Generally speaking, the term "Bible college" is used to refer to two-year or four-year Christian colleges or universities that confer undergraduate degrees to students. These degrees may be Bible-focused, ministry-focused, or in other traditional academic fields. Students who attend a Bible college and major in a non-religious subject may ultimately find work in a secular industry, but they will benefit from the community and connection to faith and spirituality found at a Christian college.
Seminary schools, also referred to as divinity schools, are graduate-level colleges and universities for students seeking education and training beyond a bachelor's degree. Students at seminary schools are pursuing master's and doctoral degrees and typically use their education for service in church or ministry-related careers, such as pastoral or parachurch positions.
A Bible college provides an introduction to a wide range of religious studies, while seminary allows for a more in-depth focus, preparing graduates for professions in the church.
Accreditation for Christian Colleges
It's important to make sure that the Mississippi Christian college you attend is accredited. Accreditation status indicates that an institution has met the standards set by agencies authorized to assess schools for the quality of the education they provide. Many financial aid awards require that the recipient of such aid attend an accredited school. Additionally, schools often mandate that transfer credits were earned at accredited colleges or universities to qualify for transfer. Additionally, employers may give preferential consideration to graduates of accredited programs when making employment decisions.
Among the prominent accrediting agencies for Christian colleges in Mississippi are the Association for Biblical Higher Education, the Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools. Most of these agencies award national or specialized accreditation, while the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools confers regional accreditation. Regional accreditation is considered more prestigious and involves more rigorous evaluation criteria, and credits from regionally accredited institutions are more widely accepted for transfer.
The U.S. Department of Education maintains a database of accredited postsecondary institutions and programs that can be found here.
Career and Salary Expectations
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate in Mississippi has been gradually decreasing over the last seven years and stands at 4.5% as of February 2018. The mean hourly wage for all occupations is $18.71 while the annual mean wage for all occupations is $38,910. The industries that have seen the most growth in Mississippi in the 12-month period from February 2017 to February 2018 are professional and business services, financial activities, and construction.
The mean hourly wage for all occupations is $18.71 while the annual mean wage for all occupations is $38,910
The following table lists the employment level, average hourly wage, and average annual wage for many community and social service occupations in Mississippi. Students who graduate from a Mississippi Christian college may note that several of occupations in this field pay a higher average hourly wage and/or higher average annual wage than the average for all occupations in the state. The least well compensated occupation on the table is social and human service assistants, who are paid an average of $13.08 per hour and $27,210 per year, while the highest paid occupation is clergy, who make an average of $22.43 per hour and $46,660 per year.
|Occupation||Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Wage|
|Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors||630||$15.86||$32,990|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||100||$20.13||$41,870|
|Mental Health Counselors||940||$21.00||$43,680|
|Child, Family, and School Social Workers||2,560||$16.58||$34,480|
|Healthcare Social Workers||1,530||$22.40||$46,590|
|Social and Human Service Assistants||1,970||$13.08||$27,210|
|Directors, Religious Activities and Education||70||$19.42||$40,390|
Scholarships and Financial Aid
Attending Christian colleges in Mississippi can be expensive. However, students have options for financial aid and scholarships that can help fund their education. The following information introduces scholarships that are available for students attending Christian colleges, as well as some specifically for residents of the state of Mississippi.
Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation Scholarship Varies
David W. Self Scholarship $1,000
Cannon Endowment Scholarship $2,500
Presbyterian Study Grant $1,000 - $4,000
Women in Ministry Scholarship $150 - $2,000
Scholarships for Mississippi Residents
Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant $2,5000 per year
MetLife Foundation Scholarship $2,000
Lucile Moore Garrett Scholarship Varies
Mississippi Tuition Assistance Grant $500 per year
Nissan Scholarship Varies
Find a Church in Your Community
For many students, attending a Mississippi Christian college involves relocating to a new area. These students may benefit from websites like ChurchFinder and USAChurches, which help provides users a directory of churches in their area. You may be able to search by city, size of the church, or style of worship to find the best fit for you.
Students at online Christian colleges may be interested in Christian networking websites to connect with other like-minded individuals, find job opportunities, and more.
- Christian Business Network CBN facilitates networking, connection, and collaboration among Christian professionals. Members have access to blog posts, peer groups by region or industry, content management, and promotional services.
- Southern Baptist Convention SBC is a network of Baptist churches and hosts an annual meeting in addition to resources such as videos, job boards, and financial services.
- Christian Women's Job Corps - Golden Triangle, MS CWJC-GT is a Christian ministry dedicated to helping women gain life and employment skills through scripture-based education and training.
Find Christian Ministries
Not all students can afford to attend Christian universities. Those who are unable -- or choose to attend secular institutions instead -- may find Christian ministries at public colleges and universities in Mississippi. The following list details several of these groups and the services they provide.
- Campus Crusade for Christ Also known as Cru, Campus Crusade for Christ provides resources and spiritual guidance for people in all walks of life through campus and city ministries, training conferences, athletic and military ministries, and various media outreach campaigns.
- Chi Alpha Chi Alpha works on college campuses to help students connect with God. Resources available to students include podcasts, publications, and bible study groups.
- International Fellowship of Evangelical Students IFES provides publications, mission trips, and training seminars in the hopes of building strong spiritual leaders.
- Fellowship of Christian Athletes FCA connects with coaches and athletes all over the world to harness the power of sports to spread with word of the gospel.
- Catholic Campus Ministry Association The CCMA is present on over 500 college campuses and promotes the mission of the Catholic Church through podcasts, webinars, and a national convention.
- Lutheran Student Movement U.S.A. The Lutheran Student Movement in the United States of America advances the understanding of the gospel and strengthens the faith of believers at colleges and universities.
- Reformed University Fellowship RUF is the official campus ministry organization of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. The organization is committed to ordained Presbyterian ministers on college campuses.
- UKirk UKirk support those who participate in campus ministry for the Presbyterian church. UKirk facilitates collegiate events, resource-sharing, and networking for those it serves.
- Baptist Collegiate Ministry Life BCMLife is a collection of Baptist campus ministries across North America. Members of the organization connect students on college campuses with God and the church.
Public Universities in Mississippi with Christian Ministries
- Delta State University: The Baptist Student Union is one of many student organizations on campus at Delta State University. BSU hosts community activities and Bible studies to help students share their faith.
- University of Mississippi: Ole Miss hosts many Christian ministry groups on campus, including the Baptist Student Union, Campus Crusade for Christ, Catholic Campus Ministry, Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, and the Reformed University Fellowship.
- Mississippi State University: Campus ministry programs located at MSU include the Baptist Student Union, Catholic Campus Ministry, Campus Crusade for Christ, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, UKirk, and the Reformed University Fellowship.