As an overwhelmingly Christian state, Nebraska offers a vibrant faith-centered environment for students hoping to attend a Christian college. In Nebraska, three out of four adults identify as Christian. This population divides almost equally into Evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants, and Catholics. Not only does the state boast a large population of Christians, but this population also takes an active role in their faith. Two out of three adults in Nebraska believe in God with absolute certainty, while more than half consider religion a "very important" part of their life. Almost 40% of Nebraska adults attend religious services at least once a week, while another 32% attend somewhat regularly.
Almost 40% of Nebraska adults attend religious services at least once a week, while another 32% attend somewhat regularly. Pew Research Center
This vibrant religious landscape, along with a larger-than-average population of Catholics, has resulted in a wide selection of Christian colleges in Nebraska. The state offers a diversity of schools, including Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Jesuit universities. Nebraska Christian colleges offer degrees ranging from the associate to doctoral level. While these schools offer traditional degrees in the humanities and sciences, they also allow students to major in faith-centered subjects like theology, pre-seminary studies, and church music. In addition to a Bible-based education, Christian colleges in Nebraska provide students with spiritual resources, student ministries, and communities of like-minded peers.
Online Christian Colleges in Nebraska
Students attending online Christian colleges enjoy many benefits. Online learners create their own schedule and study from the comfort of their own homes. They can continue their everyday obligations relating to work, family life, or church. Asynchronous courses also allow online students to study any time of day without logging on at a specific time. Online students typically experience the same quality, faith-based curriculum as their on-campus peers. Many Christian online colleges even offer additional spiritual support to distance learners through digital worship services, faith counseling, and chat forums.
Christian online colleges are also typically less expensive than their on-campus equivalents. Not only do students at online Christian colleges pay less tuition, they also save money on peripheral costs associated with on-campus education. Distance learners do not spend money on transportation or pay fees for parking, sporting events, and facilities. They can also avoid the steep cost of on-campus housing. Most significantly, students at Christian online colleges can keep their current job in their home city.
Finding the Right Christian College
Finding the right Nebraska Christian college requires a combination of research and self-reflection. Students should think about a variety of factors when deciding which college best fits their personality, interests, faith, and career goals. Two important factors are campus size and location. Smaller campuses create a more intimate, communal environment. They also tend to boast lower student-to-faculty ratios and greater personal attention from faculty. In contrast, a larger campus may offer a greater diversity of student activities, clubs, and social events.
Students should think about a variety of factors when deciding which college best fits their personality, interests, faith, and career goals.
Location may also affect a school's culture. Most importantly, students should decide whether they want to live in a rural area or in an urban area like Omaha. Is the surrounding community safe? Does it offer places to volunteer or work? Does it offer recreation opportunities? While online learners do not necessarily need to worry about their school’s campus size or location, they should look into what resources the college offers to distance learners.
Students should also research whether their Nebraska Christian college offers programs in line with their academic and career goals. Does the school offer a liberal arts-based education? Does it offer degrees focused on Bible studies or ministry? Students should also look into whether their school requires students to participate in campus worship or service learning. Some Christian colleges in Nebraska may also enforce rules against alcohol consumption or coed housing. Students should develop a clear understanding of their school's culture, values, and requirements.
Seminary Schools vs. Bible Schools
Seminary schools and Bible colleges differ in several ways. Most significantly, seminary schools prepare students for careers as church ministers or leaders, while Bible colleges do not necessarily prepare students for a specific career path. Seminary schools are typically graduate-level programs that grant master's or doctoral degrees. In seminary, students learn about theology and the Bible, but also explore topics like church leadership, church organization, and faith counseling.
At a Bible college, students study the Bible but may or may not enter a career affiliated with the church. Learners may major in areas like psychology, social services, music, or business, while still taking courses relating to the Bible and theology. Some Bible schools offer programs that specifically prepare students to enter seminary after graduation, making Bible school a good option for undergraduate students who plan to ultimately become ministers. While theological seminaries are typically accredited, students interested in attending a Bible college should double check that the school receives accreditation.
Accreditation for Christian Colleges
When researching Christian colleges in Nebraska, students should always check to make sure their school is accredited. Accreditation means that an outside accrediting agency has reviewed the school's programs and decided they meet certain standards of quality. This protects students from fraudulent or underperforming schools.
Regional accreditation is typically considered more prestigious than national accreditation.
When choosing a Nebraska Christian college, students should check whether the school is regionally or nationally accredited. Regional accreditation is typically considered more prestigious than national accreditation. While credits from a nationally accredited school may not transfer to another school, credits from a regionally accredited school can transfer anywhere. Some scholarships and financial aid may not apply at nationally accredited schools. Additionally, many employers prefer graduates from regionally accredited schools.
The most common regional accrediting agency in Nebraska is the Higher Learning Commission. A common national accrediting agency for Christian colleges in Nebraska is the Association for Biblical Higher Education, Commission on Accreditation. Seminary schools or theological programs may also boast specialized accreditation, a type of accreditation that applies to certain programs or schools within a larger institution. A common specialized accrediting agency for religion programs is the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools. To check whether a school or program is accredited, consult the U.S. Department of Education's database of accredited programs and schools.
Career and Salary Expectations
Students at Christian colleges in Nebraska should understand the economic outlook for employees in the state. Luckily, Nebraska offers a relatively healthy employment landscape, boasting a low unemployment rate and several budding industries. As of March 2018, the unemployment rate in Nebraska was 2.8%, a rate significantly lower than the national unemployment rate of 4.1%. The state aims to add over 100,000 new jobs between 2014 and 2024, during which time it also projects overall employment will increase by 8.6%. The mean annual wage for all employees in Nebraska was $45,520 as of May 2017; the mean hourly wage was $21.89.
Due to an influx of computers and technology and an aging population of Baby Boomers, the two fastest growing occupational groups in Nebraska are computer and mathematical occupations and community and social service occupations. To address the state's increasing healthcare demands, Nebraska also anticipates more job openings for registered nurses, nurse aids, attendants, and orderlies. Students interested in pursuing a career in community and social services should consult the table below.
|Occupation||Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Wage|
|Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors||570||$19.83||$41,240|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||90||$26.83||$55,800|
|Mental Health Counselors||940||$23.82||$49,540|
|Child, Family, and School Social Workers||2,340||$19.80||$41,190|
|Healthcare Social Workers||1,130||$21.65||$45,040|
|Social and Human Service Assistants||3,920||$12.66||$26,320|
|Directors, Religious Activities and Education||70||$25.21||$52,430|
Scholarships and Financial Aid
Students attending Christian colleges in Nebraska, including online Christian colleges, can access a variety of scholarship opportunities. Many scholarships are merit-based, but some support specific populations of learners based on race, ethnicity, personal background, or religious denomination. Some scholarships specifically target Christian students, while others are designed for all Nebraska residents.
Mary E. Bivins Religious Scholarship Program $3,500 per semester
American Baptist Home Mission Societies Scholarships Varies
FTE Fellowships for Latino/a, Asian, and First Nations Doctoral Students $20,000 per year
The Cowles United Methodist Church Scholarship $750
National Presbyterian College Scholarship $2,500
Scholarships for Nebraska Residents
Norma Ross Walter Scholarship $1,250-$2,500
The Leslie A. and Helen R. Wilson Memorial Scholarship $500
The Antonette Willa Skupa Turner Scholarship $1,000
Urban League of Nebraska Scholarship Varies
Nebraska Quarter Horse Youth Scholarship $2,000 per year
Find a Church in Your Community
Students who want to find a church near their school can use two online resources: Church Finder and USA Churches. Both websites offer a free, user-friendly directory of churches. Students can search for churches based on their location, style of worship, and congregation size.
Christian networking websites bring together Christian students from around the country and the world. Some sites also offer job boards, member discounts, professional resources, and conferences. Below are three options for students attending Bible colleges in Nebraska:
- Christian Business Network CBN connects Christian business professionals and business owners. The network empowers and equips its members through professional profiles, promotional services, and collaborative projects.
- Young Catholic Professionals YCP connects young Catholic leaders with seasoned Catholic executives and professionals. Most members are in their 20s and 30s and work in business or philanthropy.
- International Christian Visual Media ICVM brings together Christian professionals who work as producers or distributors of digital media. Members work on movies, TV, short films, and documentaries to communicate the word of Christ.
Find Christian Ministries
Not all students can afford to pay for tuition at a Nebraska Christian college. Luckily, Christian students who choose to attend a public, non-Christian university in Nebraska can take advantage of campus ministries. Students can find a list of common campus ministries below.
- Campus Crusade for Christ Also known as Cru, Campus Crusade for Christ brings together Christian students on campuses across the U.S. and the world. The ministry offers mission trips, volunteer opportunities, and internships.
- Chi Alpha Chi Alpha connects Christian college students who want to bring Christ into their everyday life. The ministry sends students to other countries on mission trips.
- International Fellowship of Evangelical Students IFES builds communities of disciples in the U.S. and a variety of other countries. The ministry supports global conversations about faith and encourages student leadership.
- Fellowship of Christian Athletes FCA uses sports as a way to support and teach student athletes and coaches about their relationship to Christ. The fellowship connects all levels of athletes, from elementary school children to professional athletes.
- Catholic Campus Ministry Association CCMA connects, supports, and equips Catholic ministers so they can spread the word of Christ on college campuses. The association provides research and data, resources, and networking tools to active campus ministers.
- Lutheran Student Movement U.S.A. As a fully student-run organization, LSM-USA connects Lutheran students on campuses across the country. The ministry hosts a national gathering that offers workshops, service learning, and a party.
- Reformed University Fellowship RUF helps college students connect Christ to every area of their life, including their life on campus. The fellowship operates ministries in the U.S. and across the globe.
- UKirk UKirk supports Presbyterian campus ministers and students engaged in campus ministry. It fosters connections between ministries and provides resources, advocacy, and education.
- Baptist Collegiate Ministry Life BCM Life leads, connects, and develops college students in their connection to Christ, the Baptist church, and their role as disciples. BCM Life operates ministries across North America.
Public Universities in Nebraska with Christian Ministries
- University of Nebraska–Lincoln: The University of Nebraska–Lincoln hosts a variety of campus ministries including RUF, Cru, and Chi Alpha.
- University of Nebraska Omaha: Like its Lincoln Campus, the University of Nebraska Omaha also offers several campus ministries like Chi Alpha, Christian Student Fellowship, Omaha Navigators, and Simple Truth.
- University of Nebraska at Kearney: The University of Nebraska at Kearney boasts more than a dozen campus ministries including Chi Alpha, Campus Crusade for Christ, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and United Campus Ministry.