Online Christian Colleges in New York

Christians make up 60% of the adult population in New York, according to the Pew Research Center, and 63% of New Yorkers report attending religious services at least semi-regularly. More than 30% of New Yorkers identify as Catholic, while nearly as many follow Protestant denominations. With New York's diverse religious landscape, it's no surprise that the state is home to many Christian colleges, including several Christian colleges in New York City.

Christians make up 60% of the adult population in New York, and 63% of New Yorkers report attending religious services at least semi-regularly. Pew Research Center

Christian colleges in New York offer both two-year and four-year degrees, with degree options in subjects such as religious studies, biblical languages, and ministry. Many also provide degrees in liberal arts subjects, such as the social sciences, humanities, or hard sciences, while still maintaining a religious focus. For example, Christian colleges may require religious coursework as part of the general education requirements while granting degrees in a variety of subject areas.

New York boasts a number of prestigious Christian colleges with a liberal arts focus, such as Fordham University. In addition to undergraduate religious schools and Bible colleges, Christians may also consider seminary schools, which grant graduate degrees in ministry and theology. New York state is home to many seminaries, and some, like the Northeastern Seminary, offer degrees for over 30 denominations. With so many options, students can find the right Christian college in New York to meet their professional goals.

Online Christian Colleges in New York

In addition to on-campus Christian colleges in New York, more and more students are considering online options. Many students benefit from attending Christian online colleges, which provide several advantages over on-campus programs. The flexibility of online colleges allows students to work from the comfort of home, arranging their coursework around work or family obligations. Full-time working professionals, students with children, or those with church obligations may prefer the flexibility of an online degree.

Online students can access a variety of support services, such as online spiritual counseling, live streams of student worship services, and online forums for students to connect with each other.

Students on a budget benefit from the affordability of online Christian colleges. Unlike students attending in-person programs, who spend money on dorms or other on-campus fees in addition to commuting costs, online students keep their costs low. Many colleges provide a tuition discount for their online classes, and often offer the same online tuition rate for in-state and out-of-state residents.

Christian online colleges integrate religious topics into their online offerings. In addition to coursework, online students can access a variety of support services, such as online spiritual counseling, live streams of student worship services, and online forums for students to connect with each other. Today, many Christian colleges in New York provide online courses and degrees.

New York's Best Online Christian Schools

Fordham University

Founded in 1841 by Archbishop John Hughes, Fordham University offers a large selection of Christian-based programs and locations for traditional students. One of the top Christian colleges in New York, Fordham University features a main location in the Bronx with additional campuses in Manhattan, West Harrison, Armonk, and in London, England. With an enrollment of more than 16,000 undergraduate and graduate students, this Jesuit university features nine schools with 70 majors, minors, and pre-professional programs.

Fordham University also offers six fully online degrees through the Graduate School of Education, Graduate School of Social Service, Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education, and School of Law. Online classes come in three formats: asynchronous, synchronous, and hybrid. Students enrolled in asynchronous classes meet deadlines to submit assignments, but study when it suits their schedule. They do not follow a set class schedule. Synchronous online courses require students to meet online at set class times. Hybrid classes offer mostly online coursework with occasional in-person components.

Helping students grow spiritually also remains a cornerstone of Fordham University's mission as a Jesuit Catholic institution. Students can keep up to date through the campus ministry to learn about upcoming retreats, spiritual exercises, and can also connect with fellow students through the Kerygma Koffee lecture series.

Online students can access academic and other school resources, including off-campus counseling and psychology resources and online career-related workshops. Fordham University's Writing Center also offers free workshops, tutoring, and academic resources.

Fordham University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

St. Bonaventure University

Established in 1858, the private Franciscan St. Bonaventure University offers intimate classroom environments with a student-to-faculty ratio of 12-to-1. Home to more than 2,000 students, this small university offers a large selection of academic programs.

Students can choose from 50 undergraduate majors and 20 graduate programs. SBU Online also features six completely online degrees. Without ever attending an on-campus class, students can earn master of business administration, master of arts in strategic leadership, and master of science in cybersecurity degrees. Online degree programs take as few as 12 months to complete if the student takes two online courses per semester. Classes run in seven-week sessions. Students taking classes on a part-time basis take about two years to graduate.

SBU, ranked one of the best Christian colleges in New York, offers a no-fee applications process and rolling admissions, which means students can apply at any time of the year. Applicants get a decision within 2-3 weeks of applying. Admissions requirements differ depending on an applicant's status. Freshman candidates must submit an 250-word writing sample, high school transcripts, a recommendation from a guidance counselor, and SAT or ACT scores. Transfer applicants must submit college and high school transcripts, and a completed transfer recommendation form. Graduate applicants need a degree from an accredited college and two letters of recommendation. SBU maintains a partnership with Jamestown Community College to offer transfer students 50% discounted tuition.

St. Bonaventure University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Roberts Wesleyan College

Located in Rochester, Roberts Wesleyan College began in 1866 as the Chili Seminary. Benjamin Titus Roberts established the school to give economically disadvantaged children a Christian education. Today the college, with more than 1,700 students, stays true to Roberts' mission with a Christian-based curriculum. Roberts Wesleyan College offers more than 80 programs and nine undergraduate and graduate online programs. Students can take online programs in the fields of business, teacher education, health administration, nursing, and ministry and theology.

Undergraduate and graduate online degree programs take 15-22 months to complete. Specifics about graduation timelines vary across programs. The bachelor's degree in organizational management program takes a minimum of 15 months to complete. The master's degree in special education takes 22 months to complete and offers three tracks in professional certification, initial certification, and initial certification with a concentration in multiple and severe disabilities.

Programs run completely online or meet once weekly. Degree programs offer either a cohort or individual format. Programs with a cohort format allow students to take classes with the same classmates for the duration of the degree.

Admissions requirements differ for each degree. Candidates must submit an online application, resume, an essay, transcripts, and they must attend an information online meeting, but not SAT or ACT scores. Work experience can transfer toward college credit. Roberts Wesleyan, among the best Christian colleges in New York, offers free applications and books included in the cost of tuition.

Roberts Wesleyan College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Houghton College

Founded in 1883 as a seminary high school, Houghton College offers a Christ-centered education in Genesee Valley. This private institution provides more than 1,000 students with a Christian perspective education. Students come from around the world and represent more than 30 Christian denominations.

Houghton College offers more than 40 majors for undergraduates and graduates. Students can also choose from nine completely online associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees. Classes follow an asynchronous format, which lets students create their own schedule. However, professors may require students to watch web chats in real time. Courses begin every eight weeks, and programs take 12-18 months to complete.

Undergraduates can earn online degrees in criminal justice, human resources management, integrated marketing communication, leadership development, organizational management, and psychology. Graduate students can earn a master's in education in literacy or master of business administration degrees. Houghton College also works in partnership with eCornell to offer more than 60 online certificates in subjects such as data science, engineering, marketing, healthcare, and real estate.

Depending on the degree, admission requirements vary. The human resources management degree requires students to hold 63 credits to apply, whereas the bachelor's in management degree does not require a credit minimum. All applicants must submit an application, personal statement, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and, in some cases, test scores.

Houghton College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Molloy College

Founded in 1955 by the Dominican Sisters of Amityville, Molloy College offers a Catholic-based education to more than 4,000 students each year. Classes provide individual attention with a student-to-faculty ratio of 10-to-1. The main campus sits on Long Island.

Molloy College offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degrees. Students who need flexible class options can earn an online or blended degree. Students can choose from bachelor's degree programs in interdisciplinary studies, health service leadership, and nursing. Online degree programs also include master's programs in business administration and educational leadership for diverse learning communities.

Blended programs combine evening, weekend, and online classes. Online courses follow an asynchronous format which do not require face-to-face meetings. Using Canvas, students check assignments, participate in web discussions, and email instructors when convenient. However, they must meet assignment deadlines. Canvas offers 24/7 technical support over the phone and students can also seek help via web chat.

In addition to the online degrees, the college also features online post-baccalaureate and post-master's certificates. The Office of Off-Campus Programs also provides noncredit and credit classes from the off-campus location at the Suffolk Center. To assist online learners, Molloy College offers support services, including free tutoring, online writing consultation, and web access to the James E. Tobin Library catalog.

Molloy College is regionally accredited by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

St John's University-New York

Founded in 1870, St John's University-New York offers an education grounded in Catholic faith. The university features a main campus in Queens, along with locations in Staten Island, Manhattan, and Hauppauge. Students also attend classes at international locations in Rome, Paris, and Limerick.

With six schools and colleges, the university offers 100 programs of study. Students who work full time or take care of children can benefit from 24 online certificates, master's, and doctorate degrees. Online classes let students study asynchronously. The school uses the Blackboard learning management system, where students submit assignments and find course materials.

Programs run completely online with no on-campus requirements. Students follow a set schedule, but can design class schedules to fit their busy lifestyle. Online degree programs include a master's in accounting, which students can complete in 12-24 months, and a 33-credit master's in global development and social justice. Students can also earn certifications online, including a 15-credit bilingual education extension advanced certification. St. John's also offers a 42-credit doctorate in literacy.

Online students can access the same services as traditional students using email, phone, and Skype. To support online students further in their educational journey, St. John's offers career services, library resources, and campus ministry services. And, if needed, online learners can also request help from student coordinators.

St John's University-New York is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Hilbert College

Hilbert College, a private Catholic college established in 1957 by Sister Edwina Bogel, sits on a 60-acre campus in Hamburg, New York. With a total enrollment of 800 students, this small college features one-on-one interaction with instructors.

Hilbert College features more than 20 programs, including associate, bachelor's, and master's degree programs. Many programs combine online classes as well as day and evening classes. Students can opt for online classes when they earn a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, English, liberal arts, liberal studies, paralegal studies, psychology, or human services. Online classes run on an asynchronous format with coursework stored online for at least a week. Using the Blackboard learning management system, students can find assignments, lectures, exams, and discussions.

Catholic faith and Franciscan values remain at the center of the college's curriculum. As part of the general education modules, all students take a minimum of one religious studies class. The campus ministry also offers community service projects for students who want to give back. Campus resources are also available. Students can access more than 50,000 digital journals through the McGrath Library, and tutors can assist students with writing, math, and accounting at the Academic Service Center.

Students can apply online for free. Applicants must submit transcripts and recommended supplemental materials such as a resume, a personal essay, and letters of recommendation. Transfer students must show proof of a minimum 2.0 GPA.

Hilbert College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Nyack College

Founded in 1882, Nyack College operates under the mission shared by founder A.B. Simpson to prepare students to spread the gospel. With a total enrollment of more than 2,000 students, Nyack College offers a main campus in Nyack, though students can also take classes at campuses in Manhattan and Puerto Rico, or online. 42.1% of students attend classes at the main campus and 12.1% of students take online courses.

Nyack College also offers fully online degrees through the School of Education, Alliance of Graduate School of Counseling, and College of Arts and Sciences. Nyack College offers 24 online certificates and associates, bachelor's, and master's degrees. Degree programs include a two-year associate in liberal arts and sciences, a bachelor's in psychology, a two-year master's in biblical studies, and a 42-credit master's in childhood special education with an initial certification.

Students learn in a cohort form with about 10-25 people. A mentor guides the cohort throughout the duration of the degree. Most online programs have an asynchronous format, but some degrees may require on-campus meetings or some synchronous class times. Programs begin every four months, allowing students to take a leave of absence should they need to. Class lengths vary from 5-6 weeks. Some classes run as long as 15 weeks.

Nyack College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).


New York's Best Online Seminaries

Northeastern Seminary

Established by Benjamin Titus Roberts in 1866, Northeastern Seminary delivers an education rooted in historic Christianity to prepare students to practice in the ministry. Students attend classes on the main campus in Rochester and online. Northeastern Seminary offers individual online classes and hybrid and fully online advanced degrees. Students can earn a master's degree in theology and social justice, transformational leadership, theological studies, and ministry practice, or a master of divinity. The school also offers a certificate in scripture, theology, and ministry.

Degrees take 2-3 years to complete, depending on if the student studies on a full- or part-time basis. As part of the degree requirements, students must complete Great Conversation courses, which require the student to analyze the scripture, current trends, and other philosophical and spiritual questions. Master's degree programs require students to complete 44 credits and the master of divinity degrees require 80 credits.

To apply for Northeastern Seminary, students can submit a free online application. They also must submit transcripts, letters of recommendation, and an autobiographical statement. Admissions requires that applicants hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited school with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Students can apply for numerous scholarships through the school. Current military members and veterans can also find scholarships.

Northeastern Seminary is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Unification Theological Seminary

Unification Theological Seminary, founded by Reverend Sun Myung Moon in 1975 as the Unification Church's interfaith seminary, prepares students to succeed in their careers and the ministry in the modern era. With more than 1,600 students, UTS offers four graduate degrees. Students can pick from a master's in religious studies, religious education, and divinity, and doctorate of ministry. UTS also has an 18-credit certificate in unification leadership. UTS-Online also offers online classes that run asynchronously so students can take classes with increased flexibility. Courses follow either 12- or 15-week sessions.

Students use the Canvas online learning platform to find course materials and connect with professors. The UTS Library offers online databases for students to access resources, including APA and MLA style guides. Online learners can also attend workshops in editing and proofreading and basic research methods.

The application process at UTS includes an evaluation of a student's "spiritual and moral character" during an in-person interview. UTS mostly accepts applicants for fall admittance, but also spring admittance on a conditionally basis. Applicants must submit a personal essay and two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from a church leader.

The Unification Theological Seminary is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

What Christian Colleges are in New York?

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Finding the Right Christian College

Choosing the right Christian college is an important process -- and it's about more than just academics. Prospective students need a school that fits their religious values and can help them grow professionally. By considering several key factors, such as the campus size and its values, the surrounding community, online resources, and program offerings, Christians can find the best fit for their interests and goals.

Many students start by evaluating campus values. Some Christian colleges set conservative lifestyle expectations, such as banning co-ed housing and asking students to sign a morality pledge. Many also prohibit the use of drugs and alcohol. Prospective students need to find the values that best align with their own. For example, some students prefer an institution where all community members attend required chapel or must meet service obligations to graduate.

Many Christian colleges provide a liberal arts-based education with a biblical focus, while others mainly confer degrees that are ministry focused.

The size of the school also matters. Most Christian colleges are smaller than public colleges, which often translates into a closer community experience and a low student-teacher ratio. Students at small schools often benefit from attentive faculty, which can prove beneficial in post-graduation job searches. Additionally, the surrounding community plays an important role. Some Christian students may prefer a religious community off campus, while others may focus on finding an area with many opportunities for service and volunteering. Some students seek out Christian colleges in New York City for an urban college experience. When considering Christian online colleges, students can research the school's resources for integrating religion into the online learning experience.

Finally, prospective students must consider a school's program offerings. Many Christian colleges provide a liberal arts-based education with a biblical focus, while others mainly confer degrees that are ministry focused. Some students prefer the option of a variety of programs, while others planning on working in ministry benefit from specialized Bible colleges in New York.

Seminary Schools vs. Bible Schools

Seminary schools and Bible schools both focus on religion, but they offer different degrees. Bible schools provide a well-rounded bachelor's education with a focus on religion, while seminary schools typically provide graduate-level training for church or ministry-related professions. As such, many seminaries focus on a particular Christian denomination. The institution's coursework may include theology, pastoral counseling, and biblical languages like Greek and Hebrew. Seminaries, which may also be called divinity schools, grant graduate degrees, such as a master's in divinity.

Bible schools, by contrast, provide undergraduate-level degrees with a biblical focus. A Bible college is a Christian institution that offers several types of degrees with an emphasis on religious studies. Many Bible colleges in New York include religious coursework as part of their general education requirements, but also offer degrees in other fields, such as business or education.

Accreditation for Christian Colleges

Accreditation is an important marker of academic excellence. Institutions of higher education voluntarily seek accreditation from regional, national, and specialized accrediting agencies. These agencies review the institution's academic standards, faculty qualifications, student outcomes, and the institution's improvement plans. Many colleges and universities hold several different types of accreditation, which can help students choose the right institution.

In New York, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education grants regional accreditation.

Regional accreditation, conferred by six different accrediting agencies across the country, is the highest standard for colleges and universities. In New York, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education grants regional accreditation. Regionally accredited institutions qualify for federal financial aid, and credits earned at these institutions transfer to nearly any other college or university. Some graduate programs also only accept bachelor's degrees from regionally accredited universities.

Unlike regional accreditation, national accreditation may not meet the requirements for federal aid or transfer credits. Particular programs or colleges within an institution may also hold specialized accreditation based on the program's field, such as teaching, business, or social work. By researching accreditation, prospective students learn about the institution's commitment to excellence and continued improvement. Learners can check the accreditation status of any institution through the U.S. Department of Education.

Career and Salary Expectations

New York state boasts a strong economy both in the country's largest city, New York City, and in the upstate region. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the state has over nine million workers in a variety of industries, including diverse fields such as healthcare, management, sales, and construction. In New York, the average worker earns a mean hourly wage of $28.90 and an annual mean wage of just over $60,000. New York state's unemployment rate is 4.6%, which is slightly higher than the national average.

The New York Department of Labor reports that the fastest-growing industries include home care aides, followed by electrical equipment assemblers, data communications analysts, and home health aides. Numerous professions, such as pharmacists, preschool teachers, registered nurses, and human resources specialists, grew by over 10% in New York in the past decade.

Christian students may consider community and social service occupations after graduation. These careers can be both rewarding and lucrative. Many counselors and therapists, for example, including those specializing in substance abuse, mental health, and family issues, earn over $20 an hour. Social workers earn the highest wages in the field, with healthcare social workers averaging over $60,000 per year.

Community and Social Service Occupations in New York
Occupation Employment Average Hourly Wage Average Annual Wage
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors 7,600 $24.21 $50,350
Marriage and Family Therapists 720 $21.28 $44,260
Mental Health Counselors 6,970 $20.23 $42,070
Rehabilitation Counselors 8,730 $17.27 $35,930
Child, Family, and School Social Workers 22,630 $27.87 $57,970
Healthcare Social Workers 12,540 $28.88 $60,060
Social and Human Service Assistants 33,350 $17.38 $36,140
Clergy 8,490 $25.28 $52,570
Directors, Religious Activities and Education 3,350 $20.05 $41,700
Religious Workers, all other 530 $15.67 $32,600
Source: BLS, May 2017

Scholarships and Financial Aid

New York students attending Christian colleges and universities benefit from many scholarship opportunities. In addition to scholarships tied to church membership in a certain denomination, New York residents can also qualify for residency-related opportunities like the New York State tuition assistance program.

Christian Scholarships

Women's Missionary Union (WMU) Foundation Scholarships Varies

Who Can Apply: The WMU offers multiple scholarships to Baptist students. Applicants complete an application form and submit two online endorsement forms, one of which must be from a WMU leader. View Scholarship

Student Opportunity Scholarship Up to $3,000

Who Can Apply: The Presbyterian Church (USA) awards scholarships to eligible Presbyterian students who have completed their first year of college at an accredited institution. Applicants must hold a GPA of 2.5 or better and demonstrate financial need. View Scholarship

Young Christian Leaders Scholarship $1,000

Who Can Apply: Buttafuoco and Associates funds this scholarship for Christian students who are active in their local church. Applicants must hold a GPA of 3.0 or better and be permanent residents of New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut, but may attend college outside of the tri-state area. View Scholarship

United Methodist Church General Scholarship $500-1,000

Who Can Apply: The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry provides numerous scholarship options, including this scholarship for Methodist students with a GPA of 2.5 or better. View Scholarship

Scholarships for New York Residents

New York State Tuition Assistance Program Up to $5,165

Who Can Apply: This program funds eligible New York residents attending approved colleges and universities in the state. Applicants must be full-time students with a minimum "C" average. View Scholarship

Excelsior Scholarship Full Tuition

Who Can Apply: The state government offers this scholarship for New York residents attending a New York state public college or university. Applicants must be full-time students and U.S. citizens. View Scholarship

Ascend Educational Fund Scholarship Up to $20,000

Who Can Apply: This fund awards scholarships to graduating seniors from New York City high schools who are immigrant students or the children of immigrants. Applicants must enroll full time at an accredited public or private college or university. View Scholarship

New York State Memorial Scholarship Up to $23,000

Who Can Apply: Children, spouses, and dependents of deceased firefighters, police officers, peace officers, and emergency medical service workers who died in the line of duty qualify for this scholarship. Recipients must be full-time students in good academic standing. View Scholarship

Financial Service Centers of New York (FSCNY)/MoneyGram Scholarship $2,000-7,500

Who Can Apply: FSCNY and MoneyGram International offer scholarships to graduating high school seniors from public schools in New York City and the surrounding counties. Applicants must demonstrate academic achievement and volunteer service experience. View Scholarship

Resources

Find a Church in Your Community

College students can find a church in their local community using several resources. Church Finder identifies local churches in New York state, and USA Churches also connects students with churches near them. Using these resources, Christian students can build a local church community even when attending college far away from home.

Get Connected

Christian students rely on Christian networking sites to build connections with colleagues and find job opportunities after graduation. These organizations bring together Christian professionals from New York and around the world.

  • Christian Business Network An international organization, CBN connects Christians through collaboration services, content management, and professional promotion services.
  • The Christian Union This organization aims to develop Christian leaders by connecting university students and graduates through its networking site, conferences, and mentorship programs. The union offers both university-focused groups and city groups, including one based in New York City.
  • Legatus Legatus, a community of Catholic professionals, operates several chapters in New York state. Members network and benefit from forums, conferences, and retreats.

Find Christian Ministries

While some students prefer to attend a Christian college in New York, others may prefer a public university but seek religious community. In addition to considering online Christian colleges, students can also benefit from Christian ministries at public universities. The following organizations provide religious support for Christian students.

Interdenominational
  • Campus Crusade for Christ With chapters on over 5,000 college campuses, including many at Christian colleges in New York, Campus Crusade for Christ connects Christian students and offers internships, mission trips, and Bible studies.
  • Chi Alpha Founded in 1953 at Missouri State University, Chi Alpha has since grown into a network of over 300 Christian ministries found on university campuses around the world.
  • International Fellowship of Evangelical Students Founded in 1947 at Harvard, IFES is now active in 160 countries. The organization boasts 590 campus locations in the U.S., including several at Christian colleges in New York.
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes FCA connects Christian student athletes across the country, at the youth, college, and professional levels. Founded in 1954, FCA offers small group Bible studies, Christian sports camps, and local volunteer opportunities.
Catholic
  • Catholic Campus Ministry Association A leading voice in college campus ministry, CCMA offers chapters at over 500 colleges in all 50 states, including Catholic colleges in New York.
Lutheran
  • Lutheran Student Movement USA This student-led organization brings together Lutheran college students on campuses across the country, including at Bible colleges in New York.
Presbyterian
  • Reformed University Fellowship RUF is the official campus ministry of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). The organization offers Bible studies, retreats, conferences, and internships.
  • UKirk UKirk provides community and professional support for Presbyterian college students. The organization offers local service opportunities for students at Christian colleges in New York.
Baptist
  • Baptist Collegiate Ministry Life This organization runs campus groups on college campuses across North America, including Bible colleges in New York. The organization offers large worship groups, community ministry opportunities, and mission trips.

Public Universities in New York with Christian Ministries

  • Binghamton University: Binghamton University, part of the state university system, features multiple Christian ministries, including a local organization called Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
  • Stony Brook University: A member of the State University of New York system, Stony Brook features several on-campus Christian ministries and an interfaith center.
  • City College of New York: CCNY, the founding institution of the City University of New York, is home to multiple Christian ministries, including Campus Crusade for Christ.