Christian Colleges in Ohio

Ohio residents have diverse religious backgrounds, with Christianity ranking as the most popular religion. Of Ohio Christians, 70% claim religion holds great importance in their lives, and 32% have completed at least some college. Within this unique religious landscape, Ohio's Christian colleges offer many degrees that combine faith and academics.

Of Ohio Christians, 70% claim religion holds great importance in their lives, and 32% have completed at least some college. Pew Research Center

Christian universities in Ohio represent a range of denominations, and these private not-for-profit institutions give students the opportunity to earn degrees in a variety of subjects. Many of these institutions also offer students the option to study within their faith and earn seminary degrees that qualify them as religious leaders. Christian colleges in Ohio are an ideal choice for students considering careers within their faith. This guide provides information on potential educational and career paths open to prospective students considering Christian colleges in Ohio.

In addition to on-campus options at Christian colleges in Ohio, students can also choose to earn their degree through an online program. Earning a degree online holds many advantages. For nontraditional students whose lifestyles may not be conducive to taking on-campus courses, online programs offer great flexibility in scheduling. Many online programs eliminate campus requirements and allow students to complete work asynchronously. This learning atmosphere proves ideal for students with family, work, or church obligations. Online Christian colleges can also be more affordable, as these program lack the expenses of commuting and on-campus accommodations.

Christian colleges in Ohio typically offer the same faith-based curriculum online as in-person programs. Many of these online programs offer additional services to distance learners, including online spiritual support and counseling, live streams of student worship services, and groups and forums that allow on- and off-campus students to connect. Students earning their online degrees at Christian colleges in Ohio can take advantage of many of the same resources and services as on-campus students without having to disrupt their everyday responsibilities and obligations.

Prospective students should consider some important factors when choosing an Ohio Christian college. Whether you plan to study entirely online or spend some time on campus, the size of that campus can be particularly important. A smaller campus allows for a more unique and close-knit Christian community experience, while generally offering a lower student-to-faculty ratio. This generally results in smaller class sizes where students develop closer relationships with faculty through one-on-one interaction.

For students interested primarily in online programs, consider resources available to online students who wish to integrate faith into their online learning experience.

You may also want to consider the values expressed by each campus. Consider the lifestyle expectations and whether or not the school prohibits the use of drugs and alcohol. In addition, some schools hold requirements for attending chapel or participating in service projects.

For students interested primarily in online programs, consider resources available to online students who wish to integrate faith into their online learning experience. Investigate special resources or programs in place for distance learners and the support available for students living, working, and learning away from campus. When examining degrees, check to see if the program is Bible- or ministry-focused and how that fits into your future career goals.

Seminary Schools vs. Bible Schools

Prior to earning your degree from an Ohio Christian college, consider the kind of education you want. While many Christian colleges and universities offer both religious and nonreligious majors, some incorporate more religious education elements in their general curriculum, and others specifically educate future religious leaders. Bible colleges, for example, offer undergraduate degrees in both religious and nonreligious fields, while still offering the Christian foundation for students choosing to major in nonreligious areas. These colleges also offer students a religious community aspect, including chapel services and general education requirements in Christian topics.

Seminaries, on the other hand, mainly benefit students who plan to serve in church-related roles as pastors or ministers. Seminaries generally offer graduate-level degrees.

Accreditation for Christian Colleges

A school's accreditation status is an important consideration when choosing an Ohio Christian college. Accreditation is the process by which colleges and universities are recognized as meeting certain standards set by various types of accrediting agencies. The two most common types of accreditation are regional and national. In Ohio, many postsecondary institutions receive regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. National accreditation usually applies to for-profit, vocational, or other specialized programs, and is generally regarded as less prestigious than regional accreditation. The central difference between these two types of accreditation lies mostly in the ability to transfer earned credits between institutions with different types of accreditation.

In Ohio, many postsecondary institutions receive regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Some schools and programs may also have field-specific accreditation. For example, some Bible colleges in Ohio hold accreditation from the Association of Theological Schools or the Association for Biblical Higher Education. The U.S. Department of Education also offers a useful database for finding all the accredited postsecondary institutions and programs in the country.

The job market in Ohio continues to grow. With the fundamental skills provided by degrees from Christian colleges, these graduates enter the job market as qualified candidates for a range of positions. As of March 2018, the unemployment rate in the state hit 4.4%, down from previous months. The annual mean wage across all occupations in the state stands at $46,950, according to the BLS.

Some of the fastest-growing industries in Ohio are automotives, steel, agriculture, and aerospace. A degree from a Bible college in Ohio can create a path toward one of these rapidly growing fields. The table below details the community and social service occupations in Ohio.

Community and Social Service Occupations in Ohio
Occupation Employment Average Hourly Wage Average Annual Wage
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors 7,290 $22.10 $45,960
Marriage and Family Therapists 600 $24.11 $50,140
Mental Health Counselors 4,830 $20.64 $42,940
Rehabilitation Counselors 5,050 $19.24 $40,010
Child, Family, and School Social Workers 9,180 $20.76 $43,180
Healthcare Social Workers 9,810 $26.04 $54,170
Social and Human Service Assistants 15,180 $16.17 $33,640
Clergy 1,620 $22.29 $46,360
Directors, Religious Activities and Education 530 $21.63 $44,990
Relgious Workers, all other 180 $14.19 $29,510
Source: BLS, May 2017

Earning your degree can be a huge financial undertaking. However, scholarships may benefit students attending Christian colleges in Ohio. Below, you will find examples of these scholarship opportunities.

Christian Scholarships

Native American Seminary Scholarship Program $5,000

Who Can Apply: Native American students attending an approved seminary can apply for this award if they have earned a high school GPA of at least a 2.5 or higher. Proof of native parentage is required. The reward can be renewed for up to three years. View Scholarship

The Clare Boothe Luce Program Varies

Who Can Apply: Supported by the Henry Luce Foundation, the Clare Boothe Luce Program supports women in the form of undergraduate scholarships, undergraduate research awards, and graduate fellowships. Preference is given to women attending Catholic institutions, specifically majoring in STEM-related fields. View Scholarship

Unitarian Universalist Association Scholarships Varies

Who Can Apply: The Unitarian Universalist Association offers different scholarship programs to those aspiring to be ministers. The amounts and requirements vary, but these funds are reserved specifically for students in ministry. View Scholarship

United Church of Christ Ministry Education Scholarships Varies

Who Can Apply: These scholarships are available for applicants who have been members of the United Church of Christ for at least a year. Applicants must also be enrolled in a course of study that will lead to becoming an ordained minister. View Scholarship

American Baptist Home Mission Society Scholarship Varies

Who Can Apply: The ABHMS offers different types of awards to students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The undergraduate awards benefit members of the ABHMS with at least a 2.5 GPA attending an accredited college or university. View Scholarship

Scholarships for Ohio Residents

Ohio College Opportunity Grant Varies

Who Can Apply: These state funds benefit students who demonstrate the highest amount of financial need. Applicants must have a household income below $96,000 and must be earning their first associate, bachelor's, or nursing degree at an Ohio college or university. View Scholarship

Choose Ohio First Scholarship Varies

Who Can Apply: This grant encourages students in Ohio to attend universities and colleges within the state and earn degrees in science, technology, engineering, math, and medical fields. These awards are granted through the state institutions themselves and vary based on financial need. View Scholarship

Forever Buckeyes Program Difference of out-of-state tuition

Who Can Apply: This program grants in-state tuition to graduates of public or private Ohio high schools who leave the state but choose to return later to attend an Ohio college or university. View Scholarship

Ohio Laborers Future Leaders of America $1,000

Who Can Apply: Children or grandchildren of members of the Laborers' District Council of Ohio may apply for this scholarship. Students must be enrolled full time and have a 3.0 cumulative GPA. View Scholarship

Judge Leo A. and Mrs. Gilberta Jackson Scholarship $2,000

Who Can Apply: Residents of the greater Cleveland area attending Morehouse College, Spelman College, or Florida A&M on a full-time basis can apply for this award. Students must be pursuing a degree in a community or service-based major. View Scholarship

Find a Church in Your Community

No matter where you decide to pursue your degree, whether online or on campus, you can find a supportive community in a local church. Church Finder and USA Churches both offer databases of churches located throughout Ohio.

Get Connected

Learning online can sometimes leave off-campus students feeling disconnected, but useful resources can help distance learners connect with like-minded individuals.

  • Christian Business Network This organization exists specifically to help Christ-centered, working professionals make connections with businesses and network with other professionals.
  • Cleveland Cru This Christian community organization aims to improve campuses and inner cities by growing faith and making valuable connections.
  • Ohio Ministry Network The Ohio Ministry Network connects leaders, community members, and churches in the state. They provide resources and leadership to those in the church community.

Find Christian Ministries

Because of their religious affiliations, most Christian colleges and universities are private. This can often mean increased tuition costs and potentially less federal financial aid available to students, making these institutions difficult to afford for some students. In these instances, attending a public, non-Christian university in Ohio is still a great option, as these schools often offer campus ministries and resources for students. The following list includes campus-based ministry organizations.

Interdenominational
  • Campus Crusade for Christ Campus Crusade for Christ, or Cru, operates out of thousands of college campuses across the United States. They provide spiritual resources to students and their larger communities.
  • Chi Alpha Chi Alpha aims to help college students fulfill their academic and spiritual goals through prayer, worship, discipleship, and mission work.
  • International Fellowship of Evangelical Students This organization teaches college students to use evangelical practices to spread Christian values to the wider community and world.
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes The FCA provides leadership and support for Christian athletes and coaches by fostering stronger relationships with Christ through sport.
Catholic
  • Catholic Campus Ministry Association The Catholic Campus Ministry Association uses networking to connect and empower campus ministry leaders with resources and a community-centered atmosphere.
Lutheran
  • Lutheran Student Movement USA Led by students, this Lutheran organization provides opportunities for service on spring break mission trips and other useful campus resources.
Presbyterian
  • Reformed University Fellowship As the official campus ministry arm of the Presbyterian Church in America, the Reformed University Fellowship offers worship, fellowship, and Bible studies.
  • UKirk This campus ministry serves as a form of support for those in leadership, representing the Presbyterian church on campuses across the country.
Baptist

Public Universities in Ohio with Christian Ministries

  • The Ohio State University OSU hosts many Christian student organizations,including campus ministries, Bible studies, and other faith-based groups like Campus Crusade for Christ.
  • Ohio University Students at Ohio University can take advantage of campus chapters of Campus Crusade for Christ and other different denominational and non-denominational ministries.
  • University of Cincinnati Including a chapter of Chi Alpha, the University of Cincinnati offers many student-centered Christian organizations and ministries to enrolled students.
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