Oklahoma boasts a vibrant and committed religious community, with nearly eight out of every 10 adults identifying as Christian. Almost half of the state's Christian population identifies as Evangelical Protestant, while 18% identify as mainline Protestant, 8% as Catholic, and 4% as historically black Protestant. Christians in Oklahoma are also serious about their faith, making it an active part of their lifestyle. Forty-three percent of Oklahoma adults attend religious services at least once a week, while another 32% attend services as often as twice a month. Seventy-one percent of state residents believe in God with absolute certainty, and 64% view religion as an important part of their life.
Oklahoma boasts a vibrant and committed religious community, with nearly eight out of every 10 adults identifying as Christian. Pew Research Center
This vibrant religious culture has led to the founding of several Christian colleges in Oklahoma. Christian universities allow students to learn more about their religion, deepen their faith, and meet like-minded people as they pursue their degree. Christian colleges in Oklahoma are affiliated with a variety of denominations, including Roman Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal, and Wesleyan. Oklahoma Christian colleges are also academically diverse. While some Christian Bible colleges offer degrees in religious subjects like theology, ministry, and church music, others feature traditional majors and fields of study, such as engineering, nursing, and business. In addition, many Christian universities in Oklahoma offer programs at multiple levels, from two-year associate degrees to master's and Ph.D. programs.
Online Christian Colleges in Oklahoma
Online Christian colleges in Oklahoma are attractive to busy individuals who are seeking a faith-based education. Online programs are flexible, and distance learners may continue to work, maintain family or personal obligations, and stay involved with church activities while earning a degree. Many web-based programs feature asynchronous courses, which allow students to review lectures and complete assignments at their convenience.
Distance learners pay lower tuition rates and avoid many of the hidden costs associated with living on campus, such as fees for parking, transportation, dining halls, and residential housing.
Christian online colleges in Oklahoma are also significantly less expensive than their traditional counterparts. Distance learners pay lower tuition rates and avoid many of the hidden costs associated with living on campus, such as fees for parking, transportation, dining halls, and residential housing. Online students receive the same faith-based education as their on-campus peers, and have access to many of the same resources. Some Christian online colleges offer live streaming worship services, virtual spiritual counseling services, and chat groups and forums that let distance learners develop a community of like-minded online peers.
Oklahoma's Best Online Christian Schools
Oklahoma Christian University
A private, liberal arts-focused university affiliated with the Churches of Christ and based out of the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond, Oklahoma Christian University (OC) enrolls nearly 2,500 students. Originally opening its doors as a two-year school in the 1950s, OC has evolved over the years, with its current iteration offering various Christ-centered programs on campus and online.
OC's slate of online programs includes an online master of science in engineering management degree and an online RN-to-BSN degree. The nursing program allows students to graduate in 8-12 months, while students in the engineering program take one course per week and complete a 30-credit curriculum in two years. Both programs run on an accelerated format and deliver coursework asynchronously without any in-person requirements. Thanks to its flexibility, OC earns a spot among the best Christian colleges in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Christian University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Oklahoma Baptist University
A private, Baptist-affiliated liberal arts school in Shawnee, Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) opened its doors at the turn of the 20th century as the result of various efforts from the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Today, OBU enrolls approximately 2,000 students and makes several of its stronger programs available through distance learning, earning it a spot among the top Christian colleges and universities in Oklahoma.
OBU launched its online efforts in 2001 by offering five individual courses through distance learning. OBU's online RN-to-BSN/MSN and online MBA degrees stand out as the school's strongest distance learning offerings. Differing from the school's liberal arts ethos, these pre-professional degrees help working professionals advance in their careers or launch a new one. Each program delivers coursework asynchronously and completely eliminates on-campus requirements. Students complete clinical nursing hours in their own communities.
Oklahoma Baptist University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Oral Roberts University
A private, liberal arts school in Tulsa, Oral Roberts University (ORU) maintains an affiliation with the Evangelical charismatic movement. Named for the evangelist Oral Roberts, who founded the school in the 1960s as the result of a message he said he received from God, the college offers a range of undergraduate, master's, and doctoral programs. In recent years, ORU has expanded its nationwide reach by making several of its strongest programs available through distance learning, making it a top option as an Oklahoma Christian college.
ORU's slate of online programs includes offerings in fields such as digital communication, financial management, historical and philosophical theology, and human resources management. The school's online degrees maintain a Christ-centered focus while offering additional flexibility, delivering most coursework asynchronously and avoiding on-campus requirements whenever possible.
Oral Roberts University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Southern Nazarene University
A private, liberal arts-focused school affiliated with the titular Church of the Nazarene, Southern Nazarene University (SNU) operates its central campus out of the city of Bethany. Originally opening its doors in 1899 as the result of a merger with a Bible college, SNU has modernized over the years, offering programs across a range of disciplines, enrolling more than 2,000 students and making several of its better programs available to distance learners. These developments earn SNU a place among the best Christian colleges in Oklahoma.
SNU offers 10 online programs through its professional and graduate studies department. As such, SNU's online degrees include a pre-professional focus and cater primarily to working professionals. Degree fields include business administration, exercise science, organizational leadership, and sport management and administration. Keeping its students' busy schedules in mind, SNU delivers all online coursework asynchronously and does not require online students to visit campus.
Southern Nazarene University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Mid-America Christian University
Affiliated with Anderson, Indiana's Church of God and based out of Oklahoma City, Mid-America Christian University (MACU) focuses on providing Christ-centered liberal arts programs to its approximately 2,500 online and on-campus students. Originally beginning operations in the 1950s, MACU has grown as much as any Oklahoma Christian college over the years, as its modern iteration offers undergraduate and graduate programs in nearly 25 fields.
MACU currently offers online degrees through four different schools: arts and sciences, psychology and counseling, Christian ministries, and business leadership. The university's slate of online programs includes both bachelor's and master's degrees. MACU aims for flexibility in its online programs, delivering all coursework asynchronously and doing away with in-person requirements. Students complete assignments through MACU's OneLogin and Desire2Learn learning management systems.
Mid-America Christian University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Southwestern Christian University
A small, private university affiliated with the International Pentecostal Holiness Church, Southwestern Christian University (SCU) operates its central campus out of the city of Bethany. SCU originally opened its doors in the 1940s as a Bible college, eventually becoming a junior college before evolving into its current four-year form in the 21st century. SCU meets the needs of Christian students and working professionals alike by offering several online programs.
SCU's slate of distance learning offerings include degrees in business, management, social services, and Christian leadership through the university's school of adult and online education. Keeping working professionals in mind, SCU delivers all online coursework asynchronously and does not require students in online programs to visit campus for any reason. Like other Christian colleges in Oklahoma, SCU's online programs include required coursework in the Bible and other Christian topics.
Southwestern Christian University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Oklahoma Wesleyan University
Based in Bartlesville and affiliated with the titular Wesleyan Church, Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OKWU) enrolls approximately 1,200 students in programs that span 54 fields. In recent years, OKWU has provided additional convenience to its student body by expanding its distance learning offerings. As a result, OKWU now offers distance learning programs — both bachelor's and master's degrees — in pre-professional fields such as nursing, business administration, education, and organizational management.
In most of its online programs, OKWU provides students with a blended learning and an entirely online option. Students can choose between completing some online coursework in Bartlesville and completing their degrees asynchronously through coursework without any on-campus requirements. OKWU prides itself on its accommodations for military students, which include tuition discounts.
Like most other Christian colleges in Oklahoma, Oklahoma Wesleyan University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
What Christian Colleges are in Oklahoma?
Finding the Right Christian College
Before selecting a Christian college in Oklahoma, it's crucial to ensure that a school fits your personality, interests, and lifestyle. This means examining several different factors, including campus size and location. Smaller schools often feature lower student-to-faculty ratios, which make it easier for teachers to provide learners with individual attention and one-on-one assistance. Smaller Bible colleges in Oklahoma also foster a stronger sense of community and more opportunities for fellowship.
School location is another aspect to consider. Do you prefer to study in a rural setting, or live closer to a city? Is the surrounding area safe? A Christian university in Tulsa or Oklahoma City may offer more urban amenities and opportunities to engage in community service. Many Christian schools also have specific guidelines and expectations for students living on campus. Some Bible colleges in Oklahoma may prohibit alcohol and co-ed housing, or require that students attend chapel or services.
Prior to selecting a Christian university in Oklahoma, students should develop a clear idea of what their chosen institution has to offer, both on campus and in the classroom.
While campus size, location, and culture are less important considerations for online learners, distance students should carefully examine the resources available to them. Each school features different forms of support for online students, including virtual academic advising, career assistance, and web-based spiritual resources.
Perhaps most importantly, prospective students should ensure that a school's degree offerings align with their academic and career goals. Does an institution offer a traditional liberal arts-based education, or Bible- or ministry-focused programs? Those pursuing church careers may prefer to attend a seminary or Bible college in Oklahoma that prepares students for pastoral roles, while a liberal arts-focused Christian college may be ideal for learners interested in secular programs. Prior to selecting a Christian university in Oklahoma, students should develop a clear idea of what their chosen institution has to offer, both on campus and in the classroom.
Seminary Schools vs. Bible Schools
Seminary schools and Bible colleges differ in several ways. While seminary schools train students for careers in ministry and church leadership, Bible colleges do not prepare students for any particular profession. Instead, Bible colleges offer both religious and secular programs in a faith-based setting. Although many Bible colleges do offer non-traditional majors like pre-ministry or Bible studies, they also grant degrees in areas such as business, engineering, criminal justice, and history. Seminary coursework, in contrast, focuses primarily on issues in church leadership, liturgics, and advanced theological topics. Most seminaries offer graduate-level or doctoral programs, while Bible colleges typically grant associate, bachelor's, or master's degrees. Seminary admissions guidelines vary considerably according to denomination and institution, but generally require that applicants hold at least a bachelor's degree. For this reason, some Bible schools offer pre-ministry programs that prepare undergraduates for advanced religious studies.
Accreditation for Christian Colleges
Accreditation is a quality control process used to ensure that schools operate according to academic and ethical standards, protecting students from scams and degree mills. Most Oklahoma Christian colleges hold either regional or national accreditation. Christian colleges in Oklahoma are commonly accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, while many institutions receive national accreditation from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Accreditation Commission. In general, regional accreditation is considered more prestigious than national accreditation. While most institutions will recognize credits earned from regionally accredited schools, many will not accept credits granted at nationally accredited institutions. Some financial aid opportunities are also restricted to students enrolled at regionally accredited schools.
In general, regional accreditation is considered more prestigious than national accreditation.
In some instances, programs or colleges within a larger institution may receive specialized accreditation. Some Oklahoma seminaries hold specialized accreditation from agencies such as the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools. Are you wondering about the accreditation status of a particular Christian college or Bible school in Oklahoma? The U.S. Department of Education maintains a database of accredited postsecondary programs and institutions throughout the country.
Career and Salary Expectations
As a whole, Oklahoma's economic outlook mirrors larger trends throughout the country. While the state's 4% unemployment rate is on par with the national unemployment rate, this percentage fluctuates moderately according to location. In urban areas such as Oklahoma City, the unemployment rate sits at only 3.5%, while 4.2% of residents in Lawton are out of work. Earnings also tend to align with nationwide statistics. Oklahoma's mean annual wage of $43,340 and mean hourly wage of $20.84 are both similar to average earnings across the country.
Most of the fastest-growing occupations in Oklahoma require some form of higher education or training. Thanks to an aging population and rapid advances in medicine and technology, statewide trends mimic a high national demand for healthcare workers. While Oklahoma's fastest-growing occupations include pharmacy technicians, home health aides and registered nurses, demand for social and community service professionals is also on the rise. As the table below demonstrates, Oklahoma students interested in pursuing careers in religion or social services have a variety of opportunities available throughout the state.
|Occupation||Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Wage|
|Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors||1,180||$21.47||$44,650|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||460||$19.97||$41,540|
|Mental Health Counselors||2,280||$23.73||$49,350|
|Child, Family, and School Social Workers||6,890||$18.05||$37,550|
|Healthcare Social Workers||2,110||$21.94||$45,630|
|Social and Human Service Assistants||1,540||$13.43||$27,930|
|Directors, Religious Activities and Education||50||$24.87||$51,720|
Scholarships and Financial Aid
Scholarships are a great way to help pay for your degree. While many scholarships are awarded on the basis of financial need or academic performance, others are intended for students pursuing religious studies, or members of certain denominations. Some state-based scholarships are exclusively available to Oklahoma students, or those residing in certain counties. Below, we've listed several scholarships that you may be interested in applying for.
Mary E. Bivins Religious Scholarship Program $2,500-3,500
Presbyterian Student Opportunity Scholarship $Up to $3,000
FTE Fellowships for Latino/a, Asian, and First Nations Doctoral Students Varies
FTE Fellowships for Students of African Descent Varies
ORU Quest Whole Person Scholarship Full tuition
Scholarships for Oklahoma Residents
Oklahoma Future Teachers Scholarship $500-1,500/yr
Oklahoma Engineering Foundation Scholarship $4,000
AQHA Oklahoma Quarter Horse Youth Scholarship $8,000 over 4 years
Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant (OTAG) $1,000-1,300
Regional University Baccalaureate Scholarship $3,000/year
Find a Church in Your Community
If you've recently relocated to attend an Oklahoma Christian college, you may be interested in attending a church close to campus. Sites like Church Finder and USA Churches feature comprehensive state-by-state databases that let users search according to congregation size, denomination, and city.
Christian networking websites offer great opportunities to connect with like-minded professionals, other students, and potential employers. Many of these organizations also provide members with free or discounted educational resources and publications. Students attending online Christian colleges may find sites like the ones below particularly useful.
- The Christian Business Network Uniting Christian professionals from a variety of countries and industries, the CBN offers a variety of business-enhancing resources and promotional tools. Members may create professional profiles, share CVs, and explore job openings worldwide.
- American Association of Christian Counselors The AACC offers a space for Christian counselors to build industry-wide networks, strengthen professional skills, and explore educational resources such as recordings, newsletters, and magazines.
- Christian Medical and Dental Association The CMDA has connected and supported Christian healthcare workers for nearly 100 years. Members enjoy access to spiritual support, professional training opportunities, and continued education programs.
Find Christian Ministries
The cost of attending a private institution may prevent some students from enrolling in an Oklahoma Christian college. Fortunately, most public state universities maintain campus ministries and clubs that provide Christian students with opportunities to connect and worship together. Most secular schools in the state are home to at least one campus ministry or Christian student organization. The groups listed below are commonly found on college campuses throughout the country.
- Campus Crusade for Christ Popularly known as Cru, Campus Crusade for Christ encourages spiritual growth through fellowship. Exciting opportunities for student members range from internships and international mission trips to parties and long-term volunteer opportunities.
- Chi Alpha This national network of ministries sponsors campus Bible study groups, mission trips, and leadership training programs. Chi Alpha's website boasts a large digital library of resources promoting spiritual and physical health.
- International Fellowship of Evangelical Students The IFES's global campus ministry programs unite and inspire students by offering a variety of platforms, both online and in print, for spiritual discussion.
- Fellowship of Christian Athletes By using sports to evangelize and strengthen community ties, the FCA unites Christian athletes and coaches. Members enjoy camps, bible studies, ministry training, and internship opportunities.
- Catholic Campus Ministry Association This professional network provides resources and support for Catholic campus ministers, including job boards, podcasts, magazines, and discounted graduate programs. Members connect through annual gatherings.
- Lutheran Student Movement USA In addition to campus prayer groups and national student gatherings, the LSM - USA sponsors faith-based alternative spring break trips, missions, and service-learning opportunities.
- Reformed University Fellowship The RUF's University Church Initiative plants Presbyterian churches and ministries in college towns, ensuring that college students receive spiritual support from ordained campus ministers.
- UKirk UKirk offers professional and spiritual support for Presbyterian campus ministers and college students alike. The group sponsors educational grants, mission opportunities, and a free annual UKirk Summit.
- Baptist Collegiate Ministry Life The BCM maintains chapters on campuses throughout the country and a thriving international ministry program. The organization hosts an annual gathering called College Week and a mission trip each spring to Panama City.
Public Universities in Oklahoma with Christian Ministries
- The University of Oklahoma: OU provides a wide selection of campus and area ministries, such as Chi Alpha, Cru, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
- Oklahoma State University: OSU's Stillwater campus is home to several ministries, including Cru, Baptist Collegiate Ministry, Chi Alpha, Reformed University Fellowship, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
- University of Central Oklahoma: Chi Alpha, Baptist Collegiate Ministry, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and several other Christian groups maintain a presence at UCO's Edmond campus.