Christian Colleges in Oklahoma

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 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.

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.

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.

Community and Social Service Occupations in Oklahoma
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
Rehabilitation Counselors 1,940 $13.54 $28,160
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
Clergy 390 $22.22 $46,210
Directors, Religious Activities and Education 50 $24.87 $51,720
Source: BLS, May 2017

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.

Christian Scholarships

Mary E. Bivins Religious Scholarship Program $2,500-3,500

Who Can Apply: Undergraduate juniors and seniors pursuing careers in ministry. Preference is given to students who plan to serve as pulpit pastors after graduating. View Scholarship

Presbyterian Student Opportunity Scholarship $Up to $3,000

Who Can Apply: Presbyterian students entering their second year of undergraduate study at an accredited school. Applicants must possess a minimum GPA of 2.5 and demonstrate financial need. View Scholarship

FTE Fellowships for Latino/a, Asian, and First Nations Doctoral Students Varies

Who Can Apply: Latino/a, Asian, or First Nations students who are ABD (all but dissertation) in an accredited Ph.D. or Th.D. program pertaining to religion, Biblical studies, or theology. View Scholarship

FTE Fellowships for Students of African Descent Varies

Who Can Apply: Doctoral candidates of African descent enrolled in a religious studies, Bible studies, or theology program at an accredited school. View Scholarship

ORU Quest Whole Person Scholarship Full tuition

Who Can Apply: Freshman and transfer students at Oral Roberts University who exhibit outstanding character and academic ability. Candidates must be nominated by an individual affiliated with their church, school, or ORU. View Scholarship

Scholarships for Oklahoma Residents

Oklahoma Future Teachers Scholarship $500-1,500/yr

Who Can Apply: Oklahoma residents and student teachers who meet certain academic criteria. Candidates must be nominated by a representative from their university, and are required to teach in a critical shortage area after graduation. View Scholarship

Oklahoma Engineering Foundation Scholarship $4,000

Who Can Apply: Engineering students entering their third year of study at an accredited Oklahoma university. Qualifying applicants should hold a 3.0 GPA or higher and participate in a work-study program or extracurricular activities. View Scholarship

AQHA Oklahoma Quarter Horse Youth Scholarship $8,000 over 4 years

Who Can Apply: Oklahoma high school seniors who plan to attend a four-year university and maintain a GPA of 2.5 or better. Applicants must be active members of OkQHA, with at least two years of AQHA membership history. View Scholarship

Oklahoma Tuition Aid Grant (OTAG) $1,000-1,300

Who Can Apply: This needs-based, state-run scholarship is awarded to full- or part-time students attending or planning to attend qualifying Oklahoma institutions. Eligible high school applicants must live in Oklahoma for at least two years before graduating. Students may apply through FAFSA. View Scholarship

Regional University Baccalaureate Scholarship $3,000/year

Who Can Apply: Oklahoma residents enrolled at one of 11 regional schools. To qualify, students must possess a minimum ACT score of 30, or receive National Merit Semifinalist or Commended Student distinction. View Scholarship

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.

Get Connected

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.

Interdenominational
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
Presbyterian
  • 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
  • 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.
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