Rhode Island is the smallest state by land area in the U.S. and has a strong Christian community. According to the Pew Research Center, 75% of adults in the state identify as Christian, 42% identify as Catholic, and 28% identify as Evangelical Protestant or Mainline Protestant. Additionally, 36% of adults attend a religious service once a week, and 48% pray daily.
75% of adults in Rhode Island identify as Christian, 42% identify as Catholic, and 28% identify as Evangelical Protestant or Mainline Protestant. Pew Research Center
Despite this religious landscape, there are only a few Christian colleges in Rhode Island. Both Providence College and Salve Regina University are small, private Catholic institutions, and these schools are home to programs in business administration, nursing, biology, and psychology. Attending a Christian college in Rhode Island provides ways to deepen your faith and integrate these values with your educational studies and career. If you decide to attend one of the state's online Christian colleges, these programs offer several resources to support students.
There are many advantages to enrolling in online Christian colleges. Online programs tend to be more flexible, allowing students to work from the comfort of their own homes. Often, online coursework is offered asynchronously, which allows learners to complete coursework on their own schedules. Online programs are also often more affordable; not only do students save money on transportation and on-campus accommodations, some programs offer discounted tuition rates for online classes.
Christian online colleges allow students to engage in faith-based learning in an online setting, and they typically offer the same curriculum as on-campus programs. Many online schools also provide access to the same resources that on-campus students receive, such as live streams of student worship services, spiritual support and counseling, and community forums.
When deciding which of the Christian colleges in Rhode Island is right for you, there are several factors to consider. Campus size, campus values, the surrounding community, the availability of online resources, and program offerings are particularly important. First, be sure to look into the type of education that the program offers, such as whether it's liberal arts or general education-based. It's also important to know whether the degree is Bible or ministry-focused. Additionally, when researching campus values, consider the school's lifestyle expectations. It's important to ask about this school's drug and alcohol policies, its on-campus housing policies, and its chapel and services requirements to find out if these policies align with your beliefs.
It's important to ask about this school's drug and alcohol policies, its on-campus housing policies, and its chapel and services requirements to find out if these policies align with your beliefs.
Keep in mind that when it comes to campus size, a smaller campus can lead to a tighter-knit student community and a low student-to-faculty ratio, which can result in more attention from instructors, professors, and other staff. Be sure to take into account the surrounding community and whether or not this will be a safe area to work and live. You should also check if the surrounding community has opportunities for service, volunteering, and internships. If you're not planning on living on or near campus, research the kinds of services the program offers to online students who would like to integrate faith into the online learning experience.
Seminary Schools vs. Bible Schools
When researching Christian colleges in Rhode Island, keep in mind that there is a difference between seminaries and Bible schools. Bible schools typically offer two- and four-year degrees. They focus on undergraduate education and offer programs that integrate Bible studies and a Christian worldview with core educational requirements. Bible colleges often offer introductory classes in the Old and New Testaments, Christian doctrine, and Greek and Hebrew. Some students earn bachelor's degrees at Bible schools to prepare for seminary.
A seminary program focuses on graduate education and confers master's in divinity or master's in theology degrees. Seminaries prepare students for Christian leadership roles as pastors, church planters, missionaries, and counselors. In addition to standard graduate-level coursework, most seminaries feature classes in Greek, Hebrew, pastoral counseling, advanced biblical studies, and systematic theology.
Accreditation for Christian Colleges
When researching Christian colleges in Rhode Island, it's important to make sure that the school is accredited. Accreditation refers to a process in which the school and an outside accrediting agency examine the program and ensure that it meets certain educational standards. Many undergraduate and graduate institutions only accept transfer credits from accredited institutions. Also, many financial aid programs require students to enroll in programs at accredited institutions to be eligible for funding.
The regional accrediting agency for Rhode Island is the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Regional, national, and specialized accrediting agencies accredit at different levels. Regional accreditation is more widespread, and nonprofit, degree-focused colleges and universities commonly hold it. National accreditors typically accredit for-profit, vocational, or religious colleges. Specialized accrediting bodies represent specific fields of study and accredit programs.
The regional accrediting agency for Rhode Island is the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. For more information about accreditation, see the U.S. Department of Education's database of accredited postsecondary institutions and programs.
Rhode Island enjoys a relatively strong economic outlook, ranking 29th on U.S. News' list of states with the best economic stability and potential. According to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, the fastest growing industries in Rhode Island are construction, which is projected to grow over 36% between 2012 and 2022; transportation equipment manufacturing, which is projected to grow nearly 60%; and the motion picture and sound recording industries, which are projected to grow nearly 24%.
The unemployment rate in Rhode Island is 4.5%, which is just slightly higher than the national unemployment rate of 3.9%. The mean hourly wage is $25.54, and the mean annual wage is $53,110. The table below features more information about careers in community and social service occupations in Rhode Island. According to this table, child, family, and school social workers and social and human services assistants have the highest employment numbers in Rhode Island.
|Occupation||Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Wage|
|Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors||230||$20.45||$42,530|
|Marriage and Family Therapists||N/A||$23.45||$48,790|
|Child, Family, and School Social Workers||1,740||$28.68||$59,660|
|Healthcare Social Workers||770||$25.32||$52,660|
|Social and Human Service Assistants||2,400||$15.78||$32,820|
|Directors, Religious Activities and Education||110||$19.50||$40,570|
|Religious Workers, all other||N/A||$11.28||$23,470|
Scholarships and other forms of financial aid can make attending college significantly more affordable. There are many different scholarships available for students attending Christian colleges and for students attending Rhode Island colleges. Below is a list of these scholarships.
Aquidneck Island Multicultural Scholarship Varies
St. Rose of Lima Transfer Scholarship $10,000
Feinstein Scholarship $5,000
Roothbert Fund Scholarships $2,000-$3,000
United Methodist Dollars for Scholars $1,000
Scholarships for Rhode Island Residents
Black Philanthropy Banister Scholarship $1,500
United Italian American Scholarship Varies
Bruce and Marjorie Sundlun Scholarship $1,500
Patty and Melvin Alperin First Generation Scholarship Fund $1,000/year
Rhode Island Latino Dollars for Scholars Varies
Find a Church in Your Community
Finding a church that fits with your values and beliefs can take some time. Luckily, there are a few different websites that help students locate churches in their community. Whether you are living on or off campus and are enrolled in distance learning classes, Church Finder and USA Churches can help you find churches in your Rhode Island community.
Christian networking websites are useful tools for connecting individuals who share beliefs and values. These websites can help you find internships, jobs, and other opportunities. Below is a list of three networking sites for students at online Christian colleges in Rhode Island.
- Christian Business Network CBN connects students and professionals in many different industries around the world. The website allows members to build professional profiles and connect, share content, and collaborate with their colleagues.
- Nurses Christian Fellowship NCF is a Christian professional organization and a ministry focused on serving nurses and nursing students. The website features tools to help students find local NCF groups and a nursing blog.
- Christian Educators Association International CEAI helps its members connect with other Christian educators through prayer networks, empowerment groups, and other resources. CEAI membership also includes access to online mentoring groups and professional liability insurance.
Find Christian Ministries
Not all students can afford to attend Christian colleges. Most colleges and universities have at least a few Christian resources and ministries available. Below is a list of campus ministry organizations for students who are attending public, non-Christian colleges and universities.
- Campus Crusade for Christ Cru offers Christian guidance, resources, meetings, and other activities for over 100,000 students and faculty across college campuses in the U.S. The organization focuses on evangelism, mentorship, Bible studies, discipleship, and digital ministry.
- Chi Alpha Chi Alpha supports college students who are new to Christianity and who have been Christians for many years. The organization offers prayer groups, worship and fellowship meetings, and mission and discipleship opportunities.
- International Fellowship of Evangelical Students IFES focuses on supporting student leaders and student-led groups on college campuses in over 160 countries. Programs offered include the pioneering ministry, the Africa Institutes, and the IFES Core Mission Fund.
- Fellowship of Christian Athletes With ministries in 62 countries, FCA supports student athletes and coaches through campus meetings, conferences, and Bible studies. This ministry focuses on helping college students and faculty integrate athletics and the Christian faith.
- Catholic Campus Ministry Association The CCMA serves around 700 Catholic ministers on college campuses in the U.S. This association provides several resources for Catholic leaders in higher education, including the CCMA certification program, the CCMA development institute, and weekly podcasts.
- Lutheran Student Movement USA LSM-USA is a student-led organization partnered with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The organization serves Lutheran college students and provides opportunities for service learning projects, which include alternative spring break trips.
- Reformed University Fellowship RUF maintains ministries on 140 campuses across the country. Additionally, RUF-Global serves students on campuses in Colombia, Mexico, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic.
- UKirk This ministry is partnered with the Presbyterian Church USA. UKirk supports leaders and other individuals engaged in college ministry through coaching, education, and advocacy.
- Baptist Collegiate Ministry Life BCM Life ministers to U.S. college students, as well as to international students in other countries. The organization organizes Baptist worship groups, small group meetings, student leadership development, and missions and other service opportunities.
Public Universities in Rhode Island with Christian Ministries
- Brown University: Students at Brown can participate in Athletes in Action, which is a branch of Campus Crusades for Christ; Branch Christian Fellowship, which is Chi Alpha ministry; Reformed University Fellowship; and many other Christian groups.