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Best Online Christian Colleges & Schools

Explore 50 of the best Christian colleges and schools that offer online programs to all students. Learn what to expect from online programs, how Christian schools differ from other religious institutions, and what to expect after graduation.

Top 50 Christian Colleges with Online Programs

To determine the top Christian schools for an online program, it's helpful to look at cost, flexibility, programs offered, accreditation and student experience. Fifty of the best Christian colleges with online programs are listed below.

1. Liberty University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Lynchburg, VA $22,584 97%

Liberty University has been providing a Christian education since 1971, emphasizing a biblical perspective in all classes online and on campus. The school offers over 400 online programs to undergraduate and graduate students, most of which include 8-week course terms. Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and boasts experienced faculty who are leaders in their respective industries. Most students have a tuition rate of $390 (undergraduate) or $565 (graduate) per credit hour, but students who qualify for military tuition have rates of $250 (undergraduate) or $275 (doctoral education programs) per credit hour.

2. Regis University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Denver, CO $36,810 99%

Since 1877, Regis University has been offering a Jesuit Catholic approach to education, which emphasizes faith and fairness to all people. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and boasts a 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Students can earn one of dozens of degrees and certificates completely online, including those in accounting, business, education and computer science. Costs vary by program, with undergraduate tuition ranging from $450 to $850 and graduate tuition ranging from $515 to $1,095 per credit hour.

3, Siena Heights University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Adrian, MI $27,124 100%

Siena Heights University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and was founded in 1919. The Catholic university offers most undergraduate online classes in 8-week terms and most graduate courses as 10-week terms. Online undergraduate students can choose one of ten programs, including nursing, communication and business administration, and graduate students can choose from five online programs. Siena Heights University has an undergraduate online tuition rate starting at $300 per credit hour and graduate tuition rates of $660 to $800 per credit hour.

4. Concordia University-Saint Paul

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Saint Paul, MN $22,275 99%

Concordia University at Saint Paul is a Christian university affiliated with the Lutheran Church. The school was founded in 1893 and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Its online programs include undergraduate and graduate options in fields such as business, computer science, education administration and nursing. Undergraduate students have a tuition rate of $420 for the first 19 credit hours in a semester, and $260 per credit hour for any credits beyond the first 19. Online graduate tuition varies between $395 and $625 per credit hour.

5. Dallas Baptist University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Dallas, TX $28,870 97%

Dallas Baptist University is accredited by the SACSCOC and has been providing Christ-centered educational programs since it was founded in 1898. DBU offers fully online programs at the certificate, undergraduate and master's degree levels. Online program options include accelerated bachelor's/master's degree programs in areas such as business, children's ministry and global leadership. Undergraduate tuition is $1,023 per credit hours and graduate tuition is $1,053 per credit hour.

Rank School Name Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
6 Southwestern Assemblies of God University Waxahachie, TX $19,582 98%
7 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL $23,020 100%
8 Oral Roberts University Tulsa, OK $27,728 90%
9 DeSales University Center Valley, PA $37,400 100%
10 Concordia University-Chicago River Forest, IL $32,078 100%
11 University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg, KY $23,000 100%
12 Saint Joseph's College of Maine Standish, ME $35,650 100%
13 Grace College of Divinity Fayetteville, NC $6,100 86%
14 Chaminade University of Honolulu Honolulu, HI $25,374 99%
15 The Baptist College of Florida Graceville, FL $11,400 90%
16 California Baptist University Riverside, CA $33,478 95%
17 Shorter University Rome, GA $22,370 100%
18 University of Northwestern-St Paul Saint Paul, MN $31,540 100%
19 University of Mary Bismarck, ND $18,444 98%
20 Veritas Baptist College Greendale, IN $5,800 76%
21 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Saint Mary of the Woods, IN $29,960 100%
22 Wayland Baptist University Plainview, TX $20,070 96%
23 Martin Luther College New Ulm, MN $15,410 92%
24 Saint Joseph's University Philadelphia, PA $44,974 98%
25 Harding University Searcy, AR $19,845 99%
26 Creighton University Omaha, NE $39,916 100%
27 Mary Baldwin University Staunton, VA $31,110 100%
28 University of the Incarnate Word San Antonio, TX $31,484 100%
29 Madonna University Livonia, MI $21,900 99%
30 Misericordia University Dallas, PA $33,240 100%
31 Maranatha Baptist University Watertown, WI $15,410 97%
32 Gwynedd Mercy University Gwynedd Valley, PA $33,600 100%
33 Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA $38,178 100%
34 Saint Louis University Saint Louis, MO $23,020 100%
35 Lee University Cleveland, TN $17,690 98%
36 Campbellsville University Campbellsville, KY $25,400 96%
37 New Saint Andrews College Moscow, ID $12,800 0%
38 Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Winona, MN $35,110 100%
39 Franciscan University of Steubenville Steubenville, OH $27,630 99%
40 Lincoln Christian University Lincoln, IL $13,200 97%
41 Ottawa University-Online Ottawa, KS $30,050 100%
42 Niagara University Niagara University, NY $33,180 99%
43 Johnson University Knoxville, TN $16,060 99%
44 Loyola University New Orleans New Orleans, LA $39,942 99%
45 Immaculata University Immaculata, PA $27,350 100%
46 Xavier University Cincinnati, OH $38,530 99%
47 Samford University Birmingham, AL $31,650 98%
48 Baker University Baldwin City, KS $29,830 100%
49 Freed-Hardeman University Henderson, TN $21,950 100%
50 Mississippi College Clinton, MS $18,026 100%

All table data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition represents the 2018-2019 school year.

Learn.org's school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

How to Choose an Online Christian College

When deciding on a Christian college for your online program, there are several factors that you should keep in mind.

Online Programs

The most important consideration when selecting your school is if they offer the program that you want online. Not all programs offered by schools are available online, so make sure to double-check with your admissions counselors.

Cost

Costs of online programs at Christian colleges can vary drastically based on the school, degree level and student. Ask for all costs associated with your program choice when comparing the total price for your online program. Be sure to factor in costs like technology fees, reliable internet and the expenses associated with any practical requirements.

Accreditation

If you're considering financial aid, or if you want to ensure a higher-quality experience, you should look for an accredited school. Depending on your selected major, you may also need to ensure that your program itself is accredited (more on this below).

Religious Affiliations

If you're looking for a Christian school for your online program, consider the different types of religious affiliations and what they mean for your experience. Christian schools can emphasize different characteristics of Christianity (Christ, kindness, equality, etc.) and/or have the backing of certain denominations and religious organizations.

Learning Approach

Some Christian colleges have significant religious topics intertwined with classes and programs, while other schools feature very little within courses themselves, instead utilizing additional activities and resources or taking a more secular approach.

Flexibility

Some schools allow students to work at their own pace (asynchronous) while others ask students to log in at predetermined times to 'attend' classes online. Think about which of these two approaches will fit into your lifestyle.

Christian Colleges, Bible Colleges and Seminaries: What's the Difference?

Christian colleges, Bible colleges and seminaries have some similarities but have a few key differences, which are highlighted in the table below.

Type of School Emphasis Degree Level (s) Programs Available
Christian college Christian view/Christ-centered All Christian and non-religious
Bible college Biblical view/theology Undergraduate Christian and non-religious
Seminary Biblical/theology Graduate Mostly Christian leadership programs

Admission Requirements for Online Christian Colleges

Admission requirements for online Christian college programs depend on the level and subject of study. Undergraduate students typically need to have a high school diploma (or the equivalent, like a GED) with a specific GPA, such as a 3.0. Graduate students need to have earned a bachelor's degree for most programs and often need to have maintained a GPA of around 3.0 during their undergraduate studies. In addition, students may need to submit references and work history for admission to some programs. Some Christian colleges ask students to sign a statement of faith or affirm their beliefs in certain doctrines.

Why Accreditation Matters for Online Christian College Programs

There are two important types of accreditation to note: programmatic and institutional. Programmatic accreditation shows that a program meets the criteria set by a third party. Although not all programs require or have programmatic accreditation, students in some fields need to graduate from accredited programs. This typically applies to students in pursuit of degrees that require licensure, such as nursing or teaching.

Institutional accreditation is when an entire school has met criteria for accreditation, typically by meeting set goals like graduation rates, academic rigor and faculty quality. Some employers may prefer graduates from accredited institutions, and all federal financial aid is only available to students of accredited schools. In addition, students of accredited schools are more likely to be able to transfer credits from their coursework to other programs in the future.

Financial Aid and Scholarships for Online Christian College Programs

Students interested in financial aid should first fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or the FAFSA. The FAFSA shows what types of aid students can qualify for, such as federal loans. Students can also find other aid for their online program at a Christian college through the school's financial aid office, state sites and other websites (such as the Department of Labor's CareerOneStop).

Student Loans

Student loans can be obtained through government and private lenders, although government loans are typically better because they are income-based, they offer flexible repayment options after graduation and they usually have lower interest rates.

Loan Forgiveness

Graduate who work in qualifying public service roles may qualify for federal loan forgiveness after making 120 qualifying payments (10 years).

Loan Repayment

Many employers offer loan repayment incentives to both existing and new employees as a way to increase the expertise and skillset of their team.

Work-Study

Work-study is available through some schools and employers, and enables students to earn funds towards their program by working part-time while in school.

Scholarships

There are countless scholarships available to online students of Christian colleges based on varying factors, such as subject studied and academic performance.

Christian Ministries Dependent Grant

$1,000 is awarded to new and transfer students whose parent is a full-time Christian service employee.

Gordon and Eleanor Spykman Memorial Scholarship

Students in their junior or senior year can apply for this $2,000 scholarship to be used toward a religious program.

Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholarship Program

This scholarship is awarded to over 10,000 female Christian students each year in the nine southeastern states.

Marguerite Young Endowment Fund

$1,500 is awarded to students enrolled full-time in a theology program at a college, university or seminary.

Mary E. Bivins Foundation Scholarships

This scholarship awards $3,500 to students enrolled in fields that lead to preaching positions in Christianity.

What Can You Do with an Online Christian Degree?

Graduates of online Christian school programs can potentially work in any career, depending on what their subject of study was and what they are interested in. A few of the careers that Christian school graduates may pursue are listed below.

Clergy

Clergy perform and conduct different religious functions and offer moral support to church members. The term clergy refers to priests, ministers, pastors, rabbis and missionary coordinators, to name a few. Their duties can include developing and leading church services, hosting religious programs, promoting prayer and spirituality and counseling patrons. In 2018, the median salary for all clergy was $48,990, with the top 10% earning more than $85,040.

Marriage and Family Therapists

Marriage and family therapists provide counsel to families to help them improve their relationships. Their duties can include listening to clients, helping clients adjust and process their emotions, recommending action plans and maintaining confidentiality. Marriage and family therapists can work with families, couples or groups, addressing various issues such as stress and addiction. The median salary for all marriage and family therapists was $50,090 in 2018, with those working in state government positions (excluding education and hospitals) earning a median salary of $69,900.

Postsecondary Teachers

Postsecondary teachers provide instruction to students beyond high school, sometimes conducting research and publishing scholarly works. Their duties can include creating and implementing class lessons, guiding students, assessing and grading students, and collaborating with colleagues. Those with a master's degree can usually only work at 2-year colleges while those who have earned a doctoral degree can teach at colleges and universities. The median salary for all postsecondary teachers in 2018 was $78,470, and those teaching philosophy and religion had a median salary of $71,890.

Music Directors and Composers

Music directors lead musical groups, both vocal and instrumental, during performance sessions, while composers write original music. Their duties can include reviewing musical scores, directing rehearsals, meeting with musical groups and arranging existing music into new sounds. They may work specifically with Christian populations in churches and similar venues. The median salary for all music directors and composers was $49,630, with the highest-earning 10% making more than $112,820.

Job Title 2018 Median Salary Estimated Job Growth (2018-2028)
Clergy $48,990 6%
Marriage and Family Therapists $50,090 22%
Postsecondary Teachers $78,470 11%
Music Directors and Composers $49,630 1%

All salary and outlook data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Professional Organizations for Christian Graduates

There are dozens of professional organizations available to Christians, some of which are based on specific beliefs, interests and careers. Listed below are some of the associations created specifically for Christian professionals.

Catholic Biblical Association (CBA)

The CBA promotes the study of the Bible and related areas through publications, networking, support and conferences. The organization offers various types of membership, including honorary and life memberships.

Christian Community Development Association (CCDA)

CCDA seeks to inspire and connect Christians who want to transform and improve communities in need and bear witness to God's Word. CCDA has memberships for individuals and organizations, allowing members to continuously have access to networking and training opportunities.

Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) International

CBE International promotes the biblical message that God calls for men and women from all backgrounds, cultures and races to be equals in leadership and service of churches, homes and the world. Memberships and publication subscriptions are available to churches, individuals, households and organizations.