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Top Accredited Online Bible Colleges

There are various Bible colleges that offer programs online at the undergraduate and graduate level. Explore top schools, available programs and components, as well as what types of careers are available to graduates.

Top Accredited Online Bible Colleges

When considering an online program from a Bible college, there are a few items to consider such as cost, programs available, flexibility and accreditation. Several of the top accredited online Bible colleges are listed below.

1. Calvary University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Kansas City, MO $11,164 89%

Calvary University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission as well as the Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education. Most of the programs offered at Calvary are available online, as classes are typically video-recorded and posted online for students who prefer asynchronous online learning. Undergraduate options include 3 certificate programs, 5 associate's degree programs, and more than 27 bachelor's degree programs. Graduate students can pursue a master's degree in organizational development, worship arts or education, and seminary students can pursue a degree in divinity, biblical counseling, or Bible and theology. Although tuition varies by program and degree level, most programs have a tuition rate of $400 to $440 per credit hour.

2. Johnson University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Knoxville, TN $16,060 99%

Johnson University offers several online programs and has an undergraduate tuition rate of $450 per credit hour and graduate rates of $450 to $600, depending on the program. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education. Johnson University offers 6 online associate's degree programs, including business administration, applied linguistics and biblical studies, as well as 5 online bachelor's degree programs. Online students at the graduate level can earn a PhD in Leadership Studies, 1 of 8 graduate certificates, or a master's degree in intercultural studies, business administration or new testament.

3. Lincoln Christian University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Lincoln, IL $13,200 97%

Lincoln Christian University is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, the Association of Biblical Higher Education, and the Higher Learning Commission. All undergraduate and graduate students have a tuition rate of $453 per credit hour, regardless of their state of residency. LCU offers six programs online: an AA in Bible, an MA in Bible and Theology or Organizational Leadership, and BA programs in psychology, business administration and Christian ministry. Students interested in a hybrid program have 7 additional master's degree programs to choose from including biblical studies and spiritual formation.

4. Grace College of Divinity

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Fayetteville, NC $6,100 86%

Grace College of Divinity offers all of their programs online, and students interested in on-campus courses can take classes at one of four locations across three states. GCD is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education, and is recognized by the Association of Christian Schools International. Undergraduate students can earn a certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree in one of four areas (divinity, worship ministry, intercultural studies and Christian leadership) and graduate students can choose a Master of Arts in Christian Leadership or a Master of Divinity. Undergraduate students have a tuition rate of $200 per credit hour and graduate students have a tuition fee of $280 per credit hour, regardless of program or state of residence.

5. Hobe Sound Bible College

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Hobe Sound, FL $6,595 93%

Hobe Sound Bible College has some of the most affordable online programs, charging $200 per credit hour for undergraduate students and $425 per credit hour for graduate students. The school has a Master of Education degree program with concentrations available in classroom instruction and educational leadership. HSBC also has five online associate's degree programs and bachelor's degree programs, including secondary education, counseling and intercultural studies. The school is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education.

Rank School Name Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
6 Shasta Bible College and Graduate School Redding, CA $12,060 100%
7 Moody Bible Institute Chicago, IL $13,056 92%
8 South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary Deerfield Beach, FL $6,900 8%
9 Veritas Baptist College Greendale, IN $5,800 76%
10 Ecclesia College Springdale, AR $15,140 96%
11 Multnomah University Portland, OR $25,900 98%
12 Beulah Heights University Atlanta, GA $10,150 44%
13 International Baptist College and Seminary Chandler, AZ $11,250 100%
14 Nazarene Bible College Colorado Springs, CO $11,760 N/A
15 The King's University Southlake, TX $15,000 100%
16 God's Bible School and College Cincinnati, OH $7,040 93%
17 Barclay College Haviland, KS $19,000 100%
18 Dallas Christian College Dallas, TX $18,734 100%
19 Bethesda University Anaheim, CA $8,095 57%
20 Charlotte Christian College and Theological Seminary Charlotte, NC $10,368 100%
21 Grace School of Theology Conroe, TX $5,280 N/A
22 Trinity Bible College and Graduate School Ellendale, ND $16,320 100%
23 Grace Christian University Wyoming, MI $13,945 96%
24 Clarks Summit University South Abington Township, PA $23,890 100%

All table data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics

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.

Differences Between Online Bible Colleges and Christian Colleges

Both bible colleges and Christian colleges provide students with faith-based approaches and perspectives and usually offer various courses that prepare Christian leaders (such as programs in counseling and ministry). The key differences, however, are how topics are approached. Christian colleges offer a liberal arts education that emphasizes the Christian faith, and usually offer science and arts degree programs that include courses on religious topics. Bible colleges offer programs with a stricter focus on biblical education. Bible colleges are often less expensive and emphasize the foundations, ministry and theology of Christianity.

Accreditation for Online Bible College Programs

Although various regional and national organizations provide accreditation to postsecondary institutions, Bible colleges are accredited by one of three agencies:

  • The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU): For over 40 years, CCCU has promoted Christ-centered academic programs and has over 150 member schools within the United States.
  • The Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS): TRACS is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as well as the U.S. Department of Education and accredits many of the top Christian and Bible Schools in the United States.
  • The Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE): ABHE has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as an accrediting body for undergraduate programs since 1952.

How to Choose an Online Bible College

There are several important factors that students should consider when choosing an online program through a Bible college; some of the most important are listed below.

Programs Offered

The first item that students should consider is what programs they are interested in, and if their school choices offer them. While many Bible colleges offer programs in religious areas of study, they don't always enable students to complete all programs online. In addition, students interested in non-religious programs, such as business or education, will need to check with their school choices to see if they offer those programs and if they are available online.

Accreditation

Students should review their schools to see if they are properly accredited; this information is often available on school websites or via a quick phone call to the admissions office. For students to qualify for financial aid, they must attend a properly accredited program through a regional, national, or specialized accrediting organization.

Flexibility

Once students have decided on a program they're interested in, they need to determine how flexible they need their program to be. This includes considering part-time versus full-time as well as asynchronous versus synchronous. Full-time programs are shorter, but require students to commit significant time to their studies each week, while part-time programs enable students with more time commitments to study at a slower pace. Asynchronous coursework is typical for online courses and allows students to log in at their convenience, even in the wee hours of the night, whereas courses with synchronous (scheduled) components require students to log in at specific times for things like lectures, exams and course discussions.

Costs

Online programs at Bible colleges can vary in cost, depending on student prerequisites (where applicable), degree level, program and residency. Many schools separate costs into tuition and various fees, while other schools may offer flat-rate fees per credit or semester. It's important to review all costs associated with a degree program rather than simply looking at tuition.

Costs and Financial Aid for Online Bible College Programs

Depending on their program, students may have a total cost of less than $10,000 to more than $55,000. There are several factors that can influence the total cost of an online Bible college degree program.

Tuition

The table below shows the tuition cost that students may have for their degree program, based on prior coursework and specific degree. Students may have costs that are less or more than those listed below, as the table represents a range of the schools discussed above.

Program Prerequisites Needed Example Credits Required Total Tuition Cost
Associate's Degree High school/GED 60 $10,000 to $30,000
Bachelor's Degree High school/GED 120 $25,000 to $55,000
Associate's degree 60 $10,000 to $30,000
Master's Degree Bachelor's degree 30 $8,000 to $20,000

Other Common Fees

Although some schools offer flat-rate tuition that incorporates all program fees, most schools separate these fees and charge them by credit, semester or program. The table below summarizes common fees that are found in online Bible college programs.

Fee Typical Range Frequency
Student Services Fee Up to $500 Every semester
Registration Fee $35 to $50 Every semester
Enrollment Fee Up to $100 Once
Course Fees $5 to $125 (varies by course) Per course
Books/Supplies Up to $400 (varies with courses) Per course
Late Payment Fee $35 to $50 Per occurrence
Online Learning Fee/Technology Fee $20 to $100 Varies by school (typically by semester or credit hour)
Graduation Fee $50 to $100 Once

Additional Costs

In addition to program costs, students may have several out-of-pocket expenses for their program. Students may need to purchase access to online sites or software, such as online lab programs and professional computer programs (example: Microsoft Office). Due to the online format, students typically need to have a personal computer and regular internet access. Students may need to have a computer that meets the program's technical requirements, such as a specific operating system, high-speed internet or a certain level of RAM. Students should review program requirements and consider the expenses associated with those requirements when calculating the total cost of their degree program.

Financial Aid

There are multiple avenues that students can take to pay for their online Bible college program. Students should first fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is a free application that shows students what type of aid they might be eligible for.

After completing their FAFSA, students should first look for scholarships or grants. These are available through national providers and may also be available through students' chosen schools. In addition to scholarships, students may be interested in work-study programs, which enable students to pay for part or all of their program costs by working part-time while in school.

Once students have utilized the aforementioned resources, they should then review student loan options. Loans are available from the government (federal, state and local) as well as private providers, but they should only use private loans as a last resort. Government loans are income-based and have nationally set interest rates.

While loans may feel overwhelming, students can apply for loan forgiveness or coverage after completing their program. Some employers offer loan forgiveness/payoff to qualifying employees, and students can also qualify to have their loans forgiven federally. Here's an example of this type of loan forgiveness: an individual who teaches in a low-income setting for five years can have up to $17,500 in federal loans forgiven.

What Can You Do with an Online Bible College Degree?

There are several career opportunities for graduates of online degree programs from Bible colleges. The specific paths available to graduates vary based on the degree that they earn, but those careers associated with regularly offered programs at most Bible colleges are discussed below.

Clergy

Clergy members direct worship and other functions within their organization, including providing guidance, prayer and educational programs. They need a broad understanding of theological and philosophical foundations of religion, and well as effective methods of communication and counsel. Clergy members may be over the church in roles such as priest or pastor, or they may work as activities directors (example: director of children's ministries). The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects this field to grow nearly 14% between 2018 and 2028, and all clergy had a median annual salary of $48,990 in 2018.

Mental Health Counselor

Mental health counselors work with groups, families and individuals to improve and promote emotional and mental health. They may work as case managers, mental health therapists, behavior analysts and more. Their duties can include assessing patients, counseling patients and maintaining patient records. The median annual salary for all counselors in 2018 was $47,790 and BLS expects this field to grow almost 15% between 2018 and 2028.

Elementary School Teacher

Elementary school teachers provide guidance and instruction to students in private or public elementary schools. Teachers typically teach a variety of subjects, although some teachers will primarily teach one topic (such as physical education). Graduates of education programs may wish to pursue elementary school teacher roles in religious schools or other settings. In 2018, the median annual salary for elementary school teachers (excluding special education) was $58,230, and the field is expected to grow just over 3% from 2018 to 2028.

Professional Resources for Bible College Graduates

There is a multitude of professional organizations available to Bible college graduates. Individuals can join organizations based on their roles (such as children's ministry or church leader) as well as their religious affiliations. Below are some of the organizations available to Bible college graduates.

  • Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (ACPE) - Open to clergy and other professionals in various faiths and cultures; promotes tradition and spiritual care.
  • Coalition of Spirit-filled Churches (CSC) - Open to groups and churches who provide services in settings such as military and veteran facilities, correctional facilities and schools.
  • National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) - Open to chaplains and religious educators and supporters and advocates for religious healing and care.
  • Association of Youth Ministry Educators (AYME) - Open to ministers and educators of youth ministries, offering networking and support to members.