In conjunction with our 50 Most Beautiful Bible Colleges 2017 and 25 Most Beautiful Christian Colleges and Universities in the South 2017, Christian Universities Online (CUO) is pleased to share what we consider to be the 10 Most Beautiful Colleges and Universities in the North 2017. As you certainly noticed in the ranking for the South, you will see some familiar campuses; however, again, by bringing the scope down to a regional level, some additional treasures have made their way into the ranking. We acknowledge that campus appearance should not be a primary criteria for determining where to spend your college career, but a pleasant environment in which to study and learn is not unimportant! Considering both natural and man-made elements of each campus, CUO desires to present the best the North has to offer when it comes to campus beauty.
Each of our rankings that focus on highlighting campus beauty employ the same methodology. We begin with schools that are either a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) or able to be considered member eligible. To keep these rankings as objective as possible, we have attempted to consider a variety of categories, which included 1) Continuity of campus, 2) Architectural style, 3) Signature building(s), and 4) Natural setting. The scores in each category were standardized and then combined to rank these top 10 schools. Lastly, each school considered in this ranking.
Lastly, we always love to hear from you if you have an Alma Mater or other institution in this region that you feel like we overlooked. Don’t hesitate to contact us for we are actively seeking new schools to consider not only in this ranking but in each of our rankings.
Messiah College is a private Christian college of the liberal arts and applied arts and sciences located about eight miles outside of Harrisburg in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Originally known as the Messiah Bible School and Missionary Training Home, the school was established by the Brethren in Christ Church in 1909. In 1921 the school grew into a junior college and by 1951 had developed a four-year college program, changing its name to Messiah College. Today, though still influenced by its historic affiliation, Messiah College is a nondenominational institution. Messiah College’s mission is to “educate men and women toward maturity of intellect, character and Christian faith in preparation for lives of service, leadership and reconciliation in church and society.” Today, the College has a total enrollment figure of more than 3,000 students, including over 2,500 undergraduates. Messiah College’s student to faculty ratio is 13 to 1.
Messiah College is accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and has been so since 1963. Messiah College’s offers a wide variety of both undergraduate and graduate degree programs and is divided into four schools, including the School of the Arts, the School of Business, Education and Social Sciences, the School of Science, Engineering and Health, plus several Interdisciplinary Areas. More than 80 majors and several pre-professional programs are offered at Messiah College as well as nearly two dozen graduate-level programs. Messiah College sits on a suburban/rural campus in Mechanicsburg, a borough in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania with a population of about 9,000. Surrounded by forests and fields, primarily, Messiah College’s campus is also near the Yellow Breeches Creek. Plenty of deciduous trees fill the campus which features a good layout and a contemporary blend of architectural styles.
Located in the hamlet of Houghton, New York in the Genesee Valley, Houghton College is a private, Christian liberal arts institution which is affiliated with the Wesleyan Church. Established in 1883 Houghton College was founded by Wesleyan Methodist minister, Willard J. Houghton, as a high school known as Houghton Seminary. By the mid-1920s the school had evolved into a four-year college and in 1927 the school was granted its permanent charter by the state of New York. In 1935 Houghton College was granted accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Houghton College offers programs in a number of academic areas through its several departments. A wide variety of majors, pre-professional programs, and graduate-level programs are offered in both traditional classroom formats as well as through online courses.
Houghton College has a total enrollment figure of just over 1,000 students, the majority of whom are undergraduates. A distinctively residential college, most of Houghton College’s students, faculty and staff live either on-campus or in close proximity to the College. The residential experience is highly valued by the College and on-campus housing is provided in the form of several residence halls and townhouses. The College itself is located on a rural campus not too far off of New York State Route 19, making it easily accessible. Surrounded by forests on nearly all sides, Houghton College’s campus is well laid out with plenty of green space and lined with deciduous trees. Houghton College’s campus boasts several beautiful historic buildings as well as some that were built more recently. Houghton, NY is located in New York’s Allegany County, about 65 miles southeast of Buffalo and around 70 miles southwest of Rochester. Houghton College’s campus specifically is located on the Allegheny Plateau on the site of the former Caneadea Indian Reservation.
Gordon College is a private, non-denominational Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences located in Wenham, Massachusetts. Originally established in 1889 the school was founded by Adoniram Judson Gordon as the Boston Missionary Training Institute for the purpose of training Christian missionaries for work overseas, specifically in what was then known as the Belgian Congo. Since its earliest days the school was progressive, admitting both men and women regardless of their ethnic or cultural backgrounds. In 1916 the school’s name was changed to Gordon Bible College after its founder and in 1921 was again renamed the Gordon College of Theology and Missions. In 1962 the name was again altered to Gordon College and Divinity School; in 190 the Gordon Divinity School separated from the College, merging with the Cornwall School of theology to form the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Today Gordon College “strives to graduate men and women distinguished by intellectual maturity and Christian character, committed to lives of service and prepared for leadership worldwide.”
Gordon College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and has been so since 1961. 38 undergraduate majors and 41 concentrations are offered as well as graduate-level programs in the areas of education, music education, and leadership. Gordon College is situated on a rural campus in Wenham, a town in Essex County, Massachusetts with a population of approximately 5,000. Surrounded on nearly all sides by densely wooded areas, the College is located next to the large Coy Pond which can be seen from several buildings. More than 2,000 students are enrolled, including nearly 1,700 undergraduates. Gordon College highly values the residential college experience and encourages students to take advantage of its on-campus living arrangements which are offered in the form of several unique residence halls.
Located in Rochester, New York, Roberts Wesleyan College is a private, coeducational, Christian liberal arts institution. Established in 1866, Roberts holds the distinction of being the first educational institution which was founded by the Free Methodist denomination in North America. Originally, the school was known as Chili Seminary, founded by a social activist, Benjamin Titus Roberts, who opposed slavery, the oppression of the poor, and supported women’s rights. He established the school for the purpose of training young people to become servant leaders who would possess a strong moral character. Character development continues to be central to Robert Wesleyan College’s vision and the College’s mission statement declares their commitment to preparing “thoughtful, spiritually mature, service-oriented people who will help transform society.” The College has a total enrollment figure of nearly 2,000 students, the majority of whom are undergraduates.
Roberts Wesleyan College is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education and has been so since 1963. More than 60 majors and programs for undergraduate students are offered through the College as well as eight online programs, more than a dozen graduate programs, and four degree completion programs. Undergraduate majors include areas such as art, business, biological and chemical sciences, communication, mathematics and computing, criminal justice, engineering and physics, history, interdisciplinary, language and literature, music and performing arts, nursing, psychology, religion and philosophy, social work, and teacher education. Student housing is offered in the form of several dormitories, apartments and townhouses on-campus. Located on a suburban campus off of Buffalo Road, Roberts Wesleyan College’s grounds are filled with plenty of green space, pathways, and deciduous trees. The campus layout is well planned and the college is surrounded primarily by residential areas. The architectural style of the campus is blended. A small pond is located near the entrance and next to the College’s soccer and track stadium.
York College is a small, private, Christian liberal arts institution located in York, Nebraska and affiliated with the Churches of Christ. Established in 1890 by the United Brethren Church, York College was founded in order to meet the needs and desires of York citizens for a church-related educational institution. In 1946 the leadership and control of the College passed into the hands of the Evangelical United Brethren (EUB) Church as the result of a merger between the United Brethren Church and the Evangelical Church. In 1956 the control of the school was again transferred, this time to members of the churches of Christ. Today, the mission of York College is to “transform lives through Christ-centered education and to equip students for lifelong service to God, family and society.” The College has a total enrollment figure of just over 400 students, nearly all of whom are undergraduates. The average student to faculty ratio is 14 to 1.
York College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and has been so since 1970. A number of degree programs – including undergraduate, pre-professional, graduate and online programs – are offered through the College’s several departments. These include the departments of Biblical Studies, Business, Communication, Criminal Justice, Education, English, History, Mathematics, Music, Natural Sciences, Physical Education, and Psychology. Located in a city with a population of nearly 8,000, York College’s campus is compact, sitting on about 50. Students can enjoy green space at the East Hill Park and deciduous trees dot the campus. York College’s campus layout is well designed and features more traditional architectural styles which blend well together. One of the College’s more notable structures is a charming little prayer chapel is found on York’s grounds, which features lovely white siding, domed windows, and bell tower and spire.
Located in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, Waynesburg University is a private, Christian liberal arts university, affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. Established in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church; Waynesburg University was named after the famous Revolutionary War hero, General “Mad” Anthony Wayne. Waynesburg University’s mission is to educate students “to make connections between faith, learning and serving so that they might faithfully transform their communities and the world.” The University’s statement continues, “As a Christian comprehensive University, we strive to inspire and challenge every undergraduate and graduate student to a life of leadership and purpose for the glory of God.” One of just 21 institutions in the country to do so, Waynesburg University offers the Bonner Scholar Program which awards more than a dozen community service scholarships to deserving students each year. The University is accredited through the Middle States Commission on higher Education and has been so since 1950
Waynesburg University currently has a total enrollment figure of more than 2,000 students, including nearly 1,500 undergraduates; the average student to faculty ratio is 13 to 1. More than 70 undergraduate programs are offered at Waynesburg University; top areas of study at the University include business, communication, criminal justice, education, forensic science and nursing. Waynesburg University also offers a number of graduate programs, including a Master of Arts in Counseling, Master of Arts in Criminal Investigation, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education, Nursing, and a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision. Located approximately 60 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, Waynesburg University sits on a gorgeous, well landscaped, rural campus. Surrounded by four spacious parks, owned by the city of Waynesburg, Waynesburg University sits nestled against the densely wooded area of Purman Run. The campus layout is well designed and features beautiful classical-revival style architecture.
Eastern Nazarene College is a private, coeducational, Christian institution of the liberal arts and sciences located in the delightful, historic city of Quincy, Massachusetts. Affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene, Eastern Nazarene College was originally established in 1900 as the Pentecostal Collegiate Institute in Saratoga Springs, New York. The school’s early years saw much change, adjustment and growth as the Institute first moved to Rhode Island and then finally to its current location in the Wollaston Park area of Quincy, MA in 1919. Today, the mission of Eastern Nazarene College is “to serve God, the Church, and the World by providing a quality liberal arts education to students of all ages.” The College’s mission statement continues, “Consistent with its Wesleyan heritage, Eastern Nazarene College seeks to create and maintain an environment which awakens and fosters truth, righteousness, justice and holiness as made possible by God’s transforming grace through Jesus Christ.”
Eastern Nazarene College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and has been so since 1943. The College boasts a total enrollment figure of just over 1,100, including over 900 undergraduate students; the average student to faculty ratio is 14 to 1. Student housing is offered to students in one of the College’s red-brick residence halls. A wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered by Eastern Nazarene College. Quincy, MA, where the College is located is Boston’s immediate southern suburb and is the eighth largest city in the state with a total population of approximately 94,000. Eastern Nazarene College sits on an urban/suburban campus of 27 and features a classical-revival architectural style. Though situated on a smaller sized campus, Eastern Nazarene College is surrounded by residential neighborhoods and is located near the Quincy Bay and Merrymount Park.
Eastern University is a private, coeducational, comprehensive, Christian institution of higher education located in St. Davids, Pennsylvania, outside of the Philadelphia area. Affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA, Eastern University began in 1925 as a department within the Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now known as Palmer Theological Seminary. By 1952 the department had become a separate institution and moved to its current location in St. Davids under the name of Eastern Baptist College. In 1972 the school was renamed Eastern College and in 2001 was granted university status by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Today, Eastern University’s mission is to be “dedicated to the preparation of undergraduate, theological and graduate students for thoughtful and productive lives of Christian faith, leadership and service.” Eastern University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and has been so since 1954.
Eastern University has a total enrollment figure of more than 3,500, including over 2,000 undergraduate students with an average student to faculty ratio of 10 to 1. Eastern University offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs and is divided into several colleges and schools, including The College of Business and Leadership, The College of Education, The College of Arts and Sciences, The College of Health & Social Sciences, The College of Theology and Ministry, Esperanza College, Palmer Theological Seminary, and the Templeton Honors College. Situated a large suburban campus, Eastern University’s sprawling grounds feature plenty of green space and trees and a lovely, natural setting. The University’s grounds are well laid out with a delightful blend of both traditional and modern architecture. Paved bike trails wind throughout the grounds and multiple ponds and a small creek dot Eastern University’s campus which contribute to the peaceful environment in which students can enjoy the nature around them.
Geneva College is a private, Christian, liberal arts institution located in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, just north of Pittsburg. Established in 1848 as Geneva Hall by John Black Johnston, the school was originally located in Northwood, Ohio. In the early 1880s, following the end of the Civil War, the college leadership decided to move the school and the College Hill neighborhood of Beaver Falls was chosen. Named after the John Calvin’s Geneva, Switzerland which served as a key location for the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, Geneva College’s mission is to be a “Christ-centered academic community that provides a comprehensive education to equip students for faithful and fruitful service to God and neighbor.” The College is affiliated with the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America and holds to the Westminster Confession of Faith. A small institution, Geneva College has a total enrollment figure of over 1,500, the majority of whom are undergraduate students.
Geneva College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and has been so since 1922. A wide range of both undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered, including majors in the areas of Aviation; Biblical Studies, Ministries & Philosophy; Biology; Communication; Education; Engineering & Computer Science; Language & Cultures; Music; Physical Education; Psychology & Social Services; Business, Accounting & Management; Chemistry, Math & Physics; English; and History, Political Science & Sociology. Set amid the lush forest landscape of western Pennsylvania, Geneva College is located on a large suburban campus. The College’s campus backs up to a large patch of woods, behind which flows the Beaver River. The architectural style of Geneva College’s facilities is stunning and historic. “Old Main”, which serves as Geneva College’s central building, is an eye-catching structure which features a beautiful stone exterior and an impressive steeple tower.
Grove City College is a private, Christian liberal arts college located in Grove City, Pennsylvania. Established in 1876, Grove City College was founded by Isaac C. Ketler and chartered as the Pine Grove Normal Academy. By 1884 the trustees of the institution amended the charter, adopting its current name of Grove City College. The College’s mission and vision has remained largely unchanged throughout the years, which is to foster “intellectual, moral, spiritual and social development consistent with a commitment to Christian truth, morals and freedom.” Though loosely associated with the Presbyterian Church, the College is officially nondenominational; the institution’s motto is Lux Mea, “My Light”. Grove City College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and has been so since 1922. Grove City College offers a wide range of academic degree programs through its schools, including the Caldwood School of Arts and Letters and the Hopeman School of Science, Engineering and Mathematics.
Grove City College has a total enrollment figure of nearly 2,500, all of whom are undergraduates, with an average student to faculty ratio of 13 to 1. As a residential college, Grove City College offers students housing in the form of several residence halls which are gender specific and secured through door access ID cards. Situated on a charming, 180 acre, park-like campus, the area of Grove City, PA has a delightful small-town feel. The College’s traditional-style, red brick architecture reflects the school’s heritage and founding era well. The campus layout is well executed with a clear and consistent design; deciduous trees dot the campus and lush green grass fills the open spaces. Harbison Chapel is one of the College’s more impressive structures, with its high crown steeple, arched doorways, and impressive stained glass windows.