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50 Best Christian Colleges and Universities 2017

50-Best-Christian-Colleges-and-Universities-2017Deciding on a college or university is a significant and important chapter in a student’s life.  With the abundance of options available, it is easy to get overwhelmed.  To assist the decision-makers in this process, we are excited to publish our <em>third annual</em> top 50 ranking of Christian Colleges and Universities in the U.S. for the 2016-2017 academic year. This ranking seeks to highlight intentionally Christian colleges and universities that excel in categories of personal attention to their students, selectivity, readily available financial aid and overall student satisfaction. Christian Universities Online (CUO) strives to be the go to and trusted resource for students and their parents in deciding which school to attend. At CUO we understand how important a decision this is and offer up this ranking as a great starting point.

The beginning point in our methodology is to consider schools that are either members of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) or able to be considered member eligible.  We then collected publicly available data in the categories of 1)Faculty-to-student ratio, 2) Percent of full-time beginning undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid, 3) Selectivity, 4) Overall retention rate and 5) Overall graduation rate.  The data sets were standardized, weights were assigned to each of these categories, and an overall score was calculated.

As always, if your Alma Mater is missing or you have a school that is not in this ranking that you think meets our criteria, don’t hesitate to contact us.  We are always looking to expand our pool of schools in an effort to better serve students considering a distinctly Christian education.

50

Spring Arbor University

Spring Arbor University is a private, Christian institution of higher education located in Spring Arbor, Michigan. Established in 1873, Spring Arbor University was founded by leaders of the Free Methodist Church as an academy for elementary and secondary grades. In 1923 a junior college was added to the academy and by 1930 all primary and intermediate classes were discontinued, allowing the school leaders to focus all their attention on the institution’s collegiate programs. Accreditation through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools was granted in 1960 at which time the name Spring Arbor College was also adopted. In 2001 university status was achieved and the school became known as Spring Arbor University. Today, Spring Arbor University’s mission is to be “a community of learners distinguished by our lifelong involvement in the study and application of the liberal arts, total commitment to Jesus Christ as a perspective for learning, and critical participation in the contemporary world.”

Spring Arbor University has a total enrollment figure of nearly 4,000, including more than 2,500 undergraduate students, with an average student to faculty ratio of 11 to 1. The University offers nearly 100 majors and programs and is made up of four schools, namely the Gainey School of Business, the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education, and the School of Human Services. Several graduate programs are also offered both on site and online, including master’s degrees in Communication, Counseling, Education, Spiritual Formation and Leadership, TESOL, Business Administration, Nursing, Social Work, and more. 69% of applicants are admitted into Spring Arbor University and the institution boasts an overall retention rate of 79% with an overall graduation rate of 52%. Financial aid is available to students and 99% of all full-time, beginning undergraduates receive some type of financial assistance.

  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11-to-1
  • Percent of Full-time, Beginning Undergraduates Financial Aid: 99%
  • Admittance: 69%
  • Overall Retention Rate: 79%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 52%

49

Trinity Christian College

Trinity Christian College is a private, four-year, liberal arts college located in Palos Heights, Illinois. Established in 1959, Trinity Christian College was founded by a group of Chicago businessmen who were interested in creating a college that would provide students with a quality Christian higher education that was taught from Reformed perspective. Trinity Christian College is located on a suburban campus just 30 miles outside of Chicago; this strategic position allows students to benefit from a variety of opportunities for internships, career advancement, service and cultural experiences. Consistently ranked within the top tier among Regional Colleges in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report, Trinity Christian College is made up of a diverse student body of more than 1,400 students with an average student to faculty ratio of 11 to 1. The College’s mission is clearly stated and has not deviated from its founder’s wishes, which is to “provide Biblically informed liberal arts education in the Reformed tradition.”

Trinity Christian College offers more than 70 programs of study in a variety of fields and majors. A Trinity education offers this distinction – 100% of students participate in either field education or internships. This aspect of a Trinity education helps students to put what they have learned in the classroom into practice and causes students to be more thoroughly equipped and prepared for continued graduate study and the professional world. Trinity Christian College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and has been so since 1976. 88% of applicants are admitted and the College boasts an overall retention rate of 82% with an overall graduation rate of 62%. Financial aid is readily available to students as evidenced by the fact that 98% of all full-time, beginning undergraduates receive some type of financial assistance.

  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11-to-1
  • Percent of Full-time, Beginning Undergraduates Financial Aid: 98%
  • Admittance: 88%
  • Overall Retention Rate: 82%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 62%

48

Bob Jones University

Bob Jones University is a private, Christian, liberal arts institution of biblical higher education located in Greenville, South Carolina. Established in 1927, evangelist Bob Jones, Sr. founded the school for the purpose of creating a training center for Christians that would be “distinguished by its academic excellence, refined standards of behavior, and opportunities to appreciate the performing and visual arts” and in which “Christ would be the center of all thought and conduct.” During the early years, the college made a several moves before settling into its current location in Greenville. Today, Bob Jones University’s mission is, “within the cultural and academic soil of liberal arts higher education… to grow Christlike character that is scripturally discipline, others-serving, God-loving, Christ-proclaiming and focused above.” Bob Jones University has a total enrollment figure of more than 3,000, including well over 2,500 undergraduate students, with an average student to faculty ratio of 12 to 1.

Bob Jones University is accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools and has been so since 2006. The University offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs through its several colleges and schools which include the School of Religion; College of Arts & Sciences; School of Business; School of Education; School of Fine Arts & Communication; and the Seminary & Graduate School of Religion. The university’s top ten academic programs include Accounting; Bible; Biblical Counseling; Biology; Business Administration; Criminal Justice; Elementary Education; Engineering; Graphic Design; and Nursing. 82% of applicants are admitted into Bob Jones University and the school boasts an overall retention rate of 80% with an overall graduation rate of 62%. Financial aid is readily available to students with 99% of full-time, beginning undergraduates receiving some type of financial assistance, whether in the form of grant or scholarship aid.

  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12-to-1
  • Percent of Full-time, Beginning Undergraduates Financial Aid: 99%
  • Admittance: 82%
  • Overall Retention Rate: 80%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 62%

47

Oklahoma Christian University

Oklahoma Christian University (abbreviated OC) is a private, coeducational, comprehensive, Christian, liberal arts university located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Established in 1950, OC was originally named Central Christian College. The University’s mission is to be a “higher learning community that transforms lives for Christian faith, scholarship, and service.” OC operates off of a 200-plus acre campus located in the northeast part of Oklahoma City, bordering the city of Edmond. This strategic location allows students to enjoy the academic, cultural, and recreational benefits the large city has to offer, with the comforts and safety of a suburban atmosphere. Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1966, OC has received national recognitions by names such as U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review.

Oklahoma Christian University has a total enrollment figure of approximately 2,500, including nearly 2,000 undergraduate students, with an average student to faculty ratio of 13 to 1. More 60 majors and 30 additional areas of study are offered by OC and the University consists of five academic divisions, including the College of Engineering and Computer Science; the College of Liberal Arts; and the College of Natural and Health Sciences. Graduate degrees offered by OC include the Master of Accountancy, Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Computer Science, Master of Science in Engineering, Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, Master of Divinity, and the Master of Theological Studies. A selective institution, OC admits only 59% of applicants and boasts an overall retention rate of 79% with an overall graduation rate of 49%. Financial aid is readily available to students as evidenced by the fact that nearly all (99%) full-time, beginning undergraduates receive some type of financial assistance, whether in the form of grants or scholarships.

  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13 to 1
  • Percent of Full-time, Beginning Undergraduates Financial Aid: 99%
  • Admittance: 59%
  • Overall Retention Rate: 79%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 49%

46

Concordia University Irvine

Concordia University Irvine (CUI) is a private, coeducational, Christian institution of higher education located in Irvine, California. Founded in 1976, CUI was established in affiliation with the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod in order to serve students in the Pacific Southwest. Originally called Christ College Irvine, in 1993 the school’s Board of Regents voted to change the institution’s name to Concordia University Irvine; it was at this time that CUI became the tenth campus within the national Concordia University System.  Today, the University’s mission is to be “guided by the Great Commission of Christ Jesus and the Lutheran Confessions, [to empower] students through the liberal arts and professional studies for lives of learning, service and leadership.” CUI has a total enrollment figure of more than 4,500, including nearly 2,000 undergraduate students, with an average student to faculty ratio of 15 to 1.

Concordia University Irvine is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and has been so since 1981. A wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and online degree completion programs are offered through CUI. Undergraduate programs include Actuarial Science, Art, Athletic Training, Behavioral Science, Biblical Languages, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Christian Education Leadership, Coaching, Communication Studies, Director of Christian Education, Director of Parish Music, Early Childhood, Economics, Education Specialist, Elementary Education, English, Exercise and Sport Science, Forensics, Global Cultural Studies, Graphic Design, Healthcare Management, History and Political Thought, Humanities and Fine Art, International Studies, Liberal Studies, Lutheran Teaching Ministry, Mathematics, Medical Science Professions, Music, Physics, Pre-Deaconess Studies, Pre-Law, Pre-Nursing, Pre-Seminary Studies, Psychology, Secondary Education, Theatre, Theology, Theological Studies, and Worship Arts Leadership. CUI admits only 59% of applicants and boasts an overall retention rate of 72% with an overall graduation rate of 61%. 97% of beginning, full-time undergraduate students receive some type of financial aid.

  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15-to-1
  • Percent of Full-time, Beginning Undergraduates Financial Aid: 97%
  • Admittance: 59%
  • Overall Retention Rate: 72%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 61%

 

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