The decision where to pursue a degree includes the evaluation of many different criteria. Reputation of programs, graduation rate, total cost are but a few items to consider. An oft-overlooked element is the physical surroundings and components of the campus itself. While not a primary criteria, campus beauty should not be ignored. In light of this, Christian Universities Online is happy to present our offering of the 50 most beautiful Christian colleges and universities for 2017.
Our methodology began with focusing our attention on schools that are members or member eligible of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). The following four categories were evaluated for each school: 1) Continuity of campus, 2) Architectural style, 3) Signature building(s), and 4) Natural setting. Finally, we assigned an equal weight to each category and computed the final scores.
East Texas Baptist University (abbreviated ETBU) is a private, coeducational, Christian university located in the historic city of Marshall, Texas. ETBU was established in 1912 as the College of Marshall in affiliation with the Baptist General Convention. The University is “committed to Christian stewardship and to providing and maintaining an environment conducive to learning, leadership development, and academic excellence.” East Texas Baptist University has a total enrollment figure of more than 1,300, the vast majority of whom are undergraduate students, with an average student to faculty ratio of 13 to 1.
East Texas Baptist University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and master’s degrees. The University is comprised of several schools through which it offers its many undergraduate and master’s degree programs. These include the School of Business, the School of Christian Studies, the School of Education, the School of Humanities, the School of Communication and Performing Arts, the School of Natural and Social Sciences, the School of Professional Studies and the School of Nursing. ETBU offers on-campus student housing through its several residence halls, housing complexes, apartments and campus houses. Situated on a large campus nestled in the scenic woods of East Texas, ETBU is located on the site of the former Van Zandt Plantation in the highest altitude in Harrison County. The campus’ oldest building is Marshall Hall, which was completed in 1916 and originally designed to house the University’s gymnasium, library, chapel, theatre, administrative offices and classrooms. Since those early days, ETBU has added several buildings including the Ornelas Student Center, the Ornelas Spiritual Life Center, and the Ornelas Gymnasium.
Hardin-Simmons University (abbreviated HSU) is a private, coeducational, Christian institution located in Abilene, Texas and is affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Founded in 1891 by the Sweetwater Baptist Association and a group of cattlemen and pastors as the Abilene Baptist College, just one year later the school was renamed Simmons College in honor of James B. Simmons, an early contributor. In 1925 the college adopted its current name, adding the name Hardin in honor of Mary and John G. Hardin, who were also major contributors to the school. HSU is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and has been so since 1927. The University’s mission is “to be a community dedicated to providing excellence in education enlightened by Christian faith and values.” HSU provides an undergraduate education based in the liberal arts that is academically challenging and which advances scholarly growth by offering specialized graduate and professional degree programs.
Hardin-Simmons University has a total enrollment figure of about 2,000, including more than 1,600 undergraduate students, with an average student to faculty ratio of 12 to 1. HSU offers a wide range of programs and degrees through its several colleges and schools. These include the College of Fine Arts; Cynthia Ann Parker College of Liberal Arts; Holland School of Sciences and Mathematics; Irvin School of Education; Kelley College of Business; Logsdon School of Theology; Logsdon Seminary; Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing; and HSU’s Graduate Studies. Situated on a beautifully landscaped campus of 220 acres andmore than 30 major facilities fill HSU’s grounds, including six residence halls and two apartment complexes. Featuring classic brick architecture the school’s gold, dome-topped, red brick clock tower serves as its signature building. Deciduous trees dot the campus and the University makes good use of its space with a well designed layout.
The College of the Ozarks (commonly referred to as C of O) is a private, Christian liberal arts institution located n Point Lookout, Missouri. Since its founding in 1907, C of O has adopted and followed a highly unique practice of having students work to earn their keep rather than pay tuition. Through the combination of state grants, scholarships and the school’s on-campus work program students are charged a grand total of $0 in tuition costs; as a result C of O has earned the nicknamed “Hard Work U”. Placing a strong emphasis on “character” education, C of O is committed to providing students with a quality Christian education, especially students found worthy, but lack the means to obtain such an education. The College openly discourages debt of any kind and does not participate in any federal, state or private loan programs; the university further leads by example and has no institutional debt of any kind.
The College of the Ozarks offers a variety of academic programs with more than 25 majors, 36 minors, and several pre-professional programs. Academic programs include agriculture; biblical & theological studies; biology; business; communication arts; computer sciences; criminal justice; educating; engineering; family studies and social services; hotel and restaurant management; military science; nursing; psychology; and theatre. The College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and has a total enrollment figure of nearly 1,500 undergraduate students with an average student to faculty ratio of 14 to 1. Situated on a rural 1,000 acre campus, C of O’s grounds overlook Lake Taneycomo is conveniently located near the greenway. Most notable among C of O’s buildings is the Williams Memorial Chapel, a stunningly beautiful example of neo-Gothic architecture. Built of a white stone, the Chapel features an impressive, castle-like steeple and gorgeous rounded windows.
Faulkner University is a private, Christian institution of higher education located in Montgomery, Alabama and is affiliated with the Churches of Christ. Established in 1942 as the Montgomery Bible School, iIn 1953 the school was renamed the Alabama Christian College. By the mid 1960s the College moved to its present-day location and in 1985 achieved university status, adopting its current name of Faulkner University in honor of longtime supporter and chairman of the board, Dr. James H. Faulkner, Sr. Today, the mission of Faulkner University is to “glorify God through education of the whole person, emphasizing integrity of character in a caring, Christian environment where every individual matters every day.” Faulkner University has a total enrollment figure of more than 3,000, including over 2,500 undergraduate students, with an average student to faculty ratio is 15 to 1.
Faulkner University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges and has been so since 1971.Faulkner University offers more than 70 degree programs and is comprised of several colleges, centers and institutes. These include the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Biblical Studies, the College of Education, the College of Business and Executive Education, the Faulkner Law, the Council of Scholars, the Christian Institute for the Study of Liberal Arts, the Institute for Faith and Academy, the Cloverdale Center for Family Strengths, and the Center for Dispute Resolution. Situated on an 84 acre campus, the layout and design of the University’s grounds are well planned and make good use of the space. Faulkner University’s architectural style is more contemporary with a classic feel, thanks to the use of traditional red brick and classic white pillars, and the grounds feature an abundance of trees and green life.
Shorter University is a private, coeducational, Christian liberal arts institution located in Rome, Georgia. Established in 1873 by Luther Rice Gwanltney, pastor of the Rome Baptist Church, Shorter University began as an all-women’s college called the Cherokee Baptist Female College. In 1877 the school was renamed Shorter Female College in honor of Alfred and Martha Shorter who made generous financial contributions to the college. Male students were not admitted into the school until the 1950’s when the school became coeducational. In 2010 the school changed its name to Shorter University to better reflect the school’s expansion and growth. Shorter University’s mission is to advance “God’s Kingdom through a commitment to academic excellence, spiritual growth, Christian leadership, and global service within the context of a biblical worldview.” Shorter University boasts a total enrollment figure of nearly 1,500, the majority of whom are undergraduate students, with an average student to faculty ratio of 15 to 1.
Shorter University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and has been so since 1923. Shorter University offers several undergraduate and graduate programs as well as several online programs. Comprised of several colleges and schools, these include the Ben and Ollie Brady School of Nursing, the College of Adult and Professional Programs, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Ledbetter College of Business, the School of Education, and the School of Fine and Performing Arts. Situated on a beautiful campus in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Shorter University is located just 72 miles northwest of Atlanta in an area with a total population of approximately 36,000. The large suburban campus is well laid out and surrounded by forests next to the Coosa River. Featuring beautiful brick and white pillar buildings with generous windows, Shorter’s architectural style would be categorized as classic-revival – a lovely style, favored among southern universities, in particular.