Many students choose to attend a Christian college or university to deepen their knowledge of the truth, goodness, and beauty of God and God’s creation. Where better to do that than within a Christian university campus where beauty is manifest in both the built and natural environments?
To help prospective students in their search for the Christian college or university that is best for them, we’ve put together a list of what we consider twenty-five of the most beautiful colleges in the United States that are also members or affiliates of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities.
#1. Covenant College
Covenant College, nestled on the border between Georgia and Tennessee, is located high on the mountaintops of Lookout Mountain. The beautiful 300-acre campus, giving folks a view of seven states, is a combination of current architecture and traditional buildings. Emphasizing its location, the buildings offer a wealth of windows to let the sun’s beautiful rays shine in on students all day long, while the campus is filled with flowers and trees, showcasing the natural beauty that is the southern United States. For a campus where students spend 90 percent of their time outside the classroom, Covenant is ideal.
Set amongst the beautiful foothills of Malibu, CA, the Pepperdine University campus is among the most beautiful in the United States. There are spectacular views of the Pacific, the Channel Islands, and Los Angeles depending on where you stand, and the campus landscape slowly climbs up the foothills. Also, the 40 year old Mediterranean revival architecture of the campus’ main buildings fit in perfectly with the scene, and the centerpiece is the Phillips Theme Tower, a tall stylized cross symbolizing Pepperdine’s commitment to its Christian mission and goals.
Eastern University is a comprehensive co-ed university that sprawls over the beautifully wooded countryside outside of Philadelphia. The wholesome Christian atmosphere emphasizes academics, extracurricular activities and spiritual growth in a safe environment. Although affiliated with American Baptist Churches USA, the faculty, administrators and student body are from interdenominational faiths. Paved bike trails wind through a campus of beautiful traditional and modern architecture. Walton Hall is a student-oriented center built from stone with a Spanish-tiled roof. Students enjoy dining in two cafes from early morning to late at night. The campus has an observatory and planetarium.
#4. Montreat College
Montreat College is located near Asheville, NC at the edge of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. It has a history dating back to 1897 when an evangelist and his associates formed the Mountain Retreat Association to encourage spiritual and intellectual growth in the area. The campus features numerous charming old stone buildings that are nestled among a variety of deciduous trees that turn a riot of color in the fall. The campus offers 15 tracks of study from Bible and religion to business and music. The college sponsors several satellite campuses across the state.
One of the most beautiful campuses in America, Point Loma Nazarene University sits perched on the Sunset Cliffs in the Point Loma community of San Diego. It contains breathtaking ocean views. No matter where you go on campus, you’re just a few feet away from an ocean view. The school’s 2,376 undergraduate students enjoy a 93-acre campus. The first buildings on campus were wood. Some have been restored to original condition and continue to be used for teaching, research and administration while designated as official historical sites. The Greek Amphitheater was the first of its kind in the U.S.
#6. Geneva College
Geneva College is nestled amidst the lush, forested landscape of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. The college is notable for the stately, Ivy League-style architecture of its facilities, which were built 130 years ago. The campus is spread across a full 55 acres of verdant land, providing a breathtaking natural setting. Students enjoy the best of both worlds, benefiting from the peace and charm of a rural setting while living a mere hour away from Pittsburgh, an up-and-coming city with the distinction of being the second largest in Pennsylvania.
Founded in 1968 in West Palm Beach, the Palm Beach Atlantic University is a fitting tribute to the surrounding Florida landscape. Stretching along the Intracoastal waterway the university has incorporated Mediterranean- style architecture into many of its buildings. The proximity of this interdenominational Christian university to the Atlantic Ocean and a tropical climate with plenty of sunny days provide ample opportunity for students to enjoy the beauty of the region. The campus is located within easy walking distance of many local amenities including dining venues and churches. Students attending Palm Beach Atlantic University will experience education at its very best whether attending a class on the beach or studying beneath the swaying palms.
California Baptist University sits like an emerald in the center of Riverside, one of Southern California’s richest suburbs. Not only is the campus picturesque with its earthen Spanish architecture, but recent fund raising efforts have created numerous buildings and other facilities that are new and able to serve it’s students, who come from around the world to enjoy the benefits of a Christ-centered academic program. Built to resemble a Spanish hacienda, the beautiful setting of California Baptist University is only exceeded by its program that provide students with an education rivaled by only the best institutions in the country.
Baylor University resides in the small city of Waco, Texas, which is commonly called the “Heart of Texas.” The 1,000-acre campus sits on the banks of the Brazos River and the landscape features plush green trees and grass as well as beautiful scenery. Students enjoy a variety of recreational opportunities like hiking and biking. Baylor is the oldest university in the state of Texas and it features Italian Renaissance architecture with handcrafted décor. The Armstrong Browning Library is a popular attraction to students and visitors, with its elegant Indiana limestone, marble columns, elaborate ceilings, and 62 stain glassed windows.
#10. Wheaton College
This beautiful college in Wheaton, IL has an old-fashioned campus design with older and newer buildings sitting together. The most well-known building is Blanchard Hall, which was the original college building when it was built over 150 years ago. The bell in the tower still chimes students to class as they walk among the well-kept greens between buildings. Most of Wheaton’s building are over a century old, but there are also newer buildings such as the Science Center with its modern architecture, and the Billy Graham Center(named for the college’s most famous graduate) with its more classical appearance.
Located in the heart of a small quaint city in Ohio, Franciscan University of Steubenville offers students a nice suburban campus that covers dozens of beautifully maintained acres. This Catholic university is situated on the west shore of the Ohio River and surrounded by a heavily wooded terrain. Many of the buildings on the campus have been built in the 1950′s, 1960′s and 1970′s and renovated multiple times throughout the years. Christ the King Chapel and John Paul II Library are some of the facilities at Franciscan University of Steubenville that show the school’s dedication to faith and excellent academics.
#12. Regent University
Located in the midst of the bustling Virginia Beach area, Regent University’s campus boasts classic Georgian-style buildings that dot the finely landscaped 70 acre grounds. The Founder’s Inn and Spa, a luxury destination, is directly adjacent to the campus and periodically hosts school events. Beyond the campus, the sparkling waters of the Atlantic Ocean are only 16 miles away and beautiful Colonial Williamsburg, a wonderful destination for a day trip, is located a mere hour’s drive away from the school.
#13. Westmont College
Westmont College is one of California’s finest Christian colleges, and it’s one of the finest looking too. The sprawling, modern campus in the Montecito Hills of LA has nearly 110 beautiful acres of green space in the rolling hills, including a creek that runs through the grounds which can be dry during the summer months. The buildings are a pleasant mix of modern and Mediterranean revival styles painted in bright colors, and although the campus was damaged in a 2008 fire, it has been restored, and many of its buildings-including the Murchison Gym-are now considered fireproof.
Located in the beautiful Queen Anne Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, the campus of Seattle Pacific University is home to some of the oldest trees in all of Seattle. The 43-acre campus features buildings with charming brickwork that blend in with many contemporary and updated facilities. Seattle Pacific also operates satellite campuses on Blakely Island in the San Juan Islands and Camp Casey on Whidbey Island. Alexander Hall is the oldest building on the urban campus and was named after the university’s founder, Alexander Beer.
#15. Samford University
Samford University is situated five miles south of downtown Birmingham Ala. in the suburb of Homewood on approximately 200 acres. Most of the academic buildings were constructed in a uniform Georgian-Colonial architectural style and are evenly spread amidst a backdrop of trees and manicured grounds. Students are required to live on campus until age 21. Freshman housing is concentrated near mid-campus near the popular Quadrangle gathering area. The Christenberry Planetarium hosts an array of activities from telescope viewing to multimedia presentations. The interior of the domed Hodges Chapel was painted by fresco master Petru Botezatu.
College of the Ozarks is situated on 1,000 acres along the White River, deep in the Ozarks, in Point Lookout, Missouri. Overlooking beautiful Lake Taneycomo, this liberal arts college has the Williams Memorial Chapel at the heart of the campus. The Gothic-style chapel is magnificently breathtaking. The campus is also a popular spot to stroll the verdant grounds, past a working grist mill, greenhouses and a rose garden that is tended by the students.
#17. Whitworth University
Recognized as one of the top regional colleges in the West, Whitworth University is a private, liberal arts college located in Spokane, Washington. Its 200-acre campus features red-brick buildings such as McMillan Hall, created in 1913, and tall pine trees, which provide a secure and beautiful place to learn. Since year 2000, over $100 million in renovations has been done to the college, including a new science hall, a rec center opening in the fall of 2013, and a center for visual arts.
Established in 1919 in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, the campus of John Brown University is sprawled out over 200 beautiful acres. The main feature of the campus is the Cathedral of the Ozarks, which was completed in 1957 and features a chapel and several academic facilities. The main quad of the campus sits between the Cathedral of the Ozarks and the Walker Student Center and is often home to students studying, relaxing or participating in numerous recreational activities. The campus of John Brown University is lined with many dogwood trees, which are quite common to the region.
Waynesburg University features a gorgeous campus located in the beautiful rolling hills of Southwestern Pennsylvania. The campus is spread out around four spacious parks owned and maintained by the city of Waynesburg. The park known as “Statue Park” contains a statue in memorial of lives lost during the Civil War. The contemporary suburban campus and encompassing parks total approximately 15 acres. The oldest buildings on the campus of Waynesburg University are Miller and Hanna Halls, which are located directly behind the park commonly referred to as “Fountain Park.”
Located in the quaint city of Lakewood within the shadows of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Christian University has a nice suburban campus that offers a tranquil setting for students. This small private Christian university boasts onsite housing units that blend right in with the surrounding residential communities of Lakewood. The campus offers beautiful landscaped grounds with its own small pond for students and staff to enjoy. Some of the unique architectural features of Colorado Christian University include domed and oval shaped facilities that are used for academics, research and other special events. Small contemporary chapels are also available on site.
#21. Greenville College
Nestled in the small town of Greenville, Illinois, but only 45 miles away from the excitement of St. Louis, Greenville College’s scenic 50-acre campus offers a peaceful and scenic location for academic study. A nature trail connected to the campus is the perfect place to take a break from studying and enjoy the natural beauty of Greenville. The campus also includes the Bock Museum, home of the Richard W. Bock Sculpture collection, located in the historic Almira College House.
#22. Biola University
Biola University is located in the heart of beautiful, sunny Southern California. What for many people is a vacation location is home for Biola University. The college’s campus sits surrounded by natural beauty and cultural opportunities, as it is located just minutes from the mountains, beaches, and downtown Los Angeles. The campus itself includes beautiful gardens with local flora, patios with fountains, as well as a gigantic mural of Jesus Christ. The on campus chapel is humble, yet charming, and new construction and renovation projects promise additional campus structures that will only add to the beauty and charm of the place.
#23. Nyack College
Nyack College, located in New York, is rich in history and beauty on its campus. Founded in Manhattan, it offers campuses there and in Nyack, serving New York’s five boroughs and suburbs. A campus built from the metro area, it’s comprised of buildings that reflect the old-style ethics of hard work and faith that have made New York what it is today. From the Residential Rockland campus in Nyack to the Undergraduate New York City campus, the buildings rise high into the sky and reflect an old-world feel of sturdiness and dependability, which is at the essence of Nyack College.
#24. Campbell University
Campbell University is located just outside of North Carolina’s beautiful capital, Raleigh. Despite the city’s amenities and excitement being just a stone’s throw away, the beautiful landscape of CU has many students opting to stay on campus, relishing in the small-knit community embraced by the university. Home to the Keith Hills Golf Club and the Robert B. and Anna Gardner Butler Chapel, CU’s campus offers traditional academic charm, while providing modern amenities and community involvement. With tree-lined walkways and historic brick buildings scattered about, students can enjoy the seasons’ offerings while surrounded by tradition and history.
Nestled in the midst of one of the nation’s largest cities, Houston Baptist University is a refreshingly picturesque campus that offers an escape from harried city life. The campus is arranged so that grassy expanses stretch between buildings, providing students with plenty of outdoor study space and picnic areas. Paths leading through shady copses and around large fountains encourage students to take study breaks to enjoy their surroundings. While strolling, students interested in museums can head over to Houston Baptist University’s Dunham Bible Museum, which boasts one of the nation’s most expansive rare bible collections.