Top Christian Colleges & Universities in Texas 2017

top-christian-colleges-in-tx-2017In conjunction with our 2017 ranking of the top 50 ranking of Christian Colleges and Universities in the U.S., Christian Universities Online is pleased to present our regional rankings – more than just s subset of the top 50, these schools are first separated geographically, and the ranking criteria applied anew.  We at CUO understand the significance of the decision students are faced with; sometimes geography can be a primary guide.  Because of the high number of high-quality schools in the State of Texas, it has earned its own ranking.  There are some familiar names and some new to the ranking.  Like our other rankings, 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 tool to help guide your decision-making.

A list of Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) members or member eligible schools was complied.  We then narrowed the list down to schools in the state of Texas.  Next, we collected publicly available data in the following five categories, 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 score of each category was then standardized and weighted.  The weighted scores were combined and an overall score was computed.

8

University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

The University of Mary-Hardin Baylor (UMHB) is a co-ed Christian university located in Belton, Texas. UMHB was founded in 1845 by the Republic of Texas and began as the Baylor Female College, the female department of what is now Baylor University. In 1886 the school separated from Baylor and moved to Belton, undergoing a series of name changes. The campus has a lot of green space and traditional collegiate red brick architecture.  The oldest continuously operating college in the state (and the oldest women’s college west of the Mississippi), the school became co-educational and accepted its first male students in 1971. The stated mission of UMHB is to prepare students “for leadership, service, and faith-informed discernment in a global society.” Affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, the university is committed to “academic excellence, personal attention, broad-based scholarship and a commitment to a Baptist vision for education”.

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. UMHB is comprised of seven colleges and schools: the College of Christian Studies, College of Education, College of Humanities and Sciences, College of Nursing, College of Visual & Performing Arts, McLane College of Business, and UMHB’s Graduate School. The university has a total enrollment figure of more than 3,800 students (including over 3,000 undergraduates) who represent 30 foreign nations. 94% of UMHB’s full-time freshmen live on campus and the school offers student housing in the form of apartments or in one of UMHB’s residential halls, which are separated into male and female dormitories. The university has a 19:1 student-to-faculty ratio and an overall retention rate of 69%.  Approximately 80% of all applicants are admitted and the overall graduation rate is 43%.  Over 90% of students receive some type of financial aid, which is available in the forms of grants, scholarship, work-study, or student loans.

  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19-to-1
  • Percent of Full-time, Beginning Undergraduates Financial Aid: 96%
  • Admittance: 80%
  • Overall Retention Rate: 69%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 43%

7

Howard Payne University

Brownwood, Texas is home to Howard Payne University, a co-ed Christian liberal arts institution. The school was founded in June of 1889 for the purpose of preparing students for Christian ministry; the school was named after Edward Howard Payne, who gave the lead monetary gift to start the university. Howard Payne University has remained dedicated to its original purpose of honoring Christ and seeks to provide students with an educational experience that integrates both faith and learning. Situated on a beautiful eighty-acre, tree-line campus on the northern side of the Texas Hill Country in Brownwood, students enjoy many off-campus visits to the nearby Lake Brownwood. Many students also participate in Howard Payne University’s intramural sporting competitions; the school is a member of the American Southwest Conference and boasts a dozen men’s and women’s teams.

Howard Payne University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools since 1948. Howard Payne University offers more than 100 majors, minors and pre-professional degree programs through its seven schools of Business, Christian Studies, Education, Humanities, Music and Fine Arts, Nursing, and Science and Mathematics. Just over 1,000 students are enrolled at the university, most of which are undergraduate students. The school enjoys a very strong student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1.  Howard Payne University is strongly committed to the residential experience and requires students to live on campus for four semesters, with certain exemptions. Howard Payne University admits 85% of all applicants, has a 63% retention rate and an overall graduation rate of 47%.  Several forms of financial aid are also available for students in the form of grants, scholarships, student loan aid, and etc.; approximately 99% of full-time, beginning students at Howard Payne University do receive some type of financial aid.

  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 10-to-1
  • Percent of Full-time, Beginning Undergraduates Financial Aid: 99%
  • Admittance: 85%
  • Overall Retention Rate: 63%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 47%

6

East Texas Baptist University

East Texas Baptist University (ETBU) is a co-ed Christian university located in the historic city of Marshall, Texas, nestled in the picturesque woods of East Texas. Located on the site of the former Van Zandt Plantation – the highest altitude in Harrison County, – ETBU was established as the College of Marshall in 1912.  The school is affiliated with the Baptist General Convention. Per the school’s stated Mission, ETBU is “committed to Christian stewardship and to providing and maintaining an environment conducive to learning, leadership development, and academic excellence.”  ETBU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and masters degrees. ETBU is made up of eight schools: the School of Business; School of Christian Studies; School of Education; School of Humanities; School of Communication and Performing Arts; School of Natural and Social Sciences; School of Professional Studies; and the School of Nursing.

East Texas Baptist University has a total enrollment figure of nearly 1,300 – the vast majority of which are undergraduate students. Approximately 85% of students live on campus and students participate in a numerous clubs and organization. ETBU boasts a vibrant campus life that is filled with student activities and intramural sports which provide students with the opportunity to gain important leadership skills. Student housing is offered in a number of resident halls, housing complexes, apartments and campus houses. ETBU is a moderately selective school, admitting around 55% of all applicants.  The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1 which provides a good environment for mentoring.  The school’s retention rate is 52% and the graduation rate is 46%.  Approximately 90% of ETBU’s students receive some type of financial aid in the form of Federal or State Grants, ETBU scholarship, work study, or student loans. In addition, ETBU is a member of the Yellow Ribbon Program and offers special tuition policies for veterans and servicemen, making tuition all that more feasible.

  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13-to-1
  • Percent of Full-time, Beginning Undergraduates Financial Aid: 100%
  • Admittance: 55%
  • Overall Retention Rate: 52%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 46%

5

Houston Baptist University

Located in Houston, Texas on an urban campus of 100 acres, Houston Baptist University (HBU) is a co-ed Christian university. HBU is just minutes away from Houston’s downtown, which provides students with ample opportunities for jobs, internships, as well as fun. HBU was founded in 1960 by the Baptist General Convention of Texas for the purpose of providing “a learning experience that instills in students a passion for academic, spiritual, and professional excellence as a result of our central confession, ‘Jesus Christ is Lord.’” HBU offers an intimate college environment with an enrollment figure of more than 2,500 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1. HBU’s boasts a diverse student body, with students hailing from all ethnic backgrounds and even several walks of faith. As a Christian institution, HBU requires that all students seeking an undergraduate degree complete 80 Community Life and Worship (CLW) credits – of which, a minimum of 50 CLW credits must be earned through attendance at Convocation.

Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Houston Baptist University is made up of eight colleges and schools: the Archie W. Dunham College of Business; College of Education & Behavior Sciences; College of Science & Mathematics; School of Christian Thought; School of Fine Arts; School of Humanities; School of Nursing & Allied Health; and HBU’s Honors College.  HBU is rather selective in its admission screening – only one third of all applicants are accepted.  The retention rate is a very robust 70%, although the school’s graduation rate is 33%.  HBU offers students a variety of housing options, ranging from residence colleges to student apartments to living-learning communities, in an effort to meet all types of individualized needs. Students also have access to a number of financial aid programs with 100% of full-time, beginning undergraduates receiving some type of aid.

  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16-to-1
  • Percent of Full-time, Beginning Undergraduates Financial Aid: 100%
  • Admittance: 33%
  • Overall Retention Rate: 70%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 33%

4

Hardin-Simmons University

Hardin-Simmons University (HSU) is a co-ed Christian university located in Abilene, Texas. Affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, HSU was founded as the Abilene Baptist College in 1891 by the Sweetwater Baptist Association and a group of cattlemen and pastors. Renamed Simmons College in 1892 in honor of James B. Simmons (an early contributor to the school), the school adopted its current moniker in 1925, adding the name Hardin in honor of Mary and John G. Hardin, who were also major contributors to the school. HSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools 1927. HSU’s stated mission is “to be a community dedicated to providing excellence in education enlightened by Christian faith and values.” The school 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. HSU offers a wide range of programs and degrees through its nine colleges and schools: 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. The school has a strong student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1 and is a moderately selective school with a 60% acceptance rate for all applicants.  The campus includes about 100 beautifully landscaped acres (of a total of 220 acres), featuring over 30 major buildings including six residence halls and two apartment complexes.  A number of financial aid options are available to students, including grant or scholarship aid and approximately 97% of full-time, beginning undergraduate students at HSU do receive some type of aid.

  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12-to-1
  • Percent of Full-time, Beginning Undergraduates Financial Aid: 98%
  • Admittance: 60%
  • Overall Retention Rate: 68%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 53%

3

LeTourneau University

Le Tourneau University is an interdenominational Christian university located in Longview, Texas. The State of Texas chartered the school, as LeTourneau Technical Institute (named in honor of its founder, Mr. R.G. LeTourneau) in February, 1946. LETU was originally established as a training institute for veterans who had returned home after World War II, however, the institution’s scope soon expanded and has continued to grow over the years. In addition to the university’s 160+ acre main campus in Longview, the school also offers undergraduate and graduate programs at its educational centers located in Dallas and Houston as well as online. LETU has a total enrollment of nearly 3,000, including more than 2,000 undergraduates, with an average student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1. Diversity is strong on campus as nearly all 50 states, more than 30 foreign countries, and over 45 different denominational groups are represented in the student body. A significant percentage of LETU’s residential students are homeschooled students with a 46%/54% male/female ratio within the university’s global and residential student population.

Le Tourneau University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools since 1970. The University offers four-year ABET accredited engineering and engineering technology programs as well as traditional undergraduate degree programs in the areas of technology, the liberal arts, business, aeronautical science, education and the sciences. In addition, LETU also offers a number of master’s degree programs in the areas of business, education, engineering and psychology. A selective institution, LETU only admits 45% of applicants; the University’s overall retention rate is 69% with an overall graduation rate of 57%. Financial aid is readily available to students, as evidenced by the fact that nearly all (97%) full-time, beginning undergraduates receive some type of financial assistance, whether through grant or scholarship aid.

  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12-to-1
  • Percent of Full-time, Beginning Undergraduates Financial Aid: 97%
  • Admittance: 45%
  • Overall Retention Rate: 69%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 57%

2

Dallas Baptist University

Dallas Baptist University (DBU) is a co-ed Christian liberal arts school located in Dallas, Texas. DBU sits on a beautiful 300 acre campus in the hills of Southwest Dallas, overlooking the Mountain Creek Lake.  DBU, affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, was founded in 1898 as Decatur Baptist College and was the first two-year institution of higher education in the state of Texas. In 1965 the school relocated to Dallas and was renamed Dallas Baptist College; DBU achieved university status in 1985. Today, DBU’s stated mission is to “provide Christ-centered higher education in the arts, sciences, and professional studies at both the undergraduate and graduate levels to traditional age and adult students in order to produce servant leaders who have the ability to integrate faith and learning through their respective callings.” The university has a total enrollment of more than 5,000 students, including over 3,000 undergraduates with a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1 and an average class size of 13 students.

Dallas Baptist University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and is comprised of ten colleges and schools:  College of Business, Mary C. Crowley College of Christian Faith, Dorothy M. Bush College of Education, College of Fine Arts, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, College of Professional Studies, Gary Cook School of Leadership, and Graduate School of Ministry. More than 70 undergraduate majors are offered in addition to nearly 30 master’s programs and more than 55 dual master’s degree programs, and two doctoral programs. DBU is a prestigious and selective institution, admitting only 42% of all applicants. The University boasts an overall retention rate of 72% and an overall graduation rate of 58%. Financial aid is available to students and 96% of all beginning, full-time undergraduates receive some type of financial assistance.

  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13-to1
  • Percent of Full-time, Beginning Undergraduates Financial Aid: 96%
  • Admittance: 42%
  • Overall Retention Rate: 72%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 58%

1

Abilene Christian University

Abilene Christian University (ACU) is a co-ed Christian university located in Abilene, Texas and affiliated with the Churches of Christ.  It can truly be said that ACU is set ‘where the stars at night are big and bright’ – deep in the heart of Texas!  It is hard to find a more central location than Abilene.  ACU was founded in 1906 as a small learning institution in West Texas, growing from a vision presented by A.B. Barret and Charles Roberson and backed by the Churches of Christ in Abilene.  ACU is known as a leader in Christian higher-education and has received a number of national honors and recognitions from high-profile sources in secular and objective spheres; recognitions include being a ‘distinguished school for its innovation, leadership and educational excellence.’ The stated mission of ACU is to educate students for “Christian service and leadership throughout the world.”  Many ACU students spend time volunteering for community service in addition to their formal studies.

Abilene Christian University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees from its seven Colleges and Schools: College of Arts & Sciences, College of Biblical Studies, College of Business Administration, College of Education & Human Services, Graduate School, Graduate School of Theology, and ACU’s Honors College. Approximately 4,600 students are currently enrolled at ACU, including over 3,600 undergraduates, hailing from nearly every state in the Union and more than 40 foreign nations. The average student-to-faculty ratio is 15:1.  Housing is offered for resident students in either residential halls or apartments which are reserved for upper-class students. A selective school, ACU admits 50% of applicants and boasts a relatively high overall retention rate of 79% with an overall graduation rate of 61%. Financial aid is freely available to students with 100% of all full-time, beginning undergraduates receiving some type of financial aid.

  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15-to-1
  • Percent of Full-time, Beginning Undergraduates Financial Aid: 100%
  • Admittance: 50%
  • Overall Retention Rate: 79%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 61%