Top Christian Colleges & Universities in Pennsylvania 2017

top-christian-colleges-in-pa-2017Pennsylvania is not just the “cradle of American liberty,” the state plays a large part in every aspect of American history  From the historic district of Philadelphia to Valley Forge to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania provides a unique backdrop for higher education.  Pennsylvania also offers many different environments – urban, suburban, rural and farm – as well as mountains, farmland and waterfront locales to enrich the spirit as you pursue a degree.  Pennsylvania has a lot to offer the prospective student; we at Christian Universities Online are happy to offer the Top Christian Colleges and Universities in Pennsylvania for 2017.

We began by compiling a list of schools located in Pennsylvania that were members of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) or member eligible.  Publicly available data was then collected 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.

5

Waynesburg University

Waynesburg University is a private, coeducational, Christian liberal arts institution located in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. Affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A, Waynesburg University was founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and is named for General “Mad” Anthony Wayne, the Revolutionary War hero. The mission of Waynesburg University is to equip students to make “connections between faith, learning and serving so that they might faithfully transform their communities and the world.” The mission 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.” Waynesburg University offers the Bonner Scholar Program and is one of only 21 institutions in the nation to do so. Through this program, Waynesburg University awards more than a dozen community service scholarships to deserving students each year.

Waynesburg University is accredited through the Middle States Commission on higher Education and has been so since 1950. Nearly 2,000 students, including more than 1,400 undergraduates, are currently enrolled with an average student to faculty ratio of 12 to 1. More than 70 undergraduate academic concentrations are offered, with the top areas of study being business, communication, criminal justice, education, forensic science and nursing. Waynesburg University also offers a variety 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. The University admits 86% of applicants and boasts an overall retention rate of 80% along with an overall graduation rate of 62%. Financial aid is readily available, as evidenced by the fact that 99% of all beginning, full-time undergraduates receive some form of financial assistance.

  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 12-to-1
  • Percent of Full-time, Beginning Undergraduates Financial Aid: 99%
  • Admittance: 86%
  • Overall Retention Rate: 80%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 62%

4

Geneva College

Geneva College is a private, coeducational, Christian liberal arts institution located in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. The College originally began in Northwood, Ohio, founded by John Black Johnston, a minister of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, in 1848. It was not until the later 1870s-early 1880s that the College moved to its current location of Beaver Falls. Geneva College is affiliated with the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America and has the mission of being a “Christ-centered academic community that provides a comprehensive education to equip students for faithful and fruitful service to God and neighbor.” Geneva College has a total enrollment figure of more than 1,700, including nearly 1,500 undergraduate students, with an average student to faculty ratio of 15 to 1. The College is located on a beautiful 55 acre campus approximately 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. A founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, Geneva College is one of only four western Pennsylvania schools within the council.

Geneva College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and has been so since 1922. The College offers a wide range of undergraduate programs including several dual degree options in Aviation (specifically, Business/ Aviation and Missions/ Aviation) as well as in areas such as Biblical Studies, Ministries & Philosophy; Biology; Business, Accounting & Management; Chemistry, Math & Physics; Communication; Education; Engineering & Computer Science; English; History, Political Science & Sociology; Languages & Cultures; Music; Physical Education; Psychology & Social Services and more. Geneva College also offers a number of graduate degree programs, including the MBA, M.A. in Counseling, M.A. in Higher Education, and an M.S. in Leadership Studies. Geneva College accepts 73% of applicants and boasts an overall retention rate of 83% with an overall graduation rate of 64%. Financial aid is available to students and 100% of all full-time, beginning undergraduates receiving some type of financial assistance.

  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 15-to-1
  • Percent of Full-time, Beginning Undergraduates Financial Aid: 100%
  • Admittance: 73%
  • Overall Retention Rate: 83%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 64%

3

Eastern University

Eastern University is a private, coeducational, Christian institution of higher education located in Saint Davids, Pennsylvania.  Affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA, Eastern University came into existence in 1925, founded as the Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Established with the original intention of creating a theologically conservative seminary within the American Baptist Churches denomination, in 1932 the collegiate division of the school was formed and in 1952 the school was chartered as a four-year college. In the early 1970s the school became known as Eastern College and in 2005 was granted university status. 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.”  Situated on a scenic 114 acre suburban campus, Eastern University’s main campus is located just west of Philadelphia. The University has a total enrollment figure of over 3,500, including more than 2,000 undergraduate students, with an average student to faculty ratio of 10 to 1.

Eastern University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and has been so since 1954. Eastern University offers a wide range of academic programs and is comprised of several colleges including the College of Arts and Sciences, The College of Business and Leadership, The College of Education, The College of Health and Social Sciences, The College of Theology and Ministry, and The Templeton Honors College. Besides these, the University also owns the Palmer Theological Seminary and Esperanza College, the University’s junior college which operates in partnership with Nueve Esperanza, Inc. for the purpose of reaching Philadelphia’s Latino community. A selective school, Eastern University has an acceptance rate of 52% and boasts an overall retention rate of 74% with an overall graduation rate of 61%. Financial aid is available to students and 100% of all full-time, beginning undergraduates receive some type of financial aid.

  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 10-to-1
  • Percent of Full-time, Beginning Undergraduates Financial Aid: 100%
  • Admittance: 52%
  • Overall Retention Rate: 74%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 61%

2

Grove City College

Grove City College is a private, coeducational, Christian liberal arts institution located in Grove City, Pennsylvania. The College first began in 1876, chartered under the name of Pine Grove Normal Academy and founded by Isaac C. Ketler. In 1884 the Academy was renamed Grove City College by the trustees of the school in order to better reflect the institution’s vision and academic offerings. Today, Grove City College remains faithful to its founder’s’ original vision and operates with the mission of fostering “intellectual, moral, spiritual and social development consistent with a commitment to Christian truth, morals and freedom.” The College’s mission statement continues, “The ethical absolutes of the Ten Commandments and Christ’s moral teachings guide the effort to develop intellect and character in the classroom, chapel and co-curricular activities. And while many points of view are examined, the College unapologetically advocates preservation of America’s religious, political and economic heritage of individual freedom and responsibility.”

Grove City College has a total enrollment figure of nearly 2,500, all of whom are undergraduate students, with an average student to faculty ratio of 13 to 1. The College holds its accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education which granted its initial accreditation in 1922. Grove City College offers a range of academic options including over 50 programs of study. The College’s curriculum is “designed to educate the whole person”. Grove City College is comprised of several academic departments, covering the areas of Physics, Biblical and Religious Studies, Political Science, Biology, Physical Education, Mathematics, and Economics. A selective institution, Grove City College admits 81% of its applicants and boasts an overall retention rate of 89% with an overall graduation rate of 85%. Financial aid is readily available and 72% of all full-time, beginning undergraduates receive some type of financial aid, whether in the form of grants or scholarships.

  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 13-to-1
  • Percent of Full-time, Beginning Undergraduates Financial Aid: 72%
  • Admittance: 81%
  • Overall Retention Rate: 89%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 85%

1

Messiah College

Messiah College is a private Christian college of the liberal arts and applied arts and sciences located in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania just outside of Harrisburg. Though today the College is a nondenominational institution, Messiah College was historically affiliated with the Brethren in Christ Church which founded the College in 1909. Originally named the Messiah Bible School and Missionary Training Home, by 1921 it had grown into a junior college and by 1951 developed its own four-year college program; it was at this time that its present name of Messiah College was adopted. Today a nationally ranked institution, Messiah College describes its mission as being 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.”

Messiah College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Both the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees are offered in more than 80 majors as well as number of pre-professional programs at the undergraduate level. Seven master’s degrees are also available in addition to several graduate certificate programs in a range of specialties. Messiah College has a total enrollment figure of more than 3,000 students, including over 2,500 undergraduates, with an average student to faculty ratio of 12 to 1. More than 35% of students are from out-of-state and over 12% of students come from underrepresented racial, ethnic and cultural populations. The vast majority of students choose to live on-campus in one of Messiah College’s several housing options. Students also have plenty of opportunity to become involved in either sports activities or other clubs and organizations including recreational sports, worship and service ministries, interested-based groups and much more. Messiah College has an acceptance rate of 79% and boasts an overall retention rate of 88% with an overall graduation rate of 77%. Financial aid is readily available and 100% of full-time beginning undergraduates receive some type of assistance.

  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 12-to-1
  • Percent of Full-time, Beginning Undergraduates Financial Aid: 100%
  • Admittance: 79%
  • Overall Retention Rate: 88%
  • Overall Graduation Rate: 77%