College affordability is an idea that is more helpful to quantify than simply considering the tuition of the institution of your choice. Many universities and colleges have developed very aggressive financial aid packages and have other unique sources of funding that reduce what may be very expensive tuition costs to a more manageable level for lots of students. With that in mind, we have put together a ranking of the 50 most affordable Christian colleges in the U.S. to help students navigate the true cost of attending these schools.
Affordable Online Christian Colleges
The colleges and universities on this list had to be accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) or a member/affiliate of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). The average net price data we used to build this ranking was sourced from the latest data put out by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Lastly, in order to ensure the comparisons were as commensurable and practical as possible, we set a lower limit on the student population at 1,000, which was also referenced through the NCES.
50. Asbury University – Wilmore, Kentucky
Asbury University (AU) is a Christian, Liberal Arts University in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition. Undergraduates can choose from more than 50 majors and 38 minors. Undergraduate majors are divided into three distinct schools, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Communication and the School of Education. With more than 80% of the student population choosing to live on campus, students can experience a vibrant campus life located only 20 minutes southwest of Lexington.
49. MidAmerica Nazarene University – Olathe, Kansas
The Church of the Nazarene has eight U.S. liberal arts colleges associated with it and MidAmerican Nazarene University (MNU) is one of those eight. Each Nazarene college receives financial backing from the churches in its region which puts more than one of these colleges in our list of fifty. MNU offers undergraduate degrees in 40 majors. In addition to a strong academic experience, with over half of the full-time faculty holding doctoral degrees, MNU offers well rounded varsity and intramural athletic programs. Lastly, a strong emphasis, with 4 offerings for weekly chapel services, is placed on the spiritual development of each student.
48. North Central University – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Owned and operated by eleven Assemblies of God districts, North Central University (NCU), is a Christ-centered Pentecostal school located in a city with lots of opportunity to put what students are being taught into practice well before graduation arrives. NCU has a core curriculum that consists of 59 credits of general education and Bible. Most of NCU’s fifty plus bachelor programs can be completed with 124 credits, with each student earning a minor in Biblical Studies based on the bible courses in the core each student has to complete.
47. Oklahoma Christian University – Edmond, Oklahoma
Oklahoma Christian University (OC) is a liberal arts college affiliated with the Church of Christ that has earned national recognition by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton review as one of the best colleges in the Western Region of the U.S. Degree programs are offered through three colleges, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Biblical Studies and the College of Professional Studies. The undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 15 to 1, with 88% of classes containing less than 30 students. Students have the best of both the small college campus world and the big city offerings being only 10 minutes from downtown Oklahoma City.
46. University of Sioux Falls – Sioux Falls, South Dakota
45. William Jessup University – Rocklin, California
William Jessup Univeristy (WJU) is the first university to make this list that has no denominational affiliation. WJU is a small liberal arts institution with two campuses, one in Rocklin, CA and the other campus in San Jose, CA. With the past four consecutive semesters recording record breaking enrollments, this small liberal arts university may not stay small long. WJU focuses on the spiritual development of its full-time students by requiring regular chapel attendance which is facilitated by two chapel services every week. A variety of traditional undergraduate programs are offered along with accelerated adult programs, online programs and graduate programs. The liberal arts based undergraduate program offers a good mix of degree choices and a low student-to-faculty ratio.
44. Faulkner University – Montgomery, Alabama
Faulkner University is affiliated with the Church of Christ and has three satellite campuses in addition to the main campus in Montgomery, Alabama. The university is made up of five colleges: 1) College of Arts and Sciences, 2) College of Education, 3) College of Business and Executive Education, 4) College of Biblical Studies and 5) Great Books Honors College. Through these five colleges, there are 12 departments offering over 40 majors. In addition to the depth of academic offerings, Faulkner University boasts great breadth in the student life they offer. Opportunities to be involved in student organizations, intramural sports, collegiate athletics and abundant community service projects make this a great choice for any undergraduate to get the most out of their college experience.
43. Northwest Nazarene University – Nampa, Idaho
Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) is a growing liberal arts institution with 3 regional locations in addition to their main campus in Nampa, Idaho. The university is affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene while 55% of the students belong to a variety of other denominations. NNU boasts an academic program offering over 60 areas of study in five academic schools: School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Business, School of Education, Social Work and Counseling, School of Health and Science and the School of Theology and Christian Ministries. In addition to the strong academic programs offered at NNU, students have over 40 different clubs and organizations they can participate in to round out their university experience.
42. Northwest University – Kirkland, Washington
Northwest University (NU) is an Assemblies of God affiliated institution that is based on a beautiful semi-wooded campus overlooking Lake Washington and the city of Seattle. NU consists of the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business Management, the College of Education, the College of Ministry, the College of Nursing and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. The low student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1 combined with over 30 undergraduate majors offered and an almost equal number of minors, makes this a great choice to get the most out of your education finances.
41. Cornerstone University – Grand Rapids, Michigan
Cornerstone University (CU) is another great choice for any student seeking a mid-size independent, non-denominational Christian university. CU offers more than 50 undergraduate programs through 8 different academic divisions: 1) Bible, Religion and Ministry; 2) Business; 3) Communication and Media; 4) Humanities; 5) Kinesiology, Science and Math; 6) Music; 7) Social Science; 8) Teacher Education. There are over 35 bachelor degrees offered with a variety of minor options offered to undergraduates at CU. A vibrant on campus student life combined with a myriad of choices for activities off campus, put the finishing touches on this very attractive choice for today’s frugal college shopper.
40. Southeastern University – Lakeland, Florida
Southeastern University (SU) is the largest Assemblies of God educational institution in the United States. SU is a private, liberal arts university that is organized into 5 colleges. There are over 45 majors undergraduate students can choose from while enjoying the breadth that a liberal arts education affords to each student. Whether you are a looking to further be equipped in your calling as a pastor or be trained in film production there is a very wide range of fields to study in at SU. Spiritual growth is expected and encouraged at SU and the student life seeks in every way to facilitate that growth. You can’t beat the location with Tampa only 40 minutes to the West and Orlando just under an hour to the Northeast.
39. Huntington University – Huntington, Indiana
Huntington University (HU) is a private liberal arts school with a strong affiliation with the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, who has their headquarters in Huntington, Indiana. HU offers graduate and undergraduate programs in over 70 academic specialties. The accolade as one of the best universities in the Midwest has been awarded to HU by U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and the Princeton Review. Pre-professional programs in the fields of law, medicine, pharmacy and athletic training make up a few of the academic offerings that HU serves up. This rigorous academic training is well balanced by the depth of opportunities students have to participate in the on-campus and off-campus activities organized by the university’s student activity board.
38. North Park University – Chicago, Illinois
Founded in 1891 by the Evangelical Covenant Church, North Park University (NPU) has a deep and aged tradition in the liberal arts and Christian faith. This school’s close proximity to the urban center of Chicago gives it’s student excellent opportunities to engage local communities and for businesses to benefit both sides of those relationships. NPU offers more than 40 undergraduate majors and programs, a variety of graduate and seminary programs all combined with the flexibility of on campus and online course offerings. These degree programs are organized through 7 different schools and supported through a variety of centers through which students have the opportunity to put what they are learning into practice.
37. Nyack College – Nyack, New York
Average Net Price: $18,701
Nyack College (NC) is “New York’s Christian College.” Few schools can compete with the opportunities that this school’s proximity to one of the nation’s premier urban centers brings to the table. NC is a private, evangelical, liberal arts college affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance and hosts one of the Alliance’s seminaries. NC’s degrees and majors are organized into 8 different schools. Undergraduate and graduate students have an abundance of degree programs with over 50 majors they can choose from. Students have lots of choices when it comes to extracurricular activities that promote both community and global development while shaping and sharpening each student’s spiritual life.
36. Regent University – Virginia Beach, Virginia
Pat Robertson, founded this university in 1978 as the Christian Broadcasting Network University. The name was changed to Regent University (RU) in 1989. RU boasts one of the top 10 online bachelor programs as awarded by U.S. News & Word Report, 2013. There are over 50 graduate and undergraduate degree programs available on campus and online. As to be expected, with the influence of the university’s founder, the degree programs offered in the fields of film and recording are exceptionally strong. The offerings in the fields of international relations and law are also worthy of special mention. With that being said, all of RU’s degree program are first-class and provide a world-class education to every student. On campus, international and local opportunities abound through RU that contribute to community members and students who participate in them.
35. East Texas Baptist University – Marshall, Texas
East Texas Baptist University (ETBU) is a private, liberal arts university affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Students can choose from over 38 undergraduate majors and four graduate majors. Undergraduate majors cover a very wide range of fields such as criminal justice, kinesiology and elementary education to give only a few of them. More than 85% of ETBU’s full-time faculty have earned doctorates or terminal degrees and each student has an abundance of opportunity for one-to-one interaction with each of them given the very low student-to-faculty ratio. Spiritual and professional development is facilitated through a variety of campus programs, chapel services, and community events.
34. Eastern Nazarene College – Quincy, Massachusetts
Eastern Nazarene College (ENC) is located on Boston’s historic south shore and boasts of extremely high acceptance rates for students entering graduate and medical schools with a 100% acceptance rate for its students entering law school. ENC offers a high quality Christian liberal arts education to its students in over 80 programs of study with cooperative programs offered with Northeastern University and the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. The founding fathers of the college saw no conflict between the pursuit of the highest in Christian faith and education and this is reflected in the rigor of the academic programs and expectations of the faculty at this institution. The academic excellence is rounded out with the research and internship opportunities available to every student.
33. Anderson University – Anderson, South Carolina
U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review both agree that Anderson University (AU) is one of the best regional colleges in the South. AU was also recognized as one of the top 35 universities in the South whose graduates accumulate the least amount of educational debt. These accolades along with the 36 majors, 38 concentrations and 25 minors make this an excellent choice for any student. The undergraduate programs are offered through 9 different colleges and schools: 1) Adult and Professional Studies, 2) Arts and Sciences, 3) Business, 4) Christian Studies, 5) Criminal Justice, 6) Education, 7) Interior Design, 8) Nursing and 9) School of the Arts. Students also have lots of choices for student life activities that include campus ministries, chapel, intramural athletics and missions.
32. University of Mobile – Mobile, Alabama
The University of Mobile (UM) boasts to be the only private university in the state that made the list, “America’s 1oo Best College Buys.” UM is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is governed by a board of trustees that the convention reviews and appoints. The school’s liberal arts academic programs are divided into 2 colleges, 6 schools and 1 center and offer over 40 areas of study to choose from. The campus sits on a sprawling 800 acre tract and offers an abundance of choices when it comes to what students can do in their free time. In addition to an active student life and lots of on-campus choices, keep in mind the university is only 1 hour from the beach!
31. King University – Bristol, Tennessee
King University (KU), formerly known as King College, is a Presbyterian , doctoral-level comprehensive university. Students have over 80 majors, minors and pre-professional degrees to choose from. Each student’s education begins with a core curriculum in King’s School of Arts and Sciences and then diversifies dependent upon the student’s major into the other four schools: Business & Economics, Education, Nursing and the Peeke School of Christian Mission. Professors and advisors alike are committed to providing a high level of personal attention to every student. KU also offers a wide range of international and domestic opportunities that are offered as early as your first semester and give an early depth to the education offered that is hard to beat.
30. Malone University – Canton, Ohio
Malone University (MU) opened as Cleveland Bible College in 1892. The school was founded by J. Walter and Emma Malone, who maintained a close relationship with the Religious Society of Friends. The college relocated to Canton in 1957 and was renamed to honor its founders. At this point in time, the curriculum was changed and Malone became a Christian liberal arts college. Malone College became Malone University in 2008 and continues to stay close to its Evangelical Friends roots. The university’s commitment to excellence has been recognized by winning awards from the Templeton Foundation, NCAA-DII, and is currently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Colleges 2014. There are four schools within the university through which degrees are offered in 41 majors, 42 minors, and 11 graduate programs.
29. Howard Payne University – Brownwood, Texas
Howard Payne University (HPU) introduces itself as a university that “prides itself on fostering a close community where personal connection is valued.” HPU is affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Students at HPU can choose from over 100 majors, minors and pre-professional programs in six schools. Students looking for extra challenge can enroll in the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and be trained in a multidisciplinary curriculum with the benefit of travel opportunities. Student life at HPU offers over 30 student organizations and a myriad of extracurricular options that can round out each student’s experience. U.S. News & World Report ranked HPU eighth in the “Great Schools at Great Prices” category in their division.
28. Bethel College – Mishawaka, Indiana
Established in 1947, Bethel College (BC) is a Christian liberal arts college that is affiliated with the Missionary Church. The college offers more than 50 areas of study that range from sign language interpretation to applied politics. There are five colleges (one of which is Notre Dame) located within Bethel’s county. BC has received national recognition from U.S. News & World Report and the Templeton Honor Roll of Character Building Colleges. Study abroad programs, short-term mission trips and local community involvement rounds out the overall experience offered at this well respected institution.
27. Simpson University – Redding, California
Simpson University (SU) is a private, Christian, liberal arts institution that was founded in 1921 by W.W. Newberry as Simpson Bible Institute. The Bible Institute’s course offerings expanded and have grown to offering 25 bachelor’s degree programs. In addition to the undergraduate programs, the school has several master’s programs and also houses the A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary. The university maintains an affiliation with the Christian and Missionary Alliance but currently hosts a student body from over 30 different denominations and independent churches.
26. John Brown University – Siloam Springs, Arkansas
John Brown University (JBU) is a private, interdenominational, Christian liberal arts college whose main campus resides in Northwest Arkansas. JBU offers 40 undergraduate majors, 47 undergraduate minors and 10 graduate degree programs. Some of the most popular undergraduate programs are: engineering, graphic and web design, family and human services, early childhood education and business administration. The quality of the academic programs is supported by the low student-to-faculty ratio and the fact that 76% of the full-time faculty hold a doctoral or terminal degree. U.S. News & World Report recently ranked JBU second in top value of the Southern Region. Administrators and faculty at JBU recognize that college is more than academics and the evidence is the value placed upon student involvement in student organizations, ministries and various local and international opportunities given to students.
25. Southwest Baptist University – Bolivar, Missouri
Southwest Baptist University (SBU) is affiliated with the Missouri Baptist Convention and is a part of the larger Southern Baptist Convention. SBU has campuses at four locations in Missouri, Bolivar (main campus), Mountain View, Salem and Springfield. The academic programs are built on the foundation of their liberal arts curriculum and offer more than 80 combined areas of study in associate to doctoral degree programs. The university’s academic programs are administered through 6 separate colleges. SBU has a long standing record of national recognition exemplified in their 16 years and counting as one of the America’s 100 Best College Buys and 15 years as one of America’s Best Christian Colleges. Every student has many opportunities to mature in their Christian faith and practice through on and off campus experiences.
24. Southern Nazarene University – Bethany, Oklahoma
Founded in 1899, Southern Nazarene University (SNU) is a Christian, liberal arts university with roots in an orphanage of downtown Oklahoma City. SNU has a long history of mergers and name changes that have made it the institution it is today. It wasn’t until 1986 that its current name was made effective. This institution is only one of eight U.S. liberal colleges that are affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene. One unique twist to this institution’s admission policy is that it’s a open admissions college, which means that all who apply with a high school diploma are accepted. Degrees are offered through four different colleges with over 70 majors available.
23. Milligan College – Milligan College, Tennessee
A liberal arts education taught from the “perspective of God’s activity with humanity,” can be found at Milligan College (MC). The core curriculum is combined with an interdisciplinary humanities program in which over 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations are available in the undergraduate, graduate and degree completion programs. The college earned the highly respected recognition of being a “College of Distinction” for the years of 2011 and 2012. MC has earned a spot in the top ten colleges in the South numerous times by U.S. News & World Report. The active student life, close-knit campus community in combination with the beautiful Appalachian setting make this a very popular choice for any student.
22. Southern Wesleyan University – Central, South Carolina
Founded by what is now the Wesleyan Church, Southern Wesleyan University (SWU) has as it’s Christ centered core values: 1) Purpose, 2) Scholarship, 3)Community and 4) Transformation. This school started in 1906 as the Wesleyan Methodist Bible Institute whose mission “was to develop Christian character in its students while giving thorough intellectual training.” That mission remains in place for SWU. The intellectual training has its foundation in over 30 undergraduate majors and 4 graduate degrees within the School of Business, School of Education and the College of Arts and Science. The development of Christian character at this university is facilitated through bi-weekly chapel services, discipleship groups, mission activities and a host of other student ministries.
21. Luther Rice University & Seminary – Lithonia, Georgia
Luther Rice University & Seminary (LRU) is a private Christian college and seminary founded in 1962 by Robert Gee Witty. This institution has been recognized for its specialization in external and distance education in the Comprehensive Guide to the Best Colleges and Universities in the United States, published by the american Council for University Planning and Academic Excellence. As stated on its website, “All undergraduate, graduate and seminary degrees are fully accredited and can be obtained exclusively through 100% online studies.” Even the on-campus courses are offered in such a convenient fashion that this institution is a great fit for many non-traditional students. Undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered in the fields of Biblical counseling, Christian worldview, leadership and apologetics. The seminary offers both a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degree. The cutting edge technological approach of LRU opens up degree programs for just about any stage of life.
20. Charleston Southern University – Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston Southern University (CSU) is an independent, liberal arts university that is affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. CSU has received several national recognitions such as America’s 100 Best College Buys and America’s Best Christian Colleges. CSU is divided into three schools and four colleges that administer the 45 undergraduate majors and 6 graduate degree programs. In addition to the strong academic programs, the school offers exciting NCAA Division I men and women’s sports, a variety of campus activities including campus ministries, intramural athletics and academic clubs. The sandy beaches, abundant outdoor activities and major fine arts activities that Charleston hosts are all just icing on the cake making this a great place to further your educational goals.
19. Spring Arbor University – Spring Arbor, Michigan
Spring Arbor University (SAU) is the largest liberal arts, Evangelical, Christian University located in the state of Michigan and has been helping students bring faith and education together for over 140 years. SAU is affiliated with the Free Methodist Church and offers over 95 academic majors and programs to choose from. There are 15 regional sites, with over a dozen learning sites in Michigan and others in Ohio. SAU was named in the top tier of the “Midwestern Regional Universities” category in the 2010 and 2011 U.S. News & World Report. The first class academic training is coupled with a strong emphasis on developing strong Christian character and putting that into practice through on campus and local community involvement. Few institutions state their priorities so clearly as SAU’s website does, “No matter how good your grades are and no matter how intellectual you become, if your intellect and passions are not rooted in Christ, nothing you do will truly prosper.”
18. Waynesburg University – Waynesburg, Pennsylvania
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church founded Waynesburg University (WU) in 1849. The university currently offers more than 70 academic concentrations for undergraduates. Some of the most popular degree programs at WU are business, communication, criminal justice, education, forensic science and nursing. U.S. News & World Report named WU as a Best Value School – Regional Universities (North) for 2014. This ranking placed WU in the top 15 “Best Value Schools” in the northern region of the country. Campus life at WU attempts to bring a balanced mix of activities that strengthen each student’s faith, service of others orientation and physical well being.
17. Oklahoma Baptist University – Shawnee, Oklahoma
Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) is a liberal arts, Christian university that was founded in 1910 and is owned by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. OBU was ranked by the 2013 U.S. News & World Report “America’s Best Value Colleges” among the top five baccalaureate colleges in the western region. OBU has maintained the honors of being Oklahoma’s highest rated regional college in the U.S. News ranking for 18 consecutive years. Other top ranking honors have been bestowed upon OBU by Forbes and the Princeton Review. OBU offers 10 undergraduate degrees in 84 areas of study. OBU advertises itself as a community of faculty, staff and students “that works and plays very hard.” With over 100 student organizations, 20 intramural sports and opportunities to work and study abroad, students definitely can reap a huge return on their investment.
16. Shorter University – Rome, Georgia
Founded in 1873, Shorter University (SU) is a liberal arts institution that is historically affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention. SU has been consistently named by the Princeton Review in its lists of best value and best Southeastern colleges. Undergraduate degrees are offered in 48 areas of study. A variety of other on campus and online courses are offered in degree completion programs and graduate degrees. Undergraduate students spend the first two years of their academic life completing Shorter’s liberal arts core which prepares them to delve deep into their major during the second half of their degree program. A college education at SU extends beyond the classroom through a wide variety of activities that include chapel services, international mission trips, student organizations, greek life to name only a few.
15. Missouri Baptist University – St. Louis, Missouri
Missouri Baptist University (MBU) is a historically Baptist affiliated liberal arts institution. MBU’s academic programs are separated into a variety of divisions through which undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered. Undergraduate divisions are as follows: business, education, fine arts, health & sport sciences, humanities, interdisciplinary studies, natural sciences and social & behavioral sciences. MBU also has one terminal degree program, the Doctor of Education. Students at MBU have a tremendous amount of resources and opportunities given to them to sharpen not only their intellect but also their spiritual development, such as chapel services, campus ministries and mission trips. Student life at MBU is also full of opportunities to participate in student organizations and other campus and community oriented services groups.
14. Grace College & Theological Seminary – Winona Lake, Indiana
Nestled on a 180 acre campus in the resort town of Winona Lake, Grace College & Theological Seminary (GCTS) is a evangelical institution affiliated with the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches. Every undergraduate will start with the Grace College “Core” that is driven by the evangelical heritage of the college. This core training challenges students to “acknowledge his infallible source of truth as revealed in His Word (special revelation), and through His works, His creation (general revelation).” After completing this core, GCTS offers undergraduate degrees in more than 60 areas of study that aim to give each student a biblical foundation and practical experience. There are also several graduate and seminary degrees any student can pursue. One uncommon twist GCTS offers students is their accelerated degree program that can allow a student to complete 3 year bachelor’s degree or a 4 year bachelor and masters degree combination.
13. Trevecca Nazarene University – Nashville, Tennessee
Founded in 1901, Trevecca Nazarene University is a Christian liberal arts university with approximately 2,500 students. Trevecca offers more than 80 programs of study for undergraduates, master’s-level students, and EdD and PhD students. The University’s 70+acre campus is approximately 1.5 miles from the heart of beautiful and exciting Nashville, Tennessee. Known as the “Athens of the South” and “Music City USA,” the city of Nashville is home to 20 institutions of higher education, so “college life” in Nashville really describes a large part of the city. Trevecca students enjoy the small community “feel” of the campus along with opportunities that only a large city can offer—internships in major corporations, an outstanding arts community, sports and music venues, and much more. For students who want to attend a smaller university where they can be part of campus life and still be part of a large metropolitan area, Trevecca has much to offer.
12. Bob Jones University – Greenville, South Carolina
Established in 1927 by evangelist Bob Jones Sr., Bob Jones University (BJU) is a non denominational, liberal arts university located just inside the city limits of Greenville, South Carolina. The BJU core is based on the belief that all truth is God’s truth, and is the foundation upon which every student builds their academic training. Once this core liberal arts training has been completed, students enjoy a large variety of degree programs to choose from through the university’s 4 schools, college and seminary. The university’s academic program is anchored by faculty that approach their positions with just as much focus on ministering to the students as they do teaching them. Many BJU faculty teach for 20, 30 and 40 years giving a stability to the university that is hard to find in other like-minded institutions.
11. Warner University – Lake Wales, Florida
Warner University (WU) is a private Christian liberal arts institution that is affiliated with the Church of God. Students have both undergraduate and graduate programs to choose from with bachelor degrees being offered in over 30 liberal arts professional majors. The academic program consists of three schools: School of Ministry, Arts & Sciences; School of Business; and the School of Education. WU takes great pride in the diversity of their student body and actively seeks to grow that diversity. Their commitment to diversity has earned them the recognition of the U.S. News & World Report’s “America ‘s Best Colleges” for four consecutive years. The student life offered at WU is one where diversity, exciting student activities and a strong emphasis on spiritual development are all part of the package.
10. Hannibal-LaGrange University – Hannibal, Missouri
Hannibal-LaGrange University (HLGU) began in 1858 and is affiliated with the Missouri Baptist Convention, which is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention. Their Southern Baptist roots can be felt in their strong commitment to the centrality of Christ in their academic programs and student life. Students are challenged to grow spiritually and given an abundance of opportunities to participate in both domestic and international mission trips. HLGU’s academic programs are equally engaging and also bring a lot of choice and opportunities for each student to find the right fit for the calling God has placed on their life. Through 8 different academic divisions, over 50 different undergraduate majors are offered in addition to 2 graduate majors and other online degree options. This school would be a great choice for any student wanting to make wise use of their education dollars.
9. Fresno Pacific University – Fresno, California
Founded in 1944 by the Pacific District Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, Fresno Pacific University (FPU) is located in the center of the Central Valley Region of California. Four regional campuses in Central California are also maintained by FPU thus giving a far reach to this growing liberal arts school. FPU has four schools and a seminary through which its 27 undergraduate majors and 60 areas of study are managed. Graduate degrees in four areas are also offered in addition to the 8 seminary graduate degrees. FPU has been recognized by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the top 10 Hispanic Serving Institutions. They also boast the honor of the highest four year graduation rate in the region and have been ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the top tier of their category. FPU is not only a school with strong academics but it also has an exciting and robust student life that fosters spiritual growth, leadership development and last but not least having lots of fun!
8. Mississippi College – Clinton, Mississippi
The second oldest Baptist affiliated college in the United States, Mississippi College (MC) is the oldest college in Mississippi. The college was founded in 1826 and with over 5,000 students is the largest private university in the state. There are more than 80 undergraduate degree programs, more than 15 graduate programs, the college’s law school and a variety of international study programs. Students not only get a first class education at MC but are also able to enjoy an excellent campus life with unique community and character development organizations in the form of service clubs and social tribes. Student life at this historic college offers more than 40 chartered student organizations that cover the gamut from professional societies to campus ministries and give a well rounded experience to each student.
7. Bryan College – Dayton, Tennessee
Bryan College (BC) is a liberal arts college that has its beginnings in the aftermath of the Scopes Trial in 1925. William Jennings Bryan, one of the prosecuting attorneys in the Scopes Trial, during the trial expressed the wish “that a school would teach truth from a Biblical perspective.” BC has been carrying out this wish ever since and continues to grow at the foothills of the Smoky Mountains just 35 minutes north of Chattanooga. The college’s motto “Christ Above All” permeates the faculty, staff and students attending this institution. BC offers over 20 undergraduate majors with nearly 40 concentrations and two different graduate degrees.
6. North Greenville University – Tigerville, South Carolina
North Greenville University (NGU) is a liberal arts institution that cares as much about the spiritual well-being of the students as it does about their academic achievements. NGU is first and foremost a Christian school, where “Christ is the head and center of all its thinking and conduct.” The faculty and staff of NGU see training students to pursue and practice academic excellence as an integral part of the spiritual maturity of those students. The result of this approach was that in 2012 U.S. News & World Report Best College Rankings placed this institution 30th in the South region. Students at NGU have a wide variety of undergraduate programs to choose from, five graduate degree opportunities and other on-line and on-campus adult education courses.
5. Carson-Newman University – Jefferson City, Tennessee
Carson-Newman University (CN) is a private, Christian, liberal arts school that has its campus nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. CN’s academic program is made up 50 undergraduate majors in 4 undergraduate degrees, 7 graduate degrees and a variety of study abroad programs. Students have an abundance of opportunities for up close and personal interaction with the faculty given the small average class size of and very low student-to-faculty ratio. In the 2013 U.S. News & World Report “Best College Rankings”, CNU ranked #1 in “best undergraduate teaching”, #12 “Regional Colleges (South)”, #10 “Best Value Schools” and #3 “Up-and-Coming Schools. With rankings like this, one would expect in parallel a high quality student life and that is what you get at CN. Whether you are looking to sharpen your leadership skills, contribute to the local or international communities or just have fun playing or watching sports, CN has many choices for students in each of these categories.
4. Campbellsville University – Campbellsville, Kentucky
Located in the peaceful Kentucky countryside, Campbellsville University (CU) is a comprehensive institution that offers pre-professional, undergraduate and graduate opportunities for academic advancement. CU’s academic foundation is its liberal arts core which prepares students to succeed at their choice of degree program and to excel in competing out in the workforce. CU is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and the larger Southern Baptist Convention. One of the university’s greatest assets are the natural resources either owned directly or in close proximity that students get to enjoy and also utilize for their academic training. The main campus is situated on 80 acres, while developing another 135 acre educational and research woodland and to round things out is the 10,000 acre state park, Green River Lake, that is just five miles away.
3. Louisiana College – Pineville, Louisiana
Louisiana College (LC) is a Baptist, liberal arts college that was founded in 1906. The broad-based general education program that students at LC study under aims to equip them not only to excel in their chosen specialization but also to prepare them to contribute to the needs of the communities they will live in. The 10 academic divisions of LC serve up their liberal-arts centered education in more than 70 majors, minors and pre-professional programs. The college also offers the single graduate degree of a Master of Arts in Teaching. Like many other institutions in this list, LC perceives spiritual growth as an implicit outcome when giving Christ preeminence in the classroom but still explicitly encourages students with wide range of organizations and activities to further their spiritual growth. While at the same time providing an equal or greater number of student activities that develop student’s leadership, community service and physical wellness.
2. College of the Ozarks – Point Lookout, Missouri
Also known as “Hard Work U”, College of the Ozarks (CO) has a very novel approach for students who are found worthy of a Christian education but do not have the financial means to pay for that Christian education. “Christian values and character, hard work and financial responsibility” are the foundation stones for this institution. Full-time students are to work 15 hours at their assigned campus work station. This work experience not only results in the #2 ranking of affordability but it also gives students a great advantage upon graduation when entering the workforce. With such a unique program, it comes with no surprise that CO has received a lot of national recognition from U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, Forbes Top Colleges and the Washington Monthly College Rankings. Students have over 40 majors to choose from and an almost equal number of minors along with 10 pre-professional programs. This is truly a unique school and is a very close second for any student looking for a great value!
1. Lee University – Cleveland, Tennessee
Lee University (LU) was founded in 1918 and has grown to be one of the leading Christ-centered private institutions in the southeastern region of the country. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks LU in the “Top Tier” in the South and The Princeton Review keeps the university high in its reviews as well. All of this national recognition and numerical growth has enabled LU to expand its academic programs, depth and experience of its faculty and a greater vision for what the next 20 years will hold for the institution. The expanded academic program has now grown to four colleges and schools with 12 academic departments and 4 areas of graduate study. These programs enable the university to offer 43 on-campus undergraduate majors in 87 programs of study. The quality of the academic programs are mirrored in the quality and expanse of the student organizations and ministries that LU offers for a rich student life experience outside the classroom. The old adage, “you get what you pay for” couldn’t be further from the truth for the most affordable Christian University in the U.S.