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The 50 Best Christian College & University Athletic Programs 2016

The 50 Best Christian College & University Athletic Programs 2016

We are pleased to follow last month’s ranking on beautiful campuses, with another “out-of-the-box” ranking! Athletics are a significant aspect of college life for many students. While sports may not be the primary focus of students, sports has a real presence on campus. Just about every student at a college campus either enjoys participating, spectating or for some both. For some campuses, Saturday’s football game dominates the day and offers a fantastic venue for students to take a break from their studies. Whether it’s football, basketball, soccer or another sport, a school’s athletic program contributes to the overall college experience. The following list highlights Christian Colleges and Universities that excel with their varsity athletic programs.

The methodology behind this ranking began with schools that are members or member eligible of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). Each of these schools were evaluated and scored in the following categories: 1) Number of varsity teams, 2) Varsity championships won, 3) Percent of enrolled in at least one varsity team, and 4) Grand total revenues from athletic programs. We calculated standardized scores for each category, assigned equal weight to each category, took the sum score of all four categories and finally standardized these final totals to produce this ranking. We used publicly available data from the U.S. Department of Education.

50

Azusa Pacific University

Azusa Pacific University (APU) is a private, evangelical Christian university located in Azusa, California. One of the largest Christian universities in the nation, the institution was established in 1899 and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. An NCAA Division II school, APU is home to a total of 15 varsity teams, including Football; Baseball; Gymnastics; Swimming and Diving; and Men’s and Women’s Basketball. The large suburban school has a total student population of nearly 10,000, 9.2% of which participate in at least one varsity team sport. APU’s notable alumni include several athletes and the school’s athletic department brings in a total revenue figure of 6.5 million.

49

Olivet Nazarene University

Olivet Nazarene University (ONU), a private accredited, liberal arts university, is located in Bourbonnais, Illinois. Established in 1907, ONU is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and is an NAIA school. Boasting a total of 14 varsity teams, sports include Football; Track and Field (Indoor, Outdoor, Cross Country); Swimming and Diving; Men’s and Women’s Basketball; and Baseball. The suburban school has a total student population of 4,861 and just over 17% of students participate in at least one varsity team sport. Boasting multiple on-campus athletic facilities, ONU’s athletic department brings in a total of 5.6 million in revenue.

48

Calvin College

Calvin College (CC), located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was established in 1876 in affiliation with the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA). Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, CC is an NCAA Division III school. CC offers a total of 19 varsity team sports, including Track and Field (Indoor, Outdoor, Cross Country); Baseball; Men’s and Women’s Basketball; Men’s and Women’s Soccer; and Swimming and Diving. Nearly 4,000 students are currently enrolled at CC and just over 14% of all students are on at least one varsity team. CC’s athletic department brings in a total of 1.8 million in revenue.

47

Biola University

Biola University, located in La Mirada, CA, was established 1908 as the Bible Institute of Los Angeles. A non-denominational, evangelical Christian institution, Biola is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. An NAIA Division I school, Biola offers a total of 19 varsity team sports, including Track and Field; Baseball; Men’s and Women’s Soccer; Men’s and Women’s Basketball; and Swimming. Over 6,000 students are currently enrolled at Biola– 8.7% of whom participate in at least one varsity team. Seven athletic facilities sit on Biola’s campus, including the Chase Gymnasium, originally built in 1962 and recently revamped during the summer of 2012. Biola’s athletic department brings in a total of 3.3 million in revenue.

46

Taylor University

Taylor University is a private, Christian liberal arts college located in Upland, Indiana and was established in 1846. Accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Taylor is an NAIA Division II school. Offering a total of 15 varsity teams, sports include Football; Baseball; Men’s and Women’s Basketball; Men’s and Women’s Soccer; and Track and Field (Indoor, Outdoor, Cross Country). Over 2,000 students are currently enrolled and 17.4% participate in at least one varsity team sport. Eight athletic facilities are located on Taylor’s campus, including the Turner Stadium which was renovated in 2012 and during the summer of 2015. Taylor’s athletic department brings in a total of 5.1 million in revenue.

 

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