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Top 50 Christian Colleges and Universities Exceeding Expectations 2016

Highlighting schools which have proven to go above and beyond when it comes to students’ acExceeding Expectations 2016ademic achievements, this ranking seeks to explore yet another angle for considering Christian colleges and universities. Each school on this list has significantly surpassed its predicted graduation rate, showing that care has been taken to enhance their students’ academic careers from acceptance through graduation. Many of the institutions featured below have also earned spots on previous rankings here at Christian Universities Online (CUO) and for them this ranking is only one more way in which they have proven to go the extra mile in providing an excellent academic learning experience for their students.

This ranking is the first one in which we have focused on liberal arts institutions.  All of our past rankings have included liberal arts schools and Bible colleges in the same pool.  Unless otherwise noted, all future rankings will rank these schools separately in hopes of making more equitable and valuable comparisons that serve our visitors better. The methodology behind this ranking began with schools that are members or member eligible of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).  We then gathered publicly available data from U.S. News & World Report in two categories.  We compared each schools predicted graduation rate with their actual graduation rate and ranked each school on the difference between these two variables.


Cedarville University

Cedarville University (CU), located in Cedarville, Ohio, was established in 1887. An independent Baptist school, a total of 3,620 students are currently enrolled. CU offers over 100 areas of study and boasts both a high retention and graduation rate, having exceeded its predicted graduation rate of 67% with an actual rate of 70%. Mission and study abroad opportunities are available to students and a minor in Biblical studies is required for all of CU’s academic programs. Cedarville has been featured a number of times on Christian Universities Online, and was recently highlighted in our Best Value, Best of 2015, and Best Value Online MBA Programs rankings.


Westmont College

Westmont College is located in Santa Barbara, California on a suburban 100+ acre campus. Founded in 1937, Westmont is an interdenominational, Christian liberal arts college. Over 1,300 students are currently enrolled, representing 39 states, 17 countries, and 30+ denominations. Westmont offers nearly 30 undergraduate majors and programs as well as a variety of off-campus programs and internships which allow students to gain both knowledge and experience through real-world learning opportunities. Featured in our recent ranking of Best Of 2015, Westmont’s actual graduation rate is 78%, exceeding its predicted rate of 75%.


Nyack College

Nyack College (NC), of Nyack, New York has distinguished itself as “New York’s Christian College.” A private, evangelical, liberal arts college, NC is affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance. NC offers a number of undergraduate and graduate degrees with over 50 undergraduate majors organized through NC’s eight different schools. A variety of extracurricular activities are also available to students, promoting both community and global development. NC has exceeded expectations with an actual graduation rate of 42% as opposed to its 38% predicted graduation rate.


Anderson University

Anderson University, of Anderson, South Carolina, is located on a 270-acre campus and was founded 1911 in affiliation with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. Anderson has been named by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top universities in the South whose graduates accumulate the least amount of educational debt. With this in mind, Anderson was recently included in our ranking of Most Affordable Christian Schools. Nearly 3,000 undergraduate students are currently enrolled a variety of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees are offered both on-campus and online. Anderson has exceeded its predicted graduation rate by 4% with an actual rate of 49%.


Hannibal-LaGrange University

Hannibal-LaGrange University (HLGU) of located in Hannibal, Missouri, is on a scenic 100+ acre campus. Self described as an unapologetically Christian university, HLGU is affiliated with the Missouri Baptist Convention and was founded 1858. A fully accredited institution, HLGU provides a range of diverse academic programs and offers over 34 majors and several pre-professional programs. 1,000+ students are currently enrolled and HLGU’s mission to “provide an excellent education…in a distinctively Christian environment.” The school has surpassed its 46% predicted graduation rate with an actual rate of 50%. The university has also been featured in three of our recent rankings, Best Online Colleges and Graduate Schools and Most Affordable.


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