The Legal Profession has many varied paths. Trial law, civil law, politics and criminal justice are just a few areas that require a degree in Law. At its heart, the role of an attorney is that of an advocate – whether for an individual client or for writing the laws of a nation. The legal field is broad and, while some undergraduate degree programs are designed to feed directly to Law School (in pursuit of a Juris Doctor), not all degree programs have that as their end goal. In compiling this listing, Christian Universities Online (CUO) reviewed schools with a variety of programs ranging from attorney and paralegal programs to politics/government and criminal justice. It is with this focus that CUO is pleased to present the Top Ten Law Degree Programs for 2017.
Cedarville University is a private, coeducational, Christian institution of higher education located in Cedarville, Ohio. Chartered by the New Light Reformed Presbyterian Church, Cedarville University was originally established in 1887. It was during the mid- 1950s, however, the school changed management and came under the authority of the Evangelical Baptists after merging with the Baptist Bible Institute of Cleveland, Ohio. Today, Cedarville University maintains this affiliation with the Baptist denomination and is accredited through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, which granted its initial accreditation back in 1975. Cedarville University’s mission statement declares its commitment to be a “Christ-centered learning community equipping students for lifelong leadership and service through an education marked by excellence and grounded in biblical truth.” The University’s objective is to graduate students who, “glorify God; think broadly and deeply; communicate effectively; develop academically and professionally; and engage for Christ.”
Cedarville University has a total enrollment figure of more than 3,500, including over 3,000 undergraduate students with an average student to faculty ratio of 13 to 1. More than 70 undergraduate degree programs are offered in addition to several graduate-level programs. Cedarville University’s History and Government Department offers three law-related programs with Bachelor’s degrees in Criminal Justice and Political Science and a Pre-Law program. Cedarville University’s Criminal Justice program is “academically rigorous” yet also provides flexible learning opportunities for students. Political Science students are encouraged to take advantage of the University’s D.C. Semester opportunity and the degree program may be used as a pathway to law school, particularly if paired with Cedarville’s Pre-Law program which is designed to prepare students for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and for the rigorous courses in law school.
- Criminal Justice
- Political Science
- Pre-Law major
Calvin College is a private, Christian liberal arts institution located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church of North America, Calvin College was established in 1876 and named in honor of Protestant Reformer, John Calvin, who was a leader in the reformation movement of the 16th-century. Calvin College’s historic motto is, “My heart I offer you, Lord, promptly and sincerely” and today, the College’s mission is to equip students “to think deeply, act justly, and to live wholeheartedly as Christ’s agents of renewal in the world.” Calvin College has a total enrollment figure of nearly 4,000, the vast majority of whom are undergraduate students, with an average student to faculty ratio of 13 to 1.
Calvin College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and has been so since 1930. The College offers a wide range of academic programs through its several departments, including the Social Sciences department which offers undergraduate majors in Political Science and Politics, Government & Globalization as well as a Pre-Law program. This latter program is offered as a specialization within a chosen major; as the College’s website states, “there is no pre-law major, per se and as such, there are no required pre-law courses.” Rather, students select a major area of study as they prepare to attend law school after earning their bachelor’s degree. Law schools are willing to accept students who have majored in a broad range of fields and interests; some of the more popular majors for Pre-Law students at Calvin College have been Political Science, Business/Accounting, and History.
- Political Science
- Politics, Government & Globalization
Located just west of Philadelphia in Saint Davids, Pennsylvania, Eastern University is a private, coeducational, Christian institution of higher education. Established in 1925 as the Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, the school was founded for the initial purpose of creating a theologically conservative seminary within the American Baptist Churches denomination. It was not until 1932 that the collegiate division of the school was formed and in 1952 was chartered as a four-year college. By 1972 the school was known as Eastern College and in it 2005 was granted university status. It was also in 2005 that the seminary portion of the institution was renamed Palmer Theological Seminary. 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.” 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. A wide range of academic programs are offered through its several colleges and seminary 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 contains the Palmer Theological Seminary and Esperanza College, the University’s junior college. It is through the College of Health and Social Sciences that Eastern University offers its three law-related programs, namely the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, the Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, and the Pre-Law minor. This latter program offers students an “interdisciplinary introduction to law and legal institutions that emphasize the skill-sets that are necessary for success in law school”.
- Criminal Justice, B.A.
- Political Science, B.A.
Azusa Pacific University
Located in the suburbs of Los Angeles in Azusa, California, Azusa Pacific University (commonly abbreviated APU) is a private, evangelical Christian institution of higher education. Founded in 1899 by a small group of Quakers and a Methodist Evangelist as the Training School for Christian Workers, APU holds the distinction of being California’s first Bible college. No longer associated with the Society of Friends, today APU holds to a more evangelistic theology and is non-denominational. After merging with three other Evangelical colleges in Southern California, APU moved to its current location in 1949. Today, the University holds its accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, which was granted in 1961. Firmly established in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition, APU is home to the second largest evangelical undergraduate student body with an undergraduate enrollment of nearly 6,000 and a total enrollment figure of nearly 10,000. The University’s average student to faculty ratio is 11 to 1.
Azusa Pacific University offers a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and special programs through its several colleges and schools. These include the Leung School of Accounting, the School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences, the School of Business and Management, the School of Education, APU’s Honors College, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Music and Arts, APU’s Nursing School, Azusa Pacific Seminary, the School of Theology, and the University College (formerly the Azusa Pacific Online University and School of Adult and Professional Studies). A number of law-related programs are offered by APU, including a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice (also available as a degree completion program), an online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, and a Pre-Law program. APU also offers both the Criminal Justice and Political Science programs as undergraduate minors.
- Criminal Justice, B.A. or B.S.
- Political Science, B.A.
Located in Wheaton, Illinois, Wheaton College is a private, non-profit, coeducational, Christian liberal arts institution. Established in the evangelical Protestant tradition, Wheaton College was founded in 1860 and is known for both its strong Christian heritage and solid academic results. Wheaton College is the alma mater of several notable Christian figures including missionaries and martyrs, Jim Elliot and Nate Saint, missionary and author Elisabeth Elliot, evangelist Billy Graham, and pastor, John Piper. Wheaton College has a total enrollment figure of nearly 3,000, including approximately 2,500 undergraduate students, with an average student to faculty ratio of 11 to 1. Fully 7% of undergraduate students come from either missionary or third culture backgrounds and 20% of students represent ethnic minority groups. Wheaton College’s mission is to serve “Jesus Christ and [advance] His Kingdom through excellence in liberal arts and graduate programs that educate the whole person to build the church and benefit society worldwide.”
Wheaton College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and has been so since the mid 19-teens. More than 40 undergraduate majors are offered through the College’s Department of Arts & Sciences, the Conservatory of Music, and the Department of Global & Experiential Learning. Recognizing that Christian attorneys have the opportunity to “build the church and improve society worldwide by using the power of the law for Kingdom purposes”, Wheaton College’s Pre-Law program seeks to assist students in “exploring or confirming a calling to the legal profession and by preparing students for the intellectual rigors and moral complexities in the study and practice of law.” Benefits of Wheaton College’s Pre-Law program include access to Pre-Law Advisors, opportunity to take free, proctored LSAT practice tests right on campus, opportunity to attend law school fairs and workshops, participation in Wheaton College’s Mock Trial Team and more.
Messiah College is a private Christian college of the liberal arts and applied arts and sciences, located about eight miles outside of Harrisburg in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. The College was founded by the Brethren in Christ Church in 1909 and called the Messiah Bible School and Missionary Training Home. By 1921 the school had evolved into a junior college and in 1951 was renamed Messiah College, having by that point developed its first four-year college program. Today, while influenced by its historic affiliation with the Brethren in Christ Church, Messiah College is a nondenominational institution. The College’s mission is 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 has a total enrollment figure of more than 3,000 students, the majority of whom are undergraduates, with an average student to faculty ratio of 12 to 1.
Messiah College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. More than 80 majors and pre-professional programs are available at Messiah College in addition to nearly two dozen graduate-level programs. The College is comprised of four schools, including the School of Arts; the School of Business, Education and Social Sciences which; and the School of Humanities. A few law-related degrees are offered, namely the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and the Bachelor of Arts in Politics which is offered in conjunction with a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management. This latter program is known as a 3+ program in which an undergraduate and graduate degree is earned in an accelerated time frame. Messiah College has partnered with the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to offer this particular program. In addition to these, Messiah College also offers a Political Studies concentration, a Pre-Law minor, and a Public Policy concentration.
- Criminal Justice, B.A.
- Politics, B.A. with M.S. in Public Policy and Management
Mississippi College is a private, coeducational, comprehensive Christian institution of the liberal arts and sciences and professional studies located in Clinton, Mississippi. The second-oldest Baptist-affiliated college in the country as well as the oldest college in the state of Mississippi, Mississippi College was established in 1826. In 1831 Mississippi College became the first coeducational college in the United States to grant degrees to women. Mississippi College’s vision is “to be known as a university recognized for academic excellence and commitment to the cause of Christ”. The College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and has been so since 1922. Mississippi College boasts a total enrollment figure of approximately 5,000, including 3,000 undergraduate students, with an average student to faculty ratio of 15 to 1.
Mississippi College offers wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs through its several schools including the School of Business, School of Christian Studies & the Arts, School of Education, School of Humanities & Social Sciences, School of Nursing, School of Science & Mathematics, and School of Law. Six law-related degree programs are offered by Mississippi College, namely the Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies; the Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Political Science; the Master of Social Service (M.S.S.) in Political Science; M.S.S. in Criminal Justice/Administration of Justice; Juris Doctor program; and LL.M. program. These two latter programs are offered through Mississippi College’s School of Law. The LL.M. degree offers many options with programs in Traditional Studies, American Legal Studies, International and European Studies, and Advocacy. Each program is specifically tailored for students who are eager to gain full advantage of the “small class size, dynamic research community, extra-curricular activities, and location to the capital” that Mississippi College has to offer.
- Paralegal Studies, B.S.
- Political Science, B.A., B.S.
- Political Science, M.S.S.
- Criminal Justice/Administration of Justice, M.S.S.
- Juris Doctor (J.D.)
Regent University is a private, Christian research institution, located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Established in 1977, the University was founded for the original purpose of “preparing leaders who would not only succeed in their professions, but also advance as Christians equipped to effectively impact their world.” Accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges was granted in 1984 and in 1990, the University adopted its current name. Today, Regent University’s mission is to serve “as a center for Christian thought and action to provide excellent education through a biblical perspective and global context equipping Christian leaders to change the world.” The University has a total enrollment figure of nearly 7,000 students, including approximately 3,000 undergraduates with an average student to faculty ratio of 28 to 1.
Regent University offers a wide range of academic programs, ranging from undergraduate majors to graduate-level programs. Several law-related undergraduate degree programs are available, including a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Law & National Security; a B.A in Government with concentrations in American Government & Politics, International Relations & Foreign Policy, and Pre-Law; a B.A. in Political Communication; a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Paralegal Studies; a B.S. in Criminal Justice with concentrations in Corrections, Homeland Security, and Law Enforcement; and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Criminal Justice. At the graduate-level, Regent University offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Government with concentrations available in American Government, Healthcare Policy & Ethics, International Relations, Law & Public Policy, National Security Affairs, Political Communication, Political Theory, and Religion & Politics; an M.A. in Law with at least ten concentration options, including Administrative & Regulatory Law, Criminal Justice, General Legal Studies and more; an LL.M. in American Legal Studies and in Human Rights; and finally a Juris Doctor (J.D.).
- Government, B.A.
- Political Communication, B.A.
- Law & National Security, B.A.
- Criminal Justice, B.S.
- Paralegal Studies, B.S.
- Criminal Justice, B.A.S.
- Law, M.A.
- Government , M.A.
- Juris Doctor (J.D.)
Whitworth University is a private, Christian liberal arts institution located in Spokane, Washington. Affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, Whitworth University was established in 1883 by George F. Whitworth in the small town of Sumner in the (then) Washington Territory as the Sumner Academy. In 1890 the school became incorporated as a College and was renamed in honor of its founder. In 1914 the school relocated present-day campus in the city of Spokane. In 2006 the board of trustees voted to rename the college Whitworth University, and in July of 2007 this change was officially adopted. Today, the University’s mission is to “provide its diverse student body an education of mind and heart, equipping its graduates to honor God, follow Christ, and serve humanity.” Whitworth University has a total enrollment figure of more than 2,600, including over 2,300 undergraduate students, with an average student to faculty ratio of 11 to 1.
Whitworth University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and has been so since 1933. The University is characterized not only by the academic excellence it offers but also for the way in which faith and learning are purposefully integrated. A variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees and programs are offered through the University’s College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Business, the School of Education, and the School of Continuing Studies. Whitworth University offers three distinct law-related programs, including a Law & Justice program, a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. This latter program, available through the Political Science Department, is offered with the goal of preparing students for careers in the areas including government and politics, law, teaching, research and peacemaking, humanitarian work, and even for work in related fields such as missions or business.
- Law & Justice
- Criminal Justice, B.A.
- Political Science, B.A.
Founded by Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr. and located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University is a private, coeducational, Christian institution. Established in 1971 as Liberty Baptist College, the institution gained university status in 1976, just five years after its founding. A high ranking institution, today Liberty University is not only the the fifth largest university in the United States, but also the largest Christian university in the world. Situated on a 7,000 acre campus, the University sits nestled in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Liberty University’s mission is to develop “Christ-centered men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential to impact the world.” Liberty University’s mission statement continues, declaring that its goal is to educate “men and women who will make important contributions to their workplaces and communities, follow their chosen vocations as callings to glorify God, and fulfill the Great Commission.” The University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and has been so since 1980.
Comprised of more than a dozen colleges and schools which encompass a wide range of areas and subjects, Liberty University offers an impressive amount of degree programs at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Among its 500 programs, Liberty University offers eight law-related degree programs, including either a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Government with concentrations available in Pre-Law, Western Legal Traditions and Politics and Policy; a B.S. in Criminal Justice; and a B.S. in Paralegal Studies. At the graduate level, Liberty University offers a Juris Doctor (J.D.) program; a Juris Master (J.M.) in American Legal Studies; either a J.M. or LL.M in International Legal Studies; and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. Liberty University boasts a total enrollment figure of more than 80,000, including nearly 50,000 undergraduate students, with an average student to faculty ratio of 18 to 1.
- Criminal Justice (B.S.)
- Government (B.S.)
- Government (B.A.)
- Paralegal Studies (B.S.)
- International Legal Studies (J.M.) or (LL.M.)
- Criminal Justice (M.S.)
- Juris Doctor (J.D.)
- American Legal Studies (J.M.)