Continuing in our series of the most cost-effective Christian colleges by region, we are pleased to present our list of the Most Affordable Christian Colleges and Universities in the North. A follow up to our 50 Most Affordable Christian Colleges and Universities 2017, this list highlights institutions located in the northern region of the U.S. which offer students affordability without compromising the quality of the program. With the understanding that cost of tuition is certainly not a new concern, it is in the spirit of stewardship, wisdom, and discernment that CUO provides this ranking as a tool to assist families in selecting the best educational program for their student that will meet both their needs and budget.
Messiah College is a private Christian college of the liberal arts and applied arts and sciences, located just outside of Harrisburg in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, a borough of Cumberland County. Established by the Brethren in Christ Church in 1909, the school was originally named the Messiah Bible School and Missionary Training Home. By the early 1920s, the school had evolved into a junior college and was renamed Messiah College in 1951, by that time having developed its initial four-year college program. Today, though influenced by its historic affiliation with the Brethren in Christ Church, Messiah College is nondenominational. 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, including over 2,800 undergraduates, with an average student to faculty ratio of 12 to 1. The College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and has been so since 1963. More than 80 majors and pre-professional programs are offered as well as nearly two dozen graduate-level programs. The College is comprised of four schools, each of which houses multiple departments, including the School of Arts, the School of Business, Education and Social Sciences, the School of Humanities, and the School of Science Engineering and Health. Financial aid options are readily available, as evidenced by the fact that 100% of full-time, beginning undergraduate students receive some type of financial assistance, whether in the form of federal, state/local government, or institutional grants, scholarships, or loans. A military friendly institution, Messiah College is also a participant in the Yellow Ribbon Program which helps to make higher education more feasible for servicemembers and their families.
- Average net price – $26,307
Eastern University is a private, coeducational, Christian institution of higher education located in the community of Saint Davids, Pennsylvania, just west outside of Philadelphia. Formally established in 1925 as the Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, the institution was initially founded for the purpose of creating a theologically conservative seminary within the American Baptist Churches denomination. In 1932 the collegiate division of the school was formed and was eventually chartered in 1952 as a four-year college. By 1972 the school became known as Eastern College and in 2005 it achieved university status. It was also in 2005 that the seminary portion of the University was renamed Palmer Theological Seminary. Today, Eastern University mission statement declares its intent 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 boasts 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.
Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education since 1954, Eastern University offers a wide range of academic programs through its 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 contains the Palmer Theological Seminary and Esperanza College, the University’s junior college which operates in partnership with Nueve Esperanza, Inc. The average net cost of attending Eastern University is $24,583. The University endeavors to make its educational experience feasible for all deserving students and offers a number of grants and scholarships, student employment programs, and loan options. 100% of beginning, full-time undergraduates do receive some type of financial aid.
- Average net price – $24,583
Roberts Wesleyan College
Located in Rochester, New York, near the southern shore of Lake Ontario, Roberts Wesleyan College is a private, coeducational, Christian liberal arts institution. Established in 1866, Roberts Wesleyan College was the first educational institution to be created by the Free Methodist denomination in North America. The young school was originally called Chili Seminary and was founded by social activist, Benjamin Titus Roberts, who was known for his opposition to slavery and the oppression of the poor and a supporter of women’s rights. Benjamin Roberts established the school with the intent of training young people who would possess a strong moral character and be equipped to serve as servant-leaders. Character development continues to play a central role in the College’s vision to this day and the College’s mission statement declares its commitment to preparing “thoughtful, spiritually mature, service-oriented people who will help transform society.”
Roberts Wesleyan College boasts a total enrollment figure of more than 1,700, including over 1,300 undergraduate students, with an average student to faculty ratio of 13 to 1. Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education since 1963, more than 60 undergraduate majors and on-campus programs are available in addition to eight online programs, over one dozen graduate programs, and four degree completion programs. Undergraduate majors include the areas of art, business, biological and chemical sciences, communication, mathematics and computing, criminal justice, engineering and physics, history, interdisciplinary, language and literature, music and performing arts, nursing, psychology, religion and philosophy, social work, and teacher education. Known for offering the lowest private college tuition in Rochester, Roberts Wesleyan University has saved students an average of 8% off tuition and fees when compared to other 4-year private colleges. Average net price of attending is $22,276 and 99% of beginning full-time undergraduate students receive some type of financial aid, whether in the form of grants, scholarships or loans.
- Average net price – $22,276
Located in the hamlet of Houghton, New York in the beautiful Genesee Valley, Houghton College is a private, Christian liberal arts institution. Established in 1883, the College was originally known as Houghton Seminary; it was not until the mid-to-late-1920s that the institution grew into a four-year college and was granted its permanent charter by the state of New York. Affiliated with the Wesleyan Church, Houghton College is a distinctively residential school, with most of the students, faculty and staff living either on-campus or within close proximity to the College. The residential experience is highly valued by the College and on-campus housing is provided in the form of several residence halls and townhouses. The College currently boasts a total enrollment figure of more than 1,000, the vast majority of whom are undergraduate students, with an average student to faculty ratio of 12 to 1.
Houghton College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and has been so since 1935. A wide range of majors, pre-professional, and graduate-level programs are offered in both traditional classroom formats as well as through online courses. Comprised of multiple departments, these include the areas of Art; Communication; English and Writing; Biblical Studies, Theology, and Philosophy; Intercultural Studies; World Languages and Literatures; Education; Physical and Health Education; Biology; Chemistry; Mathematics; Physics, Computer Science and Engineering; Business and Economics; History and Political Science; Sport, Recreation and Wellness; and Psychology and Sociology. Several music majors and courses are also offered through the College’s Greatbatch School of Music. Houghton College’s average net price is $21,932 and 100% of full-time, beginning undergraduate students receive some type of financial aid. Houghton College is committed to working with students and their families in order to make their educational experience both accessible and affordable. To this end, the College awards over $13 million each year in financial assistance.
- Average net price – $21,932
Located on a beautiful campus of 50-plus acres outside of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania in the city of Beaver Falls, Geneva College is a private, coeducational, Christian liberal arts institution. Established in 1848, the College was founded by John Black Johnston and was originally located in Northwood, Ohio; it was not until the later 1870s-early 1880s that the College relocated to its present-day location. Affiliated with the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, Geneva College’s mission is to be a “Christ-centered academic community that provides a comprehensive education to equip students for faithful and fruitful service to God and neighbor.” A founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, Geneva College is one of only four western Pennsylvania schools within the council. The College boasts 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.
Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education since 1922, Geneva College offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate-level degree programs. Areas of undergraduate study include Aviation Dual Degrees (Business/Aviation and Missions/Aviation) as well the programs in 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 several Independent majors. Geneva College strives to make education affordable to deserving students and awards more than $12,000,000 in grants and scholarships from college funds. The College’s average net price is $21,018 and 100% of beginning full-time undergraduate students receive some type of financial aid, including federal, state/local government, or institutional grants, scholarships, or loans. In addition to these, Geneva College offers a work-study program and approximately 40% of are employed on-campus.
- Average net price – $21,018
Grove City College
Grove City College is a private, coeducational, Christian liberal arts institution, located in the borough of Grove City, Pennsylvania, about an hour north of Pittsburgh. Established in 1876, since its inception, Grove City College has purposed to provide its students with “an excellent Christ-centered, non-sectarian education at an affordable cost.” Founded by Isaac C. Ketler, the institution was originally chartered as the Pine Grove Normal Academy until 1884 when the trustees of the school decided to adopt its current name. Today, Grove City College remains faithful to its founder’s vision with a mission to foster “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.”
More than 2,400 undergraduate students are enrolled at Grove City College, with an average student to faculty ratio of 13 to 1. Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education since 1922, the College is comprised of several academic departments, covering the areas of Physics, Biblical and Religious Studies, Political Science, Biology, Physical Education, Mathematics, and Economics. More than 50 undergraduate programs are available, all of which are taught from a curriculum that is “designed to educate the whole person”. Grove City College’s average net cost for beginning, full-time undergraduate students is $19,824. Of these students, 72% receive some type of financial aid, whether in the form of federal, state/local government, or institutional grants, scholarships, or loans.
- Average net price – $19,824
Eastern Nazarene College
Eastern Nazarene College (ENC) is a private, Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences. Located in the city of Quincy, Massachusetts, ENC’s campus boasts a picturesque New England setting, situated in an urban residential neighborhood mere minutes away from the downtown area of Boston. An official college of the Church of the Nazarene on the Eastern educational region, ENC was established in 1900 and bases its mission on the core values of: Transformational Education; Faithful Authenticity; Institutional Vitality; Service Orientation; Multicultural Understanding; Christian Faith; Intentionally Collaborative; and the Pursuit of Excellence. The College’s mission statement declares its desire to “serve God, the Church, and the World by providing a quality liberal arts education to students of all ages.” The statement continues, “Consistent with its Wesleyan heritage, ENC seeks to create and maintain an environment which awakens and fosters truth, righteousness, justice and holiness as made possible by God’s transforming grace through Jesus Christ.”
Boasting a total enrollment figure of more than 1,000, including a little over 900 undergraduate students, Eastern Nazarene College’s student to faculty ratio is 14 to 1. ENC is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and has been so since 1943. A wide range of undergraduate programs are available through ENC’s departments which cover the subjects of Biology; Business; Chemistry; Education; Exercise and Sport Sciences; General Education; History; Language, Theater, and Communication Arts; Mathematics; Music; Physics and Engineering; Psychology and Crime, Law and Justice; Religion and Philosophy; and Social Work. Several adult study programs are also offered at both the undergraduate and graduate level. The average net price of attendance is $19,512 among beginning, full-time undergraduates. ENC strives to make financial aid readily available and 100% of beginning, full-time undergraduates do receive some type of financial assistance, whether in the form of federal, state, or institutional grants, scholarships or loans.
- Average net price – $19,512
Located in the village of Nyack, New York, near the Hudson River, Nyack College is a private, coeducational, Christian liberal arts institution. Affiliated with The Christian and Missionary Alliance, Nyack College is home to the Alliance Theological Seminary, which serves as the official seminary of the denomination. Established in 1882 as the Missionary Training Institute, the College was founded by Dr. A. B. Simpson, who left his position as pastor of a prestigious New York City congregation in order to form an interdenominational fellowship dedicated to serving unreached people. Seeking to “exalt Jesus Christ”, Nyack College bases its mission on the core pillars of Academic Excellence; Global Engagement; International Diversity; Personal Transformation; and Social Relevance. The College’s formal mission statement declares that “Nyack College, a Christian and Missionary Alliance educational institution, through its undergraduate, graduate and seminary programs, pursues its historic mission of preparing men and women to ‘take the whole Gospel to the whole world.’”
Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education since 1962, Nyack College offers a wide variety of degrees and majors. Comprised of several colleges, schools, and seminary, these include the Alliance Theological Seminary; the College of Bible and Christian Ministry; College of Arts and Science; School of Education; School of Music; School of Social Work; School of Business and Leadership; Alliance Graduate School of Counseling; and the School of Nursing. Boasting an enrollment figure of more than 2,600, including more than 1,500 undergraduate students, the College’s average student to faculty ratio is 12 to 1. Cost of attendance falls into the lower range for schools of its type, with an average net price of $18,904. 100% of full-time, beginning undergraduates receive some type of financial aid, whether in the form of federal, state, or institutional grants, scholarships, or loans.
- Average net price – $18,904
Waynesburg University is a private, nonprofit, comprehensive Christian university located in the borough of Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and chartered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1850, Waynesburg University has remained affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, USA and operates under the motto of Fiat Lux, or “Let There Be Light.” Named in honor of General “Mad” Anthony Wayne, the Revolutionary War hero, Waynesburg University’s historic campus includes buildings, namely Miller Hall and adjacent Hanna Hall, which are included on the National Registry for Historic Places. As declared in its formal mission statement, “Waynesburg University educates students to make connections between faith, learning and serving so they might faithfully transform their communities and the world.” As a Christian institution, the University strives to “inspire and challenge every undergraduate and graduate student to a life of leadership and purpose for the glory of God.”
Waynesburg University is accredited through the Middle States Commission on higher Education and has been so since 1950. A wide range of programs are offered including more than 70 undergraduate academic concentrations taught in a hands-on learning model within a student-centered community. Graduate programs are also available with degree programs offered in the areas of business, counseling, education, criminal investigation and nursing. Waynesburg University boasts a total enrollment figure of more than 1,800, including over 1,400 undergraduate students with an average student to faculty ratio of 12 to 1. Known as one of the least expensive private higher education institutions in both Pennsylvania and the nation, Waynesburg University is also one of only 21 institutions in the United States to offer the Bonner Scholar Program, providing approximately 15 community service scholarships to students annually.
- Average net price – $18,401
Located in the city of York, Nebraska, York College is a private, coeducational, Christian institution, affiliated with the Churches of Christ. Founded in August of 1890, the school was established by members of the United Brethren Church and citizens of York who desired to create a church-related institution. In 1946, as the result of a merger between the United Brethren Church and the Evangelical Church, leadership and control of the College passed into the hands of the Evangelical United Brethren (EUB) Church. In 1956 the control of the school was again transferred, this time to members of the churches of Christ. Today, York College boasts a total enrollment figure of approximately 400, with a student to faculty ratio of 14 to one. Since its founding, York College’s central focus and formal mission has been to “transform lives through Christ-centered education and prepare each student for a life of service to God, family and society.”
York College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and has been so since 1970. The College is comprised of multiple departments covering the areas of Biblical Studies; Business; Communication; Criminal Justice; Education; English; History; Mathematics; Music; Natural Sciences; Physical Education; and Psychology. A wide range of traditional on-campus undergraduate degrees, online programs, graduate-level degrees, and pre-professional programs are available. York College’s net price tuition costs fall into the lower range for schools of its type with an average net price of $16,686. 100% of beginning, full-time undergraduate students receive some type of financial aid, including federal, state/local government, and institutional grants. Work Study plans are also available through the College as well as scholarship programs awarded on the basis of academics, athletics, performing arts, needs-based and more.
- Average net price – $16,686