The 2015 50 Best Christian Colleges


logoEarning a degree from a Christian college is about more than just academics. Rather, an education from a Christian university teaches the student how to apply Christian principles to every aspect of his or her life. While many exciting and lucrative career paths become available with a bachelor’s or post-graduate degree, the primary goal when selecting a Christian college is to find a place which will nourish not just your mind, but also your soul.

Featured Online Christian Schools:

There are many Christian institutions to choose from. Not surprisingly, many of these institutions have long, rich histories of excellence. This isn’t to equate a long history with inflexibility. Online learning is a viable option with many of these institutions, so don’t let distance dissuade you.

Methodology

While there is no one “right” school for everybody, we were able to compare common factors in order to create a comprehensive list. First, we narrowed our pool by only considering member schools and affiliated schools of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Next, we gathered comprehensive data from publicly available sources. 20% of our overall ranking was given towards student satisfaction, as measured by freshmen retention, alumni giving and the rate of graduation within six years. Selectivity, as measured by SAT and GPA scores, accounted for 15%. Post graduate opportunities, at 20%, were measured by employment ratios and salary ranges. Faculty accounted for 17.5% of our ranking, and was measured by student/faculty ratios and the number of classes which contained less than 20 students. Financials were another 17.5%, as measured by the average four year debt and the average percentage of needs met. Finally, reputation accounted for the final 10%, and was measured by U.S. News and World report scores and collected high school counselor scores.

50. Point Loma Nazarene University

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If you’re looking for a beautiful campus, you can’t hope for much more than the city of San Diego. But there’s more to PLNU than just sandy beaches and amazing weather. This university was founded in 1902 as a Bible College by the Church of the Nazarene. Today, it’s a Christian liberal arts university with 60 undergraduate areas of study and five graduate programs.

Interested in speech and debate? The PLNU team competes at a national level against powerhouses such as Berkeley and UCLA. PLNUS encourages such extra-curricular activities, emphasizing the complete holistic development of students.

49. Bryan College

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Bryan College, which is a Christian institution, was founded in 1930 by William Jennings Bryan under the name “William Jennings Bryan University. It kept this name until 1938 when it changed to Bryan College. This college offers 20 undergraduate degrees with over 60 concentrations. It offers programs that have been regionally accredited in the South since 1969. Each professor also signs a contract that has a mission of belief statement. This ensures that all of the faculty and staff are committed to providing their students with an education based in core Christian values. It is quickly becoming one of the most popular Christian universities in the country.

48. Corban University

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Corban University is an institution with a unique history. It got its start in Arizona as the Phoenix Bible Institute in 1935. It moved in 1946 to Oakland, California, where it became the Western Baptist College. It moved again to El Cerrito California in the mid 1950s. It moved to Salem, Oregon in 1969 and changed its name to Corban College in 2005 and to Corban University in 2010. This university, which is a member of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities, is dedicated to both faith and academic achievement. It has over 1000 undergraduate students and over 100 graduate students, which make it a tight community that isn’t found on bigger campuses.

47. Erskine College

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Erskine College is the pride of South Carolina, with its educational philosophy of “Knowledge Joined With Morals” clearly defining the college’s role in developing both academic and moral excellence. Erskine was founded in 1839 by the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and has embodied these values ever since. It offers dozens of undergraduate programs, but what makes it stand out is its graduate theological seminary. This program has produced some of the most successful spiritual leaders and educators in the country. It is a small school that has just 575 students, but this small size is an advantage. Erskine has a tight-knit community that allows members of all faiths to see each other as family by the time they reach graduation.

46. Hardin – Simmons University

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Hardin-Simmons University has a motto of “An Education Enlightened by Faith”. It has been this motto that has acted as the guiding philosophy of this Abilene Baptist University since its inception in 1891. Situated in Abilene, Texas, Hardin-Simmons University serves close to 2,000 undergraduate students and over 500 graduate students at the masters and doctorate levels. It offers 70 majors over six schools of discipline. It also offers pre-professional programs in Seminary, Dentistry, Law, Medicine, Pharmacology, Engineering, and Pharmacology. What sets Hardin-Simmons apart from other colleges is the quality of campus life. The student activities center puts on weekly activities and regularly hosts forums where members of all Christian sects can come together and exchange ideas in harmony. There are plenty of opportunities for students to join Bible study groups, community outreach programs, and missionary trips to other countries.

45. Bethel College

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When Bethel College first opened its doors in the fall of 1947, the incoming class consisted of 94 students. Today, the student body is around 2,000 and growing. Alongside traditional students, adult and graduate programs account for much of the growth. Bethel offers a wide range of degree programs, including study abroad programs.

Dozens of Task Force ministry teams from the college are sent out around the world each year. Degrees are available in many traditional areas including Business, Religion, Theater and Music. There are some unique majors available, too, including Sign Language Interpreting, Environmental Biology, Criminal Justice, Philosophy, and Spanish.

44. Carson-Newman College

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Located on 90 rural acres in beautiful Jefferson City, Tennessee, Carson-Newman was founded in 1851 by Tennessee Baptists. Today, this coed Christian liberal arts school offers a complete college experience, with the majority of students living on-campus or in nearby apartments. Clubs and organizations, varsity sports, intramural athletics, music and drama groups, forensics and more are just some of the options available.

In 2012, C-N was one of only two universities to be awarded the Presidential Award for General Community Service on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

43. Oklahoma Christian University

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Near Oklahoma City, just south of the city of Edmond, sits Oklahoma Christian University. With average enrollment around 2,000 students, has always been on the cutting edge of technology. In 2001, OCU was one of the first colleges in the country to provide wireless internet to the entire campus. Also, every student was given a personal laptop. Then, in 2008, all full-time students were provided a MacBook with either an iPhone or an iPod. This innovative approach to technological support led to OCU being honored with an Apple Distinguished Program in 2013.

Complimenting this commitment to technology is a similar commitment to tried and trusted Christian values. The entire university is guided by six specific values: faith, scholarship, integrity, stewardship, liberty and leadership.

42. Oklahoma Baptist University

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Oklahoma Baptist University is an academic powerhouse and a place where students can have fun, energetic college experience. U.S. News & World Report lists OBU as one of the top five baccalaureate colleges in the western U.S. Additionally, OBU has been Oklahoma’s highest-rated regional college in the U.S. News ranking for 18 years in a row. The Princeton Review and Forbes have also bestowed top honors on OBU.

Academic opportunities are varied and wide. Ten undergraduate degrees in 86 areas of study are available. But there’s more to life at OBU than just academics. As they say, this is a university that “works and plays very hard.” The Bison Athletic program includes football, golf, volleyball, track and more for both men and women.

41. Houston Baptist University

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Founded in 1960, HBU is a great place for small classes and individual learning. Over half, the classes have less than 20 students. It’s a great school if you’re a postgraduate student, too. HBU is known for their graduate programs in Christian counseling, psychology, education and business.

Christian service is an integral part of the HBU experience. In order to graduate, students need 80 Community Life + Worship credits. Credits are earned by attending campus services, performing community service and a whole host of other activities. There is a variety of services on campus. The Convocation is a weekly traditional chapel service. The Quest is a weekly student-led contemporary service. There are also plenty of opportunities to serve through the ACTS program, which stands for Assisting Communities Through Students.

40. Houghton College

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In 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked Houghton College as the Best National Liberal Arts College. This ranking is a solid testament to HC’s commitment to the Christ-centered values that originated back in 1883.

HC offers 48 undergraduate degrees. They’ve recently added their first graduate degree, in music. Class sizes are small, with a student to faculty ratio of 13 to one. The campus is close to both Buffalo and Rochester, NY, and many students find there’s a lot of fun in these communities.

39. North Greenville University

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In the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, there’s a small community called Tigerville, South Carolina, which is the home of North Greenville University. This private university is fully accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Founded in 1982, today this rural college sits on a massive 380-acre campus.

NGU has held strong to its Founders’ Biblical philosophies. The Bible is the infallible Word of God and provides the basis for the entire NGU experience, both as a student and a person. If you’re looking for a Christ-centered, biblically-centered academic environment, look towards the beautiful Appalachian mountainside.

38. Dordt College

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About one hour from Sioux City, Iowa, sits Dordt College. This Christian college in Sioux Center was founded in 1955 and has proudly served Iowa ever since. Today, nearly 90% of students live on campus in either dorms or apartments.

There are roughly 40 organizations and clubs on campus, including a Monday Morning Coffee Club and Wrestling Club. There are also weekly chapel services and Growing in Faith Together, a student-led worship service. You can also show your support for the Dordt Defenders, as they field a number of varsity teams. There are over 30 majors to choose from, as well as a dozen pre-professional programs. After you complete two years of academic programs, you’ll be awarded an Associate of Arts degree. When you complete the next two, you’ll have earned your bachelor degree.

37. Bethel University

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Affiliated with Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Bethel University is a four-year not-for-profit school with a student body of approximately 6,280. Founded in 1942, Bethel is one of the two colleges located in McKenzie, Tennessee. Bethel offers 32 majors, with the most popular ones being management, business, marketing, and education. Bethel athletics plays a strong role in student life as well. The University offers 20 Varsity NAIA sports and eight club sports bowling and cheerleading.

36. Eastern Mennonite University

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Located in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, the Eastern Mennonite University has continued to devote itself to the same ideals that were established during its founding in 1917. EMU is a service-orientated institution. Typical academic programs are centered around careers in either healthcare, education, social work or ministry.

All classes (undergraduate, graduate, and seminary) are taught from a Mennonite Anabaptist perspective. Cross-cultural awareness is emphasized throughout, as well as care for creation and service to others. Such focus is a major reason almost 90% of EMU graduates find work related to their field of study within one year after leaving the school. While the campus is beautiful, residency is not required. Aside from the main campus, EMU offers a satellite campus in Lancaster. If that doesn’t work for your schedule, students can also attend EMU from anywhere thanks to their comprehensive online system.

35. Eastern University

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Flexibility is a big benefit of attending Eastern University. This Pennsylvanian school offers 35 majors, 34 minors and an assortment of education certifications. How you take your classes is up to you. Students can attend on campus, online or through a hybrid of both. These options are available for both undergraduate and graduate programs. There are certain advantages of dropping by the campus from time to time, however. EU offers a variety of campus activities and student-led organizations. EU is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA and was founded in 1925.

34. Seattle Pacific University

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Ten minutes from Seattle, located in the Queen Anne residential neighborhood, is Seattle Pacific University. This private Christian institution offers 60 undergraduate programs and 15 graduate programs. Business and education are among the top draws.

After graduation, SPU will help you develop your career. The Center for Career and Calling helps graduates (and soon-to-be graduates) craft cover letters, develop portfolios, identify potential opportunities and more. Aside from academics, SPU has over 50 clients. In the spirit of true Christian charity, there are many volunteer opportunities available through the school’s John Perkins Center. You’ll learn about service through action.

33. Cedarville University

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Every aspect of coursework at Cedarville is integrated into the Christian faith. This includes a commitment to the authority of the Scripture, a creationist approach to scientific research and study, required chapel services and a mandatory minor in Bible studies. The academic programs are rigorous. Together with student life and ministry, CU creates graduates who are highly sought after. They have a national reputation as men and women who live by strong, Christian values and who have a lot of professional expertise, especially in Christian-centered careers.

32. John Brown University

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John Brown University has been on the same 200-acre campus in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, since its inception in 1919. Today, JBU has over 40 undergraduate majors, including many which simply didn’t exist back in the early 1900’s. Students can choose from web design, engineering, family and human services, early childhood education and business administration.

With a student-to-faculty ratio of 14 to one, students both online and on campus will have plenty of opportunities for personal interaction. Students will be in good hands, too. About 75% of the faculty at JBU has a doctoral or terminal degree. Beyond academics, JBU offers a variety of student organizations, ministries and both local and international opportunities. Students are encouraged to become involved in service. Campus life is considered fulfilling and fun, as evidenced by a freshman retention rate of 84%.

31. North Park University

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North Park University was founded in 1891, making it one of the oldest universities on this list. Combining a liberal arts education with a deep Christian faith, NPU offers over 40 undergraduate majors as well as multiple graduate and seminary programs. Classes are offered both online and on campus. Chicago is close by, providing plenty of opportunities both educational (such as museums) and social (such as the many sporting events). There are plenty of sports on campus, too. NPU has 17 NCAA Division III teams – eight men’s and nine women’s.

30. Oral Roberts University

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More than a university, Oral Roberts University is an Oklahoma institution. Founded by world-famous evangelist Oral Roberts, ORU is an interdenominational Christian university located in Tulsa. They offer 18 degree programs as well as graduate programs in education and business. Graduates from ORU have high acceptance rates into medical schools and other institutions. However, academic success is only one focus.

Students at ORU experience teachings about the mind, body, and spirit. Part of this teaching comes from extensive interaction with students from around the world — over 65 different countries are represented in the student body. Additionally, a Hispanic Center operates on campus year round, as part of the school’s partnership with the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

Students under the age of 25 are required to live on campus unless they’re an online student. Campus life is actively religious, with many classes started with a prayer, as well as numerous worships centers on campus. There are even opportunities for mission trips to other parts of the world. The university has many famous alumni including OneRepublic vocalist Ryan Tedder and Today co-host Kathy Lee Gifford.

29. Northwestern College

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Northwestern College has experienced steady growth since its creation in 1882 when it was originally formed as an academy. In 1928, NC grew to junior college status. In 1961, the college was now large enough to become the four-year institution it is today.

The quality of the learning experience grew along with the campus, too. Faculty members were named Iowa’s Professor of the Year in both 2004 and 2006. The 2000s also saw the addition of new art and theater facilities on campus. These modern facilities and quality staff are augmented by a genuinely Christ-centered approach to education.

28. Milligan College

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More than 70% of Milligan College students live on campus, and it’s easy to see why. World-class outdoor opportunities abound in nearby southern Appalachia including boating, skiing, white water rafting, fishing, and hiking. The campus is located in northeastern Tennessee.

There’s plenty of excitement on campus, too. The Buffaloes compete in a variety of sports including soccer, cycling and volleyball. In the past decade, the Buffaloes have won over 40 conference titles and made more than 40 national tournament appearances. Milligan requires every student to participate in the Spiritual Formation Program. This involves earning 150 credit hours by attending chapel, lectures, campus ministry programs, community service programs, and other events.

27. Azusa Pacific University

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APU has one of the larger student bodies of the institutions on this list and is the largest student body in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Last year, approximately 6,500 students attended.

The university consists of three colleges and seven schools. They offer 57 bachelor’s degrees, 40 master’s degrees, and nine doctoral programs. The main campus is in Azusa, California, but there are also six off-campus APU libraries across the state in San Diego, Inland Empire, Orange County, Los Angeles and Murrieta. As Californians know, you never want to drive more than you have to, and these satellite campuses are a convenient resource.

26. George Fox University

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In 1885, George Fox University was founded as a school for Quakers. These roots and traditions carry on today, with students often developing lifelong friendships among both their peers and with the surrounding community.

GFU is the second largest private university in Oregon, with campuses in Newberg, Portland, Salem, and Redmond. Over 3,500 students attend GFU. Undergraduates can choose from 40 majors, 45 minors, and six pre-professional programs. Graduate students are offered ten master’s programs and three doctoral programs.

25. Calvin College

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This liberal arts college is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is named after John Calvin, the 16th century Protestant Reformer. They’re an educational institution of the Christian Reformed Church in the Reformed tradition of Protestantism.

The CC campus is very safe and welcoming. Campus security services, such as 24-hour patrols and transport services, are top notch. There are also health services, tutoring, and placement services. The school was involved in a small national controversy in 2005. President Bush served as a commencement speaker, but over 800 faculty members, alumni and students took out a full page ad in the Grand Rapids Press detailing many ways they disagree with his principles.

24. Asbury University

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Looking to live on campus while attending college? Asbury University might be for you. Over 80% of the student population lives on campus, which is located in Wilmore, Kentucky — 20 minutes southwest of Lexington. This Christian, liberal arts university is non-denominational, although they subscribe to the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition. Over 50 majors and 38 minors are offered. The university is separated into three schools: the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Communication and the School of Education.

23. Anderson University – Indiana

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A Christian-based education can sometimes seem at odds with a secular world. Anderson University understands this and thrives on being “comfortable with discomfort.” This means learning how to be comfortable with the conflict that can arise between Christian faith and non-Christian viewpoints in the professional world.

Four core values are at the heart of every lesson: integrity, excellence, servant leadership and generosity. With seven undergraduate degrees in over 60 majors, along with 11 graduate degrees, every student can find a course of study that fits their needs. AU is also close enough to Indianapolis that students can enjoy the fun of living near a big city, yet the campus is also secluded enough to be quiet and safe.

22. Taylor University

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Taylor University, which was established in 1846, has a claim to fame of being one of the oldest Evangelical Christian academic institutions in America. Located in Upland, Indiana, Taylor University has been consistently ranked first by U.S News and World Report’s guide to the best colleges in the Midwest since 2007. This ranking by a respected national publication proves that Taylor University offers a college experience that is at the pinnacle of academic and moral excellence. This is a university that takes the integration of faith and learning seriously. Students take classes centered around the philosophies of Jesus Christ and are expected to conduct themselves according to these guidelines. This commitment to faith and learning has produced hundreds of alumni who have gone on to change their industries for the better. Taylor University offers over 90 undergraduate programs in its four colleges and has an international campus in Ecuador and the Republic of Ireland.

21. Campbellsville University

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This private institution in Campbellsville, Kentucky, offers associate, bachelor and master degrees. While affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, the University has no specific religious demands of students. Currently, the student body is over 3,000 and contains people with a wide variety of religious backgrounds.

Campbellsville University is united in generosity. They are a significant presence in the local community’s Operation Christmas Child. This program, based entirely on volunteers, fills shoeboxes with gifts and then distributes those shoeboxes to children around the world. Campbellsville began volunteering with Operation Christmas Child in 2005, where they filled 30 boxes. In 2013, CU filled 418 boxes and helped deliver gifts to over 10 million children.

20. Messiah College

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Founded in 1909, Messiah College has its roots in Anabaptist, Pietist and Wesleyan traditions. Today, MC honors those traditions but is currently non-denominational. The college is located in Grantham, Pennsylvania.

The College consists of five separate schools: the School of the Arts; the School of Business, Education and Social Sciences; the School of Science; the School of Engineering and Health; and the School of the Humanities. Over 80 majors and pre-professional programs are available. Postgraduate student? Online or hybrid (both online and on campus) classes might be the solution for students with work or family demands.

19. Dallas Baptist University

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They say everything is bigger in Texas, and the variety of activities on the DPU campus certainly seems to prove that saying true. This Christian University has a main campus in Dallas with additional campuses in Plano and Hurst.

There are all sorts of fun things going on at DPU. Mr. Big Chief is a long running, light-hearted tradition where male students enter a mock beauty pageant. On a more family fun note, Family Weekend and Grandparents Day allow students and their families to get together on campus to play software, watch movies and check out life at DPU. There’s also the Friday Symposium, which is a great treat for the mind. Every Friday, this interdisciplinary lecture series features different academic presentations by DPU faculty, staff, students and even guest speakers. It’s a fun way for students to learn about a whole host of topics.

18. Indiana Wesleyan University

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Headquartered in Marion, Indiana, IWU is the largest private university in Indiana as well as the largest member of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities. This private, liberal arts university is evangelical Christian.

IWU is growing fast and has been for some time. Total enrollment was 2,000 in 1987 and over 15,000 in 2008. Currently, over 3,200 undergraduate and 800 graduate students live on-campus.
It’s easy to see why. The campus is certainly impressive. In the past 20 years, over $250 million has been spent on construction and renovation. Designed by the Fort Wayne architectural firm Design Collaborative, the 345-acre campus includes 20 residence halls, 16 academic and administrative buildings and 11 study structures.

17. Waynesburg University

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This private university in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, boasts both strong academics and an inviting, modern campus. Over 70 academic concentrations are available to the approximately 2,500 students. The main campus is augmented with three adult centers in Southpointe, North Hills, and Monroeville.

Waynesburg was founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. This traditional esthetic has been preserved and updated with a contemporary feel. The university is built around four parks: a western park with a tree-covered bridge, a park with a beautiful gazebo, a park featuring fountains and another with many Civil War statues. Additionally, Waynesburg students have access to a two-story fitness center. Weightlifting, cardio and more are the perfect counterparts to a long day of studying.

16. William Jessup University

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William Jessup University got its start as San Jose Bible College in 1934. It was established as William Jessup took over as the school’s president when the school’s founder recruited him to make his failing college successful. Jessup, who retired in 1960, fulfilled that duty and then some. This non-denominational Christian university has the philosophy of uniting the greater Christian community through the common ground of pursuing academic excellence. They foster a community that allows for assimilation and toleration of the different sects of Christianity, and produces generations of students who see all Christians, and more importantly people of all faiths, as equal. An education at William Jessup University shapes its students into balanced individuals who focus on the common ground between those that are different instead of the differences.

15. Samford University

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Samford University is located in Homewood, Alabama. Situated right outside of Birmingham, this university has an affiliation with the Alabama Baptist Convention. Samford was originally named Howard College and was founded in 1841, which makes it the 87th oldest college in America. It was renamed after a man by the name of Frank Park Samford, who made significant donations to the college throughout his lifetime. This college not only sets a standard of excellence for moral values, but also for its academics. It has been ranked by the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship as having one of the best Entrepreneurship programs. Samford University has had several notable alumni in virtually every discipline, including politics, business, the music and film industries, Nobel Peace Prize winners, and Rhodes scholars. It is a university that offers the perfect balance between tradition and innovation.

14. Lipscomb University

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This Nashville, Tennessee, liberal arts college is all about choice. Degree programs are offered for both full and part-time undergraduate and graduate students. You can study on campus, online or use aspects of both with the college’s hybrid programs.

Christian faith is an important cornerstone of the entire LU experience. This faith isn’t just in the academics; it continues through the surrounding communities and churches. Lipscomb University has five pillars which guide their entire curriculum: Faith, community, knowledge, innovation and service.

13. Roberts Wesleyan College

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Academic success is not the sole focus at Roberts Wesleyan College. Rather, the student at RWC is taught how to serve society as a whole. This Christian liberal arts college, affiliated with the Free Methodist Church, offers many on and off campus activities to compliment the academic instruction. This includes both local and international opportunities for service. The overall goal is to create graduates who will have a positive impact on the communities where they live and work.

Over 50 undergraduate majors are available, as well as 13 graduate programs. For those who don’t live near North Chili, New York, but want to attend online, RWC has eight different online degree programs.

12. Gordon College

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Gordon College is located in Wenham, Massachusetts, a small town just north of Boston. This liberal arts college teaches more than just facts and figures. Rather, the program integrates academics and faith, with the ultimate goal of turning the student into a well-rounded person with a strong moral center.

To that end, instruction at GC has five components: academic community, the use of mentors, emphasis on moral development, emphasis on professional development and mastery of the tools of learning. These five tenets are incorporated into all of the 38 majors and 41 concentrations offered at the school, as well as the two graduate tracks in Education and Music. GC emphasizes that the student can’t learn about the world unless they’re directly exposed to as much of it as possible, which is why they offer many global opportunities.

11. LeTourneau University

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When R.G. LeTourneau founded LeTourneau University in 1947, he had very noble intentions. He wanted to educate and train G.I.’s returning from war. By gearing his education for those with military experience, he ended up creating a learning method that involved precise instruction and lots of hands-on learning.

As a result, today LU’s engineering and aeronautical science degree programs are among the best in the country. Students can choose between 90 graduate and undergraduate academic programs. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 15 to one, no matter what program a student chooses there will be plenty of personalized instruction. Of course, academics are only part of a well-rounded college experience. There are over 50 students organization on campus, as well an active Greek system and plenty of sports.

10. The Master’s College and Seminary

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Since 1927, The Master’s College and Seminary have prepared students academically and spiritually for complete success in life. Located in downtown Los Angeles, MCS is affiliated with a non-denominational evangelical Christian church. MCS is one of the top baccalaureate colleges in the Western U.S. They’re fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and they’re also a member of both the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities and the Association of Christian Schools.

All students first take a demanding core of liberal arts instruction and then pursue further study in one of the 13 available majors (with 58 areas of study). Graduate programs are available, too. Fields include Biblical Counseling, Biblical Studies, and teaching certification. Aside from academic success, MCS wants their students to create a lifelong commitment to Christ, which includes biblical fidelity, moral integrity, and intellectual growth.

9. Whitworth University

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Whitworth University is located in Spokane, Washington and was first established in 1890. It is a Christian liberal arts college that is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. Its motto is “Education of Mind and Heart”, and for good reason. The university’s Presbyterian affiliation plays an integral role in instilling core moral values in their students that prepare them for success and happiness. Whitworth is also an excellent school in terms of academics, but what truly sets them apart is the autonomy they allow for their on-campus students. There are ten residence halls, and each residence hall holds town hall-style meetings to determine the rules for that academic year. They also promote community building with “primetime” every day from 8pm to 10pm that offers students the opportunity to decompress from academic stress.

8. Goshen College

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Goshen College is the home of the “Goshen Core,” a philosophy where students are prepared to face any challenge. By approaching situations in both a faith-based and open-minded manner, Goshen graduates can find solutions to complex problems. Peace and productivity are the dual ideals students at Goshen strive to achieve. This nationally-ranked liberal arts college, located in Goshen, Illinois, offers 37 majors and four graduate degree programs.

The Study-Service Term (SST) is a popular program. For three months, students work and study in another country. You’ll learn the language, culture and history while participating in a service-oriented occupation.

7. Covenant College

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This small liberal art Christian College is located on beautiful Lookout Mountain, Georgia. Interestingly enough, the college was founded in 1955 in Pasadena, California, by the Bible Presbyterian Church. Today, Covenant College is known for two things: the beautiful campus and the school’s devotion to Bible-based teachings. The motto of the college is “In All Things… Christ Preeminent.” The motto refers to all academic inquiry is grounded in a biblical frame of reference.

6. Union University

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Union University is the oldest institution associated with the Southern Baptist faith and is one of the top-tier institutions in the South. Founded in 1823, this is one of the oldest universities on this list. The main campus is in Jackson, Tennessee with affiliate campuses in Germantown and Hendersonville.

Four core values drive the entire university. They are excellence-driven, Christ-centered, people-focused and future-directed. Still, there is always time for fun and friendship. The campus has an active Greek life, as well as many student-led organizations. There are also many opportunities for ministry both on and off campus.

5. Baylor University

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Baylor University is a Baptist university that sits on the banks of the Brazos River in Waco, Texas. It is a university that has been educating young Christian minds since 1845. It is an institution that was truly a pioneer, as it was one of the first Universities west of the Mississippi. Since its inception, it has become one of thef top universities in the nation. The U.S News & World Report ranked Baylor University 71st out of a list of 262 top-tier universities. Cracking the top 100 of such a prestigious list of colleges is a testament to Baylor’s standard of excellence. A big part of that excellence comes from their commitment to providing their students with the pure values of the Baptist lifestyle.

4. Westmont College

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Westmont was ranked #90 on U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 list of liberal arts colleges. Three attributes in particular were mentioned: the academic programs, the high quality of the faculty, and the low student-to-faculty ratio. Twenty-six majors are offered, as well as 11 pre-professional programs. Looking to become certified in elementary or secondary education? Westmont offers programs for that as well.

The College is located in Santa Barbara, California. However, there are also robust opportunities for international and domestic exchanges with colleges around the world. For students who stay on campus, there are still plenty of ways to keep busy – with numerous student organizations, internships, and Warrior Athletics.

3. College of the Ozarks

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College of the Ozarks has a very interesting and unique approach to admissions and tuition. Ninety percent of the entire incoming class must show financial need in order to be accepted. Once school starts, students then work 15 hours a week in some campus program. This includes working in the school’s library, museum or clinic. The work from these jobs is combined with scholarships and grants, which covers the student’s entire tuition. Many students who probably never would have been able to afford college has benefitted from this unique program.

Students enjoy the entire college experience, too. There are campus events throughout the year, including an epic tug-of-war game at Mud Fest, a Sadie Hawkins dance and numerous faith-based organizations to join.

2. Wheaton College

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This campus, located in Wheaton, Illinois, has a solid reputation for academic achievement. Over 96% of the full-time WC faculty holds a doctorate or other terminal degree. Academics at the college are suitably rigorous, with 40 undergraduate and 14 undergraduate degrees offered. When it comes to graduates who earn PhDs, WC is ranked 20th among all national liberal arts colleges. But don’t think the Wheaton College experience in mired in academic difficulty.

1. Pepperdine University

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Pepperdine University, which is affiliated with the Churches of Christ, offers one of the most beautiful campuses on this list. It is located just outside of Malibu, with the campus overlooking the stunning Malibu beaches. Pepperdine was founded in 1937 by George Pepperdine. He was a man who believed it was his duty as a Christian to use his wealth to contribute to the betterment of society. He founded his university on the Christian principles of love and compassion for all, and these principles still hold true among the student body today. Pepperdine has since established itself as a prestigious academic university that simultaneously helps its students develop a strong moral compass based on Christian values. This combination, coupled with the beauty of the campus, makes Pepperdine University an excellent selection and a great University to fill our number 1 spot.

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