Top 10 Online Bachelor’s in Youth Ministries 2017

Becoming a youth minister is one of the most noble paths you can choose in inspiring the next generation of Christians. Youth ministers are considered respected leaders in the church, there to serve and disciple young people in their spiritual commitment to Christ. Many Bible-based colleges have designed bachelor’s degree programs in youth ministry for people who wish to pursue a future career in this commendable field.

While you may have set your sights on a higher education in ministry, the classroom setting can prove inconvenient to fit into your daily life; class times, campus locations, and other restrictions have a way of being prohibitive in the balance of a full-time career and family. For this reason, an increasing amount of future ministers are pursuing their youth ministry bachelor’s degrees online. The advent of online learning has made it possible for Christian education to be attainable to most anyone who wants to teach the word of God.

The following is a ranking of the top 10 online bachelor’s degrees in youth ministry. This list was selected out of approximately 20 colleges that offer online undergraduate degrees in this field. The colleges below were given point values based on a well-rounded online course selection (1-5 points), recognition from respected publications  (1-3 points), quality of online youth ministry courses, libraries, and other academic resources (1-5 points), flexibility of youth ministry online bachelor’s degree track (1-3 points), affordability (1-3 points), and 1 point was given for any distinct features that added particular value to this degree. In the event of a tie in points, the college with the lower tuition cost was ranked higher.

Specific details regarding tuition and enrollment were gathered via College Navigator.

The list below represents the top 10 online bachelor’s in youth ministries degrees for 2017.

#10 – Toccoa Falls College

Toccoa Falls, Georgia


Toccoa Falls College

Points: 11
Enrollment: 937
Tuition: $21,414

Toccoa Falls College has long been revered for its strong academics, spiritual commitment, and focus on biblical truth. Toccoa’s primary mission is to foster a community where students can flourish into well-rounded Christian servant-leaders. One of this institution’s most popular degrees is its online BS in youth ministry, designed to combine theology, ministry, community outreach, and liberal arts for optimum balance. Toccoa’s online learning program ranked #3 among all others in Georgia; distance learners benefit from online student advisement, career services, reliable IT support, and many other forms of assistance throughout the degree program.

#9 – John Wesley University

High Point, North Carolina


John Wesley University

Points: 12
Enrollment: 158
Tuition: $11,230

Originally founded as a people’s Bible college in 1903, John Wesley University has since flourished as an inter-denominational Christian school. Although private, JWU keeps tuition affordable to all who wish to pursue a degree that is based in the Bible’s teachings. John Wesley’s distance-learning opportunities allows students to customize their degree track, depending on their lifestyle and obligations; online adult learners benefit from the same 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio, spiritual guidance, and top-notch curriculum as campus students. JWU’s online BA in family and youth ministries is encompassed in the BA of ministry program; this challenging degree prepares future leaders in a range of capacities in the Christian church.

#8 – Eastern University

Saint Davids, Pennsylvania


Eastern University

Points: 13
Enrollment: 3,505
Tuition: $31,140

Eastern University is an excellent school for those who value a Christian education in a small, mentor-based classroom model. EU is celebrated for its flexibility for working adults, top-notch faculty, and a multifaceted approach to learning. This college’s online BA in youth ministry leadership offers a comprehensive range of course curriculum that is relevant to the needs of today’s adolescents; some of the courses include youth ministry in the urban setting, discipling youth, the gospel and adolescent culture, and much more. Eastern University earns top-tier rankings from publications that include U.S. News and World Report and Christian Schools Online.

#7 – Davis College

Johnson City, New York


Davis College

Points: 13
Enrollment: 390
Tuition: $16,400

An affordable option for biblical higher education, Davis College provides its students both the knowledge and spiritual guidance necessary for communicating the word of God. Graduates of Davis are prepared for a life of service, be it in church leadership or in society at large. DC’s online bachelor of religious education presents several choices for degree concentration; one of these choices include youth ministries, which focuses its curriculum on adolescent dynamics, individual mentorship, financial stewardship, and leading youth toward maturity. Graduates of DC’s online youth ministries degree are equipped with a unique, marketable skill set for Christian leadership.

#6 – Grace Bible College

Wyoming, Michigan


Grace Bible College

Points: 14
Enrollment: 828
Tuition: $12,644

Since 1935, Grace Bible College has strengthened its students’ faith in God and prepared them for a life of service in the church. GBC is known to provide generous scholarships, awarding over $1.2 million in the last year alone. This college’s online youth ministry degree is attained as a concentration in a broader bachelor’s in leadership and ministry. The degree can be attained 100% online, and courses include philosophy, theology, strategies for student outreach, and current issues in youth ministry. Grace Bible College is listed as a top Christian school in publications of interest to Bible-based educators and students.

#5 – Southwestern College

Winfield, Kansas


Southwestern College

Points: 15
Enrollment: 1,471
Tuition: $27,250

Founded in 1885, Southwestern College is a non-profit institution praised for its accommodating degree programs and values-based approach to learning. SC is an especially strong choice for active military members; this college has earned numerous accolades for its military-friendly practices and proactive staff members to guide the process. Southwestern’s degree options include a bachelor of arts in Christian ministries, which allows for specific emphasis in youth ministry. Adults earning their online youth ministry degree are immersed in Christian theological traditions, scripture, adolescent spirituality, teaching methods in youth ministry, and more. Southwestern College seeks to lay groundwork for a sustainable, productive role in Church leadership.

#4 – Lee University

Cleveland, Tennessee


Lee University
Points: 15
Enrollment: 5,041
Tuition: $15,770

A supportive and Christ-centered academic experience, Lee University is sponsored by the Church of God International Offices. Lee considers itself true to conservative, evangelical roots that were firmly planted in 1918. Adult learners seeking a promising future in leadership may select an online youth ministry bachelor’s degree; this course of study focuses on biblical principles as they relate to fostering the next generation of Christians. LU’s youth ministry online curriculum addresses contemporary issues in the church, strategies in adolescent leadership, multicultural ministry, and much more. Lee’s undergraduate ministry students receive a discounted rate of $202 per semester hour, further incentivizing this course of study.

#3 – Christian Leadership University

Cheektowaga, New York


Christian Leadership University

Points: 17
Enrollment: 10,000
Tuition: $15,000

Serving over 10,000 students around the globe, Christian Leadership University offers challenging academic options that are 100% online. This college’s mission is to put God’s voice at the center of all learning, never allowing students to lose sight of the calling that brought them there. CLU’s online bachelor of arts in youth ministry degree is designed to help you build your theological philosophies and leadership style. Through a unique life experience credit program, this institution may consider your background to be counted toward as much as 50% of your youth ministry BA; this program provides credits on a discretionary basis, depending on your educational or professional background.

#2 – Southwestern Assemblies of God University



Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Points: 19
Enrollment: 1,974
Tuition: $19,560

Led by the motto “Higher Education for a Higher Purpose,” Southwestern Assemblies of God University has reached record enrollment numbers over the past ten years. SAGU keeps its degrees affordable through scholarships, grants, and nearly $25,000 in tuition credit for life experience. Southwestern’s online learning experience can accommodate every student’s needs; course materials are available 24 hours a day, and distance learners access all of the same resources as campus students. SAGU’s online bachelor’s in youth and student ministries has proven popular for its rich, bible-based curriculum and internship opportunities. Each online BA in youth ministries student engages in field ministry experiences that provide a strong foundation for future roles in the church.

#1 – Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, Arizona


Points: 20
Enrollment: 69,444
Tuition: $17,050

For 65 years and counting, Grand Canyon University has been considered a premier private Christian college. GSU has recently expanded its offerings in response to rapidly growing enrollment; this college currently provides Bible-based education to over 69,000 students worldwide. Grand Canyon’s online BA in Christian studies includes an option to focus your degree in youth ministry; this degree blends curriculum in youth spiritual development, theology, leadership, world religions, methods for ministering to adolescents, and more. GCU makes earning your online youth ministry degree flexible and technologically convenient; their online learning system includes discussion forums, web-enhanced tools, eBooks and many other helpful resources.

TD Staff
June 2017

The preceding list is a ranking of the top 10 online bachelor’s degrees in youth ministry for 2017.