20 Great Christian Colleges You May Not Know about Yet

20 Great Christian Colleges You May Not Know about Yet

With juniors and seniors in high school already looking to college, many may be wondering “What’s the right school for me?” Many factors contribute to that answer. Perhaps you’re looking for a school that has a Christian background that feels like home. Maybe you’re looking for a particular field of study. Maybe you want to stay close to your hometown--or not. Whatever you’re looking for in a college, there are undoubtedly many to choose from. In light of that, we’ve compiled a list of 20 of the best Christian colleges you may not know about yet. These colleges have been ranked highly and offer great academic programs and differ from other Christian schools. These stand-out Christian colleges are a great starting point for anyone looking for the right college fit. In no particular order, here are:

20 Top-Rated Christian Colleges You May Not Know about Yet:

Photo Credit: Thinkstock/Milkos

Western Region:

1. Westmont College

1. Westmont College

Number one on Forbes’ list of America’s Top 10 Christian Colleges (and 167 overall) for 2017, Westmont College, is situated in Santa Barbara, California. Westmont holds the U.S. News Rank of National Liberal Arts Tier 1 (#96) and one of Princeton Review’s Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Best-Value Colleges. It also ranks #101 in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Value Schools and #118 in High School Counselor Rankings. In addition to their wide variety of Academic Programs, ranging from computer science and engineering to communications, social science, anthropology, and kinesiology, Westmont also offers study abroad programs in several countries around the world.

Westmont encourages a love for the arts with its Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art and Westmont Classical Repertory Theatre. The school also encourages leadership with its Westmont Leadership Development Program. Westmont College is listed as one of Business Insider’s Top 50 Most Underrated Colleges in America and rated number fifteen by the Washington Post’s for “colleges and universities with greatest salary growth between starting and mid-career salaries.”

Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Enrollment: 1,298
Denominational Affiliation: Christian Non-denominational
Online Programs Offered: Unknown

For more information, visit their website at westmont.edu.

Photo Credit: Westmont College

2. Azusa Pacific University

2. Azusa Pacific University

Number nine on Forbes’ America’s Top 10 Christian Colleges, Azusa Pacific University “began as a Training School for Christian Workers in 1899, preparing men and women for ministry and service.” The school is ranked 357 overall by Forbes and holds the U.S. News Rank of National Universities: Tier 1 (#187). It also ranks #177 in High School Counselor Rankings. APU has over 100 programs for education, from Bachelor’s Degree to Master’s and Doctoral and includes programs on-campus as well as online. Azusa Pacific University has many schools of study, including Business and Management, Visual and Performing Arts, and also, Azusa Pacific Seminary.

Location: Azusa, CA
Enrollment: 5,770
Denominational Affiliation: Christian Interdenominational (Wesleyan Holiness tradition)
Online Programs Offered: Art Education (M.A.), Autism Spectrum Disorders Added Authorization, Certificate in TESOL, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Educational Leadership, M.A., and PASC or PASC Internship, Educational Technology, M.A., MSN in Healthcare Administration and Leadership, MSN in Nursing Education, Modern Art History, (M.A.), Preliminary Administrative Services Credential or Internship Credential (PASC), RN to BSN, School Librarianship, M.A., Teacher Librarian Services Credential, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, M.A., Transformational Urban Leadership, M.A.

For more information, visit their website at apu.edu.

Photo Credit: Azuza Pacific University

3. Multnomah University

3. Multnomah University

Located in Portland, Oregon, Multnomah is a smaller Christian university with an average enrollment of 417. In addition to its main programs of study, Multnomah has several pre-professional programs, such as pre-law, pre-dental, pre-med, and pre-veterinary, among others. There are also graduate and online programs as well as the Multnomah Biblical Seminary. Their website reads:

“We’re pioneering a new academic landscape where the Bible intersects with art, science, business, history – you name it. You’ll share ideas with entrepreneurs, kick back with songwriters and talk about Scripture with everyone around you. You’ll learn how God’s truth applies to the career you’ve been called to. And you’ll leave with a sense of purpose that will guide you for the rest of your life.”

Multnomah boasts alumni like Luis Palau, Randy Alcorn, businessman Dave Munson and has created several ministries and businesses over the years. Among these, include the successful Multnomah Press, International Renewal Ministries, Christian Supply, and Mission Portland Networking.

Location: Portland, OR
Enrollment: 417
Denominational Affiliation: Interdenominational
Online Programs Offered: Bachelor’s in: Applied Psychology, Bible and Theology, Business Management, Healthcare Management, Information Technology, M.A, in Global Development and Justice, M.A. in TESOL, M.S. in Management and Leadership, Seminary: M.A. in Biblical Studies, M.A. in Christian Leadership, MDiv, M.A. in Theological Studies

For more information, visit their website at multnomah.edu.

Photo Credit: Multnomah University

4. Northwest University

4. Northwest University

Northwest University was ranked as one of the Best Colleges (Regional Universities West) in 2018 by U.S. News & World Report (#63). It was also ranked #33 in Best Colleges for Veterans and #35 in Best Value Schools.  Located outside of Seattle, Northwest University has 70 majors and academic programs, including online studies. Among these online studies as fields such as “political science, religion and philosophy, contemporary music industry, children and family ministries, biology, and business administration.” Northwest also has study-abroad programs and encourages off-campus internships in addition to students’ studies.

According to the school’s website, they include The Northwest Partnership Program, between the university and churches, “to offer college courses with the highest level of academic accreditation (including Associate and Bachelor degrees) as part of their church or ministry internship program.” This unique program allows students to earn internship credits, along with a degree, at a low cost. Northwest also has a Center for Calling and Theological Formation, in which it aims to “educate and equip students in the process of theological development and vocational understanding of their life’s work and service” and “To serve churches and ministers, as they engage in these vital matters.”

Location: Kirkland, WA
Enrollment: 938
Denominational Affiliation: Assemblies of God
Online Programs Offered: Associate in Arts, Associate in Ministry Leadership, Certificate in Ministry Leadership, Business Management B.A., Information Technology B.A., Ministry Leadership B.A., Organizational Leadership B.A., Organizational Management B.A., Psychology B.A., Public Safety Administration B.A., RN to BSN, Master in Ministry, Bible and Theology M.A., Clinical Mental Health Counseling M.A., International Community Development M.A., MBA, Master of Education, MSN

For more information, visit their website at northwestu.edu/

Photo Credit: Northwest University

5. Warner Pacific University

5. Warner Pacific University

Previously named Warner Pacific College, WPU ranked #9 in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Regional Colleges (West) this year. The school also ranked #10 in the Report’s Best Value Schools (Regional Colleges West) for 2018. With an enrollment of 501 for traditional undergrads, class size at WPU is, on average, 14. The school offers several degree programs, including the option to create your own major.

Warner Pacific differs from other higher education schools in that it strives to make “college more accessible for students from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds; those who face significant challenges when trying to earn their degree at other institutions.”

The school also values service, offering a Local Connect program, connecting “students to meaningful long-term service opportunities that align with their unique skill sets and interests.”

Location: Portand, OR
Enrollment: 501 traditional undergrads, total students: 1,442
Denominational Affiliation: Church of God (Anderson, Indiana)
Online Programs Offered: Associate of Arts in Organizational Dynamics, Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Health Care Administration, Bachelor of Science in Human Development

For more information, visit their website at warnerpacific.edu.

Photo Credit: Warner Pacific University


North East Region:

6. Roberts Wesleyan College

6. Roberts Wesleyan College

Roberts Wesleyan College ranks #78 in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges in Regional Universities (North) for 2018. It also comes in at #28 in the Report’s Best Value Schools (Regional Universities North) and #66 for Best Online Master's in Nursing Programs. Along with these rankings, the school has ranked in several other lists, including Safest College Campuses in New York, Top 50 Best Value Online MSN Programs, Best Colleges for Your Money, and Top 50 Colleges for Older Students.

RWC participates in NCAA Division II athletics. The school’s About section states, “We're a group of scholars, dedicated to service and spiritual formation. We're a place students can wrestle with hard questions and still feel safe. We're a foundation for your career. We're the catalyst to your next job. Even more than all of that, we're your next home.”

Location: Rochester NY
Enrollment: 1,316
Denominational Affiliation: Free Methodist Church
Online Programs Offered: Business, Teacher Education, Health Administration, Nursing, Northeastern Seminary

For more information, visit their website at roberts.edu.

Photo Credit: Roberts Wesleyan College

7. Waynesburg University

7. Waynesburg University

Waynesburg University was founded in 1849 by the Pennsylvania Presbytery. The school has a long, rich history, including being “one of the first colleges to have ever offered degrees to women” and having its football team appear in the first televised game in U.S. history. Waynesburg University was ranked #97 for Best Regional Universities (North) by U.S. News and World Report in 2018. The school is also one of the more affordable private schools in the U.S.

Location: Waynesburg, PA
Enrollment: 1,400
Denominational Affiliation: Presbyterian Church (USA)
Online Programs Offered: Unknown

For more information, visit their website at waynesburg.edu.

Photo Credit: Waynesburg University

8. Eastern Nazarene College

8. Eastern Nazarene College

Eastern Nazarene was ranked Tier 2 in the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Regional Universities (North) for 2018. Located nearby Boston, Eastern Nazarene was also ranked as one of the Best Colleges in Massachusetts by BestColleges.com. According to the school’s website, 100% of ENC’s incoming freshmen receive aid from the institution. 95% of graduates are also “employed or in graduate school (13% above the national average).”

ENC encourages students to “consider their spiritual journey as seriously as they consider their academic journey.” The school offers short term mission trips, called FUSION, community groups, and summer ministry teams. Eastern Nazarene has the Dr. John U. Free Physics and Engineering Seminar Series and a semester exchange program in Nashville with a partner school, Trevecca Nazarene University.

Location: Quincy, Massachusetts
Enrollment: 784
Denominational Affiliation: Church of the Nazarene/Wesleyan
Online Programs Offered: Unknown

For more information, visit their website at enc.edu.

Photo Credit: Eastern Nazarene College

9. Houghton College

9. Houghton College

Houghton College was ranked #147 in U.S. News and World Report’s National Liberal Arts Colleges and #144 in High School Counselor Ratings in 2018. It was ranked as A Best College for Your Money by Money Magazine (2018), One of the Best Colleges in the Northeast by the Princeton Review (2019), Best Value by USA Today (2018), and ranked #274 in The Wall Street Journal/ Times Higher Education 2018 College Rankings.

Houghton College has a high retention rate (86.5%) and a 98% of graduates are either employed or enrolled in graduate school “within nine months of graduation,” according to the HC’s website. One thing that Houghton emphasizes is the “close-knit” feel of their community, one alum even stating that most students stay on campus during the weekend. Houghton offers study abroad options for students and encourages service opportunities.

Location: Houghton, NY
Enrollment: 1,048 undergraduate
Denominational Affiliation: Wesleyan
Online Programs Offered: Human Resources Management, Integrated Marketing and Communication, Psychology, Liberal Arts, and Management”

For more information, visit their website at houghton.edu.

Photo Credit: Houghton College

10. Geneva College

10. Geneva College

Geneva College was ranked in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Regional Universities (North) as #75. It was also ranked as the Report’s #3 Best Value School in Regional Universities (North) and #92 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Program Rankings, all for 2018. Geneva offers a wide variety of undergraduate majors and programs, including aviation, biblical studies, education, computer science, nursing, and criminal justice, among others. The vast majority of students at GC receive financial aid (close to 100%).

Geneva also has a Center for Student Engagement which “provides opportunities to experience social connectedness and diverse citizenship.” Some areas are Adventure Learning, Service Learning, Diversity and Inclusion, Leadership Development, and Immersion Trips, to name a few.

Location: Beaver Falls, PA
Enrollment: 1,461
Denominational Affiliation: Reformed Presbyterian Church
Online Programs Offered: Aging Services, Child and Family Services, Human Resources, Management, Organizational Leadership, General Studies (Associate’s Degree), Criminal Justice, Public Relations

For more information, visit their website at geneva.edu.

Photo Credit: Geneva College

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Southern Region:


11. Southwestern Christian University

11. Southwestern Christian University

Southwestern Christian University was ranked #24 by U.S. News and World Report for Best Regional College (West) in 2018. Southwestern Christian has an emphasis on scholarship, spirit, and service. The school has several co-curricular activities for students, including a women’s group (Kappa Kappa Pi), campus worship, Music Ministry, Intercollegiate Sports, and a Student Activities Board. The average class size at SCU is 12.

Location: Bethany, OK
Enrollment: Unknown
Denominational Affiliation: International Pentecostal Holiness Church
Online Programs Offered: Business Administration, Christian Leadership, Human Services, Psychology, Liberal Studies

For more information, visit their website at swcu.edu.

Photo Credit: Southwestern Chrisitan University

12. LeTourneau University

12. LeTourneau University

LeTourneau has been ranked four times this year by U.S. News and World Report. The school was ranked #23 in Best Regional Universities (West), #15 in Best Colleges for Veterans (Regional Universities West), #11 in Best Value Schools (Regional Universities West), and #29 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Program. LeTourneau has a wide variety of undergraduate degree programs, including Education, Business, Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Aviation, Counseling, Nursing, and Christian Ministry, among others. The school’s Center for Faith and Work emphasizes “Promoting and preserving LeTourneau University’s distinctive legacy to help students, alumni, and the global Christian community pursue their work as a holy calling.”

LeTourneau is a member of the NCAA Division III and has several athletic programs. The school also has an emphasis on global learning, offering opportunities for students to study abroad, participate in academic travel or in a Global Service Learning project. They also offer opportunities for international students to attend the University as well, under their Office of Global Initiatives.

Location: Longview, TX
Enrollment: 2,253
Denominational Affiliation: Interdenominational
Online Programs Offered: Aviation and Aeronautical Science, Arts and Sciences, Business and Technology, Education, Health Sciences (Over 30 Different Degrees)

For more information, visit their website at letu.edu.

Photo Credit: LeTourneau University

13. Mississippi College

13. Mississippi College

Mississippi College was ranked by U.S. News and World Report in three categories this year. It was ranked as #32 in Best Regional Universities (South), #21 in Best Colleges for Veterans (Regional Universities South), and #12 in Best Value Schools (Regional Universities South). The school’s website states that they are “a comprehensive Christian university that seeks to lift up the teachings of Jesus Christ in a premier academic environment at an affordable price.”

MC has several schools of study, including the School of Law, School of Education, School of Christian Studies and the Arts, School of Business, School of Nursing, School of Science and Mathematics, and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. The school has several sports teams, including an equestrian program. Mississippi College also has numerous organizations and honor societies, clubs and tribes for students. According to their website, Mississippi College is “the oldest university in the state of Mississippi.”

Location: Clinton, MS
Enrollment: 5,059 total
Denominational Affiliation: Southern Baptist
Online Programs Offered: B.S. in Business Administration, B.S. in Communication, B.S. in Paralegal Studies, B.S. in Homeland Security, B.S. in Loss Prevention, Certificate in Homeland Security, Certificate in Loss Prevention, RN to BSN; over 20 Master Degree programs ranging from Health Services to Education, Science, and Business; 6 Graduate/Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Programs

For more information, visit their website at mc.edu.

Photo Credit: Mississippi College

14. College of the Ozarks

14. College of the Ozarks

College of the Ozarks was ranked in four categories in 2018 by U.S. News and World Report. It earned #5 in Best Regional Colleges (Midwest), #4 in Best Undergraduate Teaching (Regional Colleges Midwest), #1 in Best Value Schools (Regional Colleges Midwest), and #1 in Most Innovative Schools (Regional Colleges Midwest). It was also nationally ranked by Forbes as #235 in 2017 and was listed as one of the 382 Best Colleges by The Princeton Review in 2018.

One thing that sets C of O apart is their financial aid program. Describing themselves as a “no-tuition college,” students who attend the University work to pay for their tuition and room and board. U.S. News and World Report explains it this way: “In each incoming class, 90 percent of students must show financial need to be accepted. Once registered, students work 15 hours each week for a campus program, such as the school's museum or clinic. The money earned from these jobs, plus scholarships and grants, covers the student's entire tuition.” College of the Ozarks aims to make achieving a degree possible for students with financial hardships.

The school has 5 goals pertaining to their vision: Academic Goal, Vocational Goal, Christian Goal, Cultural Goal and Patriotic Goal. C of O has a wide range of degree programs as well as several pre-professional programs.

Location: Point Lookout, MO
Enrollment: 1,512
Denominational Affiliation: Christian Interdenominational/Presbyterian Church U.S.A.
Online Programs Offered: Unknown

For more information, visit their website at cofo.edu.

Photo Credit: College of the Ozarks

15. Ouachita Baptist University

15. Ouachita Baptist University

Ouachita Baptist University was ranked as Tier 2 of the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges in the category of National Liberal Arts Colleges. It was also ranked as one of the Best Undergraduate Business Programs in 2018. OBU has a low student to faculty ratio, at 13:1 and values community. They have several different Schools of study, including Interdisciplinary Studies, Business, Christian Studies, Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. They also have a study abroad program, with 20 different opportunities.

OBU has an Outdoor Recreation program consisting of backpacking, rock climbing, and hiking, to name a few activities and the school participates in NCAA Division II athletics. Ouachita’s Ben M. Elrod Center for Family & Community has several volunteer opportunities for students to get involved.

Location: Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Enrollment: 1,494
Denominational Affiliation: Southern Baptist
Online Programs Offered: Business Administration, Christian Studies

For more information, visit their website at obu.edu.

Image Credit: Ouachita Baptist University


Midwest Region:


16. Huntington University

16. Huntington University

Huntington University was ranked by U.S. News and World Report as #16 in Best Regional Colleges (Midwest) and #31 in Best Value Schools (Regional Colleges Midwest) in 2018. The school offers degree programs such as Nursing, Arts, Music, Science, and Social Work. They also include several Pre-Professional and Graduate programs, ranging from Law and Pharmacy to Counseling, Occupational Therapy, and Global Youth Ministry. HU has a strong Arts program, offering fields of study like animation, film production, studio art, and graphic design. The school also has an Enterprise Resource Center where the school matches students with internships to achieve real-world experience.

Location: Huntington, IN
Enrollment: 1,295
Denominational Affiliation: Church of the United Brethren in Christ, USA
Online Programs Offered: Adult Degree Programs: Not-for-Profit Leadership, Human Resource Management, Business Administration, Marketing, Psychology, Social Work, Associate Degrees, Graduate Online/Hybrid Programs

For more information, visit their website at huntington.edu.

Photo Credit: Huntington University

17. Trinity Christian College

17. Trinity Christian College

Trinity Christian College is a small Christian college located outside of Chicago. Trinity earned #20 in U.S. News and World Report’s ranking for both Best Regional Colleges (Midwest) and Best Value Schools (Regional Colleges Midwest) in 2018. Some programs that Trinity offers are Special Education, Speech Language Pathology, Criminal Justice, Philosophy, and Physical Education, Recreation, and Kinesiology. The school also has Graduate and Adult Programs and includes study abroad opportunities to several countries throughout the world. There are many on campus organizations for students to get involved in as well as a center for career development. According to their website, “At Trinity we continue to offer an outstanding education concerned about the whole person—for good, for God, and for the world.”

Location: Palos Heights, Illinois
Enrollment: 1,286
Denominational Affiliation: Reformed Christianity
Online Programs Offered: Unknown

For more information, visit their website at trnty.edu.

Image Credit: Trinity Christian College 

18. Indiana Wesleyan University

18. Indiana Wesleyan University

In 2018, Indiana Wesleyan University was ranked by U.S. News and World Report as #29 in Best Regional Universities (Midwest) and #64 in Best Value Schools (Regional Universities Midwest). IWU has several colleges and schools, including the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Adult and Professional Studies, School of Nursing School of Health Sciences, Graduate School and Wesley Seminary.

Indiana Wesleyan works with members of the military to assist them in achieving their educational goals by providing discounts, VA benefits, and the GEM & AU-ABC Programs. IWU also has a School of Life Calling and Integrative Learning where students can receive life coaching, work on career development, and receive advising, among other services offered. Indiana Wesleyan has worship, Bible studies, and prayer sessions for students and offers mission trips as well as “a chaplaincy program for working adult students.”

Location: Marion, Indiana
Enrollment: 3,072
Denominational Affiliation: The Wesleyan Church
Online Programs Offered: Business, Communication, Computer Science, Counseling, Criminal Justice, Education, Adult Electives, Health Sciences, Leadership, Liberal Arts, Nursing, Psychology and Social Work, Theology and Ministry, Wesley Seminary

Request more information here.

Image Credit: Indiana Wesleyan University 

19. Dordt College

19. Dordt College

Dordt College was ranked byU.S. News and World Report for three categories in 2018. The school ranked #8 in Best Regional Colleges (Midwest), #17 in Best Value Schools (Regional Colleges Midwest), and #44 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Program Rankings. It has also been ranked by The Princeton Review, Forbes.com, Money Magazine, Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal, and Washington Monthly. The school is slated to become a University in May 2018.

According to TheologyDegrees.org, “The top majors at Dordt College are education, business, engineering, agriculture, and nursing.” Dordt’s website says that the percentage of students who are employed or continuing their education after graduation is 99.7%. DC offers a Pro-Tech program where students intern locally as part of their educational experience. This is available for Manufacturing Technology and Farm Operations and Management. The college also offers chapel services for students to attend and service opportunities along with campus ministries and student activities.

Location: Sioux Center, Iowa
Enrollment: 1,522
Denominal Affiliation: Christian Reformed Church of North America
Online Programs Offered: Some classes available online

For more information, visit their website at dordt.edu.

Image Credit: Dordt College

20. Hope College

20. Hope College

Hope College was ranked this year by U.S. News and World Report in four categories. The school ranked #106 in National Liberal Arts Colleges, #95 in Best Value Schools (National Liberal Arts Colleges), #118 in High School Counselor Rankings (National Liberal Arts Colleges), and #74 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Program Rankings. Hope has degree programs and departments that range from Neuroscience and Geological and Environmental Science to American Ethnic Studies, Dance, and Computer Science.

Hope has study abroad programs as well as opportunities for international students to study. HC has an office of International and Multicultural Education and an emphasis on students achieving a well-rounded, global perspective at Hope. HC has a Center for Musical Arts and Art Museum on campus as well as programs in art, dance, theater, and music. There are several opportunities to be a part of scholarly research at HC and the school also has a Center for Leadership. Hope College participates in NCAA Division III athletics.

Location: Holland, MI
Enrollment: 3,234
Denominational Affiliation: Christian Reformed Church
Online Programs Offered: Unknown

For more information, visit their website at hope.edu.

Image Credit: Hope College


View Crosswalk.com's full list of Christian colleges here: 70 Best Christian Colleges & Universities

This article is part of our larger Higher Education resource library centered around colleges and universities. We hope these articles help you narrow down your search for Christian colleges and seminaries. 

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