Top 10 Christian Colleges & Universities in Florida
- Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff
- 2019 1 Feb
$7,178/YearIf you’re looking for a great Christian university or college in Florida, congratulations, you’re in the right place! We have assembled a list of the top 10 Christian schools in Florida based on reviews and ratings from across the internet including the accolades and advantages of each. We know that many factors go into the decision of selecting the best college for yourself or your children, so we hope this list can help your choice be better informed and somewhat easier.
Here are the 10 Best Christian Higher Education Schools in Florida (in no particular order):
1. Eckerd College
Eckerd College is a private liberal arts college in St. Petersburg, Florida which is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The mission of Eckerd College is to provide excellent, innovative undergraduate liberal arts education and lifelong learning programs in the unique Florida environment, within the context of a covenant relationship with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The college has a suburban 188-acre campus on Frenchman's Creek and Boca Ciega Bay, about 3 miles from Gulf of Mexico beaches. The campus is close to but separate from residential and commercial neighborhoods of St. Petersburg. Eckerd is committed to an environmentally friendly and sustainable campus, supported by such initiatives as its Yellow Bike program. The college has many architectural styles, but a regular feature is the use of glass and outdoor views to emphasize a connection with the environment. Recent campus additions include the Peter H. Armacost Library, Iota residential housing complex, sports facilities, a renovated student center, and the renovated Miller Auditorium.
Eckerd College awards both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. In addition to programs in Marine Science, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, International Business, and Creative Writing, Eckerd offers majors covering the spectrum of the liberal arts. Degree programs in 39 fields are available, along with opportunities for student-designed majors. Eckerd College is also one of only forty liberal arts schools profiled in Loren Pope's Colleges That Change Lives, and was ranked #127 of 180 among all national liberal arts colleges in the United States by US News and World Report. Eckerd was also named one of thirteen "Institutions of Excellence in The First College Year" by the Policy Center on the First Year of College.
Eckerd was established as Florida Presbyterian College in 1958 as part of national growth in post-secondary education driven by GIs entering college after returning from World War II and later by the baby boom of children. The United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. and the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. (Southern) worked together to start the college, receiving a charter from the Florida legislature in 1958 and opening in 1960. Enjoy a promotional video from Eckerd College's website below:
- Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
- Denominational Affiliation: Presbyterian Church (USA)
- Enrollment: 1,957 (undergrad)
- Tuition: $43,914 (annual)
- Room & Board: $6,584 (annual)
For more information, visit eckerd.edu
Photo credit: Eckerd College
2. Florida Southern College
Florida Southern College (Florida Southern, Southern or FSC) is a private college in Lakeland, Florida. The mission of Florida Southern College is to prepare students through dynamic engaged learning to make a positive and consequential impact on society. Florida Southern is the home of the world's largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. For its 2011 and 2012 rankings, The Princeton Review selected Florida Southern's campus as the most beautiful in the country.
Florida Southern is the oldest four-year private college in the state of Florida. The college was first founded as South Florida Institute in Orlando, Florida in 1883. Due to fires in the early 1920s, it was temporarily relocated to Clearwater Beach and then finally moved to its current location in Lakeland in 1922. In 1935 it was renamed Florida Southern College by the college's board of trustees.
Florida Southern College has over 50 undergraduate majors in a variety of disciplines and offers the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Music Education, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing. At the graduate level, the school offers the degrees Master of Business Administration, Master of Accountancy, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Education, Master of Science in Nursing, and a Doctoral in Educational Leadership. Florida Southern College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees.
Below is a promotional image from FSC's website:
- Location: Lakewood, Florida
- Denominational Affiliation: United Methodist Church
- Enrollment: 2,633 (undergrad)
- Tuition: $36,348 (annual)
- Room & Board: $11,204 (annual)
For more information, visit flsouthern.edu
Photo credit: Florida Southern College
3. Reformation Bible College
RBC was founded in 2011 to continue the heritage and mission of Ligonier Ministries, establishing a new place for instruction and fellowship. Its mission is to redefine what Bible college can be. Inspired by John Calvin’s historic Academy, RBC is “self-consciously Reformed.” RBC desires that God would use the college to form a new generation of Christian leaders who will ignite a new Reformation. RBC strives to give students a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures and Christian Reformed doctrine, through courses in Bible, systematic theology, the great works of philosophy, literature, and music; as well as courses in apologetics, church history, and languages. RBC’s lovely tree-lined campus with fountains, gentle waterfalls, and manicured landscaping is situated on 42 acres of lakefront. The central hub is the fireplace room and library. Construction is underway for a new Student Learning Center. In the town of Sanford, students can enjoy local art galleries and dining, and a new downtown RiverWalk. Living in Seminole County offers access to scenic wilderness preserves and waterways. World-class attractions of Orlando are minutes away.
RBC’s small class sizes foster supportive relationships. RBC does not offer a meal plan; however, students are welcome to use the RBC kitchen when they bring meals to campus. A variety of food services are located near campus. RBC can help families facilitate students’ housing arrangements in several off-campus apartment complexes. On-campus, students share in events like Spirit Week, the Faculty-Student Soccer Game, and the Talent Show. Students have opportunities to organize events and student groups, such as Abide, a student-led Bible study. RBC Chapel Services are held weekly. RBC’s 3-year Accelerated Degree Program in biblical studies offers a direct path to a Master of Divinity at select seminaries and is designed to launch students into ministry in six years.
- Location: Sanford, Florida
- Denominational Affiliation: Reformed
- Enrollment: 100
- Tuition: $11,295
- Room & Board: N/A
For more information, visit reformationbiblecollege.org
Photo credit: Reformation Bible College
4. Hobe Sound Bible College
Hobe Sound Bible College is a Christian college in Hobe Sound, Florida part of the conservative holiness movement. First known as Hobe Sound Bible Institute, the college was founded in 1960 under the leadership of Stephen D. Herron a Wesleyan Methodist minister and general evangelist, the school’s founder, and president for 25 years. He had the vision for a conservative holiness school that would offer a quality education. Herron approached H. Robb French and Florida Evangelistic Association, now Hope International Missions, about year-round utilization of the camp meeting facilities for a Bible college. They offered the grounds and facilities of Sea Breeze Camp for such a school.
At the camp meeting of 1960, donations were raised to aid in launching the school. In September of that year, Hobe Sound Bible Institute welcomed its first student body, representing 12 states and Canada. The registration for the first year totaled 24, with a 3-person teaching staff that included Herron, missionary C. J. Goodspeed and Wesleyan Methodist evangelist Dr. Johannes Maas, founder of Worldwide Faith Missions. From this small beginning, the college now has a prominent place of service in the holiness movement.
In 1986 the college attained full accreditation with The Association for Biblical Higher Education. Hobe Sound Bible College offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in counseling, ministerial studies, missions, music education, teacher education, TESOL, and general Christian studies. Also offered are Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees.
The mission of Hobe Sound Bible College is to provide a Christ-centered, Bible-based education in the Wesleyan tradition. They are committed to preparing servant-leaders who think biblically, live Spirit-filled lives, fulfill the great commission and glorify God in all they do. According to their website, HSBC offers a "Bible-Centered Education" explaining this to mean:
"The core of the curriculum is the Bible—God’s inspired Word. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” and education that becomes separated from this foundation begins to drift. It will not have a proper motivation, direction or objective. In an age of shifting tides in educational philosophy, the Bible college stands upon the unchanging rock of God’s eternal Word. This means that not only is the direct study of the Bible the principal major study, but also that all other studies are permeated and directed by the great eternal truth of God’s Word."
- Location: Hobe Sound, Florida
- Denominational Affiliation: Independent, Wesleyan tradition.
- Enrollment: not listed
- Tuition: $5,790 (annual)
- Room & Board: $6,400 (annual)
For more information, visit hsbc.edu
Photo credit: Hobe Sound Bible College
5. South Florida Bible College
South Florida Bible College or SFBC is in Deerfield Beach, FL just south of Palm Beach. The school is located near beautiful beaches, tourist attractions, and is only 30 minutes from major airports. The college has an admirable goal for every student to graduate debt free. SFBC is ranked in the top 50 most affordable Christian colleges on affordablecolleges.com. The college also accepts financial aid and offers monthly payment plans. SFBC is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE).
Students who wish to continue their Bible education can attend the school's theological seminary; the goal of the Bible college and seminary is to keep the Bible central in education. Men and women are prepared to serve Christ in various types of ministry through sound Christian living and sound use of biblical thought. SFBC has two associate degrees, seven undergraduate degrees, five master's degrees, and two doctoral degrees.
SFBC embraces 6 goal-oriented objectives:
1. The College and Seminary encourages an actively engaged and inclusive learning community based upon Christian tenets, the Holy Bible, trust, integrity, respect, and diversity in a safe, welcoming physical environment.
2. The College and Seminary will help to prepare students for careers in ministry and for life-long learning by providing a clearly defined general education program, focused undergraduate and graduate programs, and by providing support through information literacy.
3. The College and Seminary will continue to strengthen its role as a provider of graduate education, offering scholarly and/or professional graduate programs including collaborations with other learning institutes and professionals, culminating in student expertise at professional levels.
4. The College and Seminary will offer advising, support services, and learning experiences that aid students in helping to identify life and ministry goals, planning academic careers, and achieving timely graduation.
5. The College and Seminary will promote professional development of all members of its academic community in order to achieve excellence in learning through teaching and ministry.
6. The College and Seminary, as a whole and in all of its parts, will continue to establish thorough priorities and assessment policies that anticipate our needs and focus our efforts and resources in support of our mission, vision, and goals for the college and seminary.
- Location: Deerfield Beach, FL
- Denominational Affiliation: Non-denominational / Interdenominational
- Enrollment: 800 students
- Tuition: $275/credit hour, approximately $13,790 annually.
- Room & Board: Not available
For more information please visit www.sfbc.edu.
Photo credit: South Florida Bible College
6. Palm Beach Atlantic University
Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) is a comprehensive interdenominational (there are more than 26 denominations represented in the student body) faith-based university with a core emphasis on character formation by integrating a Christian worldview with the liberal arts and selected professional studies. It is located in West Palm Beach, in the U.S. state of Florida approximately one mile (1.6 km) from the Atlantic Ocean on the Intracoastal Waterway. Its purpose is to offer a curriculum of rigorous studies and a program of student activities dedicated to the development of lifetime learning, leadership, and service to mankind. The mean SAT is 1270. The student to faculty ratio is 12:1 with 174 faculty staff. William “Bill” M. B. Fleming, Jr. serves as president of the university.
Palm Beach Atlantic University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award the following degrees: bachelor’s, master’s, doctor of pharmacy, and doctor of nursing practice. PBA provides a Christ-centered education experience with more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.
The University is composed of nine schools, granting various undergraduate and graduate degrees. These schools include
- Rinker School of Business: - Accredited by the International Assembly of Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), the Rinker School of Business offers undergraduate majors in Accounting, Finance, International Business, Management, and Marketing. A Masters of Business Administration (M.B.A) is also offered.
- School of Arts and Sciences: - The School of Arts and Sciences offers many undergraduate degrees in the areas of arts, humanities, natural sciences, mathematics, and computer sciences.
- School of Communication and Media: - The School houses the 12,000 square foot Fern Street Theatre and a 2,300-square-foot television studio, while offering undergraduate majors offered include: Cinema-Television, Communication, Journalism, Public Relations and Theatre
- School of Education and Behavioral Studies: - The School offers majors in the areas of Education, Psychology and Health and Human Performance. Additionally, the School houses the Graduate Counseling Center and the Human Performance Laboratory.
- MacArthur School of Leadership: - The Catherine T. MacArthur School of Leadership at Palm Beach Atlantic University prepares students intellectually, spiritually, and professionally, for local and global leadership. The school offers a B.S. in Organizational Management and an M.S. in Leadership.
- School of Ministry: - The school offers undergraduate degrees in Ministry, Biblical and Theological Studies and Cross-Cultural Studies, as well as a Masters of Divinity degree.
- School of Music and Fine Arts: - The School offers an array of majors such as art education, graphic arts, and voice performance. PBA is one of just three Christian institutions in the nation to offer a dance major.
- School of Nursing: - Palm Beach Atlantic University offers one of the top nursing programs in Florida and the only Christian nursing program in the state nationally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Degrees offered include a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Science in Nursing and a Doctor of Nursing Practice
- Gregory School of Pharmacy: - The Lloyd L. Gregory School of Pharmacy is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. PBA’s pharmacy graduates have routinely exceeded both the State and U.S. average in the NAPLEX pass rate. GSOP students have placed first in the annual Florida Pharmacy Association NASPA/NMA competition four of the past five years. In addition, GSOP students complete annually over 4,500 hours of service both locally and abroad.
Enjoy a promotional video from PBA's website about the history of their university:
- Location: West Palm Beach, Florida
- Denominational Affiliation: Christian Interdenominational
- Enrollment: 2,227
- Tuition: $29,510 (annual)
- Room & Board: $9,660 (annual)
For more information, visit pba.edu
Photo credit: Palm Beach Atlantic University
7. Warner University
Warner University is a Christ-centered, private, liberal arts college in Lake Wales, Florida, affiliated with the Church of God. Warner Southern College was founded in 1968 by the Southeastern Association of the Church of God in Anderson, Indiana. In 2008, the name was changed to Warner University. Warner is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and offers over 30 undergraduate degree programs for traditional students. Warner's 360-acre campus is located 5 miles south of Lake Wales, Florida, in the geographic center of the state between Tampa and Orlando.
Warner consists of three divisions: Arts & Sciences, Professional Programs, and Adult and Graduate Studies. The undergraduate program includes 36 liberal arts and professional majors. We also offer four graduate level programs designed for working professionals: Master of Arts in Education, Master of Business Administration, Master of Ministry, and Master of Science in Management.
WU's mission statement is "Warner University is committed to guiding individuals toward Christ-like character and intellectual maturity who are equipped to serve." The Core Values of the university include Engagement, Service, & Stewardship.
- Location: Lake Wales, Florida
- Denominational Affiliation: Church of God
- Enrollment: 1,200
- Tuition: $21,440 (annual)
- Room & Board: $4,400-$6,400 (annual)
For more information, visit warner.edu
Photo credit: Warner University
8. Trinity International University - Florida
Trinity International University (TIU) is an evangelical Christian liberal arts institution of higher education headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, United States. TIU has two locations in the state of Florida, one named the Kendall Site in Miami and another named Fort Lauderdale Site in Ft. Lauderdale.
According to their website, this is the Purpose Statement of the school: "At Trinity International University-Florida we are committed to the same vision with which we were founded in 1897 and determined to follow in the footsteps of the great universities that were founded on the cornerstone belief that all wisdom lies in Jesus Christ. Our task, if we are to be salt in the world of our day, is to build institutions where we can think like Christians and learn to live as Christians in a culture in which both have become equally hard. Whether preparing to be pastors or missionaries or attorneys, teachers, counselors, scientists, corporate leaders, homemakers or public servants, whatever our calling under God, we need excellence in education, grounded in the lordship of Jesus Christ. That is the goal and task of Trinity International University."
Mission Statement: Trinity educates men and women to engage in God’s redemptive work in the world by cultivating academic excellence, Christian faithfulness, and lifelong learning. At the heart of Trinity’s mission lies its commitment to engage the culture for Jesus Christ. Trinity’s purpose is to enable its graduates—in all schools and in every discipline—to think and live like Christians in the twenty-first century. We believe that God calls his people into many kinds of service; Trinity’s calling is to prepare them to serve for his glory.
Core Values: As an institution committed to inerrant Scripture, given by God as our final authority for faith and life, we hold ourselves accountable to it and to each other with regard to these values as we cultivate academic excellence, Christian faithfulness, and lifelong learning.
- Community Focused
- Church Connected
- Culturally Engaged
- Location: Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Florida
- Denominational Affiliation: Evangelical Free Church of America
- Enrollment: 1,200
- Tuition: $555 per credit hour
- Room & Board: Not-Listed
For more information, visit florida.tiu.edu
Photo credit: Trinity International University - Florida
9. Florida Memorial University
Florida Memorial University is a private coeducational university in Miami Gardens, Florida. One of the 39 member institutions of the United Negro College Fund, it is a historically Black, Baptist-related institution that is ranked second in Florida and ninth in the United States for graduating Black teachers. One of the oldest academic centers in Florida, the university was founded in 1879 as the Florida Baptist Institute in Live Oak, Florida. Soon after, the American Baptist Home Mission Society gave its full support, and the first regular school year began in 1880.
Florida Memorial University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). It offers 41 undergraduate degree programs and 4 graduate degree programs through its eight academic divisions in six academic schools. The business programs are accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs. The social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The Music Department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
The mission of Florida Memorial University is to instill in our students the values of leadership, character, and service to enhance their lives and the lives of others on our campus, in our community, and in the world through a transformational, liberal arts education.
- Location: Miami Gardens, Florida
- Denominational Affiliation: American Baptist Churches USA
- Enrollment: 1,800
- Tuition: $12,576 (annual)
- Room & Board: Approx $8,000 (annual)
For more information, visit fmuniv.edu
Photo credit: Florida Memorial University
10. The Baptist College of Florida
The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) is a private, Level III institution ( Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges), located in Graceville, Florida, 90 miles northwest of Tallahassee, 60 miles north of Panama City, and 25 miles south of Dothan, Alabama. The Baptist College of Florida is a cooperating ministry of the Florida Baptist State Convention and operates under the authority of the convention appointed Board of Trustees. It is the only institution of higher learning supported by the Florida Baptist Convention.
BCF, founded by a group of pastors on September 7, 1943, held its first classes in a Sunday school room in the First Baptist Church of Lakeland, Florida. The educational institution, then named Florida Baptist Institute (FBI), was purposed to provide training for “God-called” men and women who needed seminary-type training but lacked college degrees. At that time in Baptist life, seminary training was available primarily to students who had earned four-year college degrees. While “special classes” for “the non-college graduate” were offered at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, then known as Baptist Bible Institute, (Annual of the Southern Baptist Convention, 1946, p. 98), Florida ministers would have to relocate to take advantage of the course offerings. Therefore, individuals who felt “called” to the ministry and needed seminary training, particularly those of nontraditional college age who lacked a four-year college degree, had limited opportunities, particularly in Florida, to receive ministerial training of substantial scope and value resembling seminary education.
The Mission Statement of BCF: "The Baptist College of Florida shall operate within the confines of a Christian worldview to promote, provide for, operate and control a program of education and training for Christian leaders through awarding certificates and associate, baccalaureate, and graduate degrees in a co-educational post-secondary setting."
- Location: Graceville, Florida
- Denominational Affiliation: American Baptist Churches USA
- Enrollment: 625
- Tuition: $10,200 (annual)
- Room & Board: Approx $4,138 (annual)
For more information, visit baptistcollege.edu
Photo credit: Baptist College of Florida
BONUS: Pensacola Christian College
Pensacola Christian College (PCC) is a Christian, Independent Baptist nonprofit liberal arts college in Pensacola, Florida. The college was founded in 1974 under the leadership of Arlin and Beka Horton. God called this institution into existence for His glory. The goal was to train young men and women in higher education for a life of service to Jesus Christ. The founders’ vision for PCC continues to the present.
Their mission is to promote the cause of Christ by providing a distinctively Christian-traditional, liberal arts education that develops students spiritually, intellectually, morally, culturally, and socially.
Their purpose in both undergraduate and graduate programs is to produce Christian leaders who are knowledgeable, articulate, moral, dedicated to excellence, and committed to serving Jesus Christ as they learn to influence the world by applying biblical principles in their chosen field and daily life.
Read more from the Articles of Faith which lists their beliefs regarding the Bible, God and Christianity.
Pensacola Christian College is alive with activities that supplement a student’s education and provide a break from classroom routine. The College provides an atmosphere conducive to spiritual growth that encourages students to develop and maintain a personal relationship with the Lord. Active involvement in ministry outreach is encouraged. Activities around campus include: Prayer Meetings, Chapel Services, Campus Church, Christian Service, Musical Opportunities, Special Worship Activities, Athletics, and more.
Click here to learn more about what Pensacola Christian College offers as a college life experience.
- Location: Pensacola, Florida
- Denominational Affiliation: Independent Baptist
- Enrollment: 4,882 (2016)
- Tuition: In-state: $7,178/Year
- Room & Board: Approx $3,716/Year
For more information, visit PCCI.edu
We hope this list has been helpful in your search for the best Christian college or university in California. To view other top Christian schools across the nation, check out our 70 Best Christian Colleges and Universities list.
Main photo credit: ©Thinkstock/DMEPhotography
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 universities.