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Top 10 Christian Colleges in Tennessee

  • Hope Bolinger Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
  • 2020 4 Jun
Top 10 Christian Colleges in Tennessee

It’s often difficult to pinpoint the perfect Christian college to attend. Even if you’ve narrowed down the state or location in which you want to find a University to spent 4+ years at, or for your child to attend, how can we truly know we’ve made the best choice.

Although there are so many wonderful Christian colleges in Tennessee, this article will pinpoint the top 10 Christian colleges in the Agriculture and Commerce state. Know that not all the wonderful Christian Universities from this state could make the list and that these listed come in no particular order. 

Browse 10 of our favorite Christian Colleges and Universities in the great state of Tennessee:

  • Tennessee christian colleges

    1. Sewanee University of the South

    Located 50 miles outside of Chattanooga, this University boasts of 13,000 acres of land and recreational beauty. Ninety-six percent of students live on campus, and the school’s graduates have a high chance of getting accepted into a graduate program “business 90-95%; law 90-95%; medicine 80-85% (the national average is 42%)”. The University contains 37 major areas of study, 43 minors, as well as 15 special areas of study. Students can learn about any subject form African American Studies to Neuroscience. Because of the small faculty to student ratio 11:1, students have the ability to have a more personalized learning experience. 

    The University’s motto is, “Ecce Quam Bonum: Behold how good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity.” This school places a strong emphasis on community, student life activities, and its 24 varsity sports programs, 80 student organizations, and Greek life

    Photo Credit: Bonner

    Fast Facts

    Location: Sewanee, TN
    Denominational Affiliation: Episcopal Church
    Enrollment: 1,793 (undergrad), 218 (grad) 

    Tuition: $45,120 (annual)
    Room & Board: $12,880 (annual)

    For more information, visit sewanee.edu

    tennessee christian colleges

    Photo Credit: lipscomb.edu

    2. Lipscomb University

    Located in the heart of Nashville, this University engages with all areas of liberal arts. One of their proudest points is their alumni. They have a page dedicated to how alums are engaging in the world as servant leaders for Christ. The University has no shortage of honors and awards. According to their website, “For eight consecutive years, Lipscomb’s College of Education has been among the top-scoring traditional university on the Teacher Preparation Report Card, released annually by the Tennessee State Board of Education.” You can read about more of their awards here

    Their numerous academic programs have landed them a place in the Top 50 Best Christian Colleges and Universities back in 2018. And they have several offerings for in-person undergraduate, graduate, and online programs. They hope to, in all their endeavors academic or extracurricular, to promote a lifestyle of community leaders to help transform the world for Christ. 

    Fast Facts:

    Location: Nashville, TN
    Denominational Affiliation: Churches of Christ
    Enrollment: 2,859 (undergrad) and 1,736 (grad)

    Tuition: $32,144 (annual)
    Room & Board: $18,414 (annual)

    For more information, visit lipscomb.edu

  • Tennessee christian colleges

    3. Kings University

    This University places a heavy emphasis on the intersection of faith and culture. The University has earned a top ranking as the Best Regional University in the South for over three decades. In addition to having 28 athletic teams and six academic schools of learning, this university borders the place where country music was born. 

    The school also has a number of study abroad programs the students can engage in. They can study in a number of locations ranging from Argentina to New Zealand as well as several domestic travel opportunities

    Photo Credit: King.edu

    Fast Facts

    Location: Bristol, TN
    Denominational Affiliation: Presbyterian
    Enrollment: 1,736 (undergrad), 1,184 (grad or other) 

    Tuition: $30,616 (annual)
    Room & Board: $9,024 (annual)

    For more information, visit king.edu

    Tennessee christian colleges, Bryan college

    Photo Credit: bryan.edu

    4. Bryan College

    Although smaller in size, this Christian college has 40+ members and accreditations. This University is located in the heart of Dayton, TN where one of the most famous trials of history occurred: The Scopes Trial. Not only is this institution pillared on creating servant leaders for Christ, but those who enroll in the undergrad program here have a chance at earning a Master’s degree for free at Bryan

    Bryan has a number of extracurricular programs, including several outreach ministries. Students can provide worship at local churches, hold events in the community for children with disabilities, and commit to doing a day full of community service for Dayton residents. If you’re looking for a tight-knit university with a commitment to serving Christ, in the heart of the scenic Dayton, make sure to check out Bryan. 

    Fast Facts

    Location: Dayton, TN
    Denominational Affiliation: Nondenominational
    Enrollment: 1,550 (undergrad and grad) 

    Tuition: $26,800 (annual)
    Room & Board: $7,500 (annual)

    For more information, visit bryan.edu

  • tennessee christian colleges, lee university tennessee

    5. Lee University

    Lee University has continued to earn top rankings in a number of areas. According to their fast facts on their website, “Lee continues in the “top tier” of the 2020 “Best Colleges” edition of U.S. News & World Report and has appeared in four specialty rankings: “A+ For B Students,” “Best Value School,” “Best Colleges for Veterans,” and “Best Colleges for Undergraduate Teaching.”

    The NCAA II school seeks to integrate biblical truth into all areas of study, through a well-rounded liberal arts education. Lee also places a heavy emphasis on equal opportunity for all students of all backgrounds to receive an education. According to their website, “Lee has traditionally served many first-generation college students (41%), and 42% of students are from low-income families. Females represent 66% of undergraduates students, 13% are minority, and 3% are international. The university’s adult online division enrolls 802 non-traditional students and 80 students are enrolled at one of three international locations.”

    From the numerous academic, athletic, and extracurricular programs, as well as several accolades, Lee seems to be checking all the boxes in terms of excellent Christian schools found in Tennessee. 

    Photo Credit: leeuniversity.edu

    Fast Facts

    Location: Cleveland, TN
    Denominational Affiliation: Church of God
    Enrollment: 5,189 (undergrad and grad) 

    Tuition: $17,690 (annual)
    Room & Board: $11,860 (annual)

    For more information, visit leeuniversity.edu

    tennessee christian colleges, milligan college tennessee

    Photo Credit: cappex.com

    6. Milligan College

    This small college, located in the heart of the tri-city area has the best of both worlds. A picturesque campus and a close location to local city life. They boast of several accreditations, 40 student clubs and organizations, and in the past 10 years have won 50 athletic conference titles. In addition to the number of extracurriculars, this school places a heavy emphasis on three areas: Scholarship, Faith, and Community. After all, what is a Christian college if it doesn’t focus on all three of these areas? 

    Milligan is nationally recognized in several areas, especially being in the top 15% of colleges that are military friendly. Founded in the 19th century, this college has just about everything a student could look for in a tight-knit community as well as the most “bang for your buck” price, as the school has been nationally awarded as being such. 

    Fast Facts:

    Location: Milligan College, TN
    Denominational Affiliation: Church of Christ
    Enrollment: 1,332 (undergrad and grad) 

    Tuition: $33,700 (annual)
    Room & Board: $11,190 (annual)

    For more information, visit milligan.edu

  • tennessee christian colleges, union university tennessee

    7. Union University 

    Ranked #1 here as the best Christian College/University in the South, Union University has a whopping 100+ areas of study for students. They pull in students for 48 states and 15 different countries. One hundred percent of incoming freshmen received financial aid.

    They have received major recognition in U.S. News and World Report, Princeton Review, College Choice, and those are just the tip of the iceberg. One of the University’s core values is to be excellence-driven, and even at first glance, they seem to achieve that. 

    They also have a number of university sites scattered throughout Tennessee for the students who can’t live on the Jackson main campus. Make sure to check out their website. They seem to be hitting the ground running in all areas. 

    Photo Credit: niche.com

    Fast Facts

    Location: Milligan Jackson, TN
    Denominational Affiliation: Tennessee Baptist Convention
    Enrollment: 3,377 undergrad and grad) 

    Tuition: $32,610 (annual)
    Room & Board: $10,080 (annual)

    For more information, visit uu.edu

    tennessee christian colleges, tennessee christian unniversities, trevecca university

    Photo Credit: trevecca.edu

    8. Trevecca Nazarene University

    Also located in the heart of Nashville, Trevecca is dedicated to holistic education. They want their students to be well rounded in all areas from their spiritual walk to their academics. Students can explore 73 bachelor programs, and the University also offers classes at two satellite campuses.

    More than 25,000 students have graduated from here since it was founded in 1901 and there are 9 campus ministries, 47 chapel opportunities, and an annual mission trip the students can experience each year. 

    Fast Facts

    Location: Milligan Nashville, TN
    Denominational Affiliation: Nazarene
    Enrollment: 3,927 undergrad and grad) 

    Tuition: $25,598 (annual)
    Room & Board: $8,400 (annual)

    For more information, visit trevecca.edu

  • tennessee christian colleges, tennessee christian universities

    9. Carson Newman University

    Similar to other colleges on this list, there is no shortage of rankings for this college. This University, founded in the mid-1800s, is just 30 minutes away from Knoxville. Students can enroll in one of 50 majors and 11 graduate degrees. 

    Not only can students explore 70+ activities and clubs on campus, but the University also has a high retention rate of freshmen coming back for the next year. The school succinctly states their mission on their website, “Our mission as Christian educators is to help our students reach their full potential as educated citizens and worldwide servant-leaders.” 

    Photo Credit: cappex.com

    Fast Facts:

    Location: Jefferson City, TN
    Denominational Affiliation: Baptist
    Enrollment: 2,725 undergrads and graduate) 

    Tuition: $27,900 (annual)
    Room & Board: $8,630 (annual)

    For more information, visit cn.edu

    tennessee christian colleges, tennessee christian universities

    Photo Credit: niche.com

    10. Belmont University 

    One of the first things you may notice about this University is its large enrollment size, especially for a Christian college. But the wow-factor doesn’t end there. Belmont has been labeled “the most innovative” university, students can explore 130+ academic programs to find ways to help their passions meet their love for Jesus.

    Almost 1,000 students studied abroad last year, and this is one of the fastest-growing Christian universities in the United States. They have a strong vision for conservation and sustainability, and because it lives in the heart of Nashville, the music capital of the United States, there are 500+ student performances each year. 

    Fast Facts:

    Location: Nashville, TN
    Denominational Affiliation: Nondenominational
    Enrollment: 8,400 (undergrad and grad) 

    Tuition: $34,310 (annual)
    Room & Board: $12,120 (annual)

    For more information, visit belmont.edu


    Hope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. and a graduate of Taylor University's professional writing program. More than 600 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer's Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her column "Hope's Hacks," tips and tricks to avoid writer's block, reaches 6,000+ readers weekly and is featured monthly on Cyle Young's blog. Her modern-day Daniel, Blaze, (Illuminate YA) Den (releasing July 2020), Dear Hero (releasing September 2020), and Dear Henchman (releasing 2021)  Find out more about her here.