There are a handful of choices for students who belong to the Church of Christ and are looking to pursue an education in a faith-filled environment within the United States. Among those, we have selected the 14 best schools. Students have a variety of options within the faith atmosphere, with schools spanning from one coast to the other, in small and large cities. Church of Christ colleges and universities provide many academic opportunities, from ministry to business to education, with many options in between.
1. Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA)
There are currently 47 majors, including a Religion major, offered to undergraduate students at Pepperdine University, who may then continue on to 33 Master’s programs. The graduate programs include a Master of Arts in Religion and a Master of Divinity, 15 certificate programs, and eight doctoral programs. A 12.5:1 student-faculty ratio provides opportunities for guidance across all programs.
Six international campuses are available for students seeking study abroad opportunities, and additional opportunities span six continents. Approximately 84 percent of students get direct experience in their field during their education. A year at Pepperdine totals just under $67,000 for an on-campus undergraduate student in the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences.
2. Lipscomb University (Nashville, TN)
A total of 176 options, including Theological studies and a variety of ministerial opportunities, are available for an undergraduate wishing to get a bachelor’s degree from Lipscomb University, making this institution a good fit for a broad variety of students. The 4,600 member student body is balanced with a 14:1 student-faculty ratio.
An on-campus undergraduate at Lipscomb University will spend just over $44,400 each year. Students interested in graduate studies are served with 24 Master’s programs and three doctorate programs, as well as numerous certificate programs. Lipscomb also offers an Associate’s degree to those in the Tennessee Prison for Women, and an accelerated degree for adults.[editor’s note: I live in Nashville, and trust me…you’d love it. It’s a “happening” city, with amazing food and deep culture.]
3. Oklahoma Christian University (Oklahoma City, OK)
At this 200 acre campus in the state capital, undergraduate students have a choice of 60 majors. The college of Biblical Studies offers seven choices of major for undergraduates as well as six minors. Oklahoma Christian University also offers seven Master-level graduate programs, including a Master of Divinity, of Theological Studies, and of Arts in Christian Ministry.
For undergraduates, a 14:1 student-faculty ratio reflects the opportunities for personal support available. Study abroad opportunities include Austria, Japan, and Korea, as well as a healthcare mission to Honduras, among other options. An undergraduate living on campus at Oklahoma Christian University will spend approximately $29,000 in tuition, room, and board.
4. Abilene Christian University (Abilene, TX)
With 70 majors for undergraduates, 27 Master’s degrees, and three doctoral programs in ministry, Abilene Christian University provides a wide variety of academic options to students interested in pursuing their education in a school affiliated with the Church of Christ. The fairly large university maintains a 14:1 student-faculty ratio and an average class size of 26, and offers 16 NCAA Division 1 teams and a high rate of athletic success.
For those looking to pursue theological or ministerial studies, the College of Biblical Studies offers multiple options. A year as an on-campus undergraduate costs just over $43,000 with tuition at ‘block pricing’, charging for 36 credit hours for a year, divided up at the student’s discretion between fall, spring, and summer semesters. Online studies are also available.
5. Harding University (Searcy, AR)
With over 100 majors for undergraduates, students at Harding University have a wide array of options. After graduating, students can continue their studies with 21 graduate and professional degrees from which to choose. Doctorate degrees in pharmacy, education, and ministry are offered.
A previous member of the President’s higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, students, staff, and faculty service hours totaled over 169,000. Seven international campuses on four continents allow for 40% of graduates to study abroad. A typical undergraduate will incur just over $26,000 in expenses each year. Tuition is $623 per credit hour.
6. Amridge University (Montgomery, AL)
Amridge University was one of 15 schools chosen to pilot online education programs. With such an emphasis on distance education offering online learning programs, from Associates to Doctoral, Amridge is a great option for students learning from home.
Eight Bachelor’s programs are part of the 30 online degrees available, geared primarily to the graduate level of study. While tuition is charged by the credit, a full-time undergraduate can expect to average only $8500 annually for tuition, with tuition considerations offered to first-responders and law enforcement professionals as well as the military community. Various business degrees, human development, criminal justice, ministry, and Biblical studies degrees are available to undergraduates.
7. Faulkner University (Montgomery, AL)
Offering over 70 degree programs, Faulkner University provides many options to students looking for a Church of Christ-affiliated education. There are 15 graduate degrees, both Master’s and Doctorate, and seven online degrees, which provide opportunities for study beyond an undergraduate degree.
A number of Biblical studies tracks are offered to undergraduates, and a Master’s and Doctorate in Religions and Biblical Studies are offered. Faulkner also houses a law school issuing a Juris Doctorate. A 15:1 student-faculty ratio accompanies a 10-15 student average class size to create a good learning environment. Annual tuition, room, and board comes in below $25,000 for an undergraduate student.
8. Freed-Hardeman University (Henderson, TN)
A total of 34 undergraduate majors and 17 Master’s programs, eight of which are available online, are offered by Freed-Hardman University. A Bachelor’s degree in Bible and five ministerial options of graduate programs are available to students pursing an education in religious fields.
With a 13:1 student-faculty ratio, students in the less than 2,000 member student body have the opportunity to get to know each other as well as their professors. An on-campus undergraduate at Freed-Hardman University will pay just under $30,000 annually. A secondary campus in Memphis geared toward working students offers 13 graduate degrees, including a doctorate of behavioral health and a doctorate of education.
9. Lubbock Christian University (Lubbock, TX)
Lubbock Christian University offers undergraduate students 39 programs, five of which are Biblical or ministerial. Five graduate programs are also offered at the Mastery level, with online options. Semester long internships for any major are available in Washington, D.C., and a study abroad semester in ‘Avila, Spain is offered covering core classes. Short term academic and mission trips abroad are also offered.
Eligible students can enroll in the Honors college to take more advanced core classes and receive core challenging opportunities. The 13:1 student-faculty ratio allows for students to have a more personal learning experience. A year on campus for an undergraduate at Lubbock Christian University costs about $30,000.
10. Ohio Valley University (Vienna, WV)
With a 500 member student body and 10:1 student-faculty ratio, Ohio Valley University is an exemplar of small collegiate communities. Offering 27 majors and 11 pre-professional tracks, students at this fairly small school still have several options.
Majors are offered in Bible and Ministry as well as more eclectic programs in Vocational Bible and Ministry. On-campus devotionals are offered throughout the week, and many students are also active members of local congregations. Several options are available for study abroad, and the university sees numerous mission trips, both foreign and domestic, each year. A year studying on campus at Ohio Valley University costs just under $29,000.
11. York College (York, NE)
York College offers undergraduate students 19 majors, including one in Biblical Studies, and seven pre-professional programs, as well as three online degree opportunities. Two Master’s degrees are offered on campus and online. Students can expand their horizons with a summer semester study abroad program in Vienna, Austria.
York College is, among other recognitions, a five star Champions of Character school, on Bain & Company’s ‘Most Financially Stable’ list, recognized as one of the Best Colleges for Veterans (U.S. News & World Report), and, as an added bonus, one of the 50 Most Beautiful Christian Colleges and Universities in the US. One year of tuition, room, and board for an undergraduate student living on campus at York College is approximately $53,000.
12. Austin Graduate School of Theology (Austin, TX)
Offering a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, Austin Graduate School of Theology is a small school focused on Christian education. Completion of the Bachelor’s degree may be done online, and courses are offered at a discounted rate to high school upperclassmen wishing to begin their education.
Seminars and lectures are also offered for enrichment and continuing education of ministers and those in similar roles. A year’s tuition at Austin Graduate School of Theology is just under $10,000 on campus or just under $12,000 online. Housing is not available to students through the university, so students must plan accordingly if moving to the area for their education.
13. Nations University (New Orleans, LA)
Nations University is an entirely digital university, allowing those interested in Biblical education to study from anywhere. The university offers a Bachelor of Religious Studies, a Master of Theological Studies, and a Master of Divinity, as well as a certificate program and a personal enrichment track for those not needing or seeking degrees.
Programs are self-paced without a set schedule, and each student has access to one on one assistance as needed, allowing students to fly through material they are comfortable with and slow down and focus on anything they find challenging. Regardless of how many courses are taken in a year, each Nations University student pays $1,440 annually for his or her education, and $75 in one-time fees.
14. Tennessee Bible College (Cookeville, TN)
Designed to educate students in Biblical knowledge, four programs are offered by Tennessee Bible College:
- Two-year diploma in Bible, a non-degree program
- Bachelor of Religious Education
- Master of Theology
- Doctor of Theology
Some correspondence and/or online courses are offered for those unable to study in person. Likely the smallest school on this list, ten faculty members teach all students. The total cost of a Bachelor of Religious Education, the most expensive program, is just over $10,000 for all four years, however housing and meals are not available through Tennessee Bible College, and students will need to arrange and account for these separately.