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### Top Christian Colleges and Universities in the United States

With a rich religious heritage, some of the world’s premier faith-based institutions of higher education are situated in the United States.

While not an exhaustive compilation of the approximately 600 Christian colleges across the U.S., here are a few notable universities.

Wheaton College

Established by abolitionists in 1860, Wheaton College, situated in the suburbs of Chicago, holds a distinguished status among American Christian colleges.

The institution places a strong emphasis on the fusion of faith and academia, boasting an alumni network that includes prominent figures in the American evangelical sphere. Offering over 40 majors, popular fields of study at Wheaton encompass business/managerial economics, psychology, and biology.

Wheaton College, nestled in the suburbs of Chicago, has a venerable legacy within the American evangelical community.(Getty Images)

Westmont College

Nestled in the suburbs of Santa Barbara, California, Westmont College is a private liberal arts institution with an undergraduate enrollment of 1,300, set against the backdrop of the Santa Ynez Mountains.

With 26 majors on offer, Westmont College provides off-campus programs, with a majority of students opting to partake in experiences such as the Europe semester, the England semester, Westmont in Mexico, and Westmont in Istanbul.

Queen of Jordan at Westmont College

The queen of Jordan participates in a peace rally at Westmont College.(Getty Images)

Taylor University

Dating back to 1846, Taylor University stands as one of the oldest Christian educational institutions in the United States.

Located in Upland, Indiana, the university accommodates 1,800 undergraduate students, offering a selection of 100 undergraduate programs and 61 majors, including disciplines like education, business, new media, and exercise science.

Taylor University also extends certain graduate programs, such as a master of business administration and a master of environmental science, alongside its unique study abroad initiatives in Ecuador and Ireland.

Calvin University

Founded in 1876 by the Christian Reformed Church in North America, Calvin University, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, originated as a seminary.

Currently hosting 3,200 students and boasting over 300 academic staff members, the university is renowned for its comprehensive core curriculum, mandatory for all students. This curriculum encompasses four core components: foundations, competencies & skills, knowledge & understanding, and cross-disciplinary integrations.

The academic journey at Calvin University culminates in a capstone course during the senior year, drawing upon concepts from the preceding three years.

Messiah University

Established in 1909 by the Brethren in Christ Church, Messiah University is situated in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, spanning a 375-acre campus and accommodating 2,500 undergraduate students, supported by 173 full-time academic faculty members.

With a repertoire of over 150 undergraduate majors and an array of study abroad opportunities, Messiah University gained national attention during the 2008 presidential campaign for hosting the Compassion Forum, where candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton engaged in discussions on faith and politics.

Deeply rooted in tradition, Messiah University features a unique ritual known as “creeking,” involving the ceremonial tossing of recently engaged students or individuals celebrating their birthdays into the Yellow Breeches Creek by their peers.

College of the Ozarks

Located in Point Lookout, Missouri, the College of the Ozarks stands as a non-denominational Christian institution founded in 1906.

Home to an undergraduate student body of 1,400 pursuing 30 different academic majors, the college distinguishes itself through its tuition-free model.

In a typical year, only 400 students out of more than 4,000 applicants are admitted.

Instead of tuition fees, students engage in a work program, and the college relies on philanthropic contributions. Termed “Hard Work U,” the institution mandates students to work 15 hours per week during the academic term and 40 hours weekly during breaks.

While not suitable for all, the emphasis on labor and character development has garnered popularity, with competitive admission rates resulting from the affordability model.

Bethel University

Located in Arden Hills, Minnesota, Bethel University offers a diverse array of academic pursuits, including 106 majors, 43 minors, and 11 pre-professional programs, serving a student body of 2,800 undergraduates.

The university is distinguished by its university hymn and daily morning prayer chapel service, along with its Covenant for Life Together pact that governs student behavior concerning matters of faith and personal ethics.

Gordon College

Situated in Wenham, Massachusetts, in the northern outskirts of Boston, Gordon College accommodates a student body of 1,500.

In 2020, the institution announced a 33% reduction in tuition fees, underscoring the importance of affordable Christian education and the success of its Faith Rising capital campaign. Gordon College provides 27 majors, 42 concentrations, 11 interdisciplinary programs, and offers graduate degrees in education and music.

Students at Biola walking to class

Biola University is positioned in La Mirada, California. (Getty Images)

Biola University

Founded in 1908, Biola University is a non-denominational evangelical institution located in La Mirada, California.

With a student body comprising 3,600 undergraduates, close to 2,000 graduate students, and a faculty roster of 475, the university delivers 47 undergraduate majors and 80 concentrations. Irrespective of their chosen field of study, all students are required to complete 30 hours of Bible courses.

Ouachita Baptist University

Affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, Ouachita Baptist University, located in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, caters to 1,700 undergraduate students and employs 109 full-time faculty members. The university derives its name from the nearby Ouachita River, forming the eastern boundary of the campus.

Liberty University

Established in 1971, Liberty University stands as the largest Christian university globally. Nestled on a sprawling 7,000-acre campus in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Lynchburg, Virginia, this private Christian institution offers an extensive array of over 300 undergraduate and graduate programs across 16 schools.

In recent times, Liberty University has emerged as a frontrunner in online education, providing numerous online bachelor’s programs in Christian studies for students seeking a faith-based degree.

The university’s motto, “Knowledge Aflame,” epitomizes its commitment to delivering a top-tier education grounded in Christian principles.

Additional Christian universities across the United States

  • Texas Christian University
  • California Baptist University
  • Cedarville University
  • Andrews University
  • Dordt University
  • Baylor University
  • William Carey University
  • St. Olaf College
  • Mississippi College
  • Pepperdine University
  • Sewanee, The University of the South
  • Augustana University
  • Point Loma Nazarene University
  • Southern Methodist University
  • Hendrix College
  • The Master’s University
  • Union University
  • Harding University
  • Lipscomb University
  • John Brown University
  • Ohio Northern University
  • Hope College
  • Point Loma Nazarene University

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David Unsworth reports on Latin America. You can follow David Unsworth on Twitter @LatinAmerUpdate