The study of biology, biological and biomedical sciences is truly a study of God’s creation at close range. All nature points to the Divine source of life, and the more closely it is studied, the more wonderful and majestic God is discovered to be. Scientific endeavors are not the exclusive arena of secular schools. The schools included on this list are deliberately Christian in their focus and seek God’s wisdom and glory in their scientific endeavors. The following finalists are our top ten biology, biological and biomedical sciences degree programs at Christian colleges in 2018.
The methodology used for this ranking included reviewing relevant data related to biology degrees as well as more general information. These data points include the number of degrees offered within the field of biology (and related), student/faculty ratio, exclusivity (admission rate), retention rate, graduation rate, availability (and coverage) of financial aid and net cost. After compiling these elements (with equal weight), a short list was created and further reviewed. Ties and/or close scores were resolved by considering the number of specific degrees within the field and overall net cost.
10. Lee University
Lee University is located in Cleveland, Tennessee, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains not far from Chattanooga and near the Ocoee River. In 1918, the Church of God of Cleveland, TN began a small Bible institute. The school later became Lee College, with a Bible college and junior college on its current site, in 1948. In 1997, Lee made the transition from college to a liberal arts university. According to the school’s mission statement, “Lee is a Christian institution which… seek[s] to provide education that integrates biblical truth as revealed in the Holy Scriptures with truth discovered through the study of arts and sciences and in the practice of various professions . . . The foundational purpose of all educational programs at Lee is to develop within the student’s knowledge, appreciation, understanding, ability, and skills which will prepare them for responsible Christian living in a complex world.”
Lee University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and is approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Degree programs within the College of Arts & Sciences include: biochemistry; biological science; and health science. The School of Nursing offers a traditional track BSN program. The philosophy of education at Lee University includes “teachers, students, and the creative engagement of the two. Furthermore, a Christian philosophy of education presupposes the integration of faith and learning.” Additionally, the learning experience at Lee University includes the development of critical thinking skills and the challenge of creative thought issuing from and empowered by a Christ-centered approach to education. This is the primary distinction within the field of scientific study that separates Christian education from the secular academic world.
Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry
Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry (Pre-Medical, Pre-Dental, Pre-Vet, or Pre-Pharmacology Emphasis)
Bachelor of Science in Biological Science
Bachelor of Science in Biological Science (Pre-Medical, Pre-Dental, Pre-Vet, or Pre-Pharmacology Emphasis)
Bachelor of Science in Biological Science (Teacher Licensure, Grades 7 – 12)
Bachelor of Science in Health Science
Bachelor of Science in Health Science (Pre-Physical Therapy Emphasis)
Bachelor of Science in Health Science (Pre-Physician Assistant Emphasis)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
9. Biola University
Biola University sits as an oasis amid the development of La Mirada between Los Angeles and Anaheim, California. Close to La Mirada Community Park and La Mirada Creek, Biola’s campus offers open spaces and footpaths where few exist. The contemporary buildings offer a contrast to the nearby high density bedroom community and provide a respite from the bustle of local cities to foster an atmosphere of learning. The school was started as the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (B-I-O-L-A) in 1908 by Lyman Stewart (founder of Union Oil) and Reverend TC Horton. The institute expanded and included a Bible College by 1949; in 1959, the school moved to its current location. Biola became a university in 1981 and continues to grow year by year. According to the school, the mission of Biola University “is biblically centered education, scholarship and service—equipping men and women in mind and character to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Biola University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission and has program accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (2007) and the State of California Board of Registered Nursing (1966). Among the many degree programs available, Biola’s School of Science, Technology and Health offers: B.S. in Biochemistry; B.S. in Biological Science; B.S. in Biological Science, Secondary Instruction and B.S. in Human Biology. The school also offers a B.S. in Nursing, too. Biola’s biological science programs offer you the knowledge and skills needed to study and appreciate God’s creation at the organismal and bio-molecular level, preparing you for a range of health-related careers.
B.S. in Biochemistry
B.S. in Biological Science
B.S. in Biological Science, Secondary Instruction
B.S. in Human Biology
B.S. in Human Biology
B.S. in Nursing
8. Houghton College
Houghton College is located in Houghton, New York in the Genesee Valley on 1300 acres of rugged, rural forested terrain near the Genesee River and Swift Hill State Forest. The campus sits on the Allegheny Plateau, on the site of the former Caneadea Indian Reservation (early 1800s). Close by are the Portage Falls and Letchworth State Park, a popular (and notable) State Park. Founded in 1883 by Willard Houghton, a local farmer who felt a call to “fix up the world” for Jesus Christ, Houghton College was launched under the care of the Wesleyan Methodist Connection. The College received its permanent charter in 1927; it achieved accreditation in 1935. According to the College’s mission statement, “Houghton College provides an academically challenging, Christ-centered education in the liberal arts and sciences to students from diverse traditions and economic backgrounds and equips them to lead and labor as scholar-servants in a changing world.”
Houghton is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Of the over 45 bachelor’s degrees offered by Houghton, 7 are biology-related. They are: biochemistry; biology; biology – environmental emphasis; biology – forestry studies; as well as pre-med, pre-nursing and pre-veterinary programs. According to the school, whether you wish to pursue research opportunities in public health or molecular biology, engage in a professional health care career as a doctor, dentist or physical therapist, or find your calling as a science teacher or lab technician, a Houghton degree in biology will prepare you well. Statistically speaking, one year after graduation, 100% of biology majors are employed or in graduate school. The environment at Houghton is more than just a beautiful, rural location. Houghton takes your unique blend of interests, talents, and abilities and helps you translate them into meaningful work that God has for you to do in the world.
Biology – Environmental Emphasis
Biology – Forestry Studies
7. Emmanuel College
Emmanuel College is set in Franklin Springs, Georgia on a spacious, 150 acre rural campus amid the mountains of northeastern Georgia, not far from the Chattahoochee National Forest between Atlanta and Charlotte. George Floyd Taylor opened the doors of Franklin Springs Institute in 1919. The school shut down temporarily in 1931 due to the Depression, but reopened 2 years later as a high school and junior college. The school was given its current name in 1939, although the high school was discontinued in 1963. According to the College mission statement, “Emmanuel College is a Christ-centered liberal arts institution that strives to prepare students to become Christlike disciples who integrate faith, learning and living for effective careers, scholarship and service.” Emmanuel College is dedicated to intellectual, physical and spiritual growth within the context of a liberal arts education and an environment of Christian concern. A genuine devotion to the Creator enhances the acquisition of knowledge, for “a true understanding of all things must involve knowledge of His revealed purposes.”
Emmanuel College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and offers a wide variety of degrees. Among the Biology-related programs are: BS in Biology; BS in Biology (Pre-Pharmacy); BS in Biology (Pre-Professional Studies) – Pre-Med, Pre-Dental, etc. and BS in Biology (Pre-Veterinary), all in the Natural Sciences Department. The study of natural sciences is a study of creation – all of which point to the Creator. From the school’s website: “We further believe a college experience in a Christian environment will enable students to develop lifelong spiritual and social values. We believe all truth is God’s truth, and opportunities should be provided students to integrate faith and learning and synthesize their understanding of God’s purpose in Christ with one’s view of the worth of persons and worth of the scientific method in improving life.”
BS in Biology
BS in Biology (Pre-Pharmacy)
BS in Biology (Pre-Professional Studies) – Pre-Med, Pre-Dental, etc.
BS in Biology (Pre-Veterinary)
Kinesiology and Sports Management Department
BS in Kinesiology
BS in Kinesiology (Pre-Occupational Therapy)
BS in Kinesiology (Pre-Physical Therapy)
6. Westmont College
Westmont College is located in Montecito, California, not far Santa Barbara, on 125 acres of suburban splendor near Los Padres National Forest. The school was founded as the Bible Missionary Institute in 1937 by Ruth Kerr, owner of the Kerr Glass Manufacturing Company. It became the Western Bible College in 1939 and then was given its current moniker in 1940. In 1945, the campus was moved to its present location. According to the history of the school, “Wallace Emerson, the first president, envisioned an institution that rivaled the best colleges nationwide, and he set the standard for academic rigor and excellence that still applies.” According to the school’s mission statement, “Westmont College is an undergraduate, residential, Christian, liberal arts community serving God’s kingdom by cultivating thoughtful scholars, grateful servants and faithful leaders for global engagement with the academy, church and world.”
Westmont College is accredited by the Senior College Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Among its varied degree programs are several undergraduate degrees related to biology, including: Biology – B.A., B.S. – Cellular and Molecular Biology, Ecology, Evolution & Natural History and General; B.A., B.S. in Biochemistry; Biology in Secondary Education as well as programs in Pre-Med, Pre-Nursing, Pre-Osteopathy and Pre-Pharmacy.
BIOLOGY – B.A., B.S.
Cellular and Molecular Biology
Ecology, Evolution & Natural History
CHEMISTRY – B.A., B.S.
KINESIOLOGY – B.S.
Movement and Exercise Science
Movement and Medical Science
5. Liberty University
Liberty University, in beautiful Lynchburg, sits on 7,000 acres near the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. It is the nation’s largest private non-profit university and the largest evangelical Christian university in the world. The school was founded by Jerry Falwell in 1971 as Lynchburg Baptist College. The school changed its name to Liberty Baptist College in 1976 and finally to Liberty University in 1984 with an expansion in academic offerings. According to the school’s mission statement, “God, the infinite source of all things, has shown us truth through scripture, nature, history, and above all, in Christ. Persons are spiritual, rational, moral, social, and physical, created in the image of God . . . Education as the process of teaching and learning, involves the whole person, by developing the knowledge, values, and skills which enable each individual to change freely. Thus it occurs most effectively when both instructor and student are properly related to God and each other through Christ.”
Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges as well as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (AOA-COCA). The University offers several biology-related degrees, including: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (B.S.); Biology: General Biology (B.S.); Biomedical Sciences (B.S.); Biopsychology (B.S.); Cell and Molecular Biology (B.S.); Environmental Biology (B.S.); Nursing (B.S.N.); Nursing (R.N. to B.S.N); Zoo & Wildlife Biology (B.S.) – Residential and Zoology (B.S.). According to the school, “Through its residential and online programs, services, facilities, and collaborations, the University educates men and women who will make important contributions to their workplaces and communities, follow their chosen vocations as callings to glorify God, and fulfill the Great Commission.” It is this foundation that allows Liberty to seek the Creator through the study of creation.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (B.S.)
Biology: General Biology (B.S.)
Biomedical Sciences (B.S.)
Cell and Molecular Biology (B.S.)
Environmental Biology (B.S.)
Nursing (R.N. to B.S.N)
Zoo & Wildlife Biology (B.S.) – Residential
4. Messiah College
Messiah College is situated on a beautiful suburban campus in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania not far from the Capital City of Harrisburg. Founded in 1909 as Messiah Bible School and Missionary Training Home by the Brethren in Christ Church, the school relocated to Grantham in 1911. It became a Junior College by 1921, and once 4-year programs were offered, the name was updated to Messiah College in 1951. Today the school is non-denominational, but it has not strayed far from early influences of Anabaptist, Pietist and Wesleyan holiness movements. The school also had a campus in Philadelphia in partnership with Temple University up until 2014. According to the school’s mission statement, “Our mission is to educate men and women toward maturity of intellect, character and Christian faith in preparation for lives of service, leadership and reconciliation in church and society.”
Messiah College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education as well as The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Accreditation Commission for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The College offers a multitude of biology-related degrees, including Biochemistry; Biology B.S.; Biology for Environmental Science Majors; Biomedical Biology; Biomedical Engineering; Biopsychology B.S.; Cellular Biology; Ecological Biology; General Biology; Molecular Biology B.S.; Nursing BSN; Pre-Med (Allopathic–M.D.); Pre-Med (Osteopathic–D.O.) and Pre-Physician Assistant. According to the school, “We don’t just serve because it’s the ‘right thing to do’; we serve because God calls us to open our hearts to the poor and needy and to work for justice wherever injustice prevails. We learn to lead believing that Jesus is our ultimate example of leading with compassion, respect and love. And, because of our faith, we are compelled to build bridges of understanding and peace to demonstrate the reconciling love of God to others.”
Biochemistry B.S. B.A.
Biochemistry ACS-Certified B.S.
Biochemistry B.A. with Doctor of Pharmacy B.A.
Biology for Environmental Science Majors
Molecular Biology B.S.
3. Bethel University
Bethel University is located in Arden, Minnesota just outside of Minneapolis on 200 acres of woodland along the shores of Lake Valentine. Bethel began in 1871 as a Baptist Seminary for Swedish immigrants in Chicago. In 1931, after having merged with Bethel Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota (in 1914), the Seminary changed to Bethel Junior College. In 1947, the school expanded its academic offerings and was known as Bethel College and Seminary. After a move to its current location in 1972, the school again expanded and changed its name to Bethel University in 2004. According to the school’s mission statement, “Boldly informed and motivated by the Christian faith, Bethel University educates and energizes men and women for excellence in leadership, scholarship, and service. We prepare graduates to serve in strategic capacities to renew minds, live out biblical truth, transform culture, and advance the gospel.”
Bethel University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission—North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and offers a wide variety of degrees. Biology-related degrees include: Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Bachelor of Arts in Biology (B.A.); Bachelor of Science in Biology; Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science; Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies; Bachelor of Science in Life Science Education; Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience; Pre-Med – B.S. in Biology; Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Biology Minor.
B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
B.A. in Biology
B.S. in Biology
B.S. in Environmental Science
B.S. in Environmental Studies
B.S. in Life Science Education
B.S. in Neuroscience
Pre-Med – B.S. in Biology
B.S. in Nursing
2. Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 as a non-profit liberal arts school by Southern Baptists. In 1951 the campus was moved from Prescott to its current home in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2004 the school was purchased by Grand Canyon Education, Inc and operated as a business (for-profit). This led to a significant growth spurt, as the student body rose from 1000 in 2008 to over 17,500 by 2017! The school spent over $150 million in renovations to the campus, including the addition of an aquatics center. Additional renovation projects included a fitness & recreation center, classroom facility and a 7500-seat arena. This also positively impacted the surrounding economy resulting in higher property values and a reduced crime rate. According to the school’s mission statement, “Grand Canyon University prepares learners to become global citizens, critical thinkers, effective communicators and responsible leaders by providing an academically challenging, values-based curriculum from the context of our Christian heritage.”
Grand Canyon University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is a State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) Participant. The University offers several biology degrees, including their Biology Emphasis Programs: Bachelor of Science in Biology for Pre-Med; Bachelor of Science in Biology for Pre-Pharmacy Degree; Bachelor of Science in Biology for Pre-Physical Therapy Degree and Bachelor of Science in Biology for Pre-PA Program. There are also Science Degrees for Education: Biology Teacher Degree and Chemistry Teacher Degree; as well as Bachelor’s in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Degree and Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering. All of this is offered in an environment that “centers on following Jesus Christ in word and in deed, and in sharing the love of Christ generously to all who participate in the life of the community . . . At GCU, we believe that right doctrine is essential and we are committed to the foundational beliefs that distinguish Christianity from other worldviews.”
B.S. in Biology for Pre-Med
B.S. in Biology for Pre-Pharmacy Degree
B.S. in Biology for Pre-Physical Therapy Degree
B.S. in Biology for Pre-PA Program
B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Degree
B.S. in Biomedical Engineering
B.S for Biology Teacher Degree
1. Grove City College
Grove City College is situated on a beautiful rural campus in Grove City, Pennsylvania, just 50 miles north of Pittsburgh. Founded in 1876 as Pine Grove Normal Academy in Grove City, the name was changed to Grove City College in 1884. While founded under devout Presbyterian doctrine, the charter states that the school is open to qualified students “without regard to religious test or belief.” Grove City enjoyed early support from Joseph Pew, founder of the Sun Oil Company (also a devout Presbyterian). During World War II, the school was used by the US Navy to participate in an Electronics Testing Program, one of the most stringent exams given during the war years. At that time, the servicemen outnumbered the civilian student body by more than 3 to 1! According to the school’s mission statement, “Grove City College equips students to pursue their unique callings through an academically excellent and Christ-centered learning and living experience distinguished by a commitment to affordability and its promotion of the Christian worldview, the foundations of free society, and the love of neighbor.”
Grove City College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and offers degrees in a wide variety of fields of study. The Biology Department offers the following degrees: B.S. in Biology; B.S. in Biology/Health; B.S. in Conservation Biology; B.S. in Molecular Biology; B.S. in Neuroscience; Biology Major Leading to 7-12 Certification in Biology and General Science, as well as a Minor in Biology. According to the Department webpage, “The Department of Biology at Grove City College prepares students to excel in top medical, graduate, and professional school programs or to begin a career in research or professional sectors . . . with an emphasis on Christ-centered academics and experiential learning, students in the Department of Biology are given the academic freedom to gain valuable research experience in the areas of cell biology, molecular biology, ecology, environmental biology, anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry.”
B.S. in Biology
B.S. in Biology/Health
B.S. in Conservation Biology
B.S. in Molecular Biology
B.S. in Neuroscience
Biology Major Leading to 7-12 Certification in Biology and General Science
Minor in Biology