50 Best Christian Colleges and Universities

Online Christian Colleges - Best Schools-01


By: OCC Staff

Deciding where to complete your post-secondary education can be a daunting task. In order to make the best determination, many factors must be considered. While net cost is a primary concern, there is much more information to be gathered and digested. Geography, philosophy of education, variety of programs and individual school statistics (e.g. admission rate, retention rate and graduation rate) play an important part in the final decision.

In order to assist in the decision process, Online Christian Colleges and Universities offers the following list of the 50 Best Christian Colleges and Universities for 2021. Schools included are deliberately Christian in their mission, values, and vision. Most provide a wide range of degree programs and offer a top-notch education. We want to be a source of valuable information to help the student and family reach a decision that is well reasoned and appropriate for the student’s aspirations and goals.

Ranking Methodology

To come up with a ranking of the very best Christian colleges and universities, we began by putting together a comprehensive list of all U.S.-based Christian institutions. We then used the following points-based system, and information from the National Center for Education Statistics and PayScale, to closely examine each school. In the event of a tie in points, the school with the lower annual tuition rate was given the higher ranking. Our 2021 ranking reflects the 50 highest point earners. 

Student/Faculty Ratio:
12:1 and lower : 5 points
13:1 to 15: 1 : 4 points
16:1 to 20:1 : 3 points
21:1 and higher : 2 points

Out-of-State Tuition Cost (per year): 
Under $10,000: 5 points
$10,001 – $20,000: 4 points
$20,001 – $30,000: 3 points
$30,001 – $40,000: 2 points
$40,001 and higher: 1 point

Overall Graduation Rate:
50% and Above: 3 points
25% – 49% : 2 points
24% and below : 1 point

20-Year Net Return on Investment (ROI): 
10% and above: 5 points
8% – 9%: 4 points
6% – 7%: 3 points
4% – 5%: 2 points
3% and lower: 1 point

Evangel University

evangel-universitySpringfield, Missouri

Tuition: $24,327
Evangel University is a private, comprehensive, Christian university located in Springfield, Missouri. While affiliated with the Assemblies of God denomination, Evangel University attracts students from a range of Christian denominational backgrounds and faith traditions. Established in 1955, Evangel University was the first Pentecostal liberal arts college to be chartered in United States. It’s accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. Evangel University offers over 100 academic programs through its various colleges and departments.

Biola University

La Mirada, California

Tuition: $41,976
Points: 10
Biola University is a private evangelical university located in La Mirada, California. Undergraduate students are required to complete 30 credit hours of Bible and theology classes, qualifying most for a minor in Biblical and Theological Studies. Biola is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Biola University is comprised of several schools, including Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Education, and Engineering, to name but three. 

Covenant College

Lookout Mountain, Georgia

Tuition: $35,640
Points: 10
Covenant College is a private Christian liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).  It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Covenant College offers a wide range of academic programs including such areas as:

  • Biblical & Theological Studies
  • Business
  • Community Development
  • Computer Science
  • International Studies

It also has a variety of pre-professional programs in the areas of:

  • law
  • medicine
  • nursing
  • physical therapy.

Milligan University

Milligan, Tennessee

Tuition: $34,650
Points: 10
Milligan University is a private, Christian liberal arts university located in the mountains of upper east Tennessee. It’s affiliated with nondenominational Christian churches. Milligan University began in 1866 as a private secondary school known as the Buffalo Male and Female Institute. Its name was changed to Milligan College in 1881, and most recently to Milligan University. It is comprised of several schools and a seminary.

Toccoa Falls College

Toccoa Falls, Georgia 

Tuition: $23,184
Points: 10
Toccoa Falls College is a private, nonprofit, Christian liberal arts college located in Toccoa, Georgia. An affiliate college of the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination, Toccoa Falls College works with many evangelical Christian groups. The College was established in 1907. It’s accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The College offers a wide range of degree programs through its several schools.

Lipscomb University

Nashville, Tennessee

Tuition: $33,424
Points: 11
Lipscomb University is a private, coeducational, liberal arts university affiliated with the Churches of Christ. It’s located in Nashville, Tennessee. Established in 1891, the University began as a pre-k through grade 12 campus school and has since grown into a top-ranked university. Lipscomb University’s principal focus is on providing quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences. It offers 145 areas of undergraduate programs. It also has several pre-professional programs and an accelerated evening and online adult degree program. At the graduate level, Lipscomb University offers 25 master’s degrees, four education specialist degrees, and three doctorate degrees in 58 fields of study.

Roberts Wesleyan College

roberts-wesleyan-collegeRochester, New York

Tuition: $32,494
Points: 11
Roberts Wesleyan College is a Christ-centered liberal arts college which offers liberal arts and professional programs. It’s located in Rochester, New York. It was established in 1869 as Chili Seminary, but in 1949 the College adopted its current name of Roberts Wesleyan College. It’s accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Roberts Wesleyan College offers 60 majors, 16 graduate programs and 11 online programs.

Hardin-Simmons University

hardin-simmons-universityAbilene, Texas

Tuition: $31,140
Points: 11
Hardin-Simmons University is a private, Baptist university located in Abilene, Texas. Established in 1891, the University has been affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas since 1941. The University is comprised of several colleges and schools, and is accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. 

Wheaton College

Wheaton, Illinois

Tuition: $37,700
Points: 12
Wheaton College is a private, residential, Christian liberal arts college and graduate school located in Wheaton, Illinois. It was established in 1860 as the Illinois Institute. Wheaton College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (North Central Association of Colleges and Schools). It offers over 40 undergraduate degree programs in the liberal arts and sciences and 14 graduate programs.

Taylor University

Upland, Indiana 

Tuition: $35,305
Points: 12
Taylor University is a private, interdenominational, evangelical Christian college located in Upland, Indiana. Established in 1846, Taylor University is one of the oldest evangelical Christian colleges in the U.S. Global engagement and service are a core of Taylor identity and experience. In one year over 450 students earned credit while participating in 32 programs in 35 countries. Students may also earn credit for participating in service-learning or cross-cultural programs. Taylor University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers 119 undergraduate majors.

Bryan College

Dayton, Tennessee

Tuition: $27,900
Points: 12
Bryan College is a Christian liberal arts college located in Dayton, Tennessee. It was chartered as William Jennings Bryan University in 1930. In 1958 the school was designated as the William Jennings Bryan College. It was shortened to Bryan College in 1993. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Bryan College offers 29 majors and three graduate programs.

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