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February 10, 2009 / compassioninpolitics

Top Christian Colleges and Universities

Best Christian Colleges and Universities in America

To my knowledge there are on formal rankings of just Christian colleges and universities. Criteria to consider when choosing a Christian university:

• Overall academic ranking of the university in nationally recognized publications
• Specific department ranking and quality of professors teaching and studying in your major
• Christian and spiritual life on Campus
• Preferred location or geography
• Financial aid and your budgetary needs
• Extra-curricular programs offered
• Where you feel led to live and learn

Probably two of the most prominent Christian colleges and Universities are Wheaton College located in Illinois and Pepperdine located in Malibu, CA. I’ve also included a list below of respected Christian colleges and universities.

Wheaton College
501 College Avenue
Wheaton, Illinois 60187-5593
(630) 752-5000

Wheaton Ranking and Evaluation: See the Wheaton profile at Colleges that Change Lives and US News and World Report where it was ranked 56 amongst all schools

Pepperdine
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263 United States
Telephone Number: (310) 456-7000

Pepperdine Ranking and Evaluation: Pepperdine was also ranked 56 and in Tier 1 amongst all colleges and universities by US News and World Report. (It appears Pepperdine and Wheaton tied for 56 according to US News) You may also be interested in Pepperdines overall stats as reported in the Princeton Review.

David Lipscomb University
One University Park Drive
Nashville, TN 37204-3951
615.966.1000
1800.333.4358

David Lipscomb Ranking and Evaluation: US News and World report ranked David Lipscomb as one of the best colleges and universities in the Southeast.

Biola University
13800 Biola Ave.
La Mirada, CA 90639
1-562-903-6000

Biola Ranking and Evaluation: Biola was ranked on several factors by US News and World Report.

Other Top Christian Colleges and Universitites

Abilene Christian University
122 McGlothlin Campus Center
ACU Box 29000
Abilene, Texas 79699 United States
Telephone Number: (800) 460-6228

Baylor University
Waco, Texas 76798
1-800-BAYLOR-U

Oklahoma Christian
2501 East Memorial Road
Oklahoma City, OK 73136-1100 United States
Telephone Number: (405) 425-5000 or (800) 877-5010

Texas Christian
2800 S. University Dr.
Fort Worth, Texas 76129
817.257.7000

Freed-Hardeman University
158 East Main
Henderson, TN 38340 United States
Telephone Number: (901) 989-6000

Harding University
Harding University
915 E. Market Avenue
Searcy, Arkansas 72149 United States
Telephone Number: (501) 279-4000

Belmont University
1900 Belmont Boulevard.
Nashville, TN 37212-3757
615-460-6785

Patrick Henry College
One Patrick Henry Circle
Purcellville, VA 20132
Phone: (540) 338-1776
Fax: (540) 338-8707

The folks at About.com also recommend Wheaton, Bethel, Azusa, and other christian colleges and universities in their rankings. You may also want to check out the National Association of Christian Colleges and Universities and their member directory of 111 Christian colleges and universities.

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51 Comments

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  1. benintn / Feb 10 2009 9:46 pm

    There are several I’d change and/or add to the list. Goshen, Calvin, Seattle Pacific, Biola, Eastern, Gordon, and others come to mind…

  2. Shane Vander Hart / Feb 11 2009 3:45 am

    Yeah who came up with that list?

    I’ve never even heard of David Lipscomb University.

    The only three that I would say definitely yeah would be Wheaton, Pepperdine, and Biola.

  3. compassioninpolitics / Feb 11 2009 2:55 pm

    Thanks for all your suggestions. David Lipscomb is big in the Southeast. It was ranked in US News and World Report.

  4. jerry / Feb 11 2009 10:29 pm

    Wheaton, Biola, Pepperdine, I know these 3 and they fight ardently against equality for gay people. They and the people in them hate gay people.

  5. compassioninpolitics / Feb 11 2009 11:30 pm

    Jerry,

    I’m sorry you have that opinion. I think thats a misanalysis of what is happening. They might think it is a sin, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love gay people based on their perspective of the Bible. Second, its an awful broad generalization

    Thanks for adding your perspective to the discussion.

    Take care,
    Nathan

  6. Don James Gonzales / Feb 17 2009 9:51 pm

    Hi ,thanks for this great info anything on mobilizing compassionate young people to fight the fairness doctrine by directly seeking ways to love its supporters .aclj.org and twitter.com/jordansekulo.

    thanks,
    Don

  7. leanna jackson / Feb 19 2009 6:51 am

    wow, i never knew pepperdine was a christian university. amazing.

    i want to go to belmont. i’d be poor for the rest of my life, but it’d be pretty amazing.

    how did you ever get to be so resourceful?

  8. donna / Mar 1 2009 6:50 pm

    what do you know about Taylor Universtiy in Indiana and Lee University in Cleveland, TN

    • Keith / Oct 26 2010 11:27 pm

      Lee University is a great school; unfortunately a boring town.
      You really see that they put God first yet when my son & I checked out Belmont, they never prayed or mentioned God in any of the sessions.

      • compassioninpolitics / Oct 28 2010 2:34 pm

        Keith,

        I understand some of your hesitancy with Belmont, as I have friends that share a similar skepticism. I think Belmont made that move to appeal to a larger population.

        I can’t say I’ve spent much time on campus at Belmont, but have spent a lot of time at a local Belmont hangout doing work. I sense some of the student body is quite passionate about their faith–and that if you were a Christian on campus that it would be easy to find a group that shared your faith and passion.

        One thing to think about is asking admissions officers how faith issue effect the student body composition, the professor hiring decisions, as well as the various opportunities for people of faith to engage on campus and off. To me, these are questions that are important wherever–in terms of higher education and specifically Christian higher education–that you might choose to invest your time or resources.

  9. Andrew Carpenter / Mar 29 2009 5:34 pm

    I graduated from Oneida Baptist Institute in Kentucky In 1997. I never went to college though, because I went straght to work in the car buisness and soon owned my own buisness by the time I was 20. The busness is no longer there!I regret not going to college, and would like to go to a good christian college to further my education and relationship with the Lord. I do not have the money to pay for school, but I am hoping that there is a work program on campus of some sort to help with the tuition. Please help with any informaton. Thank You.

  10. compassioninpolitics / Mar 30 2009 2:10 am

    There are scholarships of all types. I suggest talking to the financial aid offices of various universities to find the best fit.

    I would go ahead and pick up a FAFSA form and fill it out so they can determine your financial need.

  11. Tami Peel / Apr 19 2009 11:53 pm

    My sister is a straight A student and top in her class. She is second guessing Michigan State and is now considering Spring Arbor, due to her faith. Do you have any information on Spring Arbor in Michigan and the ranking of this college? Thanks

    • Rubykatherine / Aug 7 2012 9:04 pm

      Concordia University, Ann
      Arbor

  12. compassioninpolitics / Apr 20 2009 4:12 am

    Saddly, no.

    I would just google that or ask the admissions counselor what they can tell you about its ranking. The most important ranking is the departmental one, not an overall school ranking.

    Also, you could check what US News + Petersons says about the school.

    I hope that helps,
    Nathan

  13. Al / Apr 28 2009 12:30 pm

    What about Grove City College in Pennsylvania? I have heard great things about it and Taylor U. in Indiana. Where do they stand?

  14. compassioninpolitics / Apr 28 2009 11:45 pm

    I don’t have a ranking for either of those. If any readers are interested in them they are more than welcome to visit the websites.

    Thanks for adding them to the discussion of Christian college rankings!

  15. Lisa / Jun 28 2009 4:18 am

    I would mention Wake Forest University as one the the highest ranked Christian Universities in the US. Also I’ve heard good things about Baylor University in Texas.

  16. compassioninpolitics / Jun 28 2009 7:02 pm

    I will add Baylor. I didn’t realize that Wake Forest had an official connection to a religious organization, even if they had a religious founding and are called the Demon Deacons.

    Thanks Lisa…

  17. Rob / Aug 21 2009 12:37 am

    I went to George Fox University in Oregon, which ranked in the 2009-10 Forbes top 100.

  18. naomi / Oct 6 2009 2:04 am

    How was your experience at George Fox? I’m looking into a D.Ed. there.

  19. compassioninpolitics / Oct 6 2009 5:04 am

    I wish I could provide an answer. You might search for someone who got a D. Ed. there on Linked In.

  20. DeJ / Dec 24 2009 12:34 am

    I think Liberty University should have been one of the top christian universities, becasues it meets all the qualifications!!

  21. Beth / Jan 15 2010 2:04 am

    Liberty University has been my top choice for years. The students and atmosphere has definately made a great impression on me, I would recommend this school to your list.

  22. Joe / Jan 22 2010 2:39 am

    I know that Regent University also has a very good reputation as a Christian University. I would also agree with Wheaton. I have also heard very good things about Taylor University. Lastly, I believe Fuller and Oral Roberts are also good solid schools.

  23. Drew / Jan 23 2010 5:25 pm

    This is a really odd list. I would say that if you want to talk about the best Christian colleges, it might good to define what you mean by Christian. Historically Christian, Predominately Christian, and Christian in confession and missions are quite different. For example, at Wheaton, Biola, and a number of other CCCU members (cccu.org), faculty and staff have to affirm a statement of faith that outlines their personal convictions and affirming the institution’s understanding of Christianity. That doesn’t happen at Baylor, TCU or a number of the other colleges named here.

    Patrick Henry is strongly commitedly Christian (a bit conservative) but is not accredited. TCU wouldn’t say that they are Christian in the strict sense if you called and asked. Lipscomb is really only known regionally and is a bit of a reach to say they are one of the best.

  24. compassioninpolitics / Jan 23 2010 6:02 pm

    Drew,

    Your points are well taken. Thanks for sharing your insight and opinion.

    I wrote this list to aggregate a lot of Christian universities all in one place. I guess the list is around 10 to 12 now.

    I hoped that this could be a place where people discussed these issues as well–and to that end its been successful. It was never meant to be a be all end all list–but rather a starting point and a starting point for research for research into the best Christian schools.

    Secondarily, I wrote the list to combat the online Christian universities–which I seem to remember dominated the search results.

    Unfortunately, my knowledge is slightly restricted by my geography–so it is more East Coast-centric. Hopefully, more people will add more comments about East, West, and Midwestern Christian universities.

    Each university has its own strengths. I think that Belmont, Pepperdine, and many of the others are making strides forward and developing real strength sets in particular industry sectors.

    If I had to choose between those offered–I would probably pick one of the California or Texas options.

    As I look for PhD programs in my arena, I will probably be forced to look outside this perview. I just hope the list is helpful and informative.

    Thanks as always,
    Nathan

  25. Nana / Feb 10 2010 9:41 pm

    hi,
    im a junior in high school and have never really given thought to a christian college. recently though ive taken it into conideration alot. im not really sure what to do. i want to go to a christian college because though ive been christian for as long as i can remember i feel i need o go to christian college in order to keep my life focused on god but the thing about a non-religious affiliated college is that theres so much more diversity. i love being able to talk to ppl with different beliefs, even atheists. it is very stimulating to me and i cant imagine going somehwhere where everyone feels the same on a subject. and sometimes i feel i wouldnt fit anyway. though i believe being gay is a sin i do feel they should hav teir rights.
    what do i do? suggestions?

  26. Matt / Feb 23 2010 1:36 pm

    You obviously have a skewed perspective of “best” How does a school like Taylor University in IN not make your cut? They have landed the #1 spot by U.S News and World Report in the “Best Midwest Baccalaureate Colleges” for the 3rd year in a row. They top out at least their 45 competitors in this ranking and clean up on freshmen retention, graduation rate, SAT/ACT of incoming freshmen class, Alumni giving and acceptance rate to name a few.

  27. Amber / Apr 28 2010 9:01 pm

    Liberty University is the world’s largest Christian University. They have over 60 accredited programs and their distance education division offers more than 40 programs and 90 areas of specialization.

  28. keli / Jul 29 2010 8:16 pm

    I put in my vote for Liberty!

  29. Mengaw Yihunie / Aug 7 2010 3:12 pm

    I am insearch of a christian college for higher studies in change management or social transformation. I also want sponsors for my studies.

  30. Kaleigh Carlson / Aug 10 2010 7:24 pm

    I was looking at Azusa Pacific…any information about that school?

    • Keith / Oct 26 2010 11:38 pm

      Azusa is a great school to. Typical Southern California type school; extremely nice weather; about 9,000 students. There are many liberal leaning Christians there but you don’t get that feeling from the professors. The music program is outstanding; and nursing program is top notch. There is a requirement to attend chapel I think twice each week; and surprisingly a few thousand per year cheaper than Biola.

  31. Catherine / Sep 27 2010 8:47 am

    Thank you for posting the sites of these Christian schools. I was wondering if they are offering doctorate degree programs, as I wanted my kids to attend schools that will cultivate not only their physical and mentally attributes but also the spiritual aspect of their life. I am not against other schools who are not offering religion, but having being brought up in a Christian school myself, I want my kids to feel spiritually enrich as I cannot be with them twenty four hours straight. I cannot safeguard them all the time what is important is that they are spiritually enrich.

  32. Clare / Oct 15 2010 7:50 am

    Cool blog by the way, I was looking at your list for graduate programs in International Development but then stumbled upon this page.

    Another Mid-Western idea for schools is the University of St. Thomas in MN. I am graduating this Spring from their Catholic Studies Department which really has some incredible professors and initiatives currently going on. (Institute for Catholic Social Thought and Business, Institute on Law and Catholic thought and tradition, Institute for Catholic Leadership and the LOGOS journal “committed to exploring the beauty, truth, and vitality of Christianity”) Just an idea, and of course the program is open to anyone regardless of religious background. http://www.stthomas.edu/cathstudies/

  33. compassioninpolitics / Nov 12 2010 1:44 am

    Finally, here is a list of the members of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, which has 111 members (at time of printing in November 2010):

    http://www.cccu.org/members_and_affiliates

  34. compassioninpolitics / Dec 31 2010 3:18 am

    I should probably add Azuza Pacific, Seattle Pacific, and probably Taylor University:

    Seattle Pacific University
    3307 3rd Ave W,
    Seattle, WA 98119-1997, USA,
    206-281-2000

    http://www.spu.edu/

    Azusa Pacific University
    PO Box 7000
    Azusa, CA 91702-7000
    Main Line: (626) 969-3434; (626) 815-6000

    http://www.apu.edu/

    Taylor University
    236 West Reade Ave.,
    Upland, IN 46989
    (800) 882-3456

    http://www.taylor.edu/

    Any other suggestions for the best christian college or universities in the United States?

    This website also has rankings from Forbes & US News. Although it may be easier to look at those rankings directly. It was created by the marketing department at George Fox University.

    http://www.topchristiancolleges.org/

  35. Peter Hackbert / Jan 31 2011 1:42 pm

    You should consider Berea College in Central Kentucky.

  36. laney / Feb 7 2011 9:14 pm

    I wonder why Lee University isn’t on the list. Maybe because it’s a private Christian school? It’s a really great school and has one of the most beautiful campuses I have ever seen.

  37. JJ / Mar 5 2011 6:10 am

    What about Liberty University? What do you think of it, and where would rate it?

  38. compassioninpolitics / Mar 5 2011 9:02 pm

    JJ,

    I know some people who have been moderately satisfied with their education at Liberty. I know others who aren’t particularly happy with their education.

    Personally, its geographic isolation is difficult. I think its history is a bit polarizing. I would want to go to a school with more academic reputation and more faith-based diversity. I believe that learning from other protestants faith tradition can be helpful for Christians.

    Best of luck in your search.

  39. TT / Mar 10 2011 10:01 am

    thanks so much for the list and the comments.

    I was just wondering what your opinion is of Hope College and Calvin College in Michigan.
    How do they rank? Please reply.

    Thank You.

  40. Tara Woodward / Apr 20 2011 3:39 am

    You should at Nortwestern College in Orange City, Ia. Yes, it is a small town but has one of the best residence life program/community outreach/service opportunites in the country.

  41. Hannah Jones / Apr 26 2011 6:26 am

    Is Texas Christian University really a strong christian college? Which of the three is the best and why of TCU, Baylor, and Abilene?

  42. Anna / Sep 22 2013 10:55 pm

    Any other thoughts on Belmont University? How is it’s spiritual life? How does their business department rank?

  43. compassioninpolitics / Sep 23 2013 6:43 pm

    The Massey School, its graduate school of business is quite good. Christian universities with the best business programs according to reputation are:

    1. Pepperdine University
    2. Southern Methodist University (SMU)
    3. Texas Christian University
    4. Belmont University
    5. Abeliene

    Note this is mostly based on the reputation of their MBA program versus their undergraduate program. Also, this may assume particularly business focuses (for instance health care or accounting–where as you may want to focus on marketing, finance, or leadership).

    If you want to extend that to Catholic universities I would suggest:
    1. Notre Dame
    2. Georgetown
    3. Boston College
    I have no idea what the faith-culture-community is at those universities, however.

    ** Note the above two aren’t rankings….they are lists. I suggest researching and investigating based on those lists.

    Hopefully someone can speak to Belmont’s spiritual tenor.

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