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January 10, 2011 / compassioninpolitics

Top Christian Colleges and Universities in the United States 2010 to 2011

Here is a ranking of Christian colleges which includes nationally recognized Christian Universities like Wheaton, Pepperdine, Calvin College, Biola University, Abilene Christian, and Asuza Pacific University. (as well as Texas Christian, Southern Methodist, and Belmont University which were left off the list–but ranked by Forbes) If you would like to contribute a top christian university to the list please leave a note in the comments section. I hope this list helps you in your college search–it includes a total of 31 of the top christian private universities in America. God bless. (Also, please feel free to bookmark this site…and click through to each university to learn more. Thanks for reading.)

59. Wheaton College (#1)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 59
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 103
U.S. News Rank: National Liberal Arts Tier 1
Wheaton, Illinois
Est. 1860
Denominational Affiliation: Christian nondenominational

81. Westmont College (#2)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 81
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 222
U.S. News Rank: National Liberal Arts Tier 1
Santa Barbara, California
Est. 1937
Denominational Affiliation: Christian nondenominational

134. George Fox University (#3)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 134
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 58
U.S. News Rank: National Universities Tier 1
Newberg, Oregon
Est. 1891
Denominational Affiliation: Evangelical Friends

142. Pepperdine University (#4)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 142
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 276
U.S. News Rank: National Universities Tier 1
Malibu, Calif.
Est. 1937
Denominational Affiliation: Churches of Christ

160. Gordon College (#5)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 160
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 426
U.S. News Rank: National Liberal Arts Tier 1
Wenham, Massachusetts
Est. 1889
Denominational Affiliation: non-denominational

179. Covenant College (#6)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 179
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 185
U.S. News Rank: Regional Colleges (South) Tier 1
Lookout Mountain, Georgia
Est. 1955
Denominational Affiliation: Presbyterian Church in America

209. Whitworth University (#7)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 209
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 198
U.S. News Rank: Regional Universities (West) Tier 1
Spokane, Washington
Est. 1890
Denominational Affiliation: Presbyterian Church in America

213. Houghton College (#8)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 213
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 172
U.S. News Rank: National Liberal Arts Tier 1
Houghton, New York
Est. 1883
Denominational Affiliation: Wesleyan Church

233. Oklahoma Baptist University (#9)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 233
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 109
U.S. News Rank: Regional Colleges (West) Tier 1
Shawnee, Oklahoma
Est. 1910
Denominational Affiliation: Southern Baptist Convention

235. College of the Ozarks (#10)
Forbes 10-11 rank: 235
Forbes 09-10 rank: NA
U.S. News Rank: Regional Colleges (Midwest) Tier 1
Point Lookout, Missouri
Est. 1906
Denominational Affiliation: Christian Interdenominational

258. Calvin College (#11)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 258
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 455
U.S. News Rank: National Liberal Arts Tier 1
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Est. 1876
Denominational Affiliation: Christian Reformed

268. Goshen College (#12)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 268
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 177
U.S. News Rank: National Liberal Arts Tier 1
Goshen, Indiana
Est. 1894
Denominational Affiliation: Mennonite Church USA

286. Mississippi College (#13)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 286
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 120
U.S. News Rank: Regional Universities (South) Tier 1
Clinton, Mississippi
Est. 1826
Denominational Affiliation: Southern Baptist Convention

287. Union University (#14)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 287
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 278
U.S. News Rank: Regional Universities (South) Tier 1
Jackson, Tennessee
Est. 1823
Denominational Affiliation: Southern Baptist

289. Huntington University (#15)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 289
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 97
U.S. News Rank: Regional Colleges (Midwest) Tier 1
Huntington, Indiana
Est. 1897
Denominational Affiliation: United Brethren in Christ

304. Cedarville University (#15)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 304
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 284
U.S. News Rank: Regional Colleges (Midwest) Tier 1
Cedarville, Ohio
Est. 1887
Denominational Affiliation: Baptist

316. Vanguard University of Southern California (#16)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 316
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 395
U.S. News Rank: Regional Colleges (West) Tier 1
Costa Mesa, California
Est. 1920
Denominational Affiliation: Assemblies of God

324. Biola University (#17)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 324
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 314
U.S. News Rank: National Universities Tier 1
La Mirada, California
Est. 1908

333. John Brown University (#18}
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 333
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 316
U.S. News Rank: Regional Colleges (South) Tier 1
Siloam Springs, Arkansas
Est. 1919
Denominational Affiliation: Interdenominational

335. Asbury University (#19)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 335
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 384
U.S. News Rank: National Liberal Arts Tier 1
Wilmore, Kentucky
Est. 1890
Denominational Affiliation: non-denominational

340. Dordt College (#20)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 340
Forbes 09-10 rank: NA
U.S. News Rank: Regional Colleges (Midwest) Tier 1
Sioux Center, Iowa
Est. 1955
Denominational Affiliation: Christian Reformed

365. North Greenville University (#21)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 365
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 154
U.S. News Rank: National Liberal Arts Tier 2
Tigerville, South Carolina
Est. 1892
Denominational Affiliation: Southern Baptist Convention

387. Northwestern College (#22)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 387
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 212
U.S. News Rank: Regional Colleges (Midwest) Tier 1
Orange City, Iowa
Est. 1882
Denominational Affiliation: Reformed Church in America

389. Seattle Pacific University (#23)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 389
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 451
U.S. News Rank: Regional Universities (West) Tier 1
Seattle, Washington
Est. 1891
Denominational Affiliation: Free Methodist

390. Carson-Newman College (#24)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 390
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 110
U.S. News Rank: National Liberal Arts Tier 1
Jefferson City, Tennessee
Est. 1851
Denominational Affiliation: Baptist

424. Bethel University (#25)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 424
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 229
U.S. News Rank: Regional Universities (Midwest) Tier 1
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Est. 1871
Denominational Affiliation: Converge Worldwide

428. Azusa Pacific University (#26)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 428
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 510
U.S. News Rank: National Universities Tier 1
Azusa, California
Est. 1899
Denominational Affiliation: Christian Interdenominational

435. Trinity International University (#27)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 435
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 258
U.S. News Rank:National Universities Tier 2
Deerfield, Illinois
Est. 1897
Denominational Affiliation: Evangelical Free Church of America

444. Messiah College (#28)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 444
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 542
U.S. News Rank:Regional Colleges (North) Tier 1
Grantham, Pennsylvania
Est. 1909
Denominational Affiliation: Christian Interdenominational

483. Corban University (#29)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 483
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 515
U.S. News Rank:Regional Colleges (West) Tier 1
Salem, Oregon
Est. 1935
Denominational Affiliation: Baptist
Athletic Association: NAIA

484. Abilene Christian University (#30)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 484
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 407
U.S. News Rank: Regional Universities (West) Tier 1
Abilene, Texas
Est. 1906
Denominational Affiliation: Church of Christ
Athletic Association: NCAA-II

489. Erskine College (#31)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 489
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 245
U.S. News Rank:Regional Colleges (South) Tier 1
Due West, South Carolina
Est. 1839
Denominational Affiliation: Associate Reformed Presbyterian
Athletic Association: NCAA-II

525. Oral Roberts University (#32)
Forbes 10-11 rank: No. 525
Forbes 09-10 rank: No. 553
U.S. News Rank:National Universities Tier 2
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Est. 1963
Denominational Affiliation: Christian Interdenominational
Athletic Association: NCAA-I

I’ve quoted much of the above list information from Top Christian Colleges.org in an effort to aid in the value, credibility and transparency of rankings from reputable sources (that list was compiled by the marketing department at George Fox University.) Given that it is 1) educational 2) helps their university 3) uses info they copied as well.

It seems odd that the list did not include either of the three following which usually rank quite highly in Christian college and university rankings in the United States:

1) Southern Methodist University (SMU) (#109 on Forbes Ranking)
6425 Boaz Lane
Dallas, TX 75205
214-768-2000

2) Baylor University (#346 on the Forbes Ranking)
One Bear Place #97056
Waco, TX 76798
254-710-3435

3) Samford University (#409 on the Forbes Ranking)
800 Lakeshore Dr.
Birmingham, AL 35229
205-726-3673

4) Texas Christian University (TCU) (#426 on Forbes Ranking)
TCU Box 297013
Fort Worth, TX 76129
817-257-7490

(Obviously Lutheran, Wesleyan/Methodist, and Catholic Universities have been omitted as well. Although, this may be based on lack of membership to the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU))

I recommend you check out Top Christian Colleges which allows you to rank or sort universities by State, so you can find the best Christian university located nearby you or a breakdown of some of the US News and World Report rankings for top Christian colleges and universities including (which are listed by Tier):

Top Christian National Universities Tier 1 (listed alphabetically)

Azusa Pacific University (Azusa, California)
Biola University (La Mirada, California)
George Fox University (Newberg, Oregon)
Pepperdine University (Malibu, Calif.)

Top Christian National Universities Tier 2 (listed alphabetically)

Oral Roberts University (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
Trevecca Nazarene University (Nashville, Tennessee)
Trinity International University (Deerfield, Illinois)

Top Christian Liberal Arts Colleges & Universities Tier I (per US News and World Report ranking methodology listed alphabetically)

Asbury University (Wilmore, Kentucky)
Calvin College (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, Virginia)
Gordon College (Wenham, Massachusetts)
Goshen College (Goshen, Indiana)
Houghton College (Houghton, New York)
Westmont College (Santa Barbara, California)
Wheaton College (Wheaton College)

Regional Universities (North) Tier I:

Eastern University (St Davids, Pennsylvania)
Roberts Wesleyan College (Rochester, New York)
Waynesburg University (Waynesburg, Pennsylvania)

Regional Universities (West) Tier I:

Abilene Christian University (Abilene, Texas)
California Baptist University (Riverside, California)
Colorado Christian University (Lakewood, Colorado)
Dallas Baptist University (Dallas, Texas)
Fresno Pacific University (Fresno, California)
Hardin-Simmons University (Abilene, Texas)
Houston Baptist University (Houston, Texas)
LeTourneau University (Longview, Texas)
Northwest Nazarene University (Nampa, Idaho)
Oklahoma Christian University (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
Point Loma Nazarene University (San Diego, California)
Seattle Pacific University (Seattle, Washington)
Southern Nazarene University (Bethany, Oklahoma)
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (Belton, Texas)
University of the Southwest (Hobbs, New Mexico)
Whitworth University (Spokane, Washington)

Regional Universities Midwest (Tier I) | US News & World Report Rankings

Bethel College (Mishawaka, Indiana)
Indiana Wesleyan University (Marion, Indiana)
Malone University (Canton, Ohio)
North Park University (Chicago, Illinois)
Olivet Nazarene University (Bourbonnais, Illinois)
Southwest Baptist University (Bolivar, Missouri)
Spring Arbor University (Spring Arbor, Michigan)

Top Regional Universities (South)

Belmont University (Nashville, TN)
Union University (Jackson, TN)
Lipscomb University (Nashville, TN)
Harding University (Searcy, AR)
Christian Brothers (Memphis, TN)

You can go to the actual US News and World Report Rankings for more specific information about each school. Before you do so, you might want to bookmark this page as well as specific Christian colleges and universities you are potentially interested in based on these rankings.

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18 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. PASTOR SAMUEL KARIMI / May 25 2011 10:44 am

    Am looking for a good Christian University where I can be able to pursue my Masters Degree after I did my first degree in Kenya with one of the best Universities here in Africa i.e. St Paul’s University.I achieved 2nd class upper in the Bachelor Of Divinity.I am also seeking one which can offer scholarship because I am a self sponsored student. Thank you.

    • cutter curtiss / Aug 11 2011 10:45 am

      Lee University in Cleveland Tenn.

    • an alum / Dec 20 2012 8:38 pm

      I would recommend that you look at Wheaton College Graduate School – they offer many programs and are quite diverse. Also, they offer Billy Graham Scholarships to tons of people who are in a similar situation as yours. I am a MA alum from WCGS and would highly recommend it to anyone!

    • Trey Medley / Feb 28 2013 4:47 pm

      I’d recommend (if you haven’t found one already) actually going to the British system where the MA is shorter (but more intensive) if you can find a good scholarship (which are available). Find one that is accredited outright, if possible, rather than one who has a second-order accreditation (i.e. schools that offer their degrees through another university). I know King’s College London isn’t a “Christian school” per se, but they have strong ties to Christianity and many of the faculty are active Christians (plus they have scholarships for people from lower-income countries). May I also suggest looking within Kenya. NEGST (Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology), for instance, has an outstanding Masters (and I think now Doctoral) program.

  2. Cristina / Oct 28 2011 8:46 pm

    Liberty University in Virginia.

  3. john / Nov 12 2011 12:10 am

    Wow it appears this is less on top schools but a simple opion and popularity.

    If your looking for top schools that were formed from Christian routes this list isn’t very well thought out.

    SMU, Georgetown #22 in the nation by World Report, Boston College, #31, Peppertine, University of Dallas…………….

    We are talking about being intellectually Honest, It is education.

    And the site should be credible so people come back.

    • Jojo / Feb 28 2012 11:03 pm

      ok it clearly says top 20 christian colleges. not schools that started out being christian but not anymore. last time i checked at BC, u weren’t required to have convocation hours.. so i mean seriously make sure u read before u write. u are right on about Pepperdine. but not BC

      • compassioninpolitics / Feb 28 2012 11:30 pm

        Duly noted–thanks for your opinion which perhaps helps shed light on an important issue.

        However, you can be a faith-based university and not have convocation. From what I understand BC has really invested in their ethics component of their university. I realize thats not synonymous–but might suggest a different focus than a typical university.

        Its certainly worthy of further investigation.

        Otherwise, in terms of the previous comment. If you read the post you could see its not just opinion. Its based on methodologies by US News and World Report as well as Forbes. Thats hardly just opinion. Certainly, its a particular methodology which isn’t perfect…..but its probably better than just guessing.

  4. compassioninpolitics / Nov 13 2011 2:51 am

    John,

    I used the methodology of Forbes and US News and World Report. Admittedly, those are subjective, but based on reputation and you can refer to the specific methodologies for more info.

    And this is a decent list, but not everyone can go to these schools, so I’ve included a larger list:

    >>SMU, Georgetown #22 in the nation by World Report, Boston College, #31, Pepperdine

    Georgetown is unique in that it has advantages in its location in Washington DC, particularly in issues like public policy and administration–and related fields.

    1. One you leave off your list, which I include in mine is Belmont University. It has an excellent business program, in entrepreneurship and some other niche areas according to the Princeton Review.

    2. Notre Dame is also impressive in various areas. (philosophy and business come to mind)

    3. Abilene Christian and Texas Christian also get love in various other rankings, particularly their MBA programs as I recall.

    I appreciate your opinion.

  5. Irene / Dec 13 2011 8:20 pm

    I’m looking for a Christian College with an accredited architecture program.

    • Melanie / Jan 29 2012 4:46 am

      I believe Judson University in Elgin, IL has an accredited architecture program both for undergrad & graduate degrees. Be blessed.

  6. Jane / Mar 4 2012 9:00 pm

    I thought Letourneau should be in this list–they are a top tier, top-ranked Christian school among many sources and have online options as well. Regardless, I really appreciate this list–thank you! :)

  7. Nancy / Mar 10 2012 3:42 pm

    Hi,my name is Nancy from Kenya,am a born again christian and looking for the best christian college to pursue my undergraduate degree.Am also looking for the one which will offer me scholarship since am self sponsored.I will really appreciate to study and grow in an environment that is driven by God’s principles.It will be a dream come true.Am looking forward for that moment.thanks.

    • Nathan Ketsdever / Mar 11 2012 2:36 am

      Nancy, I suggest Googling “African Christian University.” I’m not knowledgable enough to point you in the right direction. Perhaps other are.

  8. David.Schulz@tlc.edu / Jun 28 2012 6:33 pm

    Trinity Lutheran College in Everett, Washington. A small liberal arts college.

  9. faithonview / Feb 25 2013 11:44 pm

    The only comprehensive ranking of Christian Colleges and Universities was just released this weekend. http://www.faithonview.com/christian-college-rankings-2013/

  10. ChristianColleges / May 16 2013 11:59 pm

    Where is Liberty University in this list? Isn’t it one of the largest Christian Universities in the nation?

  11. Moses Sam Tukura / Nov 24 2013 5:57 am

    Am looking for a university to do a doctorate programs in the new testament. Not a liberal university, but that which upholds the faith of our fathers as it was handed over to us. Please recommend. Thanks.

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