Top 12 Christian Colleges and Universities

Choosing a college or university to attend is a huge decision that will affect the rest of your life. Whether you go for two years, four years or start a life-long college career, the experience you gain and people you meet along the way will be with you as you start a career, get married, have a family or whatever you do with your life. Attending a Christian college or university is a great way to immerse yourself with like-minded believers as you learn to become an independent and responsible adult.

I reviewed countless colleges and universities and pared my list down to the top 12 Christian schools that have between 5,000 and 12,000 students. I considered the atmosphere, academic programs, athletics, cost and overall Christian experience.

"The Truth" Colossians 3:2 “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

Xavier University

If your heart is in the Midwest, then checkout Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. Choose from over 90 undergraduate majors and 55 minors to add to your degree. Students are offered many opportunities to get involved and connect with others through intramural sports, club sports, student organizations and leadership opportunities.

Baylor University

If you are looking for a larger Christian school, take a look at Baylor University. There are around 15,000 students on the Waco, Texas campus and a large assortment of programs to choose from. Focus your studies on programs in arts and sciences, religious studies, business, law, nursing, education, engineering, computer science, music and other disciplines. If you are an athlete, Baylor will give you a competitive environment with a Christian base to grow your athletic abilities.

Loyola Marymount University

Venture to Los Angeles, California to experience a diverse atmosphere and strong Catholic convictions. There are over 60 majors and 54 minors for undergraduates to choose from. With 140 clubs and organizations and 16 national Greek fraternities on campus, students will find something of interest and new opportunities to experience. The school strongly engages in ethical discourse and embraces the search for values.

Wayland Baptist University

Go down south to Wayland, Texas to experience Wayland Baptist University. There are over 40 undergraduate programs and more than a dozen pre-professional programs. The school is centered around Christian principles and beliefs through fellowship every Monday, student-lead dorm Bible studies, Fall Revival and Spring Revival, a freshman ministry, midnight worship each month and other events. The school also offers more athletic programs at the collegiate level than most Christian schools offer.

Bethel University

Located in St. Paul, Minnesota, Bethel University offers over 100 academic programs spread over two colleges and also has a seminary. The on-campus Christian experience includes chapel time, Vespers and prayer initiatives. Off-campus service and outreach includes spring break mission trips around the world and local outreach in the Twin Cities.

Westmont College

Set in Santa Barbara, California, Westmont College offers a diverse Christian atmosphere and an array of opportunities to get involved. There are many different student organizations and student clubs for people interested in everything from business to athletics, chemistry, Habitat for Humanity and event crafters. On an academic level, there are many options to choose from, including art, chemistry, computer science, communication studies, math, political science, education and many others. It’s good to attend a school that has a diverse range of programs because most college student change their majors at least once.

"The Truth" Proverbs 4:25 “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.”

Benedictine University

Benedictine University is a strong Catholic school in Lisle, Illinois with five campuses in the United States, one in China and one in Vietnam. There are 16 academic organizations, nine service organizations, six social clubs and 14 spiritual and cultural groups. The school provides a unique experience of worship, chapel, prayer, service and outreach to students while preparing them to enter the workforce.

Harding University

Affiliated with the Church of Christ and located in Searcy, Arkansas, Harding University has many programs to focus on. This includes accounting, advertising, art, athletic training, Bible and ministry, chemistry, communication management, computer engineering, fashion, human resources, leadership and marketing and nursing, among many others. Students are offered many opportunities to grow their faith through global outreach programs, summer mission trips and Christian leadership and standards throughout campus.

Wheaton College

Providing a Christian education with life-changing experiences is what you will find at Wheaton College in Illinois. The academic programs are more specialized, with many focused on Biblical and Christian-focused disciplines. Main themes taught throughout all programs include spiritual formation, appreciation of diversity, meaningful relationships and identity formulation. Many clubs are available for students to continuing growing and connecting with other students. Clubs focus on academics, culture, social justice and special interest.

Spring Arbor University

Travel up to Michigan to attend Spring Arbor University for an experience that will impact your life and studies. There are over 97 programs to choose from and the school has many active programs to ensure students are focused on their relationship with God and fulfilling His will. The school brings in well-known evangelists, authors, activists, actors and musicians for required sessions in the chapel. Students can also sign up for the Spiritual Life Retreat, mission trips over spring break and many ministry groups, including groups specifically for men and women.

Belmont University

Belmont University offers a well-balanced experience that’s surrounded by the Christian atmosphere and busy life of Nashville, Tennessee. Academic programs are diverse and the campus life offers a lot of support to help students through their college challenges. Counseling services and growth and purpose programs are encouraged. The school builds and grows a religious foundation with worship, mission, outreach, spiritual formation and discipleship opportunities.

Abilene Christian University

In the heat and culture of Texas sits Abilene Christian University. It touts over 90 undergraduate programs and has strong online programs. The university has embraced the mobile world by integrating mobile learning into courses. This includes teaching how to contribute meaningful thoughts and weighing in on conversations that are important on a global scale. Student organizations are full of students passionate about singing, political issues, sports, arts, culture, dance, academic, honors and much more. The daily Christian atmosphere incorporates daily bread, prayer, solitude experiences and guidance.

"The Truth" Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”

There are many great Christian colleges and universities available. Deciding on the right one may depend on what program you want to focus on and your religious affiliation. Checkout a few colleges and good luck!

Click on the following link to see another popular article from F&E author Elise Cleary covering Christian American Idol contestants of the past.  10 Best Christian American Idol Contestants

Resources- ESV Holy Bible, youtube, Photo Credit: kevin dooley via Compfight cc