The following is a ranking of the 20 Best Deals on Conservative Christian Colleges. In creating this list, we selected from a group of institutions with a lower net price than similar colleges of this size and faith-based focus area. We awarded points based on the presence of Bible and Christ-centered academics, active campus groups dedicated to worship, a balance of liberal arts education and spiritual growth opportunity, and any additional features that add value for the Christian student. The 20 colleges profiled below scored the highest among schools with a net price (per College Navigator) of $30,000 USD or less. The following is a guide for students of Christian faith in search of the best return on investment in their education.
Rating the Top Conservative Christian Colleges
#20 - Moody Bible Institute
Net Price: $17,421
Moody Bible Institute (MBI), is a Christian college founded in 1886 by evangelist Dwight Lyman Moody. MBI's home campus is located in Chicago, but it also has locations in Spokane, Washington, and Plymouth, Michigan. This institution trains students for ministry in churches and parachurch organizations. There are over 25 available BA degrees for the Christian student, as well as a BS or Associate's degrees in biblical studies. Moody works closely with its students in finding scholarship and grant opportunities to make this course of study as affordable as possible.
#19 - North Greenville University
Tigerville, South Carolina
Net Price: $15,118
North Greenville University of South Carolina is a liberal arts college in a Christ-centered academic environment. Students are taught to be both knowledgeable in their studies and active in a Christian lifestyle. The Bible is the foundational context for education regardless of one’s choice of major, and emphasis is kept on the work of Jesus Christ. In addition to a broad range of degree options, NGU offers a pre-Seminary program for Christian students who wish to advance to one of the six Southern Baptist seminaries.
#18 - Wheaton College
Net Price: $25,258
Wheaton College, an exclusively Christian higher learning institution, is consistently ranked among the best schools that combine faith and academic excellence. Wheaton provides an education from a Christ-based perspective, and students have over 40 options in liberal arts degree tracks. Some of the available majors include biblical studies, international relations, business, biology, and psychology. The Office of Christian Outreach (OCO) offers Wheaton students opportunities to learn the benefits of community service. The OCO has partnered with organizations both locally and internationally, all in effort to continue Christ’s work in helping others.
#17 - Ecclesia College
Net Price: $18,420
Ecclesia College is a Christian work college settled founded in 1975 to strengthen the student's commitment to serving God in society. Ecclesia has a mentor-based approach to both academic and personal growth, and all students have a support system on which to build a Christ-centered life. This college offers a diverse list of undergraduate degrees for conservative Christians, including BA’s in biblical studies, Christian leadership, music ministries, arts in communication, and many more. Ecclesia makes tuition affordable through work-study, scholarship, and merit-based grants.
#16 - Heritage Christian University
Net Price: $9,929
Heritage Christian University offers a 128-hour program in biblical studies. The biblical studies track is pursued in four schools of study: Biblical and Theological Studies, General Education, Professional Studies, and Minor and Electives. The goal of HCU’s program is to offer a balanced background on the path to a profession in ministry. Christian students will find a comfortable place in this college’s mission to equip the student body for greater service to God. HCU offers scholarships and tuition aid to both incoming and current students.
#15 - Bob Jones University
Greenville, South Carolina
Net Price: $13,537
Bob Jones University is a Christian liberal arts school focused on providing an education that is reflective of serving Jesus Christ. Christians will feel at home at BJU, as the mission and academics all integrate a biblical worldview. The majors available at this institution are divided among five schools of learning that include business, education, arts and science, religion, fine arts and communication, and seminary graduate school. 95% of incoming students receive tuition aid in the form of federal loans, grants, or scholarships.
#14 - Barclay College
Net Price: $13,641
Barclay College, a private Christian institution, prepares students for a worthwhile Christian life in leadership and service to God. This school offers a degree in ministry in addition to other academic paths. Some of these courses of study include worship arts, psychology and family studies, pastoral ministry, Bible and theology, and business administration. Christian students seeking a master’s degree may pursue studies in transformational leadership. The campus life at Barclay is full of opportunities for worship, and the Chapel is considered a central community space for the students, faculty and staff to gather.
#13 - Kentucky Mountain Bible College
Net Price: $11,410
Kentucky Mountain Bible College (KMBC) is an evangelical Christian Holiness Bible school in rural Kentucky. Founded in 1931, KMBC offers an associate's degree in biblical studies, and bachelor's degrees in religion, education, ministry, and music. All academic paths are taught with an enriched sense of Christian values and morals. Over 70% of KMBC graduates go on to become Christian ministry speakers, pastors, and missionaries in more than 60 countries worldwide. The cost of attending this college is kept low with financial support of churches and alumni.
#12 - Calvin College
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Net Price: $25,994
Calvin College is regarded as one of the best Christian liberal arts colleges in the nation. Calvin offers over 100 majors and minors, and is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. The religion major is a ten-course degree opportunity that offers an education in biblical and theological theories. Graduates of religion often go on to become professionals is ministry. 100% of the school’s faculty are practicing Christians, and the campus is home to a chapel that regularly hosts worship gatherings.
#11 - The Master’s College and Seminary
Santa Clarita, California
Net Price: $23,403
The Master's College and Seminary is an academic institution whose mission is to prepare Christian students for a life committed to Christ and intellectual growth. The college has liberal arts degree offerings in over 60 areas of study, all with a biblical foundation and point of view. Students graduate ready to serve local churches and apply a work ethic based in faith. The Master’s College and Seminary provides generous and substantial financial aid resources to the majority of its incoming students.
#10 - Alderson Broaddus University
Philippi, West Virginia
Net Price: $17,421
Founded in 1932, Alderson Broaddus University is a private liberal arts university. The conservative Christian student will find value in this school’s mission to encourage academic and personal growth as it relates to Christian values. Alderson offers a wide range of degree options under its five divisions of study: Education and Special Programs, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, and Health Sciences. This college has strong relationships with both the local West Virginia Baptist Convention and American Baptist churches nationwide, and students are given many opportunities to engage in service to others.
#9 - Bryan College
Net Price: $15,680
Bryan College is a Christian liberal arts college in the foothills of Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains. The school was founded in 1925, with the mission of establishing a higher education institution with a committed Christian worldview. Bryan has bachelor's degree options in over 20 majors and over 60 concentrations, as well as a master’s opportunity in Christian studies. Every class begins with prayer and affirmation for the love of Christ, and Bible studies courses are part of the core curriculum for every student.
#8 - Cedarville University
Net Price: $23,403
Cedarville University, a private university , is a Baptist school committed to Christian traditions, disciplines, service, and study. All academics are considered “Christ-centered" in their creationist approach, daily biblical teachings, and belief in the authority of Scripture. This college offers over 70 undergraduate programs and 40 minors, which include a 16-credit Bible minor required of all students regardless of degree track.
#7 - Grove City College
Grove City, Pennsylvania
Net Price: $18,666
Founded in 1876, Grove City College is a well-renowned academic institution that blends a strong curriculum with Christian values. Students at Grove City are highly committed to their Christian faith, and this belief plays a central role in every classroom. Christians seeking opportunities to celebrate their faith will find many active on-campus ministry groups to join. Grove City has over 50 programs of liberal arts study, and a recent survey revealed that 96% of its alumni gain full-time employment or enroll in graduate school within six months of graduation.
#6 - Warner University
Lake Wales, Florida
Net Price: $15,545
Located between Tampa and Orlando, Florida, Warner College is a Christian academic community that is home to students from 30 states and 20 countries. This college is dedicated to offering an education based in Christ-centered beliefs, morals, and values. There are over 25 liberal arts degrees available. They include the departments of ministry, arts and sciences, business, and education. Beyond the classroom, Christian students may participate in spiritual campus activities that include Worship Night, Fear Fest, and Prayer Room. Warner graduates frequently go on to be leaders in their church communities and other areas of service.
#5 - Vanguard University of Southern California
Costa Mesa, California
Net Price: $24,229
Vanguard University of Southern California is a Christ-centered liberal arts institution. Students are encouraged to pursue knowledge while deepening their faith in God. There are over 30 academic degree tracks available, and Christian students may choose to follow their religious journey in biblical studies, Christian formation and discipleship studies, or pastoral leadership. One of the college’s scholarship options is the “Assemblies of God Emerging Leader” award, given to incoming students who have demonstrated special skills in their church and community. Vanguard was recently included on the Forbes list of Christian Colleges of Distinction.
#4 - Corban University
Net Price: $23,089
Corban University is an academic community that seeks to bring biblical perspective to all educational paths. Conservative Christians seeking higher education will appreciate this school’s theology-centered curriculum. Corban students of any major will complete a minimum of 24 credits in Bible classes, and 50 hours of community service. In order to assure students they will be less burdened by student loan debt, the “Corban Promise” was formed to assist qualified alumni with debt repayment.
#3 - Bluffton University
Net Price: $22,014
Bluffton University is a Christian school offering over 85 academic majors, minors and interdisciplinary programs. Bluffton uses a faith-based education model. BU’s mission is to help students build a foundation for a lifetime of service to God. BU has a vibrant spiritual presence, and Christian students participate in activities including chapel worship, a week-long celebration dedicated to faith and Christian living, campus ministries, and more. To keep tuition accessible for qualified students, Bluffton has developed a “Tuition Equalization Program” which eliminates the academic fee difference between Bluffton and the top private schools.
#2 - Houston Baptist University
Net Price: $19,487
Houston Baptist University is a Christian liberal arts university built on the belief that its students will enrich their spiritual lives, become moral individuals and perpetuate Christian ideals into the world. All students are required to complete a minimum of 80 community and worship credits through campus service, Bible study, community service, and other opportunities. This college has eight divisions of study, one of which is the School of Christian Thought, in which students can major in apologetics, philosophy, theology, or classics and biblical languages.
#1 - Shorter University
Net Price: $18,495
Shorter University, a southern college with an entirely Christian faculty, encourages students to “advance God’s Kingdom” through academic success, spiritual development and leadership through a biblical perspective. Christian students will find BA or BS degree opportunities in the Christian Studies Department. Graduates often go on to a wide spectrum of ministry services. Shorter provides continuous spiritual guidance through its Office of Campus Ministries where Christian activities are coordinated both on and off campus. Some of the faith-based special campus events include Christian Focus Week, Seminary Day, Ministry Fair, and Church Rush.
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This concludes our ranking of the 20 best conservative Christian colleges.
By Tracy Eisenberg
Published June 2016