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7 Best Christian Colleges and Universities in the U.S. 7 Best Christian Colleges and Universities in the U.S.

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7 Best Christian Colleges and Universities in the U.S.

Written by: Susan Kearney

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Jason DeRose
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Reviewed by
Jason DeRose

Jason DeRose, Managing Editor at Christian.net, uses his expertise in religion and journalism to deepen understanding of faith's societal impacts. His editorial leadership, coupled with a strong academic background, enriches the platform’s diverse content, earning him recognition in both journalism and religious circles.

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The United States has one of the most Christian colleges in the world. After all, we are the country with the largest Christian population. It truly is a blessing that churches and other Christian institutions can be found almost anywhere in the country. But numbers are not everything, it is the quality that matters. How then should budding students look for Christian colleges and universities?

Essentially, it is all about balance. To us, the best Christian colleges and universities offer religious training and guidance in their research essays. Though there are several “write my essay” platforms, it is important to instill critical research skills and analysis. However, universities should also encourage students to use their knowledge to assist in making the world a better place as God has instructed.

Also, most of these schools have high admissions standards, so exceptional grades are mandatory. Fret not, read this PrepScholar vs Princeton Review to ace the SATs and get those admission grades settled.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Christian College 

a black pen on top of an opened notebook with text "thought catalog" in black text

Image by Scktnbikouq on Unsplash

What Do You Want to Major In? 

When choosing a college, the first thing to consider is your intended major. You will want to find a school with a great program in your desired field and an atmosphere that fits you. If you have yet to figure out your major, pray about it. Our prayer holds power, and often it’s more than you can imagine. So run to God about this, and ask Him to path your way according to His will.

Does the Campus Environment Suit Me? 

It is important to find a school with a suitable environment for you to learn, grow and develop your thinking. Talk to somebody about it – alumni that you can trust, online reviews of the universities, or even call up the campus staff.

Tuition Fees and Scholarships

Estimate the cost of college (accounting for tuition fees, accommodations, living expenses, etc.) and research scholarships or student loans that can help you to cover part of the cost. While doing so, we encourage you to also consider the currency exchange rate, especially if you are planning to study overseas.

What Are the Strengths of the University?

Thereafter, consider the strengths of the university. A Christian college or University is an excellent option if you want a faith-based education. These schools come from various backgrounds, but they all share one important commonality: a Christian ethos. To varying degrees, various Christian colleges and universities combine faith into their school mission statements and teaching.

We have sieved out seven of the best Christian colleges and universities (varying in denominations) that provide a holistic program for students to truly make a great positive difference in our world. Here is our list of the best Christian colleges for education in the US.

1. University of Tusla (TU)

a back to school image featuring a young American students taking a photo together

Image from Tusla’s Facebook Page

Tulsa is a Presbyterian-affiliated private research university and is considered Oklahoma’s one of the best Christian colleges. Here at Tusla, the Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) actively gathers to learn how to lead a Christian college life, investigate Bible stories and even plan mission trips. BCM does weekly bible studies but they are also big on playing for basketball tournaments and cooking.

What sets Tulsa apart is also its excellence in STEM programs, which explains its excellent reputation. TU encourages out-of-the-box research and thinking. It hosts an annual competition called the Tulsa Undergraduate Research Challenge for undergraduates to apply theory to the real world. And if you are looking to join any national intelligence like NASA or Homeland Security, then its Cyber Corps program can effectively prepare you for it. That said, TU also provides education in every field of study, including the arts and culture.

2. Pepperdine University

A college student farming as part of pepperdine's holstic educational program

Image Pepperdine’s Facebook Page

Albeit small, the close-knit student body makes Pepperdine University a home away from home. Pepperdine University is a popular choice among prospective students who want to study at one of the best Christian colleges in the USA. The school integrates Christian values into the education system, allowing both the student body and faculty to develop a tight kinship.

Moreover, Pepperdine’s Christian values permeate every facet of the University’s academic mission – from the stated purpose down to its lectures. Students learn about international issues and political systems, and how to apply a Christian moral compass as they progress toward becoming tomorrow’s world leaders. This emphasis enables Pepperdine’s Caruso School of Law’s Sudreau Global Justice Institute to collaborate with Willow International, a Ugandan anti-human-trafficking organization.

3. Texas Christian University (TCU)

a candid shot of a large group of TCU students watching a football match excitedly

Image from Texas Christian University’s Facebook Page

Founded in 1873, Texas Christian University has a long history of ties to the Disciples of Christ Christian Church. This covenant has been the driving force toward an education that combines faith, reason, and intellectual curiosity. Though it is a Christian college, TCU has over 60 religious groups that have been co-existing harmoniously throughout the years.

Having 717 permanent professors on staff, TCU has a relatively low student-to-professor ratio of just 13 to 1. But, this also means teachers can devote more time and energy to each student in these more manageable classroom sizes.  In addition, TCU is also a top research institute. Recently, TCU’s recent successes have been acknowledged by INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine, which has recognized the school’s STEM Scholar program with two Inspiring Programs in STEM Awards. This honor highlights the caliber of the student’s work and the rich cultural diversity of the School’s student body.

4. Trinity University (Texas)

a group of girls holding up sign boards to welcome people to the college open house day

Image from Trinity University’s Facebook Page

Did you know that Tony Award-winning actress Deanna Dunagan, John Mackey of Whole Foods Market, and United States Senator John Cornyn are all Trinity University graduates? Safe to say that here at Trinity, you can truly make it big in life.

Yet, the alums aren’t the only hallmarks of Trinity’s excellence in education. It is also a top research facility with an impressive endowment for research at $1.27 billion set aside to fund various life-changing projects that students wish to pursue. Trinity is also affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, USA, and offers an excellent Christian liberal arts education. Trinity even has an in-school pastoral care organization to guide each student in their spiritual journey with God.

5. Macalester College

a group of students enthusiastically engaged in a class discussion as their professor watches them

Image from Macalester College’s Facebook Page

Macalester College is a private, four-year undergraduate institution affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. It prides itself on educating students about global perspectives and diversity.

Its longstanding record of academic performance is why we regard this as an exceptional Christian college. In their book, The Hidden Ivies,  Howard, and Matthew Greene recognized Macalester as one of the smaller colleges that is on par with Harvard and Yale. Recently, Macalester ranked 27th in National Liberal Arts colleges and 11th in Best Undergraduate Teaching.

6. Emory University

A girl gingerly removing a block from a human-size jenga at emory's university open day

Image from Emory University’s Facebook Page

We regard Emory as one of the best private Christian universities in the country. Emory University, founded in 1863 by the Methodist Episcopal Church, is the second-oldest private college in Georgia. And through the years, Emory has grown to become one of the best universities in the country.

Furthermore, Emory is home to numerous research centers and programs in humanities and applied sciences. And because of its extensive healthcare facilities, Emory is affiliated with one of the best medical schools in the U.S, the University of Georgia. However, what truly sets Emory apart is its extensive collaboration. Currently, Emory runs the Confucius Institute in Atlanta (with Nanjing University) and collaborates with Korea’s Advanced Institute of Science and Technology to pursue ground-breaking research.

7. Duke University

a top angle shot of duke university's graduating class of 2026

Image from Duke University’s Facebook Page

Founded in 1836 by the Quakers and Medothists, Duke University is nothing short of stellar. The exceptional teaching, cutting-edge research, and religious education offered at Duke University have made it one of the world’s top universities. Over the years, Duke has graduated several influential figures that you may (or may not know). These include politicians like former President Richard Nixon and Senator Elizabeth Dole, and authors like Anne Tyler and William Styron.

Though its state-of-the-art facilities like the medical center and the marine lab are reasons to draw students in, we reckon that the Duke University Chapel is also a contributing factor. The Chapel, created by African Americans Horace Trumbauer and Julian Abele, is where interdenominational Christianity is centered.  It is also a place where students of varying faith are welcome to learn about Jesus Christ, providing opportunities for fellowship and personal growth.

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