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Christian Architecture Colleges: How to Choose

Many Christian colleges emphasize a liberal arts education that prepares future architects for graduate school while training them to consider how their faith informs their profession. Although it is possible to enter the field with only an undergraduate degree, most architects earn a master's degree.

A few Christian 4-year colleges and universities offer both bachelor's and master's degree programs in the field of architecture. These programs are usually available through an institution's school of architecture, engineering or design.

Christian Architecture Schools

These schools offer pre-architecture or architecture degrees at a variety of levels.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition 2015-2016 Graduate Tuition 2015-2016
Andrews University Berrien Springs, MI 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $27,000 $25,172
Judson University Elgin, IL 4-year, Private Master's $28,170 $29,700
Catholic University of America Washington, DC 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $40,932 $41,800
Abilene Christian University Abilene, TX 4-year, Private Associate's $30,830
Dordt College Sioux Center, IA 4-year, Private Bachelor's $28,280
California Baptist University Riverside, CA 4-year, Private Master's $30,384 $11,932

Sources: National Center for Educational Statistics

College Selection Criteria

Important considerations to keep in mind when selecting a Christian architecture program are as follows:

  • Schools may offer streamlined programs that lead from undergraduate to graduate work or else pre-architecture programs that might better fit students unsure of their ultimate career path.
  • Students may consider what internship opportunities a program offers; Christian schools in particular often provide service opportunities, which combo hands-on experiences with providing needs to a community.
  • Christian universities apply Biblical perspectives to all areas of their curriculum, meaning an architecture program may explore topics like stewardship, responsible business practices, and how Christian architects might use their craft to reflect their faith.

Bachelor's Degree Programs in Architecture

Although some schools offer an associate's degree program in pre-architecture, bachelor's degrees are more common, such as a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, a Pre-Architecture Bachelor of Arts in Engineering or a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art with a minor in architecture. Graduates usually continue to graduate programs, but those who do not are prepared to pursue careers in art, design or engineering. Many Christian colleges promote a liberal arts education, which results in undergraduate architecture programs that are less technical and mathematical while incorporating more history and theory. Courses cover:

  • Art history
  • Environmental issues
  • Structures
  • Drawing
  • Graphic design

Master's Degree Programs in Architecture

Students pursuing a career in architecture typically earn a graduate degree, such as a Professional Master of Architecture. Master's programs in architecture take between two and three years to complete depending on a student's undergraduate preparation. They often have an internship or off-campus program in the curriculum and include advanced courses like:

  • Digital media
  • Urban design
  • Sustainability
  • Construction

There are multiple Christian colleges that have architecture degree programs at different levels including bachelor's and master's degrees. Students may wish to consider what career path they want, internship opportunities, and how Christian schools apply Biblical perspectives to their courses.

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