Bible Colleges and Schools: How to Choose

Bible colleges are prevalent across the country, and many of them offer both faith-based and career-oriented programs at a variety of education levels.

People who'd like to pursue a college education firmly rooted in the Christian tradition can earn an associate's, bachelor's or master's degree at a Bible college. Degree options usually include faith-based fields like Bible study, ministry or theology, as well as career-oriented fields like business or education.

10 Bible Colleges

The following Bible colleges offer traditional and online degree programs in a wide variety of fields of study, including faith-based programs.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*
Liberty University Lynchburg, VA 4-year, Private Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $20,109
Moody Bible Institute Chicago, IL 4-year, Private Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's $12,284
Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $40,720
Baylor University Waco, TX 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $40,198
The King's College Wilkes-Barre, PA 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $33,090
Wheaton College Wheaton, IL 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $32,950
Vanguard University Costa Mesa, CA 4-year, Private Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's $30,050
Oral Roberts University Tulsa, OK 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $24,792
Gordon College Wenham, MA 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $35,386
Calvin College Grand Rapids, MI 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's 30,660

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

When deciding on a Bible college to attend, there are a few considerations to take into account to make sure you choose the right school for you.

  • Decide if you want to exclusively focus on ministry-oriented programs or opt for a school that blends more typical degree programs with classes on Christianity and the Bible.
  • If accreditation is important to you, look for a school with specialized accreditation from religious education organizations, such as the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE).
  • If you don't want to move for school, choose a Bible college that has online options so that you can earn your degree remotely.

Associate's Degrees

An associate's degree usually prepares students for Bible- or ministry-centered careers and advanced study at the bachelor's level and beyond. Some associate's degree programs are terminal, intended for those seeking Church-centered careers that do not require additional education. Curriculum often includes Bible study methods, apologetics and introductory theology.

Bachelor's Degrees

Some schools offer double majors where students can supplement a formal curriculum in Bible studies and theology with coursework in a second area of interest to complement their intended area of ministry or non-ministry career preparation. Bible colleges offer many of the same type of degree programs as non-Bible colleges, like history, theology, English, psychology, education, health and physical education, math and theatre.

Master's Degrees

Many master's programs at Bible colleges focus on preparing students for religious careers in ministry or education. Programs often prefer candidates who have completed coursework in Bible study and theology prior to applying. Some degree options include ministry, counseling, divinity, Biblical studies and theology.

Private Bible colleges offer standard programs as well as programs in theology and other fields centered around Christian faith, so choosing the right one for you might hinge on the types of programs, accreditation or online availability. Students can earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Bible schools.

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