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Best Protestant Colleges

Some of the best Protestant colleges are affiliated with the Presbyterian, Baptist and Lutheran denominations. Compare and contrast a few of these schools, their degree programs and student population sizes.

There are a variety of colleges and universities in different states that are considered some of the best Protestant colleges. These schools vary in denomination, size and the spiritual growth opportunities they offer students. Learn more about a handful of the best Protestant colleges in the country.

School Comparison

Most of the best Protestant colleges are 4-year institutions and are found in states like North Carolina, Texas and South Dakota. Find out more about some of these schools, including their undergraduate tuition rates, in the table below.

School Name Institution Type Denomination Location Tuition (2017-2018)*
Davidson College 4-year, private not-for-profit Presbyterian Church (USA) Davidson, NC $49,949
St. Olaf College 4-year, private not-for-profit Evangelical Lutheran Church Northfield, MN $46,000
Baylor University 4-year, private not-for-profit Baptist Waco, TX $43,790
Luther College 4-year, private not-for-profit Evangelical Lutheran Church Decorah, IA $41,020
Augustana University 4-year, private not-for-profit Evangelical Lutheran Church Sioux Falls, SD $31,960

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

Description of the Best Protestant Colleges

A few of the Protestant colleges may be considered some of the best for their diverse undergraduate and/or graduate degree programs, special learning opportunities and/or other unique characteristics. Here, you can explore some of these schools and find out what makes them stand out.

Davidson College

Davidson College in North Carolina is an undergraduate institution that had 1,810 students in 2017, according to the NCES. Students can major in a variety of areas, including Chinese language and literature, environmental studies, religious studies, theatre, anthropology and Africana studies. According to the school's website, 93% of students live on-campus and 76% study abroad prior to graduation. The school also boasts a 9 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio, per the school's website. Students can grow spiritually on-campus through various worship services and spiritual, student organizations, like Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Better Together (interfaith group) and Young Life College (outreach ministry).

St. Olaf College

St. Olaf College in Minnesota is another undergraduate school that offers academic programs in fields such as Nordic studies, exercise science, French, neuroscience, dance, computer science and statistics. The school's Piper Center for Vocation and Career saw 81% of students through events or advising meetings and 85% of students participated in field experience, research, internship or other experiential learning opportunities, according to the school's website. Spiritual life on campus includes devotions and prayers, worship services and student organizations like FCA, the Interfaith Coalition for Peace and Justice and Fellowship of Christian Oles. According to the NCES, the college had close to 3,040 students in 2017.

Baylor University

Students at Baylor University in Texas can deepen their faith through chapel services, missions, local service opportunities, Youth Ministry, Sports Ministry or other religious, student organizations, such as Baptist Student Ministries, Heavenly Voices or FaceTime with God. The NCES reported that the university had close to 14,320 undergraduate students in 2017. The university offers a broad range of undergraduate and/or graduate degree programs in fields like apparel merchandising, astrophysics, aviation sciences, athletic training, economics and Russian. The school also has 330 clubs and organizations, including a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa (the nation's oldest scholastic honor society), and the Baylor community has accumulated more than 150,000 hours of local service, per the school's website.

Luther College

Luther College is an undergraduate institution in Iowa that had a little over 2,050 students in 2017, per the NCES. Students can pursue majors in subject areas including biblical languages, data science, German, international studies, neuroscience and visual communication. The college places an emphasis on high-impact learning and offers a wide range of unique learning experiences through internships, study away, capstone projects, undergraduate research and first-year seminars. The school supports students' spiritual lives with various worship services, pastoral counseling, service opportunities and spiritual groups, such as Gospel Choir, FCA and Interfaith in Action.

Augustana University

Augustana University in South Dakota offers more than 100 academic programs, including those in chemical physics, journalism, special education, pre-physical therapy, computer information systems and fitness management. The university also provides extensive research, internship and study abroad opportunities and has an Honors Program, called Civitas. Spiritual life on campus consists of worship services, Outreach Ministry, service and mission opportunities and spiritual events, like Faith Fest. According to the NCES, the university had about 1,750 undergraduate students in 2017.


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