To study acting, students can major in the field specifically or pursue a major in theatre (or theater), cinema studies, film studies, musical theatre, or ministry theatre, to name a few options. The following Christian colleges in Texas have theatre programs and departments, all of which offer an undergraduate degree, with a few graduate degrees, too.
Below, we break down different important elements of these private colleges. Along with the school types, we'll take a look at the undergraduate tuition and denomination of each school.
|School Name||Institution Type||Denomination||Location||Undergraduate Tuition (2017-2018)*|
|Saint Edward's University||4-year, private not-for-profit||Roman Catholic||Austin, TX||$43,300|
|Austin College||4-year, private not-for-profit||Presbyterian Church (USA)||Sherman, TX||$38,800|
|Baylor University||4-year, private not-for-profit||Baptist||Waco, TX||$43,790|
|Abilene Christian University||4-year, private not-for-profit||Churches of Christ||Abilene, TX||$33,330|
|Southwestern University||4-year, private not-for-profit||United Methodist||Georgetown, TX||$40,560|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
Overview of Christian Acting Schools in Texas
The following Christian Schools all offer theatre programs of various types. Between practicums and courses, students will have the chance to hone their acting skills, while workshops can help them to learn the ins and outs of being a professional actor. The faith-focused activities and opportunities at each school are also covered below.
Saint Edward's University
The U.S. News and World Report named Saint Edward's University 15th in the best regional universities West category for 2018. Saint Edward's is home to the Mary Moody Northern Theater, where students can take part in plays and earn Equity credits toward membership with the Actors' Equity Association labor union. Students can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting or a Bachelor of Arts in Theater. Saint Edward's also has a guest lecture series, where professionals from around the country are invited to come speak and provide workshops, such as an auditions workshop. There are a number of volunteer opportunities, spring break immersion trips, and other retreats and groups where students can get involved in the spiritual side of campus.
The Communication, Media Studies, & Theatre Department houses the theatre programs at Austin College. Students can pursue majors in media studies, film studies or theatre. For aspiring actors, theatre may be the more focused option with courses in acting, development of dramatic art, rehearsal and performance, movement for theatre, costume and make-up design, and directing. The department puts on productions that theatre majors are expected to participate in, whether in an acting or a backstage role. In addition to worship services and Bible study groups, Austin has a labyrinth that students can walk along to clear their mind, pray, and meditate.
Baylor University is by far the largest school on this list by enrollment, with nearly 17,000 students. For undergraduate students who applied for financial aid in 2015, 98% of first-time, traditional students received an aid package, per the NCES. The theatre arts department is located in the College of Arts & Sciences. Baylor has several options for those seeking an education in acting at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Students can earn a BA in Theatre, BFA in Theatre Studies, BFA in Theatre Performance with or without a concentration in musical theatre, or a BFA in Theatre Design and Technology. At the graduate level, the options are an MA in Theatre Studies, or an MFA in Directing. Chapel at Baylor is required of all students, and there is an attendance check.
Abilene Christian University (ACU)
Out of all the regional universities in the West, U.S. News and World Report ranked Abilene Christian University at 18 for 2018. It was also considered the ninth best value school in the same regional category. ACU tries to bring Christian values into a high-quality education. The Department of Theatre has a BFA undergraduate major with six different tracks, including a theatre ministry track. Traditional students are required to live on campus their first two years in one of the 11 residence halls. Students can get involved on and off campus through mission trips, the Service Action Leadership Team (SALT), volunteering, and service learning, where courses integrate volunteer work for hands-on experience.
Southwestern University is dedicated to asking the tough questions about religion and creating conversation between different faiths. Students can spend their spring breaks in service to underprivileged communities in the Spring Breakaway program. Students can also join a faith-based organization, such as the Better Together interfaith group, or attend the Wilson Lectures, which helps students to interpret religion is daily life. In the theatre department, students will take courses in the fundamentals of acting, play analysis, theatre production, theatre sustainability, and a number of stage design courses to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre.