Christian Colleges in Northern California

Apr 18, 2018

California is such a large state that it is often broken down into two primary areas: Northern and Southern California. If you are searching for a college in Northern California that focuses on Christian fundamentals, this article can help.

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Typically, Northern California is considered anything from the county lines of Monterey, Kings, Tulare and Inyo and above. There are a number of Christian colleges and seminaries above this NorCal/SoCal line.

School Comparison

All of the following schools are 4-year colleges that offer graduate degrees as well. While some are Biblically focused, there are some Christian colleges in Northern California that offer varied programs.

School Name Institution Type Denomination Location In-State Tuition (2017-2018)*
Fresno Pacific University 4-year, private not-for-profit Mennonite Brethren Church Fresno, CA $30,458
Shasta Bible College and Graduate School 4-year, private not-for-profit Baptist Redding, CA $12,060
SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary 4-year, private not-for-profit Assemblies of God Church El Dorado Hills, CA $9,324
California Christian College 4-year, private not-for-profit Free Will Baptist Church Fresno, CA $9,330
William Jessup University 4-year, private not-for-profit Other Protestant Rocklin, CA $30,550

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

Northern California Colleges Overview

Northern California is often the dream destination for many people. With Sacramento, San Francisco, and San Jose all part of the NorCal label, students can be sure to get involved in a rich on- and off-campus life. Many of these colleges integrate faith with education and campus life through extracurricular programs and chapel services. The following are just a few of the Christian colleges available in Northern California.

Fresno Pacific University

As the only accredited Christian university in California's Central Valley, Fresno Pacific University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission. Every Wednesday and Friday, FPU holds a College Hour that focuses on debates, lectures, and presentations on faith and learning. While this program is not required, it is encouraged, and students who attend 14 in a semester can earn college credit. FPU offers 39 undergraduate major programs, including Biblical studies, and several online programs in fields such as education, business, and ministry.

Shasta Bible College and Graduate School

If you're looking for an economical option that primarily focuses studies in theology and Biblical studies, then Shasta Bible College may be for you. Class sizes are incredibly small with five students for every one instructor. Shasta offers three bachelor's degree programs: a Bachelor of Arts in Bible & Theology, a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Professional Studies, and a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Teacher Education. There are several master's degree programs available, and they also focus on Christian education, ministry and theology. As of the 2015-2016 school year, Shasta has a 100% retention rate for first-time bachelor's-level students.

SUM Bible College & Theological Seminary

While based in Northern California, SUM Bible College & Theological Seminary has offshoot campuses in 16 other states. SUM Bible has only one degree program: a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies. However, you can focus your concentration in one of nine options to better fit your career goals: Biblical studies, church planting, church teaching, Evangelistic ministry, global missions, pastoral ministry, prophetic ministry, worship studies, or youth ministry. To complete the program, you must finish 139 credits, which is estimated to take about three years. On top of the 139 credits, every full-time student is expected to complete eight hours of ministry practicums each week. Forty hours of practicum attendance equals one credit, and the degree program requires 19 of these to graduate.

California Christian College

The least populous college on this list by far, CCC has 18 currently enrolled students. This institution is accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools and does accept credit for life experiences. CCC offers associate's degree programs in Bible/Christian ministries and liberal studies. The Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry/Bible program requires a total of 128 credits and includes course offerings in the Synoptic gospels, Pentateuch, Psalms, Epistles, and Biblical interpretation. CCC also offers a youth ministry emphasis for the associate's and bachelor's degree programs.

William Jessup University

The student to teacher ratio at William Jessup University is 11:1. William Jessup has a full-time student retention rate of 76%, but a part-time retention rate of 100%. There are nearly 20 degree programs available at the undergraduate level, including programs in criminal justice, theatre, psychology, environmental science, and youth ministry. Most degree programs have several concentrations to choose from as well. William Jessup has both residence halls and on-campus apartments, and students can take part in any of the outreach, mission or spiritual formation groups available on campus.

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