Those who want to study law at a Christian university in Florida have just a few options to choose from. While most schools offer a Juris Doctor (JD) program, others help undergraduate students to begin their law education.
The following table looks at the cost for a year of tuition at these Christian institutions in Florida, based on the degree offered. All the schools that offer a JD program in Florida are Roman Catholic, and most of these schools are found in the Miami area.
|School Name||Institution Type||Denomination||Location||Graduate Tuition (2017-2018)*|
|Ave Maria School of Law||Graduate, private not-for-profit||Roman Catholic||Naples, FL||$39,950**|
|Barry University||4-year, private not-for-profit||Roman Catholic||Miami, FL||$17,820|
|Florida Memorial University||4-year, private not-for-profit||Baptist||Miami Gardens, FL||$15,536 (undergraduate)|
|St. Thomas University||4-year, private not-for-profit||Roman Catholic||Miami Gardens, FL||$14,076|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), **School website (2018-2019)
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Summary of Florida's Christian Law Schools
The following schools are all Christian colleges that offer law degrees at various levels, as well as opportunities for service and spiritual growth. Students can earn their bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree, and some unique program options include dual degrees and accelerated degrees.
Ave Maria School of Law
At Ave Maria School of Law, students study only law, so the education is intensive. Over three years, students will study several legal topics, such as evidence, jurisprudence, commercial law, torts, contracts, criminal procedure, and constitutional law. Since the school is a Catholic institution, students will also study religious-based legal topics, such as bioethics, religious freedom, and the protection of human life. In the Moot Court, students practice trial skills and take part in intramural competitions that are faculty- and guest-judged. While daily mass is offered, the college encourages students to join a local parish for more spiritual involvement.
The Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law is where law students will spend most of their time. Students will earn 90 credits in legal courses to earn their Juris Doctor. Barry has a 3+3 program in partnership with the University of Central Florida, which allows students to complete their bachelor's degree and earn the J.D. in six years rather than the normal seven. While there are multi-faith services, Catholicism is at the heart of campus, and liturgical masses are given every day but Saturday. Barry also offers Spanish masses at least once a month for Spanish-speaking students. Students can seek spiritual guidance and meditation for faith-based stress relief.
Florida Memorial University
To begin their education in law, students may want to look at Florida Memorial University. While this is the only school on the list that does not offer a professional degree in law, Florida Memorial does offer two pre-law degrees: a BA in Law and Government and a BA in Criminal Justice (Pre-Law). In the law and government track, students will look at poll surveying, political campaigning, lobbying, law enforcement, and public planning, among other political science and legal topics. In the Pre-Law program, courses include criminal law, constitution law, deviance, statistics and criminology. Undergraduate students will complete 120-122 credit hours for graduation. On campus, spiritual life is abundant. Chapel ambassadors help students to connect with faith-based services and activities. These ambassadors, along with the Dean of Campus Ministry, will move about campus spreading the Word of God to those students in need as they go about their daily lives.
St. Thomas University
At the St. Thomas University School of Law, students can earn their bachelor's degree and JD in just six years. Students can also take a number of joint programs that allow them to earn their Juris Doctor along with a degree in international business, accounting, counseling, or sports administration (MS or MBA). Finally, students can earn either their JD or their Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree in Intercultural Human Rights through St. Thomas University. Students who wish to get involved with campus ministry can participate in the disaster relief and Caribbean relief retreats to help in the community. Students can also join in campus ministry through worship, prayer, faith sharing, and leadership activities.