There are several different states in the country that are home to Christian institutions that offer degree programs in occupational therapy. These schools range in denomination and provide students with a variety of spiritual growth opportunities. Here we focus on a handful of the Christian schools that offer advanced degree programs in occupational therapy, as most occupational therapists need at least a master's degree.
The 4-year, Christian colleges and universities that offer occupational therapy vary in tuition rates. In the table below you can compare the tuition rates and denominations of a few of these schools.
|School Name||Institution Type||Denomination||Location||Graduate Tuition (2017-2018)*|
|University of Mary||4-year, private not-for-profit||Roman Catholic||Bismarck, ND||$14,500|
|Huntington University||4-year, private not-for-profit||United Brethren Church||Huntington, IN||$11,208|
|Milligan College||4-year, private not-for-profit||Christian Churches and Churches of Christ||Milligan College, TN||$9,797|
|Abilene Christian University||4-year, private not-for-profit||Churches of Christ||Abilene, TX||$20,664|
|Messiah College||4-year, private not-for-profit||Interdenominational||Mechanicsburg, PA||$11,610|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
Description of the Christian Occupational Therapy Schools
Christian schools that offer occupational therapy programs provide students with unique learning opportunities and resources. These schools also differ in size, location, spiritual growth opportunities and more. Here we discuss some of the schools that offer graduate degree programs in the field.
University of Mary
In 2016, the NCES reported that the University of Mary had a little over 1,040 graduate students. The university offers an Occupational Therapy Doctorate program that prepares students for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy's (NBCOT) certification exam. The 3-year program incorporates Christian values and requires 24-weeks of field work and a 16-week capstone experience for hands-on learning. Students wishing to further develop their spiritual lives can participate in liturgical celebrations with prayer and worship and/or social justice projects that are offered through university ministries.
Huntington University also offers a 3-year Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree program. Students in the program must complete the doctoral experiential component (DEC), or residency, to gain more experience in a particular area of practice. The occupational therapy program accepts up to 56 students a year with a spring and fall cohort, according to the school's website. Huntington University as a whole had about 300 graduate students in 2016, per the NCES. The school's Campus Ministries program offers chapel services twice a week, small groups, prayer meetings, student leadership opportunities and mission opportunities with Global Vision.
Milligan College requires students to participate in a unique Spiritual Formation Program (SFP) that includes spiritual retreats, missions trips, Bible studies, prayer groups, devotional breakfasts, FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) events, chapel services and other opportunities for spiritual growth. Students interested in occupational therapy can pursue the Master of Science degree program in the field. The program is typically 2.5 years in length and requires a capstone experience and multiple fieldwork experiences. The NCES reported that Milligan College had 315 graduate students in 2016.
Abilene Christian University
Abilene Christian University had a little over 1,150 graduate students in 2016, according to the NCES, but he occupational therapy program graduated 25 students in 2017, according to the school's website. The school has a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree program that can be completed in 24 months and had a 100% pass rate for program graduates in 2016 on the NBCOT exam, per the school's website. Students in the program gain hands-on experience through a Level 1 and a Level 2 fieldwork experience. Students interested in growing in their faith can participate in individual and community opportunities for service, worship, prayer and Bible study.
Messiah College offers a Master of Occupational Therapy degree program. The program can be completed in 25 months and focuses on cultural relevancy and incorporates global engagement. Similar to Abilene Christian University, students in the program complete Level 1 and Level 2 fieldwork experiences, which includes experience with adult and pediatric practice. The program also includes some courses that discuss spirituality in healthcare, but students can also participate in men's and women's ministries, AROMA sports ministry, worship community and/or small groups to further grow in their faith. The NCES reported that Messiah College had about 520 graduate students in 2016.