Students interested in studying physical therapy can choose from a variety of private, Christian colleges and universities throughout the country. These schools differ in size, denomination, spiritual growth opportunities and other characteristics. Many Christian schools offer pre-physical therapy programs, but here we explore a handful of schools that offer the Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT), which is required to be able to practice as a physical therapist.
At least five different states in the country are home to 4-year, Christian institutions that offer physical therapy programs. Find out more about a few of the schools' location, denomination and tuition rates below.
|School Name||Institution Type||Denomination||Location||Tuition (2017-2018)*|
|Belmont University||4-year, private not-for-profit||Interdenominational||Nashville, TN||$21,060|
|Campbell University||4-year, private not-for-profit||Baptist||Buies Creek, NC||$11,628|
|George Fox University||4-year, private not-for-profit||Friends||Newberg, OR||$13,015|
|Hardin-Simmons University||4-year, private not-for-profit||Baptist||Abilene, TX||$13,500|
|Messiah College||4-year, private not-for-profit||Interdenominational||Mechanicsburg, PA||$11,610|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
Description of the Christian Physical Therapy Schools
The Christian colleges that offer DPT programs provide students with a range of sizes, ways to grow in their faith and other resources. Compare and contrast some of these schools to help you find the one that is the right fit for you.
The NCES reported that Belmont University had 1,430 graduate students in 2016. The university's DPT program boasts a 100% ultimate pass rate on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE), according to the school's website. The school offers a variety of clinical sites for the program and a sports residency, neurologic clinical residency or pediatric residency. Students can participate in unique university ministries designed for graduate students, including local outreach projects like Sports Day for disabled children or international outreach programs like the Guatemala Medical Service Opportunity where students provide education and therapy services to Guatemalans.
Campbell University's DPT program offers unique inter-professional learning experiences throughout the program to prepare students for real-world situations. Throughout the 3-year program, students complete two clinical experiences, three service learning experiences and three clinical internships to gain plenty of hands-on experience. In 2016, the university had close to 2,230 graduate students, per the NCES. Students interested in participating in a physical therapy-related student organization can join the Physical Therapy Student Government Association or American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). For their spiritual lives, students can participate in chapel services, missions trips, service projects, ministry groups and/or small groups.
George Fox University
George Fox University provides students with multiple chapel services throughout the week, spiritual concerts and plays, Bible studies, fellowship groups, service opportunities and other spiritual activities to help students grow in their faith. The university had a little over 1,430 graduate students in 2016, according to the NCES, and is one of only two physical therapy schools in Oregon. Students in the DPT program get hands-on experience by working in the school's unique Physical Therapy Community Clinic. This clinic offers pediatric, health and wellness, orthopedic and sports medicine and cardiopulmonary therapeutic services and is free to qualified patients.
Hardin-Simmons University had about 500 graduate students in 2016, per the NCES. The school's DPT program offers small class sizes and was the first DPT program in Texas offered through a private institution. According to the school's website, students in the program have a 97% pass rate on the state licensure exam and 100% employment. Students in the program can combine their knowledge, skills and faith through HSU PT Ministries that provides pro bono outreach activities and health care to the community. Students can also go on missions trips through the ministry and/or participate in other service projects through organizations like the Special Olympics, Campus Clinic and the American Cancer Society.
Messiah College's DPT program follows a cohort-learning model and can be completed in 8 semesters full-time. The program has a unique emphasis on global engagement and cultural relevancy and allows students to participate in global missions and collaborate with global health facilities through Skype. Students wishing to further develop their faith can participate in small groups such as the AROMA sports ministry, Koinonia men's and women's groups, pastoral counseling and worship services. The school had close to 520 graduate students in 2016, per the NCES.