Christian Schools in Southern California

May 11, 2018

Southern California is home to Los Angeles, and many schools in this region offer unique programs in the arts, especially film, among a wide variety of other academic programs. Explore a few SoCal schools where you can get an education while maintaining strong Christian pillars.

If you want to attend a Christian college in an area that is nearly always sunny, consider looking in Southern California, or SoCal. These schools all offer numerous academic programs, as well as ministry opportunities that take advantage of the good climate.

School Comparison

All of the following colleges fall in the area that is considered Southern California, and all are private Christian institutions. The table looks at the affiliated denomination of each school and the cost of attendance for a year.

School Name Institution Type Denomination Location Undergraduate Tuition (2017-2018)*
La Sierra University 4-year, private not-for-profit Seventh Day Adventist Riverside, CA $32,130
Vanguard University Southern California 4-year, private not-for-profit Assemblies of God Church Costa Mesa, CA $32,430
Biola University 4-year, private not-for-profit Undenominational La Mirada, CA $38,448
William Jessup University 4-year, private not-for-profit Other Protestant Rocklin, CA $30,550
Loyola Marymount University 4-year, private not-for-profit Roman Catholic Los Angeles, CA $46,386

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

School Overview of Southern California Christian Institutions

In Southern California, many of the schools take advantage of the beautiful weather with hiking retreats, prayers on the lawn and service retreats to local areas in need. Students may want to consider the following schools when looking for an undergraduate or graduate degree at a Christian institution in the region.

La Sierra University

Four schools make up the La Sierra University campus. Students can choose from over 60 undergraduate programs, including archaeology, biophysics, health care management, film & television production, neuroscience, and world languages. Along with 23 pre-professions degrees, La Sierra offers several graduate degree programs at both the master's and doctorate level. Chapel is a weekly requirement at this school, though there are many other worship opportunities available around campus. Along with prayers on the lawn at lunch and weekly outreach opportunities, La Sierra has Mount Two-Bit Hikes, where students hike up the local mountain and discuss spiritual topics.

Vanguard University of Southern California

During the 2015-2016 school year, 99% of undergraduate students who applied for financial aid at Vanguard University of Southern California received some form of help. The same percentage of students were also fortunate to get free money for tuition in the form of grants or scholarships. Along with chapel services offered throughout the week, students can join in artistic ministry teams. Men can join an improv sketch team called the Delivery Boys, while the women's improv team is called Entourage. Students at Vanguard can study under one of the 25 undergraduate fields of study available. If you are continuing your education, consider one of the six master's degree programs in clinical psychology, education, theology, leadership studies, organizational psychology, or nursing.

Biola University

At Biola University, students can study anthropology, financial planning, gender studies, pastoral counseling, or any other of the more than 150 areas. For student athletes, 17 athletic teams provide several choices, including swimming & diving, soccer, tennis, and basketball. For those living on campus, 11 residential halls make up the residential life for students. Chapel at Biola is required. Students must meet the requirements for graduation, which are five conferences and 20 chapel services each semester. The 3-day conferences are held during the fall and spring annually. Students must attend some of the worship sessions held by faculty and special guests.

William Jessup University

U.S. News and World Report named William Jessup University the seventh best regional college in the West for 2018. The school was also considered the fourth best value school in the West. William Jessup has two campuses - Rocklin and San Jose. Students can also study three programs online: a bachelor's in criminal justice, and two master's degrees in sports management and leadership. As at many other Christian schools, chapel attendance is required on a regular basis. Students can also get involved in missions around the globe. In fact, some students are able to count their missions trip towards service credits. Also, students are required to be a part of Spiritual Formation Groups, which bring upperclassmen, new students, and faculty together for support, encouragement, and fellowship.

Loyola Marymount University

Located just outside of Los Angeles on a hilltop overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this school was ranked as the third best regional university in the West by U.S. News and World Report for 2018. Loyola Marymount University is more than just a pretty campus; there are 60 undergraduate majors and 42 graduate programs. Some programs, like electrical engineering, are offered at both the bachelor's and the master's level. A larger college, Loyola Marymount enrolls over 9,000 students, though the average class size remains intimate at around 20 students. Students can get involved with mass, prayer, outreach and the Tijuana service immersion trip.

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