Top Christian Colleges on the East Coast

Aug 28, 2018

When considering a top college, you'll want to look at several factors, including the programs offered, the retention rates, and the graduation rates of students. While every Christian school offers unique opportunities, we'll look at some of the best on the East Coast.

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Looking for East Coast colleges limits the search to any states that touch the Atlantic Ocean. For the sake of this article, we've also included Washington DC and Pennsylvania (though some consider this a landlocked state). Below, we'll look at the reasons the selected Christian colleges and universities are considered some of the top on the East Coast and in the nation, including their rankings and academic and spiritual offerings.

School Comparison

The table below discusses a few of the top Christian colleges and universities on the East Coast, all of which are private schools. You can see that these colleges are either United Methodist or Roman Catholic, and that all cost about $50,000 a year.

School Name Institution Type Denomination Location Undergraduate Tuition (2017-2018)*
Duke University 4-year, private not-for-profit United Methodist Durham, NC $53,500
Georgetown University 4-year, private not-for-profit Roman Catholic Washington, DC $52,300
Emory University 4-year, private not-for-profit United Methodist Atlanta, GA $49,392
Boston College 4-year, private not-for-profit Roman Catholic Chestnut Hill, MA $53,346
Villanova University 4-year, private not-for-profit Roman Catholic Villanova, PA $51,284

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

Overview of East Coast Christian Colleges and Universities

We looked at the U.S. News and World Report listing for the best colleges and universities in the nation for 2018. When cross-referencing Christian schools on the East Coast, some pretty recognizable names came up. These schools all boast good graduation rates and retention rates, and they offer faith-focused programs and activities.

Duke University

Standing at #9 among the nation's best universities for 2018, according to U.S. News and World Report, is Duke University. That ranking is not surprising when we look at some of the university's numbers, such as a 97% retention rate for freshmen returnees and a 95% graduation rate. Duke offers 4,000 courses each semester in its 48 undergraduate majors. Some of the very diverse majors offered are biomedical engineering, cultural anthropology, earth and ocean sciences, medieval and Renaissance studies, Slavic and Eurasian studies, neuroscience, and Romance studies. PathWays is one of the student ministries on Duke's campus that provides prayer, counseling, mission trips, and other activities across campus.

Georgetown University

The second university on our list is number 20 in the U.S. News and World Report rankings for the best national universities of 2018. Every Tuesday, Georgetown's college chaplain holds a tea with students who are interested. The first-year program ESCAPE gets students off campus for an overnight faith retreat. Georgetown also tries to bring all religions together to get involved in retreats and mission trips, creating a coexisting presence on campus. The MAGIS immersion service trips get you involved both locally and internationally. But campus activities aren't the only thing that create the 96% retention rate at Georgetown; the nine schools and their majors give a wide variety of opportunities for study. Georgetown also has a 95% graduation rate for students within six years.

Emory University

At number 21 on U.S. News and World Report's best national universities list for 2018, Emory University has a 91% graduation rate. While there are over 70 undergraduate programs, the seven graduate and professional schools boast over 40 PhD programs. In 2017, the retention rate for undergraduate freshmen was 93%. Emory has a busy campus life as well. There are 18 varsity teams that are part of the NCAA Division III league, including cross country, tennis, swimming and diving, track and field, and basketball for both men and women. Along with masses for several religions and denominations, the Christian life on campus is evident with several Christian-based activities. Some of the ministry and student-led activities include the Bread Coffeehouse, Brothers and Sisters in Christ, the Emory Missional Community, and the Voices of Inner Strength Gospel Choir.

Boston College

Boston College has 59 majors across its eight schools. Some of the more unique majors include American heritage, perspectives on Spanish America, environmental geosciences, managing for social impact and the public good, and corporate reporting and analysis. The graduation rate at Boston College is 92%, and the freshman retention rate is 95%. Opportunities for students to get involved on campus include 273 student organizations and 31 intercollegiate Division I sports teams. Several Catholic masses are held each day on campus, and faith retreats and student faith groups and programs can be found throughout the school year. Boston College was ranked #32 on the U.S. News and World Report list of the best national universities for 2018.

Villanova University

Villanova University had a 95% retention rate for freshmen returning for a second year in 2017, along with a 90% graduation rate for students finishing within six years. This school was ranked #46 on the U.S. News and World Report list for the best national universities in 2018. Villanova is located only 12 miles outside of the birthplace of our nation - Philadelphia - and all its historical and cultural greatness. On campus, the activities and culture are prominent: Villanova has 10 men's sports teams and 12 women's sports teams to join, as well as campus ministry groups, social justice advocacy, faith-based retreats, worship opportunities, and the Campus Activities Team (CAT) to get involved with. On top of campus life, there are 60+ bachelor's degree programs to undertake, along with numerous master's degree and doctoral programs.

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