39 Top Online Christian Colleges by Cost

Online Christian colleges combine high quality instruction with faithOnline Christian colleges are growing fast. In fact, two schools—Liberty University and Grand Canyon University—are among the 10 largest universities in online-only enrollment.

But before you take a leap of faith online—or turn up your nose at the very idea of an online degree from a faith-based college—you need to understand that there are two very different types of online Christian colleges and universities. Our team of researchers break down these two types and help you determine the right one for you.

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Where Faith is in Every Online Course

A few online Christian colleges integrate their religious perspective and doctrines into every aspect of their teaching and online coursework. Liberty University is an example. Liberty University has one of the largest enrollments among online colleges with 100,000 students.

Founded in 1971 as a fundamentalist Baptist university by Jerry Falwell, Liberty Online describes itself as “consistently teaching from a Christian worldview.” Everyone who teaches at Liberty University is a Christian. The Bible is used as a reference throughout every course at Liberty, including classes like statistics. Online students pray for each other and socialize through Bible study. 

An intensely Christ-centered education was just the sort of education Michelle Echterling wanted. The daughter of a non-denominational Christian pastor, Echterling was homeschooled while her family traveled the world evangelizing. She wanted to attend college while still traveling as a missionary who worked with orphanages around the world.

Echterling decided to enter an online bachelor’s degree program from Regent University. Regent was founded by televangelist Pat Robertson to provide, in the words of its mission statement, "Christian leadership to change the world."

At Regent, Christian beliefs are part of every aspect of residential and online education. Regent University is just right for Echterling—she loves that she can take classes like “Contemporary Problems for Christian Leaders” without cutting back on her travels.

Echterling is the perfect online student for a faith-based Christian school like Regent or Liberty.
 


When Online Christian Colleges are Not Religious Schools

In the other camp are online schools founded and operated by nonprofit, religious organizations that don’t teach a specific religion. Many Catholic universities with online degree programs fall in this category.

Duquesne University is one such university. Founded in 1878 as a residential Catholic university, Duquesne is still a Catholic school, but classes don’t promote any specific religion or beliefs.

Duquesne professors reflect a diversity of religions and backgrounds. They do not teach a specific spiritual perspective. Nor do they use the Bible in class as an information source.

Like many Catholic schools, Duquesne courses require service projects that allow students to apply what they’ve learned to helping others. Catholicism is a strong influence at Duquesne; it’s just not integrated into online course content the way Christianity is at Liberty.

In fact, students who post reviews of Catholic and Jesuit online universities on GetEducated.com typically make no reference to religion as a deciding factor in their enrollment. Instead, they often mention overall educational reputation as a prime deciding factor.

The quality of education offered by one private Catholic college, Saint Leo University of Florida, was the deciding factor for Penny, one of GetEducated’s online student reviewers. Penny didn't think about religion or its overall role in her life or education plan when she decided to attend Saint Leo, a Catholic college that operates many online degree programs in business and healthcare.

Penny first tried the University of Phoenix Online, one of America’s largests online schools. “My first experience was with University of Phoenix and they were not for me,” writes Penny in her GetEducated.com review of Saint Leo's online bachelor's in business administration & management.

“I switched to Saint Leo in 2007. They were awesome! I had the same college guide throughout and my counselor was helpful and encouraging. There were no group projects, you earned your grade on your own merit. Most classes had some type of research paper involved and the homework encouraged students to delve deeper into each subject. Two thumbs up to this college for their very organized distance learning curriculum!”
 


Christian Distance Learning: Right for You?

Aside from wanting a religious education, why else might you consider online Christian colleges?

For one thing, many Catholic universities have earned reputations as prestigious private colleges, with equally prestigious online degree programs.

Regis University of Colorado, Duquesne University and Saint Joseph’s College of Maine are examples of residential colleges founded by Catholic orders. These established residential universities are dedicated to intellectual enlightenment regardless of the personal religious affiliations of their students or faculty. One Get Educated student reviewer praised Regis University online, a Jesuit university, because “instructors were adamant about students using their varied backgrounds to help guide themselves to well thought-out conclusions.”” 
 


Questions of Cost for Online Christian Universities

Some religious schools are more affordable than their secular counterparts. Liberty University’s online MBA program, for example, made GetEducated.com’s Best Buy rankings of the most affordable distance MBAs. The school earned a Best Buy ranking by offering online courses and degrees at a significantly lower cost than the hundreds of other competing online MBA programs.

One interesting item: Christian or faith-based online schools often match church donations to students’ educations. This can be a plus if your church is an important part of your everyday life.

Some online degree programs, including many operated by residential Catholic or Christian universities, cost two or three times more than their nonprofit, online school peers.

Private schools often have small endowments and limited tax-dollar support. They are often more dependent on tuition dollars to make ends meet. For this reason, they often must charge higher tuition rates to their students.

This fact is not true across the board. Get Educated’s rankings of the most affordable online degrees have placed East Coast Catholic universities, such as Duquesne University Online, as offering some of the most expensive online degree programs.

Regis University, on the other hand, has been ranked a Get Educated Best Buy for lower-than-average costs for its online master's degree programs in criminal justice, leadership, education, management and nursing.
 


How to Choose an Online College—Religious or Not

Ultimately, the decision comes down to faith. Just about any school that bills itself as Christian will say on paper that it welcomes all students. However, the reality is that not every student will be comfortable in a faith-based learning environment.

Bottom line, as one student wrote in her GetEducated.com review of Liberty University, “If you’re offended by Christianity, this is not the school for you.”

Also, remember there are many different types of Christianity. A university founded by the Methodist Church is likely to separate religion doctrine from all its educational course programs. On the other hand, an evangelical, born-again Christian school, such as Liberty, makes the Christian faith central to each and every course and online study session.

Some Christian schools operated by sects that have long histories in missionary and evangelical education—such as the Seventh Day Adventist Church—do require signed oaths of faith. They may even ask for a letter of recommendation from your pastor.

Look to see the type of faith practiced by any online school. Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, the Church of Christ Latter Day Saints (Mormons), Seventh Day Adventists and Jesuits all operate online schools.

Each online school adheres to a different doctrine of Christianity. Make sure you agree with the specific doctrine being practiced if you are entering a faith-based online degree program.

When you’re considering a Christian online college, do the same research you would for any online degree program—and then do a little more.
 


3 Evaluation Tips for Online Christian Colleges

  1. Review the mission statement of a Christian online degree program carefully. Does the public mission statement require faculty and students to sign an oath to practice one specific religion? If so, is that okay with you?
     
  2. Read the course descriptions for your distance degree program. If religion is integrated into the curriculum, you’ll see evidence. Is the Bible used as a course textbook, for example?
     
  3. Determine the role religion plays in online courses and the faculty belief systems.
     

8 Questions to Ask Online Christian Schools

  1. What percent of students belong to the religion with which the school is affiliated?
  2. What percent of faculty belong to that religion?
  3. Does the faculty have to sign a statement that swears allegiance to a particular faith?
  4. Do students have to sign a statement that swears allegiance to that same faith?
  5. How often is the Bible used as a source in online courses?
  6. How would you characterize your school’s position on homosexuality, divorce and evolution/creation (or any issue that is morally important to you)?
  7. Does the online school accept matching funds if my church donates to my education? 
  8. Do you offer any of the following online—bible study groups, streamed chapel service, inspiration passages on your learning management system, the ability to make online prayer requests, and articles offering religious-based counsel?
     

Top 39 Online Christian Colleges

Our editors at GetEducated have gathered a list of the very best online schools that are affiliated with Christian orders. This list is organized from least expensive to most expensive. Click on the green button to see which degree programs are offered and find out more information.

Most Affordable Online Christian Universities
 

1. Central Christian College of the Bible

Accreditations: ABHE
Tuition: $275 per credit hour
Affiliation: Churches of Christ

Offering an affordable education with a sense of community, Central Christian College of the Bible has a variety of online degree programs designed for busy professionals. Their online courses are flexible, multimedia-intensive, and run at an accelerated schedule.

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2. Regent University

Accreditations: SACSCOC
Tuition: $295–$1,140 per credit hour
Affiliation: Interdenominational Evangelical

One of the fastest-growing schools in the nation, Regent University was founded in 1977 by Pat Robertson and is recognized as a Military Friendly School. They offer a wide selection of highly-regarded degree programs that can be completed entirely online.

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3. Faulkner University

Accreditations: ABA, NCATE, SACSCOC
Tuition: $300–$610 per credit hour
Affiliation: Churches of Christ

Faulkner University offers twenty-nine different online degree programs for busy adults and working professionals. Their online programs offer a personalized, flexible experience with the same academic quality offered to traditional students.

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4. Columbia College

Accreditations: CCNE, HLC
Tuition: $305–$415 per credit hour
Affiliation: Disciples of Christ

Columbia College's online campus offers over 800 courses and twenty-nine degree programs. This university was ranked as one of the "Best for Vets" in 2017 by Military Times, and GetEducated.com has recognized it as a "Best Buy."

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5. Toccoa Falls College

Accreditations: NASM, SACSCOC
Tuition: $315 per credit hour
Affiliation: Christian and Missionary Alliance

Toccoa Falls College is dedicated to providing a strong academic curriculum that will prepare students for service, leadership, and professional success. The twelve degree programs they offer that can be completed 100% online are designed to accommodate the needs of busy, working adults. Online students enjoy all the same resources available to on-campus students.

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6. Lubbock Christian University

Accreditations: ACEN, CSWE, SACSCOC
Tuition: $316–$705 per credit hour
Affiliation: Churches of Christ

With graduate placement rates above 90%, well higher than the national average, Lubbock Christian University offers over sixty-five different undergraduate majors. Many of their degree programs can be completed in an online or hybrid format.

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7. Abilene Christian University

Accreditations: AACSB, ABET, ACEND, ACEJMC, ASHA, ATS, CADE, COAMFTE, CIDA, CSWE, NASM, SACSCOC, TEAC
Tuition: $333–$1,148 per credit hour
Affiliation: Churches of Christ

Abilene Christian University provides online graduate degree programs crafted with the needs of working professionals in mind. They have been recognized as a Military Friendly School and offer a wide variety of online master's, doctoral, and certificate programs.

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8. York College

Accreditations: HLC
Tuition: $350–$425 per credit hour
Affiliation: Churches of Christ

Students have six different degree programs that can be taken entirely online through York College. Their programs are designed to offer flexibility and rigorous academics to online students, with faith-based educational values placed at the forefront.

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9. Johnson University - Florida

Accreditations: ABHE, SACSCOC
Tuition: $375–$550 per credit hour
Affiliation: Churches of Christ

Consistent with their values, Johnson University prioritizes affordability in offering quality academics to students seeking higher education. They have a wide variety of online undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

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10. Amridge University

Accreditations: SACSCOC
Tuition: $375–$750 per credit hour
Affiliation: Churches of Christ

Amridge University has long been a pioneer in online education, and has been providing distance learning online since 1993. Their graduates report higher than average rates of passing licensure exams and finding employment in their fields of study.

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11. Liberty University

Accreditations: ABA, ABET, ACBSP, AOA-COCA, CAAHEP, CAATE, CACREP, CCNE, COSMA, NASM, NCATE, SACSCOC
Tuition: $390–$605 per credit hour
Affiliation: Southern Baptist

Founded by Pastor Jerry Falwell, Liberty University has grown to become the largest Christian university in the world. They currently offer 289 different online degree programs, with 88% of their graduates finding employment within six months of completing their degree.

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12. Graceland University

Accreditations: CCNE, HLC
Tuition: $395–$475 per credit hour
Affiliation: Community of Christ

Graceland University has online degree programs in business, education, nursing, and religion. They have been leading the way in developing and serving online education for decades, and are dedicated to providing online students with quality academic programs that will nurture their professional and personal growth.

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13. Culver-Stockton College

Accreditations: CAATE, CCNE, IACBE, NASM, HLC
Tuition: $395–$500 per credit hour
Affiliation: Disciples of Christ

Culver-Stockton College offers rigorous, accelerated online degree programs designed to be flexible and adaptable to the needs of working professionals. They offer graduate as well as undergraduate programs.

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14. Point University

Accreditations: NCATE, SACSCOC
Tuition: $395–$515 per credit hour
Affiliation: Churches of Christ

Point University offers flexible, self-paced online degree programs designed with the needs of working adults in mind. They have over thirty different associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees that can be completed fully online.

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15. Rochester College

Accreditations: CCNE, HLC
Tuition: $396 per credit hour
Affiliation: Churches of Christ

Offering forty-three majors in both traditional and accelerated formats, Rochester College graduates have gone on to careers in some of the most respected companies and organizations in the world. Their online courses utilize the Moodle learning software platform.

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16. Asbury University

Accreditations: CSWE, NASM, NCATE, SACSCOC
Tuition: $399-$595 per credit hour
Affiliation: Non-denominational

Serving students with a wide variety of religious affiliations, Asbury University offers fifty-four different majors from fourteen academic departments. Their online degree programs are designed to meet rigorous educational standards in a collaborative multimedia learning environment.

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17. Ohio Valley University

Accreditations: HLC, IACBE
Tuition: $400 per credit hour
Affiliation: Churches of Christ

With a low faculty to student ratio, Ohio Valley University is able to provide an attentive, personalized educational experience to traditional as well as online students. Their graduate placement rate is well above the national average, with 91% of alumni working in their fields of study or pursuing graduate degrees.

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18. California Lutheran University

Accreditations: WASC
Tuition: $410–$995 per credit hour
Affiliation: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

With a mission to educate leaders of strong character, California Lutheran University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide variety of majors. Many of their degree programs are specifically designed around the needs of working professionals.

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19. John Brown University

Accreditations: ABET, ACBSP, ACCE, HLC, NCATE
Tuition: $420 per credit hour
Affiliation: Interdenominational

The online bachelor's degree completion programs offered by John Brown University can be completed in a single year. They also provide eight master's degrees that can be completed entirely online.

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20. Midway University

Accreditations: ACEN, SACSCOC
Tuition: $425 per credit hour
Affiliation: Disciples of Christ

Midway University's mission is to provide a student-centered education that will turn graduates into responsible citizens with rewarding careers. They offer various degrees that can be completed entirely online, with accelerated course options.

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21. Lincoln Christian University

Accreditations: ABHE, ATS, CACREP, HLC
Tuition: $440 per credit hour
Affiliation: Churches of Christ

Lincoln Christian University has seven different degree programs that can be taken completely online. Their educational philosophy and curriculum is strongly shaped by the faith and values the school was founded upon.

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22. Crown College

Accreditations: CCNE, HLC
Tuition: $445–$510 per credit hour
Affiliation: Christian and Missionary Alliance

Recognized as a Military Friendly School, Crown College places an emphasis on the values of faith, academic excellence, affordability, and global connectivity. They offer a wide range of online degree programs and many of their online courses can be completed in just seven weeks.

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23. Mid-Atlantic Christian University

Accreditations: SACSCOC
Tuition: $450 per credit hour
Affiliation: Churches of Christ

Serving a mission to transform their students into extraordinary Christian leaders, Mid-Atlantic Christian University provides a variety of online and hybrid degree completion programs. They have been recognized as a Military Friendly School.

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24. Hope International University

Accreditations: ABHE, COAMFTE, WSCUC
Tuition: $450–$725 per credit hour
Affiliation: Churches of Christ

With a mission to integrate faith, service, and learning in the academics they provide, Hope International University offers a variety of 100% online as well as hybrid degree programs. Interested students can "test drive" their online courses for free.

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25. Northwest Christian University

Accreditations: CACREP, CCNE, IACBE, NWCCU
Tuition: $465 per credit hour
Affiliation: Churches of Christ/Disciples of Christ

Committed to providing character development as well as academic excellence, Northwest Christian University offers several degree programs that can be completed entirely online. They have been designated as a Military Friendly School.

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26. Multnomah University

Accreditations: ATS, NWCCU
Tuition: $465–$520 per credit hour
Affiliation: Nondenominational

Multnomah University offers online degree programs on software platforms that students can engage with from smartphones, tablets, or personal computers, allowing them to stay on top of their coursework wherever they go. They have eight different online graduate and undergraduate programs to choose from.

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27. Lakeland University

Accreditations: HLC, TEAC
Tuition: $485–$605 per credit hour
Affiliation: United Church of Christ

Students can pursue degrees in over thirty different majors at Lakeland University, and over 95% of those who graduate find careers in their chosen field within six months. Their online programs are designed with maximum flexibility for busy, working adults.

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28. Lynchburg College

Accreditations: ACBSP, CAAHEP, CACREP, CAPTE, NASM, SACSCOC
Tuition: $510 per credit hour
Affiliation: Disciples of Christ

Offering forty undergraduate majors, eighteen graduate degrees, and three doctoral programs, Lynchburg College is recognized as a Military Friendly School and has placed on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. They offer fully-online MBA and MSN programs as well as a number of online classes.

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29. Harding University

Accreditations: ACBSP, ACEND, ARC-PA, CAATE, CAPTE, CIDA, CSWE, HLC, NASM
Tuition: $561 per credit hour
Affiliation: Churches of Christ

Harding University, on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, offers ten undergraduate, and twenty-one graduate and professional degrees. They have a fully-online MBA program and several other courses and programs that can be taken online.

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30. Lenoir-Rhyne University

Accreditations: ACBSP, ACEND, ACOTE, ARC-PA, ATS, CAATE, CACREP, CCNE, NCATE, SACSCOC
Tuition: $575–$825 per credit hour
Affiliation: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Striving to offer a personalized, intimate educational environment, Lenoir-Rhyne University is dedicated to setting students on the path to provide both leadership and service. They offer online programs for business, nursing, teaching, and other disciplines.

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31. Freed-Hardeman University

Accreditations: SACSCOC
Tuition: $590 per credit hour
Affiliation: Churches of Christ

Freed-Hardeman University's mission is to provide students with an education that combines faith, scholarship, and service. Many of their degree programs can be completed online.

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32. Elmhurst College

Accreditations: CCNE, NCA
Tuition: $595 per credit hour
Affiliation: United Church of Christ

Elmhurst College has been recognized as a Military Friendly School, and strives to provide students with a quality education in a close-knit, personalized setting. They offer various online options for working adults, and over 93% of their graduates go on to careers in the field or graduate school.

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33. Manhattan Christian College

Accreditations: ABHE, HLC
Tuition: $622 per credit hour
Affiliation: Churches of Christ

Manhattan Christian College offers online degree programs in Biblical Leadership and Management and Ethics. The programs are designed to offer the same quality of education one would receive in-person, while being convenient and flexible enough for adult students with busy schedules to complete.

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34. Kentucky Christian University

Accreditations: CCNE, CSWE, SACSCOC
Tuition: $625 per credit hour
Affiliation: Churches of Christ

Students enrolled in Kentucky Christian University's online degree programs have full access to a range of free services offered by the university library, and can request books, articles, and documents to be mailed or emailed directly to them. KCU’s mission is to provide students with an engaging, transformative education.

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35. Rocky Mountain College

Accreditations: AABI, ARC-PA, NWCCU
Tuition: $751–$1,127 per credit hour
Affiliation: Methodist/Presbyterian/United Church of Christ

Students at Rocky Mountain College have fifty-two undergraduate majors to choose from, including one of the top aviation programs in the country. Over 97% of their graduates go on to fulfilling careers or advanced degrees in their field of choice.

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36. North Park University

Accreditations: HLC
Tuition: $885 per credit hour
Affiliation: Evangelical Covenant Church

With a low faculty to student ratio and post-graduation job placement rates well above the national average, North Park University is committed to preparing students for lives of achievement and service. They offer several online undergraduate and graduate degree programs on an accelerated seven-week class schedule.

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37. Colorado Christian University

Accreditations: CACREP, CCNE, HLC, NASM
Tuition: $1,245 per credit hour
Affiliation: Interdenominational

One of the leading Christian universities in the Rocky Mountains region, Colorado Christian University is home to a major public policy think tank and over a hundred degree programs. Their online programs are designed to foster a sense of community that allows students to develop real connections with their instructors and fellow students.

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38. Texas Christian University

Accreditations: AACSB, ABET, ACEJMC, ACEND, ACS, ASHA, CAATE, CCNE, CIDA, CSWE, NASAD, NASD, NASM, SACSCOC
Tuition: $1,555 per credit hour
Affiliation: Disciples of Christ

With a mission to educate students to become responsible citizens and practice ethical leadership, Texas Christian University offers a wide variety of majors and a low faculty to student ratio. Many of their courses and programs can be completed entirely online.

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39. Pepperdine University

Accreditations: AACSB, ABA, ACEND, APA, NASM, WSCUC
Tuition: $1,715 per credit hour
Affiliation: Churches of Christ

Pepperdine University features seventy-three different degree programs offered by its five separate graduate and undergraduate schools. Their online courses are based on rigorous academic standards and are led by faculty and highly qualified student teachers.

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