If your faith is central to your life, online Christian colleges with low tuition can give you the opportunity to grow both academically and spiritually. Many accredited, affordable Christian colleges offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs that you can pursue 100% online—giving you flexibility, convenience and the support of a like-minded faculty and student community. Read on to learn what makes an online Christian college different from other online colleges and discover five of the cheapest online Christian colleges. Finding your perfect academic match starts here!
5 Accredited Christian Colleges with Low Tuition
OCU was founded in 1948 as Circleville Bible College for the purpose of educating clergy for the Churches of Christ in Christian Union. While remaining true to its founders' vision, Ohio Christian University has since expanded its outreach by becoming accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Association for Biblical Higher Education, and adding programs in disciplines such as business and government, emergency management & business, psychology, substance abuse counseling and human services.
OCU’s College of Adult and Graduate Studies caters to students returning to college after a hiatus of several years or even decades, or those who did not immediately go to college after high school. Online associate, bachelor’s and master's degrees are offered in an accelerated format designed for busy adults. Both on-campus and online students benefit from top-notch instructors who combine academic credentials with professional experience to give students practical knowledge that can be applied to their careers or ministries even before they complete their degree.
Minimum undergrad per-credit cost: $198
Financial aid: All adult programs qualify for federal and state financial aid programs, military education benefits and employer reimbursement programs. Eighty-five percent of adult and graduate students have their bill fully covered by financial aid.
Affiliation: Churches of Christ in Christian Union
Integration of faith: OCU stresses that prospective students should feel comfortable in a Christian setting and a spirit of worship based upon a Wesleyan-Arminian perspective unifies the school’s academic, social, and spiritual community. Students are required to complete religion courses as a part of their overall education at OCU and must also earn “Spiritual Formation Credits” by attending chapel, small groups, outreach events or mission trips.
Concordia University – St. Paul was founded in 1893 as a Christian liberal arts university. Today, as one of the cheapest online Christian colleges in Minnesota, the school offers exceptional opportunities for students from all backgrounds who seek relevant career preparation and a challenging academic experience coupled with the insights of Lutheran theology. Concordia University – St. Paul has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1967.
For a relatively low tuition, online students can earn high-quality, career-focused associates, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees across a variety of areas of study. The school emphasizes the flexibility of its online format, the supportiveness of its experienced faculty, the diversity of its student body and the authentic relevance of its experiential learning environment, which allows online students to apply academic concepts to real-world settings.
Did you know?
Concordia University, St. Paul received a tied score of #31 in U.S. News & World Reports’ “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.”
Minimum undergrad per-credit cost: $420
Financial aid: Concordia offers a variety of sources to help students pay for their education, including state and federal loans and grants, payment plans and scholarships for those who qualify. Many students also receive tuition reimbursement from their employer.
Affiliation: Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
Integration of faith: Christian faith is an integral part of the school’s identity and learning is approached from a Lutheran context. The school pursues academic disciplines within the context of the Christian Gospel, through critical thought, lively discussion and informed action. However, Concordia University – St. Paul aspires for students to learn from each other’s differences. All students are welcomed, “regardless of age, race, color, disability, gender, familial status, sexual orientation, religion, national and ethnic origin.”
Liberty University was founded as Lynchburg Baptist College in 1971 by Jerry Falwell, who was also Senior Pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church. The name was changed to Liberty Baptist College in 1976 before settling on its current name, Liberty University, in 1984, when it obtained university status. Today, Liberty is the nation’s largest private, nonprofit university and the largest university in Virginia. Preparing students to be doctors, educators, ministers, lawyers, aviators, counselors, engineers, and more, Liberty is committed to developing tomorrow’s leaders — men and women of character whose impact will extend beyond their professions to change the world around them.
Liberty’s online university, Liberty University Online, began forging the way for distance education in 1985. Fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degrees, Liberty’s programs offer exceptional academic quality, affordability and accessibility. Degrees are formatted to meet online students’ needs, with a flexible 8-week format, multiple starting points throughout the year and exceptional resources including an online library, the Online Writing Center, a partnership with Tutor.com, Online Student Life and knowledgeable and accessible academic advisors.
Did you know?
Liberty received a tied score of #184 in U.S. News & World Reports’ “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.”
Minimum undergrad per-credit cost: $390
Financial aid: 87% of Liberty students in an online program are awarded financial aid; tuition discounts are available for military service members and emergency response personnel
Affiliation: Evangelical Christian
Integration of faith: Courses are taught from a Christian worldview and all programs are grounded in biblical principles. Liberty University’s Center for Online Engagement provides nontraditional students with comparable resources of spiritual development content and opportunities online, including access to Liberty University’s Convocation—North America’s largest weekly gathering of Christian students—and Liberty’s Campus Community—a weekly Gospel-centered service featuring inspiring speakers and powerful worship.
Since its founding in 1949 as a Baptist university, GCU has been a Christian college with a biblically rooted mission. Today GCU is an interdenominational university—accredited by the Higher Learning Commission—where students from all backgrounds are welcomed.
GCU has been providing a consistent and effective online education platform for more than a decade, with an advanced learning management system and a variety of library resources available anytime, anywhere. Curriculums are rigorous and are taught by experienced faculty and staff who help students find their purpose in Christ, with an emphasis on applying Christian values and ethics to their studies and to the workplace. With tens of thousands of students from across the globe working toward their bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree, GCU’s online programs are offered in areas ranging from education, liberal arts and business to nursing and health sciences.
Minimum undergrad per-credit cost: $355
Financial aid: GCU offers generous scholarship and grant opportunities to help students finance their education. GCU has no out-of-state or international tuition rates, which helps keep education costs affordable for students across the country and around the world.
Affiliation: Christian interdenominational
Integration of faith: GCU is committed to integrating faith across all aspects of the GCU community, including work, learning and service. Every program curriculum is collaboratively developed and centrally managed in a manner that integrates the Christian worldview and incorporates biblical principles.
Founded in 1927 by evangelist Bob Jones, Sr., Bob Jones University is a Christian liberal arts university that inspires and equips individuals to serve the church and impact the world for Jesus Christ. In the mid-1990s, BJU launched its first distance learning programs to benefit students from homeschooled families and today, BJUOnline offers flexible, high quality online classes across a variety of study areas. BJU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctorate degrees. BJU’s affordable online classes are designed to be flexible and yet structured. A qualified faculty member sets assignment deadlines and monitors student progress throughout each course, but students can listen to the lectures according to their own schedules. Tests are taken at a specific time through BJU’s webcam-based proctoring service, ProctorU. In addition, BJUOnline provides students with 24/7 technical support.
Minimum undergrad per-credit cost: $415
Financial aid: BJU is committed to helping students find resources to help pay for their education, from loans and grants to payment plans. If a student registers for at least 6 hours of online courses during a semester or summer, he or she may be eligible for federal financial aid.
Affiliation: Evangelical Christian
Integration of faith: A biblical worldview presented in our courses and the school prides itself on providing online and on-campus students with a supportive community of fellow believers.
Why choose an online Christian school
Online Christian degrees may be an obvious choice for many people of faith. But others might ask, does it makes sense to pursue a Christian education if you don’t plan to go into the ministry or major in religious studies? The answer is yes: from small Bible colleges to larger universities with hundreds of courses of study, many accredited Christian colleges offer top-notch academics at affordable prices. Students can choose to specialize in biblical studies, Christian education, leadership and ministry skills, pastoral care and counseling but online Christian schools also offer full-fledged undergraduate and graduate degree programs in art, science, math, education, business, criminal justice, nursing and other sought-after concentrations.
What to Look for in an Inexpensive Online Christian College
Besides per-credit cost—which can vary by degree program, area of study, part-time/ full-time status and whether you’re in- or out-of-state, here’s what to look for to make sure a Christian school meets your needs academically as well as spiritually.
- Accreditation: Christian colleges have the same accreditation process as public colleges but they may be accredited by different organizations. Not only do employers generally look for degrees from accredited schools but schools must be properly accredited to qualify for federal student aid.
- Integration of faith: In addition to denomination, schools can vary by level of religious focus. Some low tuition Christian colleges welcome students of all backgrounds while others strive to create learning environments in which everyone shares the same faith-related goals, ideals and lifestyles. Some schools require students to complete a prescribed number of religion courses in addition to their degree-related classes, while others interweave Christian values into regular coursework. Some things to look for: an active and productive campus ministry presence and confessional status (e.g., teachers are required to sign a Christian doctrinal statement).
- Academic quality: Look for programs that are 100% online and offer a wide variety of degree options with good technical support and “anytime access” lecture archives.
Find the perfect faith-based program for you!
Christian colleges with low tuition fuse faith-integrated learning with the flexibility of online education. Find your perfect program and learn how to apply today!
Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Here are two more top-notch online Christian colleges
1. Grace College & Seminary
Undergrad per-credit cost: $515
Affiliation: Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
Minimum undergrad per-credit cost: $547
Affiliation: California Southern Baptist Convention