Around 1,600 of the United States' 4,000 institutions of higher learning are considered private, non-profit institutions, according to the International Student Guide. While around 900 of those schools consider themselves religious institutions, only 102 are members of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities, a body that accepts only Christian schools that actively attempt to maintain a Christian atmosphere in their educational programs and extracurricular activities. While many of these institutions have campuses that offer a variety of programs to undergraduate and graduate students, online classes are often an important aspect of Christian colleges. You can find many Christian college degrees online that will not only boost your career choices but that can also help you develop spiritually as well as academically.
Why Choose Online Christian Colleges?
The International Student Guide suggests that seeking a diploma from a Christian college can help you grow in multiple areas of your life while interacting more with professors and obtaining a high-quality education. According to the Directory of Schools, a Christian education is often a quality that employers value because of its emphasis on practical business techniques, honesty, and hard work. Additionally, the guide suggests that a Christian degree based on Biblical principles can be advantageous in the work world, as it teaches traditional wisdom.
Furthermore, Christian college degrees online offer individuals who don't have the chance to, or prefer not to, attend traditional campuses earn the qualifications that will allow them to enter a religious profession. Finally, Christian colleges may offer better programs in certain areas than other online institutions. Even for those who are not particularly looking for a Christian college, these types of schools can be the best option, so researching Christian colleges with online degree programs is often a good tactic.
Where Can I Find Online Christian Colleges?
Whether you're looking to enter the workforce or become a full-time minister, you can find Christian college degrees online from a variety of universities that offer an accredited, high-quality education. The following are just a few examples of adequate online Christian colleges:
This Christian college has been ranked highly by ChristianColleges.com, as well as national ranking bodies, because of its strong academic program. Located in Virginia Beach, Va., the university won the 2009 award for the top online Christian college. From communication and criminal justice to religious studies and Christian ministry, this accredited college offers degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, and master's levels.
Since 1985, Liberty University has been offering high-quality online education for students interested in careers or ministry. Both career- and Christ-focused, Liberty offers training for individuals who want successful careers. However, by offering courses from a Christian perspective, Liberty helps its online students grow their faith along with their intellects and skill base. From associate to graduate degrees, Liberty even offers specialized MBAs and technical degrees in computers and information technology. Liberty University is located in Lynchburg, Va., where its Online University is also headquartered.
Grand Canyon University
Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Grand Canyon University has been listed among the top five online colleges for entrepreneurs by Fortune 500 magazine. From business and health courses to liberal arts degrees, Grand Canyon University offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in both ministry and career-oriented fields. Grand Canyon University is located in Phoenix, Ariz. and online.
Located in Longview, Texas, LeTorneau University is a nondenominational Christian university that offers specializations in the sciences, including aeronautical fields. A school that boasts its ranking as one of the U.S. News and World Report's best schools and high graduation rate, the adult and professional program offers a combination of online and on-campus courses.
From ministry courses to competitive MBA and business courses, Christian college degrees online can offer you opportunities to excel in a variety of fields. By considering accreditation and the school's specialization, you can choose a Christian college online degree that is right for you.
What Do Christian College Degrees Cover?
Like other online degree programs, Christian college degrees are available in a variety of areas. According to Baker's Guide to Christian Distance Education, there are many programs that are available online. From education degrees to business programs, Christian college degrees online can be obtained at the associate, baccalaureate, and graduate levels. Some advantages that online Christian college degrees have over other online diplomas are the spiritual and religious programs that are offered. For instance, Liberty University offers associate, bachelor's, and doctorate degrees in religion, as well as master's degrees in Christian leadership and discipleship ministries.
Christian colleges that have been accepted into the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities are also required to implement fundamental Christian ideals into their courses. This means that even the most basic and the most specialized courses offered at the Christian university are required to discuss the impact of the subject on spiritual and religious matters. Consequently, students who graduate with degrees from Christian colleges appeal to employers who place a high value on ethics or spirituality.
Furthermore, these online courses benefit students who are eager to see how their faith can be to their profession. Whether your major is business or theology, you can expect to learn a great deal about the Bible, Christian faith and history, and how Christianity is relevant today in your classes. Many Christian colleges also offer courses in cultivating qualities desired in faith-based atmospheres, such as service and humility. If you are entering a Christian college with the intent of earning a ministry-related degree, you can expect to focus on the fundamental aspects of Biblical literature, as well as the practical methods of ministry.
What Kinds of Jobs Can I Get with a Christian College Degree?
Although you can get a variety of jobs with degrees from online Christian colleges, many people choose this route so that they will be adequately prepared for a job in the field of ministry or theology. For instance, degrees in ministry, children's ministry, Christian education, and youth ministry are some popular choices. With these degrees, individuals can obtain a variety of jobs within the field of ministry. A few examples of these jobs include:
- Musician or worship leader
- Children's ministry director
- Counselor or social services director
- Secretary or administrative assistant
- Pastor or minister
- Church administrator
- Religious writer/curriculum developer
- Christian school teacher
In addition, many ministry-oriented degrees are also easily applicable to other professions. For instance, children's ministry degrees are often impressive to employers looking to hire before and after school childcare workers.
Generally, most people do not get involved in ministry because they are looking to make a great deal of money. However, there are many opportunities for those who graduate from online Christian colleges with degrees in a ministry related field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a member of the clergy is a person who performs duties associated with a faith or religion, in addition to providing counseling and support to members of a congregation. Although many members of the clergy or individuals with ministry-oriented degrees work in churches and other places of worship, they are also on staff at other locations. According to the BLS, some of these locations include:
- Schools and day care centers
- Psychiatric centers and substance abuse treatment facilities
- Nursing homes and home health care centers
Members of the clergy also routinely join the military as officers who offer spiritual guidance and religious services for the enlisted men and women. Missionaries also often receive degrees from Christian colleges that can prepare them for a life of service. Although wages differ from state to state and organization to organization, the BLS lists the median wage for members of the clergy as just over $20 an hour. On the low end, workers are paid around $10 an hour, while those in the 90th percentile are paid just over $35 per hour.
Members of the clergy with college degrees can find many ways to increase their annual income. Some of these include offering their services at weddings, serving as substitute teachers, and teaching religion classes. Additionally, many ministers and church workers receive benefits to help relieve some of the struggles of having a low wage. For instance, some churches pay for ministers' homes and related costs.