We pick up more than academic prowess and technical know-how in colleges. Whether consciously or unconsciously, colleges affect and shape our mindset, characters, and principles; key factors that affect the way we act, talk and respond to life situations.
This implies that while choosing a college for yourself or your ward, it is important to look out not just for the academic excellence of the school but also to check for schools that can groom the mind, soul, and spirit positively.
In today’s article, we will be telling you all you need to know about Christian colleges in Pennsylvania, and how these Christian colleges differ from the secular ones. We will also be sharing with you a list of the best Christian colleges in Pennsylvania and the necessary information that can help you make a choice.
What is a Christian college?
A Christian college is a college where knowledge is imparted to enable students to think and act appropriately in whatever vocation God has selected for them such that they become agents of transformation based on a “fully formed Christian world and life view,” In simple terms, a Christian college is a school or division of a school committed to integrating Christian faith and study in conventional academic subjects.
Like all other higher education institutions, the curriculum of Christian colleges, even for Christian colleges in Pennsylvania, is based on gaining knowledge as well as the hard and soft skills needed to prepare for our chosen careers but in Christian colleges, the curriculum has an additional component: the integration of Christian principles with conventional academic fields. Hence the most glaring distinction between faith-based colleges and other secular universities can be said to be this: a commitment to faith.
Three fundamental educational commitments shared by all recognized institutions by the CCCU include:
- The incorporation of biblical truth into the institution’s academic and spiritual endeavors
- The moral and spiritual development of students
- The graduation of students who contribute to the common good as redemptive voices in society.
The final one demonstrates the various perspectives these universities have on career preparation.
In his speech to Forbes, Rick Ostrander, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professional Programs for the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities mentioned this: “We think that God bestows students with unique abilities as well as desires. As Christian universities, it is our mission to assist students in determining where in the world they may be most helpful—not just for their own professional or financial success, but also for the greater good.
Christian Colleges in Pennsylvania: An Overview
In the US and other nations where Christianity is the prevailing religion, faith-based universities typically refer to Christian institutions. It may surprise you to know that some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the world, especially in the US, began as institutions of faith (either in terms of affiliation or mission). These schools include Princeton (Presbyterian), College of William & Mary (Church of England), Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth (Puritan), as well as Rutgers University (Dutch Reformed Church).
According to its website, the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) currently accredits more than 180 Christ-centered institutions that enroll more than 520,000 students globally. More than 150 are situated in the US and Canada, instructing over 460,000 students in more than 350 undergraduate programs and 185 graduate majors.
Pennsylvania, which is the fifth-largest state in the country, is recorded to house more than 500 accredited schools and universities. Records also show that there are about 46 Christian colleges in Pennsylvania, enrolling about 119,912 students.
5 Benefits of Studying in a Christian College
Secular universities provide excellent training and numerous growth opportunities, but the environment can be draining on your spiritual life. Christian colleges have all of the benefits of other schools, but with a faith-based emphasis to help you succeed academically. The benefits of studying in a Christian college include:
Discover your life’s purpose and interests.
In Christian colleges, you will meet people from diverse walks of life and be exposed to a variety of ideologies and beliefs. And it is easy to lose oneself in it. But college is the best place to explore identity-related topics, learn more about who you are, and figure out what you want to do with your life. The best place to get answers to these questions is from the bible, from the person who made you; God.
In Christian colleges in Pennsylvania and other states, you will learn how to read and interpret the Bible, not just for academic reasons but also to strengthen your core convictions and feed your spiritual life. You will uncover gifts and abilities you possess to serve God and His people as you learn more about God and His will. As you think about your future job route, your involvement in ministry, your relationships, as well as your passions and aspirations, this may be a useful tool.
You’ll receive an excellent education
Contrary to popular belief, Christian colleges in Pennsylvania are not inferior to the “big names” in secular universities. When you enroll in a Christian school, you will be taught by a team of experienced, bright academics who are eager to provide you with the greatest education possible. You’ll learn more about how each subject fits with your Christian ideals as you study your chosen major. The administrative team also offers further assistance and direction. Meeting believers from various backgrounds broadens your perspective and helps you see new possibilities for what God can do in your life.
Integrate your studies and your beliefs.
Your life shouldn’t need to be divided into separate halves. Regardless of whether you are studying science, art, or history, your faith should make sense in the light of what you are discovering and learning.
The relationship between science and faith, truth and gender, or Christian ethics in a complex world are some of the difficult concerns and moral conundrums that a biblical education will assist in resolving. Your education should not only prepare you for a career but also for life’s difficult decisions and the development of a godly character that will serve you wherever you go.
Join a family of believers
In college, it’s crucial to make friends and establish positive ties with your teachers. Yet, joining a community that worships, prays, inspires, and holds members accountable is more crucial. You can find such communities in Christian colleges in Pennsylvania
In addition to supporting your professional success, the teachers and administration at a biblical university act as friends and mentors who are concerned about your spiritual and personal well-being. College can be a place where you live out your faith alongside individuals who are devoted to their Christian faith, much as the church is a community where broken people come together to serve God and grow together.
A possibility of a lesser pay
Cost is a major consideration for many students when deciding where to attend school. Christian institutions may be less expensive and offer more comprehensive scholarship and grant options than their secular equivalents. This in no way reflects the caliber of the education that is provided by these institutions. Instead, it’s an endeavor to open up certified faith-based programs to as many students as possible. Although tuition costs differ amongst schools, don’t let that discourage you from applying. Investigate financial aid so you can enroll in the best university for your major.
Top 10 Best Christian Colleges in Pennsylvania
To simplify your college selection process, we have put together this list of notable Christian colleges in Pennsylvania.
#1. Lancaster Bible College
The private Lancaster Bible College was established in 1933. The campus is 103 acres in size, has a total undergraduate enrolment of 1,545 (fall 2021), and is located in a suburban area. It uses an academic calendar that varies depending on the curriculum. Lancaster Bible College is ranked #133-175 in Regional Universities North in the 2022-2023 edition of Best Colleges. It has a net price of $22,700. The school has an acceptance rate of 96% and its SAT range is 1010 – 1210.
#2. Messiah University
Messiah University was established in 1909. Its suburban environment, total undergraduate enrolment of 2,495 (fall 2021), and campus size of 471 acres. The academic calendar is based on semesters. Regional Universities North is where Messiah University is ranked in the Best Colleges edition for 2022–2023 at position #28. The net cost of attendance is $23,895. The school has an acceptance rate of 77% and its SAT range is 1100 – 1340.
#3. Lebanon Valley College
Lebanon Valley College was formed in 1866 as a private university. It is located in a rural area, has a total undergraduate enrolment of 1,691 (fall 2021), and has a 370-acre campus. The academic calendar is based on semesters. Regional Universities North is where Lebanon Valley College is ranked in the Best Colleges edition for 2022–2023 at position #48. It has a net cost of $26,944, an acceptance rate of 78% and its SAT range is 1080 – 1290.
#4. Westminster College
The private Westminster College was established in Missouri in 1851. The campus is 86 acres in size, has a total undergraduate enrolment of 654 (fall 2021), and is located in a rural area. The academic calendar is based on semesters. In the National Liberal Arts Colleges category of the Best Colleges rating for 2022–2023, Westminster College (MO) is ranked #156–201. It has a net cost of $20,258 with an acceptance rate of 82% and its SAT range is 1040 – 1190.
#5. Eastern University
A private university, Eastern University was established in 1952. The campus is 114 acres in size, has a total undergraduate enrolment of 1,726 (fall 2021), and is located in a suburban area. The academic calendar is based on semesters. Eastern University is ranked #113 in Regional Universities North in the 2022-2023 edition of Best Colleges. It has a net cost of $24,199 with an acceptance rate of 69% and its SAT range is 1010 – 1190.
#6. Moravian University
A private university, Moravian University was established in 1742. It is located in a city, has 1,928 undergraduate students enrolled overall (fall 2021), and has an 85-acre campus. The academic calendar is based on semesters. Regional Universities North lists Moravian University as #36 in its 2022–2023 edition of Best Colleges. It has a net cost of $32,020 an acceptance rate of 78% and its SAT range is 1050 – 1200.
#7. Geneva College
A private college, Geneva College was established in 1848. There are 1,180 undergraduate students enrolled in total (fall 2021), the campus is 110 acres in size, and the location is suburban. The academic calendar is based on semesters. Regional Universities North’s ranking for Geneva College in the 2022–2023 edition is #81. It has a net cost of $19,895 with an acceptance rate of 79% and its SAT range is 1020 – 1240.
#8. Elizabethtown College
Elizabethtown College is a private university established in 1899. The campus is 203 acres in size, has a total undergraduate enrolment of 1,691 (fall 2021), and is located in a suburban area. The academic calendar is based on semesters. In the Regional Universities North category of the Best Colleges rating for 2022–2023, Elizabethtown College is ranked #22 overall. It has a net cost of $26,534 with an acceptance rate of 79% and its SAT range is 1070 – 1280.
#9. Lycoming college
In 1812, a private college called Lycoming College was established. It is located in a city, has a 40-acre campus and 1,095 undergraduate students are enrolled there as a whole (fall 2021). The academic calendar is based on semesters. The 2022–2023 edition of Best Colleges places Lycoming College at #111 in the category of National Liberal Arts Colleges. It has a net cost of $19,508 with an acceptance rate of 75% and its SAT range is 1080 – 1250.
#10. Arcadia University
A private university, Arcadia University was established in 1853. The campus is 76 acres in size, has a total undergraduate enrolment of 1,831 (fall 2021), and is located in a suburban area. The academic calendar is based on semesters. Regional Universities North lists Arcadia University as #48 in its 2022–2023 edition of Best Colleges. It has a net cost of $26,949 with an acceptance rate of 82% and its SAT range is 1080 – 1280.
What is the largest Christian college?
GCU. GCU is regarded to be bigger and the largest Christian institution in the US, despite Liberty Institution in Lynchburg, Virginia, being recognized as the best evangelical school in the country. While Liberty is a not-for-profit institution, GCU is a for-profit institution.
What is the number of Catholic Christian colleges in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, there are 81,518 students enrolled in 26 catholic colleges and institutions.
You must be cautious while picking a Christian college, just as you should with any institution of higher learning. Before deciding whether the advantages of attending a Christian college make it the best choice for you, have a look at the programs offered, study statements of faith, and visit as many campuses as you can. We hope this list of the best Christian colleges in Pennsylvania helped.
Niche.com– 2023 Best Christian colleges in Pennsylvania
Greatvaluecolleges.net – 5 benefits of attending a Christian college
GCU.edu – Reasons to attend a Christian college