Need Ideas for Christian Colleges

I’m looking for some ideas of Christian schools to check out. My son is finishing his sophomore year of high school this year and we are starting to look into college choices. He has one state school (non-religous of course) on his list, however I would really prefer a Christian college if possible, and I think he would be happier at one too.

We are looking for a noncompetitive, low-key kind of place. His gpa is hovering around 3.0 (he’s trying to get it up), and his test scores will probably not be incredibly high either, though he will be taking a SAT/ACT class this summer to try to improve his scores. His areas of interest are Music and Theater, and he is really gifted in these classes; he also does well in English and Social Studies, so a liberal arts curriculum will be good for him. He has one sport, but he’s not really a competitive athlete so he won’t get any athletic scholarships.

Overall he is a very laid back, humble, incredibly sweet and kind young man, who loves to play music. He does best and is happiest in a caring, relaxed environment, definitely not a competitive, prestigious environment.

We are on the west coast, but would look at schools anywhere. Finances are a big deal for us and he won’t have a stellar academic or athletic resume, so I’m not sure about any scholarships. We are definitely looking for schools that are affordable. I think he would prefer a more casual Christian culture versus a super religious school, but we would be willing to look at both.

Any ideas?

Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia could be a fit.

Ok thanks! Checking it out now! :slight_smile:

Azusa Pacific U, in the Los Angeles suburbs, is evangelical with a strong arts focus and connections to the local entertainment industry. They have a separate College of Music and Arts, offering a wide variety of majors in music, cinema, and theater. Their general admissions criteria are not too selective, and many (probably most) of their arts programs are open to any admitted students. However, they also have some pre-professional BFA programs that require auditions for entry.

APU, like many evangelical schools, is not extremely wealthy, and so financial aid and affordability may be concerns. They also expect students to attend chapel three times per week, which may or may not meet your definition of “super religious”.

Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ. Definitely check it out. Very rapid growth as they transition from a for-profit university back to a traditional campus (so don’t let that part scare you). I have been on their campus as an educator (not really looking at it for my kids) but have been very impressed with all they have going on, their mission to the surrounding area, etc. Lots of kids from CA there. They have chapel daily that is well attended but I would call it a “casual” Christian campus. Their basketball team is now D1 and is creating a fun environment on campus. They also have a music / theater department. I’ve met several students from GCU recently and they have loved their experience - and parents have too.

Oklahoma Christian University, Harding, Abilene are all great schools too.

I’m a high school senior, but I have friends at Cal Baptist and a friend at Azusa Pacific who both love them because of the laid-back culture. One of my old church camp counselors goes to Biola University and loves it as well, but I’m not sure that it has a very traditional college feel. Point Loma is worth looking at too though, I considered all of these school at one point but ended up committing to a state school.

I visited many Christian colleges, but Wheaton College (IL) is by far my favorite. Wheaton has an excellent music program. It’s a pretty diverse campus and is probably one of the strongest Christian schools academically; chapel attendance is required, but they are not super restrictive. Patrick Henry College in Purceville VA is an excellent liberal arts school, especially if law/politics are a possible end goal. Grove City College (PA) is bit of a stricter, more conservative Christian school, but they are also good in liberal arts and have a fantastic theatre program (when visiting, I got to watch one of their theatre shows).

As he likes music, I would check out Saint Olaf in Minnesota, affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church. I have seen mention on this site that they are good with financial aid. It is a very kind place. Depending on his test scores it might be a match or a low reach.

Have you considered Whitworth or Pacific Lutheran University? They both have strong music programs.

I’ll second Grand Canyon University. It’s growing fast and improving its programs. My kids didn’t consider It, but I know several kids there, and some recent grads that really loved it and are doing well.

You can check out the thread I made on this. I received many great answers

Concordia Irvine. And if he is a talented enough musician, he may be able to get a music scholarship.

Grand canyon doesn’t have much academic legitimacy though.
I was about to recommend St Olaf since it meets all criteria (Christian, laid back, music, kind, meets 100% need) except it’s not Evangelical. Luther, Concordia Moorhead, and Pacific Lutheran are less selective and perfect for down to earth/music kids.
Wheaton in Illinois, Calvin and Hope in Michigan are well-known for academics. They’re Evangelical and very serious about helping kids grow in their faith.
Run the NPC (net price calculator, available on all financial aid pages - run it for each college since they each have their own formula).

Westmont, Calvin College, Liberty University, Wheaton college, Azusa Pacific, Point Loma Nazarene, Biola University, Pepperdine,

All the college off the top of my head

Check out Seattle Pacific and I second the recommendation of Whitworth in Spokane.

Eastern, Messiah, Seattle Pacific?
Always run the NPC (net price calculator).
The most affordable ones from the list above are likely to be Pepperdine and St Olaf.

Lipscomb University.
Brevard College.

The daughter of a family friend just graduated from Messiah and loved it. She graduated early and was able to do a semester abroad as well.

Is he going to be auditioning for theater or musical theater? That might change the list.

Limestone College in SC
Berry, GA
Viterbo, Wisconsin (if Catholic is okay)
Wesleyan Nebraska