Thread for some positive listings of Christian schools

I am seriously thinking of helping volunteer college counseling at my local public high school next year. I’ve been lurking for the past few months mainly on other boards gleaning info about colleges I’m not as familiar with. I’d like to do the same with Christian colleges as several students each year (or their parents) want these options.

For those who have first hand knowledge about Christian schools - either a relative went to one or some student(s) you know, etc, can folks provide concise recommendations? The closer to PA the better (for me) since most kids want to stay at least a day’s drive from home, but any are welcome as I’m sure the thread could have readers from anywhere.

I know about Liberty, Grove City, Messiah, Covenant, Geneva, and Eastern (maybe a couple more I’m not thinking about at the moment) as we have kids from school who go to (or went to) those. What others? And what are their strengths for majors?

Would you consider including some smaller, less known Catholic colleges in your list? You mentioned Eastern - Cabrini and Rosemont are very close (may even offer cross registration). They are all in very nice part of Philly suburbs with regional train access.

My adult nephews graduated from Cabrini - they are all doing well - two are employed by desirable, nationally known companies, the other has his own business.

Sure I’d be interested in Catholic Colleges. My goal is to learn about as many schools as I can in order to be as well informed as possible.

TBH in our area there’s a private Catholic High School that most who would be interested in these colleges attend or send their students to, but even so, IMO, it never hurts to know as much as possible about anywhere that might be of interest.

Ok. I’m definitely not an expert on Christian colleges, but if you steer a student to Eastern he/she should definitely check out Cabrini & Rosemont on same trip. I pass Eastern regularly and it looks like a beautiful campus in the heart of the Main Line (affluent suburbs of Philly). These three colleges are near Villanova for reference.

If someone was touring Grove City, maybe check out Moravian College in Bethleham, PA as well. I think it was founded pre-Revolutionary War and maintains its Christian roots.

Also, isn’t Sewanee still affilated with the Episcopal church? And offers a theological seminary?

My son loved Neumann, near Philly

My friend’s son will be attending Miseracordia and they’re really looking forward to it.

And while my son didn’t love it, an old friend of mine looks fondly back at her days at Cabrini.

I have a younger relative who was not academically inclined but really got great support at Cabrini. The alumni network was wonderful and she had no problem getting internships and a job after graduation.

My D really liked Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg. They practice a tuition discounting model so you really have to look at scholarships to get a realistic idea about price. I doubt very many are fulll pay. Their stats are interesting: They have a low freshman retention rate but the kids who decide to stay do well getting jobs and have a very good record of paying back loans, much better than comparable schools. The adults I’ve met who went there rave about their time there. Our big concern was it’s financial outlook. More conservative than many Catholic schools but the student body seemed diverse in many ways, including faith, which is interesting since it’s very Catholic. My D liked that string Catholic but welcoming vibe. Small but D1 sports.

The Catholics I know felt very welcome and accepted at Eastern.

St. Vincent in Latrobe offers good merit with a lower net price. The kids I know who studied science there did extremely well after graduating. It’s Pa but it felt more friendly, unpretentious midwestern to me coming from the East Coast. I met non-Catholic kids when we visited that came because they liked the conservative vibe. I think non-Catholic Christians would be comfortable there. Also, it’s homeschool friendly.

Franciscan, in Ohio but not far from Pittsburgh, is joyfully and conservatively Catholic.

Marywood in Scranton is good academically but might not be a good match for conservative Catholics looking for a Catholic college and perhaps other Christians as well. There used to be kind of a New Age influence on the spiritual life there. It’s just something people might want to look into to see what the vibe is now if they are looking to participate in the faith life. Misericordia seemed similar. I never visited but when I looked into it, I remember thinking it odd that they didn’t call the Mass Mass.

Scranton offers a Byzantine Liturgy. That’s something I haven’t heard of at any other colleges.

My oldest looked at Immaculata. I did not like that there were so few places for kids to study and hang out. Small library and no student center. Students sat on the floor in the halls, which is fine but not when there aren’t other options. The cafeteria was lacking. It didn’t feel like a residential college

Quite a few of my friends’ kids have gone to Gordon College in Massachusetts. I’ve heard nothing but good about their experiences. My daughter considered the school, but they didn’t offer a specific degree in photography so she went elsewhere.

Thanks for the ideas! I’d heard of/somewhat know Mt St Marys as that’s one some of our students choose due to how close it is, but many of the others I honestly didn’t know existed. I can create a nice list from this thread and check places out more thoroughly to see if they seem to match.

Most of our students go to places few on CC talk about or probably have heard of and do just fine, so I certainly don’t have a Top Whatever or Bust mentality. It helps to fill in my own gaps about some of these school options.

My husband and I attended Covenant College years ago, and are pleased with both its growth and more global emphasis. Covenant is a small, very biblical based Georgia school, and the campus is on top of a mountain. Very isolated from the nearby town of Chattanooga, TN way back in the 1980s, but now it has doubled its number of students and makes great effort to connect students with both local and global events and ongoing volunteer programs.

Covenant has a dual degree engineering program with Georgia Tech in Atlanta, and has always had a great Education Program. (Believe they also offer a Masters in Education?) The school encourages entrepreneurs, missions minded folks, and practical opportunities to try out your passions before you graduate. Art/photography, Theater, Computer Science, and Music are taken seriously and produce accomplished students. Academics are Strong, and do not take a back seat to Bible at this school.

Some Christian colleges slide away from their beliefs, and over time become more secular schools with “Christian roots”. But NOT Covenant College. The faculty all sign a statement of faith and belief EVERY year, and since the college is the official college of the Presbyterian Church of America, the bar is set high. This does not mean this is a legalistic college, where all students must conform to the stated beliefs. The most positive thing I can say about Covenant is that professors want you to figure out WHAT you believe and WHY. Not just continue to carry your parents/family worldview, but thoughtfully consider what you personally believe. I remember learning about the Catholic Church in one of my bible classes. I had grown up without knowing any Catholics, and thought of it as a “wayward cult” kind of church. It really helped me to hear and understand how/why the Catholic church was started, and why they believe what they do.

So Covenant is not a monastery, the students do have fun, get to wear what they want (with just a modest dress code for basic decency) and unlike when we were students, the college students now get to dance. (Yes, DANCING! No school dances when we were there.) There are international festivals celebrating all countries represented at the school. There is a strong intermural program, great entertainment from current students AND from acts brought in by student government association.

Professors are personally connected with students, class sizes are small (with a few basic intro classes that are taught in the auditorium). Now that the student size has increased, you can comfortably find your tribe. There are all kinds of students, a good representation of homeschool students, and missionary kids who have little to no experience living in America.

You may not have many students interested in this small college, but I am glad to answer any questions about Covenant College.

I know several people who had good experiences at Muskingum in Ohio. All went into teaching or ministry. Not sure if that is typical or not. Presbyterian affiliation.

@powercropper My oldest graduated from Covenant in 2014 and pretty much says the same thing you do about it. He loved his time there and still keeps up with some friends, etc. We aren’t even Calvinist (as PCA is) and it didn’t matter a bit there.

Gorgeous view too. :wink:

Some Catholic U’s in OH John Carroll, Walsh University, Xavier University, and U. of Dayton.
There is also Duquesne in Pittsburgh.
Not sure if IN is too far but there is Notre Dame and St. Mary’s College

List of Catholic colleges and universities:

List of Southern Baptist colleges and universities:

List of LDS colleges and universities:

@Creekland So glad you have visited such a beautiful place. It can look a bit eerie in the fog/clouds, and students can go a bit “mad” after 17 days of straight clouds…(and that’s when a Volkswagen ended up in the middle of the Carter Hall lobby. Not crashed through the walls, but taken apart carefully and rebuilt inside Carter Hall.)

Such fond memories, and so glad I went to a college that guided me as I figured out what I truly believed for myself. I never mentioned Covenant to my oldest, as I felt the student body size was just too small, and the isolation too much to bear. Imagine my surprise when we started college shopping and I discovered how much the school student body had grown, and how deliberate they were in getting students off the mountain top and down into real life in Chattanooga.

Best wishes to you as you guide young students to find their best fit for college.

Even though it didn’t work out for one reason or another (mostly money), I was drawn to colleges affiliated with mainstream progressive Christian denominations. An on-campus chapel was a must, as was an ecumenical approach. In PA, I remember looking at Westminster College, Lebanon Valley College, and Wilson College. Mercyhurst was on the wish list for a time because the campus is so dang pretty. I visited Bridgewater College in VA, and liked it a lot. I’m still trying to figure out the connection between aviation programs and Presbyterian colleges!

not necessarily conservative, but definitely Christian…Thiel College. Our university’s former chancellor did undergrad at Thiel. It’s tiny…and I don’t know what majors they are good for, but it’s basically a liberal arts Christian college in western PA.

I don’t need this list to center solely on Conservative or any particular denomination. We have a wide range among our students. I’m adding to my knowledge bank. It definitely can be helpful to know if there are particular leanings at a school. It just doesn’t matter which way because I’m learning to help guide others.

My own youngest graduated from college this past May (from Eckerd College - technically Presbyterian, but not at all what I’d consider a Christian college IRL).

Here’s another one. A kid we know, very decent but not tippy top stats as far as I know, got an amazing package at Gannon in Erie. I know merit is relative, but the whole package brought out of pocket costs less that $10 K per year1 They visited and really liked it. My friend thought her S would be nurtured there, but he wound up choosing somewhere closer to home.

Wheaton (IL, not MA) is probably the most academically “elite” of the Christian colleges.
Berea is tuition-free for very-low-income students so good to keep in mind for those who might qualify.
While “the” Wesleyan in CT is no longer religiously affiliated, many of the other Wesleyans (i.e. Ohio Wesleyan, which is a CTCL school, and various others) remain connected to the Methodist Church.

A little further south than Pennsylvania, you might look into the following:

Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee (formerly associated with the Southern Baptist Convention, but now an “ecumenical” school: Excellent for music, music business, nursing/health sciences. I know several people who are either graduates or current students; all have a high opinion of the school.

Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee (formerly known as David Lipscomb College, affiliated with Church of Christ: One of my kids’ high school teachers went here for her undergraduate degree; this woman, whom I think of as rather independent-minded, told me that she was prepared to dislike the school when she first went there, but said that it turned out to be a great experience.

Berry College in Mount Berry, Georgia (interdenominational/ecumenical Christian: It has a good regional reputation. I know a current student-athlete there, who has a good opinion of the place.

Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia (affiliated with the Methodist Church: A small LAC, mentioned in Colleges That Change Lives.