Introduction to online Christian schools
Online Christian colleges are schools that come from a religious background and offer online classes from a Christian perspective. There are a wide range of faith backgrounds that offer online college—Catholic, Jesuit, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, and more. You can find large Christian universities, or small Christian colleges. Most offer a wide range of degrees, while others may only specialize in a certain field such as theology. Most people who attend Christian college are looking for an atmosphere that not only prepares them for a career, but that allows them to grow both intellectually and spiritually.
|Liberty University — The largest Christian university, Liberty is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Liberty's more than 60 accredited programs of study include nursing, education, athletics and law just to name few. The school's associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral degree programs are deeply rooted in Christian faith and emphasize the importance of moral and ethical implications in the various field offered. Equally important, the university focuses on the importance of cultural understanding, while staying to true to democratic Western ideals.
Ed.D. in Pastoral Counseling
|Argosy University — Argosy University encourages learning through community involvement and volunteering. Students of the Doctor of Education in pastoral counseling are given the tools to develop interpersonal relationships and also grow professionally to become more competitive today's demanding workplace. The school has on-campus locations all over the country plus online, and has varied curriculum ranging from business to education to health science on both an undergraduate and graduate level.
|Grand Canyon University — Since 1949, Grand Canyon University's mission has been to provide a challenging valued-based curriculum founded on Christian principles. The university has a wide array of bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs to fit the very diverse needs of students looking to further their education in such areas as business, education, nursing, and liberal arts both online and in the classroom.
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Why choose an online Christian colleges
Online Christian colleges are great for the working adult who wishes to get an associate’s, bachelor’s, or graduate degree from a Christian institution. The flexibility that is offered through online degrees can’t be found through traditional on-campus programs. Even if you have little leeway in your working and home life schedule, you can still get a degree. Through online education you can take as many or as few classes as you want, and you’re able to attend them from anywhere with an internet connection, whenever you want. Additionally, online Christian colleges offer a unique experience in that you can network with students from all over the nation and even the world. This is unlike traditional on-campus programs where most of the students are located in the same area. Through this network of people you can get jobs in other locations, or have the opportunity to be challenged by different cultural ideas and point of views. Online degree programs also have great professors who make themselves available to you through email, chat, and phone conversations.
Differences Between Online Christian Colleges & Traditional Colleges
One of the biggest differences between Christian college and traditional colleges is that Christian schools tend to be private institutions. That doesn’t mean that all private institutions are Christian though. It also doesn’t mean that you can lump all Christian schools into one category. Many have different philosophies and theologies; therefore it’s important to find an online Christian college that lines up with your own spiritual beliefs. You should consider the fundamental and subtler differences of each school and program you’re interested in.
Another difference between traditional private schools and Christian schools is that typically Christian school programs are immersed in their Christian ideology and theology. Christian schools usually offer degrees within a seminary program or a theological department. These programs may include Christian ministry, youth ministry, Christian counseling, Christian education, or religious or theological studies. In addition to this, a regular liberal arts degree such as history will include some sort of religious or ethical influence. Typically even in online classes from a Christian education, students are encouraged to become moral leaders and understand the class in the context of the Bible and Christian theology. Regular private schools differ in that they are not focused on developing religious leaders and usually don’t offer any seminary programs or degrees that prepare students for Christian ministry.
You can find a good education and accredited programs at both Christian schools and regular private schools. Just because a student decides to attend a Christian college does not mean they will receive an inferior education than someone who chooses to attend a traditional school. Usually students choose online Christian colleges because they offer spiritual support and a Christian community of students. Christian schools may also offer the type of program they want in Christian ministry. As a prospective student you need to research factors like accreditation, enrollment, graduation rate and more at both online Christian and non-Christian schools.
What are Online Christian College Degree Options?
Through online Christian colleges you can get a two-year associates degree, a four-year bachelor’s degree, or a master’s or doctorate degree. The following is a guide of some of the most popular degree options through online Christian college learning:
Undergraduate Degrees: Online Christian colleges offer both associate’s and bachelor’s undergraduate degrees through distance learning. Usually associate degrees, such as the Associate of Arts in Christian theology, are designed to equip Christians with a basic knowledge of the Bible and the world. These two-year degree programs can either be a degree within itself, or a foundational degree preparing you for higher education, such as bachelor’s degree. Bachelor degrees on the other hand are four-year degrees that are typically in a certain subject. These degrees are very similar to non-Christian college programs. The only difference is that there may be humanities or general education courses in Biblical concepts that wouldn’t be required at a non-Christian school. Some examples of undergraduate degrees available through online Christian learning include:
- Associate of Arts in Christian Theology
- Associate of Science in Accounting
- Associate of Science in Computer Information Technology
- Bachelor of Arts in Christian Education
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
- Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies
- Bachelor of Arts in Christian Counseling
- Bachelor of Arts in Social Work
- Bachelor of Arts in Peace Studies
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing
- Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management in Christian Leadership
Graduate Degrees: Online Christian universities offer both master’s and doctorate degrees in an array of subjects. These are higher educational degrees that are only offered to students who hold an undergraduate degree. Masters and doctorate degrees are supposed to provide students with advanced knowledge of a specialized body of theoretical and applied topics. Some of these include a high ability in analysis, critical evaluation or professional application, problem solving, and to think rigorously and independently. Master and doctorate degrees can offer students higher salaries, greater respect, better job opportunities, and an overall higher knowledge in a subject area. Sometimes people seek out a master’s degree if they’re interested in a career change and wish to study something completely different from their undergraduate degree. Most Christian colleges and universities that offer master or doctorate degrees have topics in some kind of Christian related field. For example, a Masters in education may be from the perspective of Christian education. Or a Doctorate in philosophy may include Christian theology and philosophy. Master’s degrees allow the opportunity to develop expertise in a new field, and to gain a higher title while doing so. The following are some popular online Christian university master and doctorate degree options:
- Master of Arts in Religion
- Masters of Education
- Master of Arts in Teaching
- Masters of Business Administration in Health Care Management
- Master of Arts in Management
- Master of Arts in Christian Ministry
- Master of Divinity
- Ph.D. in Theology
- Doctor of Philosophy
- Doctor of Philosophy in Biblical Studies
Are Scholarships Available for Online Christian Colleges?
Like other colleges and universities, most Christian schools offer financial aid and scholarships to their programs. You should first check with the financial aid department of the school to find out what they offer. Most schools offer scholarships to students who excel academically. Others offer grants to those who need financial assistance the most.
There are other sources you can tap into for scholarships and grants. The following is a list of online financial aid resources:
- Federal Student Aid: The FAFSA is a form that all potential students should fill out. The FAFSA is free to fill out and is used to apply for federal financial aid (grants, work-study, and loans). Also, many colleges and universities use your FAFSA information to award state and college aid.
- Direct Stafford Loans: These are low-interest loans offered from the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program. These loans are used to help cover the cost of higher education at a four-year college or university, including accredited Christian schools. Eligible students borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education at participating schools.
- Vance H. Havner Scholarships: This is a scholarship that has been awarded for over 20 years to full-time seminary students who are led towards the mission field. Students receiving these scholarships must be enrolled or have been accepted to any accredited seminary in the U.S.
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