You're a spiritual student with a deep interest in Christian theology and the word of the Bible. You're passionate about your faith and want an education that will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of your religion so you can teach and mentor others. If this sounds like you, enrolling in a Bible college can provide the knowledge and comprehension needed for a career in ministry or other Christian-centered work.
To learn more about what Bible colleges offer, as well as common costs, degree options, and accreditation, keep reading.
The 15 best online bible colleges listed in this ranking are all accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education. These schools are ranked based on their academic quality and the percentage of students enrolled online using BestColleges' general methodology. Snapshots of each college include an overview of academic strengths, learning goals, and statistics. Several of the colleges offer a combination of distance learning and classroom-based instruction, while others offer entirely online programs.
Top Online Bible Colleges
Gods Bible School and College
Founded in 1900 by a Methodist minister, God's Bible School and College is one of the nation's best online Bible colleges. With a rich tradition in Wesleyan-Arminian theology, the school offers associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees in theology through on-campus and online programs.
Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, God's Bible School and College is accredited regionally through the Higher Learning Commission. The school is also accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education. Christian author Oswald Chambers is counted among its former faculty and teaching staff.
The King's University
Located in Southlake, Texas, The King's University strives to combine practical ministry experience with educational programs designed to prepare students for service in their local church. Pastor Robert Morris serves as chancellor of TKU, as well as lead pastor at Gateway Church — a nondenominational Christian church near campus.
Accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools and the Association for Biblical Higher Education, this online Bible college offers an integrated learning model and flexible course programs. TKU also offers credit for life experience and students can transfer in up to 90 credits.
Lancaster Bible College
The mission of Lancaster Bible College, since 1933, has been to educate Christians to think and live a biblical life. Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Association for Biblical Higher Education, LBC has several campus locations and provides online Bible courses. Its main campus is in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.Students can receive credit for life experiences and earn minors like pastoral ministry or ministry leadership studies.
Heritage Christian University
Heritage Christian University boasts small class sizes with a 6-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio. Additionally, almost 75% of recent graduates earned their degree without needing to take out student loans. The university also helps graduates find ministry work throughout the country by maintaining a church openings listing.
Located in Florence, Alabama, HCU is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education and participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.
|Johnson City, NY||
Davis College — based in Johnson City, New York — is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Association for Biblical Higher Education. This Bible college's mission is to train and equip Christian students for ministry and life.
The school offers about one-third of its courses online. Faculty use Blackboard to deliver online classes through eight-week terms during the spring and fall. The school has an online learning student guide.
Ozark Christian College
Located in Joplin, Missouri, Ozark Christian College provides vocational training for Christians interested in ministry positions or volunteer service. OCC was originally founded in 1942 as Ozark Bible College.
This online Bible college provides five eight-week educational modules each year. The school reports that over 90% of its students receive financial aid and alumni serve in over 100 countries. Graduates go on to pursue careers in churches and parachurch organizations.
OCC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Association for Biblical Higher Education. The school is authorized to offer online education through the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.
Lincoln Christian University
Lincoln Christian University was founded in 1944. As a Bible college, its mission is to prepare students for service in the modern world. Its main campus is in Lincoln, Illinois, and it has a satellite campus in Bloomington-Normal.
LCU offers four undergraduate programs and two graduate degrees online. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Association of Biblical Higher Education. LCU also has a church partnership program that provides training for church leaders.
Summit Christian College
Accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education, Summit Christian College employs professors who have experience in academia and in ministry situations. This online Bible college is located in Gering, Nebraska. It was initially founded in 1951 as Platte Valley Bible College.
Summit is a nondenominational Christian institution. The school is small and typically has 40-60 students enrolled at any one time. Prospective students can schedule a campus visit or attend one of the school's introduction seminars.
Online classes are administered through real-time Zoom sessions through the Summit Bridge program.
Grace College of Divinity
Located in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Grace College of Divinity seeks to prepare students to advance the kingdom of God. The school motto is "Every believer has a calling; it's time to get ready." Students at GCD benefit from a 9-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.
Students can choose to complete their degree at one of several on-campus locations or entirely online. A nondenominational Christian institution, this online Bible college works with mPact churches to train future church leaders. The college holds accreditation from the Association for Biblical Higher Education.
Saint Louis Christian College
Located in Florissant, Missouri, St. Louis Christian College was founded in 1956 by three Saint Louis ministers to serve the needs of local churches. The school is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education.
The school's values and goals include providing a strong biblical education, helping students develop Christian character, and teaching learners ministry skills they can use to build Christian communities.
St. Louis Christian College is one of the few Bible colleges to have its own podcast, called Called to Serve.
What's the Difference Between a Bible College and a Christian College?
Although Bible colleges share many similarities with Christian colleges, it's crucial to understand the key differences. The goal of a Bible college is usually to prepare students for Christian ministry work upon graduation. As a student, you'll gain the knowledge needed to work as a pastor, professor of religion, evangelist, or other church administrator.
In contrast, a Christian college generally prepares students for secular careers, though much of the curricula may be delivered from a spiritual or biblical perspective. While students can expect to take some religion-focused courses at a Christian college, most degree programs do not prepare students for religious careers.
How Do I Choose a Bible College?
There are a number of important factors to keep in mind when choosing a Bible college. First and foremost, it's critical to know whether you want to focus exclusively on ministry-oriented curricula. If you want a broader education or think there's a chance you'll opt for a secular career in the future, finding a Bible college with liberal arts or business classes may be important.
When it comes to accreditation, it's crucial to remember that not all Bible colleges carry the same regional accreditation you can expect at traditional colleges and universities. Look for accreditation from the Association for Biblical Higher Education to ensure that your Bible college meets quality education standards.
How Much Does It Cost to Go to a Bible College?
Like other institutions of higher education, the cost of Bible college varies depending on the school. However, because Bible colleges are private institutions, you can expect the base tuition to be higher than it would be at a public college or university — especially compared to in-state institutions.
The out-of-pocket cost of your Bible college is impacted by your enrollment status, the number of scholarships you receive, and whether or not your school offers any other types of financial aid. Additionally, online students may pay less on tuition and fees than students who attend in person.
What Kind of Degree Programs Are Offered at Bible Colleges?
While every Bible college is different and has its own unique course and degree offerings, you can typically expect to find associate, bachelor's, and in some cases master's and doctoral degree programs. Depending on the specific Bible college you attend, there may also be certification programs that take less time to complete than a typical degree program.
Though each Bible college offers different degree focuses, most center around the study and interpretation of the Bible itself. In most cases, the degrees offered prepare students for ministry work or religious education work.
Is Attending an Online Bible College a Good Idea?
Attending an online Bible college can be beneficial for many students. For example, learners often save on expenses, and the course content of most ministry-focused programs lends itself well to the online classroom. Participants can interpret scripture in online discussion groups and message boards.
Additionally, students enrolled at an asynchronous online Bible college can set their own schedules and study from anywhere with a stable internet connection. Cutting down on your daily commute can save time and money, and online programs sometimes offer accelerated options for students who want to graduate ahead of schedule.