Best Online Bible Colleges of 2022

Read on to learn more about how an online Bible College can help you balance the demands of work and family while following a path in service to Christ.

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by Kasia Kovacs

Published on February 18, 2022 · Updated on February 22, 2022

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If you've ever felt a calling to work in Christian ministry, then you understand that knowing your vocation can feel powerful. The question is: How do you get there?

Bible colleges may be a good option for students who hope to work in fields like ministry and theology. These schools follow a biblically focused curriculum, preparing graduates for a career in their church. Unlike secular colleges — or even many private Christian colleges — they don't typically require students to take many arts and science subjects in their general education courses.

This guide lists the best online Bible colleges. It also answers common questions about this unique pathway to ministry work.

What Is a Bible College?

Bible colleges operate as higher education institutes that focus on biblical courses and a theological and Christian-related curriculum. They typically prepare students for careers within the field of ministry or theology.

While many Bible colleges stick with academic programs like biblical studies or biblical theology, some branch out a bit more with their degree offerings. For instance, students may be able to enroll in areas like biblical counseling or music ministry.

Bible Colleges vs. Christian Colleges

At their core, Bible colleges and Christian colleges share many similarities. They both offer students a higher education founded on Christian theology, thought, and tradition. Students can usually pursue associate, bachelor's, or graduate degrees.

However, Bible colleges and Christian colleges differ in specific ways. Generally speaking, Christian colleges offer a greater variety of subjects in their curriculum, including arts and science courses. Bible colleges tend to follow a curriculum more narrow in scope, focusing more on Christian theology.

Students who may want to go into secular careers may prefer to attend Christian colleges because of the wider variety of coursework. In contrast, those who know they want to follow a career based in religion —such as Christian ministry or Christian education — may prefer a Bible college.

Featured Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

How Do I Choose a Bible College?

There are several 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 that offers more 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 accreditation you can expect to find 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 true 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 tuition at a public college or university — especially compared to in-state institutions.

The out-of-pocket cost of your Bible college will be 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 be able to save on tuition and fees compared to students who attend class in person.

What Kind of Degree Programs Are Offered at Bible Colleges?

While some Bible colleges only offer undergraduate degrees, others host programs at every level, including associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Many colleges also run certificate programs for students who prefer a less intensive academic option that can be completed within a year.

Bible colleges often grant biblical studies degrees and various ministry degrees, such as Christian ministries or intercultural ministries. You can also find colleges that run more niche programs, allowing students to major in subjects like Christian counseling, women in ministry leadership, or children and family ministry.

Colleges that offer graduate degrees might offer master's degrees in ministry or biblical theology. Graduate programs allow students to become experts in certain areas, like Christian apologetics, Bible exposition, or formational leadership.

Is Attending an Online Bible College a Good Idea?

Attending an online Bible college can be beneficial for many students. For example, distance learners can save on expenses, and the course content of many 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. Additionally, online programs may offer accelerated options for students who want to graduate ahead of schedule.

2022 Top Online Bible Colleges

The 10 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 overall academic quality and online program offerings. Learn more about BestColleges' ranking methodology.

Best Online Bible Colleges

  1. Lancaster Bible College
    Location

    Lancaster, PA

    The mission of Lancaster Bible College, which was founded in 1933, is to educate Christians to think and live a biblical life. The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Association for Biblical Higher Education.

    Based in Pennsylvania, LBC has several campus locations. It also provides online Bible courses. Students can receive credit for qualifying life experiences and pursue minors like pastoral ministry or ministry leadership studies.

  2. God's Bible School and College
    Location

    Cincinnati, OH

    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 by the Higher Learning Commission and the Association for Biblical Higher Education. Christian author Oswald Chambers is one of its former faculty and teaching staff.

  3. The King's University
    Location

    Southlake, TX

    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. He is also the 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 relevant life experience. Undergraduates can transfer in up to 90 credits.

  4. Moody Bible Institute
    Location

    Chicago, IL

    Moody Bible Institute was founded in 1886 by Dwight Lyman Moody. This school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Association for Biblical Higher Education.

    Students can gain practical experience on the school's Chicago campus or take online courses for more flexibility. MBI also offers graduate-level seminary programs, which are also available online or in person. Potential students can take an online tour of the school.

  5. Ozark Christian College
    Location

    Joplin, MO

    Located in Joplin, Missouri, Ozark Christian College provides vocational training for Christians interested in ministry positions or volunteer service. OCC was 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 its alumni serve in over 100 countries. Graduates can go on to pursue careers at 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.

  6. Davis College
    Location

    Johnson City, NY

    Davis College — based just outside Binghamton, 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 to help distance learners prepare for success.

  7. Summit Christian College
    Location

    Gering, NE

    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. Online classes are administered through real-time Zoom sessions through the Summit Bridge program. Prospective students can schedule a campus visit or attend one of the school's introduction seminars.

  8. Manna University
    Location

    Fayetteville, NC

    Located in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Manna University seeks to prepare students to advance the kingdom of God. Before January 2021, Manna U was known as Grace College of Divinity. Students at the school 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 school holds accreditation from the Association for Biblical Higher Education.

  9. Lincoln Christian University
    Location

    Lincoln, IL

    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 for Biblical Higher Education. LCU also has a church partnership program that provides training for church leaders.

  10. St. Louis Christian College
    Location

    Florissant, MO

    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 college's values and goals include providing strong biblical education, helping students develop Christian character, and teaching learners the ministry skills needed to build Christian communities. St. Louis Christian College also has its own podcast, called Called to Serve.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Bible Colleges

Can I go to Bible college online? true

Yes, you can go to Bible college online. Like other colleges and universities, Bible colleges have adapted to the 21st century. For many schools, that means offering online classes that students can fit into their otherwise busy schedules.

When researching online Bible colleges, make sure to look for programs that align with your lifestyle. For instance, some schools may offer synchronous courses. This means students must virtually attend remote lectures on a regular basis. Distance learners with unpredictable jobs may prefer asynchronous courses. This can allow them to view lectures on their own time.

Is Bible college the same as regular college? true

Bible and secular colleges both offer students the chance to pursue degrees and prepare for their future careers. However, Bible colleges and secular colleges have a few main differences.

Bible college courses mainly focus on theology, Christian ministry, and other biblical topics. Although you may find some course offerings in other subjects, the goal of Bible colleges typically involves preparing students for Christian ministry.

In contrast, secular colleges usually include a variety of general education courses in the arts and sciences. Students can also choose from a much larger selection of majors — most of them unrelated to religion.

Are there any free online Bible colleges?

Although you'll be hard-pressed to find a completely free college, many Bible colleges do offer generous scholarships and financial aid packages. When carrying out your research, make sure to look at colleges' financial aid and tuition pages —the sticker price of tuition may be much higher than the out-of-pocket cost.

In addition, research outside scholarships and financial awards. Does your church offer aid to people going into ministry? Perhaps a community group gives money to college-bound students. Look into federal programs as well. You may qualify for federal student loans with low interest rates.

What accreditation should a Bible college have?

The accreditation process evaluates colleges and universities to make sure they offer students a high-quality education. The accrediting association that oversees many top Bible colleges is the Association for Biblical Higher Education. Look for schools accredited by this organization when carrying out your research.

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BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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