Christian Colleges in Texas: All 30 Schools
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Texas has a longstanding history of religious culture and community. Today, there are over two dozen Christian colleges in Texas.
But you don't have to be religious to attend a Christian college. Many students are attracted to these schools for their prestigious academic reputations and renowned athletic programs.
In fact, most private colleges, in general, are religiously affiliated — often, that affiliation doesn't actually impact the education or university values.
If you're looking for a college education with religious guideposts and a spiritual student life, the Lone Star State might just have the right Christian college for you.
5 Popular Christian Universities in Texas
We've spotlighted five popular Texas Christian colleges below. We chose these schools based on their reputation, impact, academic quality, and size.
The following school data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and is updated for 2022.
- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $61,980
- Acceptance Rate: 52%
- Total Student Enrollment: 12,053
SMU, a Southern Ivy, is a prestigious private university known for its business school and wealth of academic resources. Students can benefit from SMU's three career services centers and an active Greek system.
Though associated with the United Methodist Church, SMU is now loosely religious, with no required religious courses or established moral codes.
SMU does, however, have an Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life, which hosts religious community gatherings. There are campus ministry groups for nearly every Christian denomination and other religions.
- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $51,738
- Acceptance Rate: 46%
- Total Student Enrollment: 20,709
Baylor has a reputation for academic and athletic excellence, with discussion-based learning, hands-on field trips, and championship sports teams.
The university is affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas and actively incorporates religion into its curriculum and culture. For example, some classes may open in prayer, and a seminary student serves as Chaplain in every residence hall.
There are over two dozen student organizations centered on faith at Baylor. Students are also required to take two religion classes on Christian scriptures and Christian heritage and complete a co-curricular chapel requirement.
- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $53,980
- Acceptance Rate: 56%
- Total Student Enrollment: 12,273
TCU's famous football team, the Horned Frogs, recently won the College Football Playoff National Championship.
The university is also known for producing successful alums, and graduates have an average starting salary of $62,000. In addition, students have lifetime access to career counseling services.
TCU was founded with a Disciples of Christ religious affiliation, but the university is now considered secular, with over 60 different faiths represented in the student body. Though TCU's core curriculum requires one religious-themed course, the options for this course are broad and include subjects like anthropology.
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- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $49,264
- Acceptance Rate: 31%
- Total Student Enrollment: 2,692
Located in San Antonio, Trinity University is a small private Presbyterian college. Though Trinity does have a campus chapel and student ministry, its religious affiliation is more historical than it is an active part of the Trinity experience.
An impressive 99% of undergraduates receive grants or scholarship aid, softening Trinity's steep price tag.
Trinity has a tight-knit community with many traditions. Most colleges may discourage you from taking a swim in the campus water feature, but at Trinity, it's a tradition to get dunked into the Miller Fountain on your birthday.
- Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $40,500
- Acceptance Rate: 22%
- Total Student Enrollment: 5,079
Deeply rooted in its Christian values, ACU is a private Christian university affiliated with the Church of Christ. The school has a Christ-centered mission, degree programs, and a religious community, with a majority of its faculty identifying as Christian.
Undergrad requirements include 500 Spiritual Formation points each semester, which equates to attending 3-4 events per week, such as chapel service, small group meetings, community service, and community groups.
ACU is known for its rigorous academic curriculum and enriching opportunities. For example, 40% of students study abroad.
List of All Christian Colleges in Texas
Here is a complete list of four-year nonprofit Christian universities in Texas. Use the table below to compare data on student population, average net cost, acceptance rate, and number of applicants.
All data comes from NCES. Colleges with fewer than 500 undergraduates were not included in this list.
|School||Total Student Enrollment||Avg. Annual Net Price||Acceptance Rate||Number of Applicants|
|Abilene Christian University||5,079||$28,978||66%||11,226|
|Concordia University Texas||1,863||$24,761||86%||1,886|
|Dallas Baptist University||4,348||$27,607||91%||8,519|
|East Texas Baptist University||1,771||$24,169||68%||1,449|
|Howard Payne University||838||$24,117||62%||1,233|
|Houston Baptist University||4,257||$19,515||84%||10,258|
|Jarvis Christian University||729||$7,365||100%||N/A|
|Lubbock Christian University||1,596||$23,551||82%||1,070|
|Our Lady of the Lake University||2,326||$19,100||100%||N/A|
|Southern Methodist University||12,053||$45,094||52%||16,150|
|Southwestern Adventist University||793||$20,028||54%||1,438|
|Southwestern Assemblies of God University||1,794||$19,217||86%||627|
|St. Edward's University||3,470||$27,193||85%||6,015|
|St. Mary's University||3,253||$21,379||86%||5,369|
|Texas Christian University||12,273||$44,190||56%||16,197|
|Texas Lutheran University||1,369||$21,442||92%||1,835|
|Texas Wesleyan University||2,578||$15,652||61%||4,622|
|University of Mary Hardin-Baylor||3,575||$31,197||96%||13,001|
|University of St. Thomas||3,588||$19,207||97%||1,123|
|University of the Incarnate Word||7,305||$20,832||94%||9,625|
|Wayland Baptist University||2,978||$22,663||70%||1,311|
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Pros and Cons of Attending Christian Colleges in Texas
Many students prefer Christian colleges for their academic reputations, community-oriented cultures, and faith-centered education. Religious students will especially benefit from opportunities to grow in their faith and choose religious-related majors.
But attending a Christian college — in Texas or elsewhere — isn't for everyone. Even if you identify with a university's religious denomination, there could still be rules and codes of conduct that don't match your lifestyle.
Many students also prefer to use college as an opportunity to meet and mingle with people of different backgrounds and lifestyles.
We've outlined some pros and cons for you to consider before deciding whether to attend a Christian university in Texas or another state.
- Faith-centered educated
- Close-knit community
- Focus on service
- Access to religious majors
- Limited lifestyle diversity
- Fewer degree programs
- Higher tuition fees
- Strict moral codes
Texas Christian College Scholarships
Religious students and those attending religious universities are uniquely eligible for religious scholarships. Religious organizations and churches often set up scholarship funds for students of that denomination.
Here are five religious scholarships targeting Texas students.
- Christian Connector Scholarship: A $5,000 award for students attending a Christ-centered Christian college or Bible college
- Michael Burke Sr. Memorial Scholarship: Up to $5,000 per year for Catholic students who have an interest in sharing their faith
- Samuel Robinson Presbyterian Scholarship: Up to $4,000 for undergraduates attending a Presbyterian-affiliated university
- United Methodist Church GBHEM General Scholarships: Various scholarships for students who are members of the United Methodist Church
- Wischer Scholarship: Up to $11,000 per year for Texas students with financial need who are Christian and regularly attend church
Frequently Asked Questions About Christian Colleges in Texas
How many Christian colleges are in Texas?
There are over 30 Christian colleges in Texas of various denominations.
Keep in mind that just because a university has a religious affiliation or religious history doesn't necessarily mean the college is actively religious today. Some colleges, like Southern Methodist University, are considered as secular as a non-religious-affiliated university.
Is Baylor University a Christian college?
Yes, Baylor University is considered a Christian college. Baylor is technically affiliated with the General Convention of Texas. Students don't have to be religious to attend Baylor, though there are some religious course requirements and chapel attendance expectations.
What is the cheapest Christian college in Texas?
According to NCES, Jarvis Christian University has the lowest average net price of all four-year nonprofit Texas Christian colleges at just $7,365 per year. Other cheap Christian colleges in Texas include Wiley College, Texas Wesleyan University, and McMurry University.
What is the biggest Christian college in Texas?
Baylor University is the largest Christian college in Texas, with over 20,000 students enrolled, according to the latest NCES data. Texas Christian University and Southern Methodist University are similarly large private Christian colleges, each with just over 12,000 students.