Anyone that is interested in pursuing a degree in counseling from a Christian perspective knows how prevalent Christian colleges are. Because of all of those options, it can get pretty difficult to narrow down a school. Attending a Christian college is something that is imperative for Christian students to do because you want to make sure that you’re getting an education that not only aligns with your faith but will also help you grow in it, and will allow you to approach your career in a perspective that matters to you. The good news for any of you who want to do this at a distance is that a lot of the faith-based schools across the country have begun implementing distance education programs to make their schools more accessible to areas that may not offer accredited Christian degrees.
For this ranking, we’ve gone through and found the best Christian counseling degrees that you can earn right from home. We have focused on undergraduate degrees for those of you who are just getting started on your path to higher education as well as included graduate programs for those of you who have built your foundation and are ready to move forward. All of the schools featured here and Christian schools that are fully-accredited and will give you all of the tools you need to get stronger in your faith, learn what it means to be a counselor, and apply those two things together into a meaningful practice whether that is through the church, in a private practice setting, or at a school or non-profit organization. However you plan to approach the new chapter in your life of being a counselor, these colleges offer a degree program online that will start you off with your best foot forward. They were ranked according to the following.
Each school on this list was scored out of a possible 200 points. Because there are a variety of different types of counseling degrees, we are presenting a mix of undergraduate online programs at Christian colleges as well as graduate ones, so that students can benefit from this ranking no matter where they are in their path to higher education. We have scored all of the faith-based schools in the United States that offer fully-online or hybrid counseling degree programs according to the following:
- 50%: Freshman Retention Rate and;
- 50%: Graduation Rate
To gather the information that was required to rank each of these schools, we used the school’s websites whenever possible. In the instances where a school did not provide the information on their own site that was required by us, we used the databases of both U.S. News and World Report and of the National Center for Education Statistics. These two rates were added together to get the final score for each institution, and then they were ranked out of 20 based on this score.
In any instance where two or more schools would have tied for a spot in this Top 20, we used the alphabetical ordering of their names as the designated tie-breaking criteria. We chose the two ranking criteria we did, freshman retention, and graduation rates because when both rates are taken into account, they help to provide an accurate representation of a school’s overall performance. However, due to incomplete data, there are some schools that may not be ranked here that otherwise would have.
To qualify to be included in this ranking, schools must not be for-profit institutions. Additionally, no school was given any preferential treatment whatsoever and the methodology described will allow anyone else to draw the same conclusion.
You may also enjoy our ranking of the top 100 best online colleges in the US.
1: Grace College and Theological Seminary
Grace College and Theological Seminary is a private Christian college in Winona Lake, Indiana. Affiliated with the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, it was founded as Grace Theological Seminary in 1937. The institution first expanded in 1948 by implementing a two-year option for students and grew gradually over the years into the four-year liberal arts college that it is today. Grace College now offers degrees at the associates, bachelors, masters, and doctoral levels. It is accredited as a whole by the Higher Learning Commission; in addition, some of the college’s counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. It is a fairly small school, having a student body of just over 2,000.
Grace College and Theological Seminary has been offering online programs since as far back as 1995. The program that we’ve ranked it for here is the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. There is an annual residency that lasts no more than ten days in which students must attend the main campus in Winona Lake. Beyond this residency, the coursework can be completed entirely online from wherever you may be in the country. Grace College presents the program in a way that allows students to gain a deep understanding of the concepts of psychology and social science with Scripture as the foundation for those truths and concepts in every course. Grace College prepares students of this program to be effective counselors that have the knowledge base to apply their Christian faith to their practice in every way.
To learn more about Grace’s program, check out the school website.
Freshman Retention Rate: 83%
Graduation Rate: 62%
Final Score: 145/200
2: Huntington University
Huntington University is a private Christian university in Huntington, Indiana. It was originally established in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ as Central College. It has remained closely affiliated with the church, which is headquartered in the same city. The university was renamed in 1917 to Huntington College, and then took on the current name in 2005 when it was granted university status. Huntington’s offerings encompass more than 70 academic concentrations that span all degree levels. US News and World Report and the Princeton Review have consistently ranked Huntington as one of the best colleges in the Midwest. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and serves a small student body of just 1,321. Huntington is also a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.
Huntington University provides an online Master of Arts in Counseling that prides itself on the holistic approach, meaning that students will gather the knowledge and skill to provide counseling in the same holistic way, taking cognition, emotion, behavior, and spirituality into account in their practice. Completing this degree program prepares students for licensure as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Indiana as well as nationally. While students are learning what they need in order to foster healing and growth in their professional practice, they are also encouraged to participate in group experiences and spiritual exercises that will help them to also heal and grow. At the start of the program, there is a three-day on-campus intensive that you must participate in. The coursework is all offered at a distance and you will be able to complete your internships and any required practicum hours at a location that is convenient for you.
To learn more about Huntington’s program, check out the school website.
Freshman Retention Rate: 81%
Graduation Rate: 60%
Final Score: 141/200
3: Johnson University
Johnson University is a private Christian university located in Knoxville, Tennessee. The university was established as a result of a sermon given by Ashley S. Johnson in 1892, in which he suggested a higher learning institution be built for the gospels. In 1893, The School of the Evangelists emerged. The school was renamed after him twelve years later as Johnson Bible College and operated under that name until 2011 when it became a university. Johnson offers over 70 academic programs through the eight schools that comprise the university, which are the School of Arts & Sciences; the School of Bible & Theology; the School of Business & Public Leadership; the School of Communication and Creative Arts; the School of Congregational Ministry; the Templar School of Education; the School of Intercultural Studies and; the School of Social & Behavioral Sciences. As a whole, Johnson is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.
Johnson University has a rich online offering of degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The program Johnson is ranked for in this article is the undergraduate Pastoral Care and Counseling degree which you can opt to earn as a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science. You will take courses like Introduction to Counseling Ministry, Family Services, and Conflict and Communication alongside courses such as Orientation to the New Testament, Fundamentals of Christian Faith, and Exegetical Methods. So, you will be getting a counseling foundation that you can apply to graduate study and go on to work in professional practice or use what you learn to work in the church as a pastor. As you are building those important skills, you will also be taking biblical and theology courses so you can add depth to your faith and theological knowledge at the same time.
To learn more about Johnson’s program, check out the school website.
Freshman Retention Rate: 78%
Graduation Rate: 63%
Final Score: 141/200
4: Oral Roberts University
Oral Roberts University is a private Christian university located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Though the school was chartered in 1963 by the State of Oklahoma, its doors remained closed to students until 1965. It is named directly after its founder, an evangelist named Oral Roberts. Inspired by his faith, Roberts built a university centered around its principles. ORU has expanded to become an interdenominational university that serves almost 4,000 students. The university features more than 65 undergraduate degree programs and also has an expanding selection of graduate-level programs to choose from. ORU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Graduates from the school have gone on to be accepted into programs at prestigious schools like Johns Hopkins University, Duke University, and more. This school has a more strict code of conduct than many on this list but may be a good fit for some students.
Oral Roberts University offers a Bachelor of Science in Christian Caregiving and Counseling which is available online in its entirety. This program can be applied immediately in a variety of careers or will serve as a great first step towards graduate education and eventual licensure. When you select this major, there is a required cognate that includes these courses: hermeneutics, teaching the Bible, principles of psychology, research seminar, introduction to theology, and ethics. You will explore topics such as lifespan development, the identity of the caregiver, helping skills, and more. The curriculum of the program has been designed to deeply intertwine a faith-based approach to scientific learning so that you can gather the knowledge and skills you need to be an effective counselor within the context of your faith.
To learn more about ORU’s program, check out the school website.
Freshman Retention Rate: 82%
Graduation Rate: 57%
Final Score: 139/200
5: Trevecca Nazarene University
Trevecca Nazarene University is a private Christian university in Nashville, Tennessee. A minister of Cumberland Presbyterian Church named J.O. McClurkan established the university in 1901. Known as Pentecostal Literary and Bible Training School, it would not begin offering bachelors degree programs to students until 1910. The majority of its offerings are undergraduate still today; there are close to 90 majors from which to choose. At the graduate level, there are 20 masters programs and even two doctorates. Trevecca is comprised of six schools, the School of Arts and Sciences; the Skinner School of Business and Technology; the School of Education; the Millard Reed School of Theology and Christian Ministry; the School of Music and Worship Arts and; the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.
Trevecca Nazarene University offers a few degrees in counseling; however, there is only one that is currently available online, which is the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. The program prepares graduates to pursue a career in counseling with the benefit of a broad understanding of the Bible and a Christian worldview in the context of understanding human behavior and helping others. You can supplement this major with courses in Health Care Administration, Information Technology, Christian Ministry, or Management and Human Relations. By working closely with an advisor, you will be able to further tailor your degree to the things that matter to you and that you want to explore more in-depth. This is a perfect degree for those of you who want to be a pastor in the future but want to include a strong counseling component to your service. All coursework is available online.
To learn more about Trevecca’s program, check out the school website.
Freshman Retention Rate: 82%
Graduation Rate: 54%
Final Score: 136/200
6: Dallas Baptist University
Dallas Baptist University is a private Christian liberal arts university based in Dallas, Texas. The university was founded in 1898, its campus built on land purchased by The Baptist General Convention of Texas. It was Texas’s only two-year institution of higher learning at the time. It became a four-year college in 1970 upon implementing its first bachelors degrees. Dallas Baptist is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The university offers degree programs at all levels from the associates to the doctorate, as well as varying levels of certificates, to its over 5,000 students. DBU is made up of the Mary C. Crowley College of Christian Faith; the Dorothy M. Bush College of Education; the College of Business; the College of Fine Arts; the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics; the College of Professional Studies; the Graduate School of Ministry and; the Gary Cook School of Leadership.
One of the online Christian counseling degrees offered at Dallas Baptist University isn’t a traditional option. It is a Master of Arts in Family Ministry which is delivered through the Graduate School of Ministry. You can pursue this 36-hour program in a hybrid format or entirely online at your convenience. DBU prides itself on making sure a strong Christian education is accessible to those students who desire one. There is also a more traditional approach for those of you who would like that instead. The Master of Arts in Christian Counseling is a non-licensure track that focuses on preparing students as servant-leaders in this practical ministry. It also consists of 36 credit hours. Regardless of which degree program suits your needs, Dallas Baptist University will provide you with a convenient and comprehensive Christ-centered education.
To learn more about DBU’s program, check out the school website.
Freshman Retention Rate: 77%
Graduation Rate: 58%
Final Score: 135/200
7: Baptist College of Florida
The Baptist College of Florida is a private Christian college located in Graceville, Florida. The college is sponsored by the Florida Baptist Convention and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. It is an incredibly small college that provides associates, bachelors, and masters degrees to roughly 425 students. More than a third of the student body is enrolled entirely in distance-learning programs; an additional quarter of the students are taking at least some classes online. The college was founded by a group of pastors in 1943 and classes were held in a church for as many as the first 30 years before campus construction began. The original purpose of the school was to provide seminary training to those who lacked college degrees; however, curriculum expanded as the needs of the community expanded and now students have opportunities in popular fields such as music, counseling, education, and business.
The Baptist College of Florida is exceptionally dedicated to distance education for an institution of its size. All courses and programs are available entirely online or through two extension centers in Orlando, and Jacksonville, Florida. For those who want to pursue a career in Christian counseling, the college offers a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. The major includes the college-wide foundational courses that cover the old and new testament, spiritual formation, and Southern Baptist life. Major-specific courses include Biblical Hermeneutics, Christian Worldview, Personality Theory, Developmental Psychology, and more. This 60-credit program has 42 credits of Psychology courses that will provide students a very broad foundation in their understanding of psychology with respect to their Christian perspective so that they can cultivate a practice that is fully integrated with a Christian worldview.
To learn more about BCF’s program, check out the school website.
Freshman Retention Rate: 87%
Graduation Rate: 47%
Final Score: 134/200
8: Crown College
Crown College is a private Christian college in St. Bonifacius, Minnesota. Crown is affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance and is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. It was founded in 1916 and has been closely aligned with the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination from its inception, making it just one of four colleges of its kind in the country. Crown is Higher Learning Commission and has a student body of just 1,353 students in total. There are a variety of degree programs available at Crown; there are close to 50 undergraduate programs of study as well as additional opportunities at the graduate level. Crown College is also very involved in distance education, offering over 20 programs online, which is impressive for a school of its size.
One of those online offerings is a Bachelor of Science in Psychology/Counseling. The college prides itself on this degree program’s design which will provide students with a solid foundation in psychological theory from a Christian perspective. Human behavior and development, listening and assessment techniques, counseling theory, and skill building are all components that comprise the curriculum, which strives to encompass principles and education that most institutions don’t typically incorporate until the masters level. This program seeks to fully equip students for whatever comes next for them professionally and then some. Tuition rates are competitive and the courses are delivered entirely online and asynchronously to make this program convenient and affordable without sacrificing educational quality. A minor in Drug and Alcohol Counseling is also available.
To learn more about Crown’s program, check out the school website.
Freshman Retention Rate: 67%
Graduation Rate: 67%
Final Score: 134/200
9: Liberty University
Liberty University is a private Christian research university that is based in Lynchburg, Virginia. It is the largest institution of higher education featured in this ranking and it is among the largest Christian universities in the world. Another place where the incredible size of the university is apparent is right here in America, it is the largest private non-profit university in the country by enrollment. There are an incredible 75,044 students currently enrolled and more than 80% of them are taking their courses entirely online. Liberty was founded in 1971 and has grown to encompass 17 colleges and schools. There are over 550 programs of study available, with roughly 290 of them being available online. Liberty University first began offering distance education in 1985 by VHS. U.S. News and World Report has recognized the university in several categories throughout its history, including it among the top 100 in categories such as Southern Regional Universities, Best Colleges for Veterans, Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, Best Online MBA Programs, Online Graduate Business Programs, Best Online Graduate Education Programs, and Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. The offered online graduate programs in Criminal Justice ranked among the top 20 nationwide. Liberty is a staunchly conservative institution and one of the leading forces of Christian higher education worldwide.
Because of the rich selection of online programs available at Liberty University, there are a number of options that might appeal to you as an aspiring Christian counselor. Liberty offers a Master of Arts in Addiction Counseling, a Master of Arts in Applied Psychology, a Master of Education in School Counseling, a Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling, a Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy, a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling, a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling, and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a concentration in Christian Counseling. The online Christian counseling bachelors degree is available 100% online and can be completed in as little as 3.5 years. Students can transfer up to 75% of the required credits and will have the benefit of accelerated eight-week classes. All of the masters level degrees take an average of two years or less to complete, with the exception of the Marriage & Family Therapy program, which takes two and a half years. Coursework for the programs is all delivered entirely online. Up to 50% of the credits can be transferred in and students have the added benefit of optional on-campus intensives at the Lynchburg campus with some programs. The Master of Education, as well as the Marriage & Family Therapy program, have required visits to campus for short intensives. Regardless of your selection, you will receive a comprehensive knowledge base that you can carry with you into your professional life and seamlessly integrates your faith.
To learn more about Liberty’s program, check out the school website.
Freshman Retention Rate: 83%
Graduation Rate: 47%
Final Score: 130/200
10: Lee University
Lee University is a private Christian university in Cleveland, Tennessee. It was founded as the Church of God Bible Training School in 1918 and had a student body of just 12 at the time. It is still affiliated with the Church of God, a Pentecostal denomination, although students of all Christian backgrounds are welcome. By 1948, the school had evolved into Lee College and would soon receive accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Lee College transitioned into Lee University in 1997. Today, the university is home to over 5,000 students that can take advantage of over 50 majors and more than 100 individual programs of study. Degrees are offered at both the bachelors and masters levels through the six academic divisions of the university. These are the College of Arts & Sciences; the Helen DeVos College of Education; the School of Business; the School of Music; the School of Nursing and; the School of Religion. Lee also operates the Division of Adult Learning, which is where its online academic programs can be found.
Lee University has a smaller selection of online programs compared to some other institutions, but the programs that they offer are specifically developed to fit into the busy life an adult. Distance learning programs at Lee are available entirely online and asynchronously, so you can work at your own pace and on your own time, without missing the benefit of academic advising and close faculty relationships. The program that led Lee University to be featured here is a great option for aspiring Christian counselors at Lee, it is the Bachelor’s in Ministry Leadership with a concentration in Counseling. This degree is geared towards those of you who don’t want a professional practice but want to take on counseling roles in the church upon completion of the degree. You will learn how to approach leadership with a Biblical perspective with the core curriculum, and the counseling concentration will help you understand the role of ministry counseling and have a firm understanding in the theories and methods behind counseling. The combined focus is perfect to help you step up as a leader in Christ and help those around you in need.
To learn more about Lee University’s program, check out the school website.
Freshman Retention Rate: 77%
Graduation Rate: 52%
Final Score: 129/200
11: Colorado Christian University
Colorado Christian University is a private Christian college located in Lakewood, Colorado. The university began as the Denver Bible Institute in 1914 and went on to receive a state charter to become a four-year college in 1945. It became Denver Bible College at that time and underwent several other name changes over the years becoming Rockmont College in 1949, Colorado Christian College in 1985, and finally, after merging with Colorado Baptist University in 1989, it adopted its current name. It is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and holds its accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. As of 2017, it has additional accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Degrees are granted at the associates, bachelors, and master levels and there is also a selection of certificate programs available. CCU serves over 7,000 students.
The program we’ve ranked Colorado Christian University for is its Bachelor of Science in Psychology. You have an option to add a focus area to your degree program in Biblical Studies, Clinical Counseling, or Criminal Justice. This is a great versatile option because it can prepare students to go on to clinical practice or work in a counseling position in the church if they so choose. You may also opt for a non-emphasis format if you’re not sure what the future might hold for you as well. Upon graduation, you will be ready to take on entry-level roles in the mental health field, ministry, governmental agencies, and any other areas where a psychology background can be professionally applied; you can also continue on to the graduate level of study for a more advanced career. This is a 120-credit program that covers 42 credits of general education, 36 credits in your psychology major, and an additional 42 credits in electives which allows you to tailor the program to your goals as a Christian counselor. Depending on your area of emphasis, you may be well on your way to a masters degree from CCU as well if you were interested in the dual-degree accelerated masters program. Classes are available entirely online and are typically presented in five-week blocks.
To learn more about CCU’s program, check out the school website.
Freshman Retention Rate: 78%
Graduation Rate: 50%
Final Score: 128/200
12: Toccoa Falls College
Toccoa Falls College is a Christian liberal arts college standing in Toccoa, Georgia. Toccoa Falls College was initially founded as the Golden Valley Institute in North Carolina during 1907 but moved to Toccoa shortly after, in 1911. After the move, the institution took on a new name to reflect its location and starting adding secondary education to the theological curriculum. It organized as a high school in 1928 and introduced its first bachelors program in 1937. From there, the institution continued to expand into the college that it is today. Toccoa Falls College now houses the School of Christian Ministries; the School of Arts and Sciences and; the School of Professional Studies. Through those three academic divisions, students have the choice of more than 70 combined majors and minors; programs are currently only offered at the undergraduate level. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges and has less than 1,500 students.
Toccoa Falls College strives to make sure that online students can receive the same great college experience as its local students by providing convenient online learning options that are extremely affordable, as well as bolstering its academic programs with additional support that on-campus students receive. You are also welcome to come to campus for any events, services, and activities. The program we’ve ranked TFC for is the Bachelor of Science in Counseling Psychology. It is a 126-credit program that covers subjects such as spiritual formation, hermeneutics, and a wealth of bible and theology electives to choose from to explore your spiritual interests. As part of the major, you will also explore counseling skills, several aspects of therapy ranging from family and marital therapy to crisis and trauma intervention, and psychology. You will also have the opportunity to explore additional concepts in psychology through your electives. TFC provides you with a wide base of knowledge while giving you the opportunity to focus on what matters, and teaches you to apply it to your professional life with a Christian worldview.
To learn more about TFC’s program, check out the school website.
Freshman Retention Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate: 55%
Final Score: 127/200
13: Calvary University
Calvary University is a private Christian university in Kansas City, Missouri. Calvary traces its roots back to Kansas City Bible College, which was founded in 1932. It was a small college that struggled greatly to keep its doors open, similar to Midwest Bible College in St. Louis. The two colleges merged in 1961, officially creating the university. The Citadel Bible College of Ozark, Arkansas merged with the university in 1987. There are less than 300 students at Calvary today, which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is the first school to appear in this ranking that is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education, Commission on Accreditation. Calvary University offers degrees at the associates, bachelors, and masters levels.
Calvary University may be small but it draws students from all over the country due to its commitment to distance learning. Classes are video recorded on campus so that although you will be studying asynchronously, you’re receiving the exact same instruction as the students on campus. We’ve ranked Calvary University for its online bachelors in Biblical Counseling. All programs include a major in Bible and theology alongside your professional major. During the course of your study at Calvary University, you will take courses such as Hermeneutic, Evangelism, and Systematic Theology as part of your Bible and theology major; you will take courses like History of Psychological Systems, Conflict Resolution, and Ethics and Biblical Counseling. You can complete your coursework according to your schedule and will have the opportunity to complete a Biblical Counseling internship at an approved location where you live.
To learn more about Calvary’s program, check out the school website.
Freshman Retention Rate: 52%
Graduation Rate: 67%
Final Score: 119/200
14: Southwestern Assemblies of God University
Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private Christian university in Waxahachie, Texas. It was founded in 1927 as three individual schools that would eventually merge. The institutions that SAGU evolved from were the Southwestern Bible School, the Shield of Faith Bible Institute, and the Southern Bible College. SAGU is officially endorsed by the Assemblies of God USA and it is the only such institution of higher education in Texas. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Its academic programs are divided between the College of Bible & Church Ministries and the College of Arts & Professions. There are more than 60 programs of study offered currently, giving over 2,000 students the opportunity to earn degrees at the associates, bachelors, masters, and doctoral levels.
SAGU offers an online pre-professional bachelors degree in counseling that is accessible entirely at a distance. The university bases all of their courses and programs on faith, so everything you learn will come from a Christian worldview and will simultaneously strengthen your faith and your mind. As part of this online degree program, you will benefit from small class sizes, career advising, and ample opportunities for tuition assistance to reduce the cost of your education. The core program will cover topics like youth counseling, addictive behavior, recovery support, crisis intervention, and more while equipping you with a knowledge base in developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, personality theory, and behavioral science. There are also a few minors that you can choose from at SAGU, like marriage and family counseling, criminal justice, intercultural studies, youth ministries, or another area that is specific to your goals as a Christian counselor.
To learn more about SAGU program, check out the school website.
Freshman Retention Rate: 75%
Graduation Rate: 44%
Final Score: 119/200
15: Nyack College
Nyack College is a private Christian liberal arts college located in Nyack, New York. Nyack began as the Missionary Training Institute in New York City in the year 1882. The Missionary Training Institute was granted its charter in 1944 and went on to become authorized to confer bachelors degrees in 1953. It is affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance and serves as the home of the denomination’s official seminary, the Alliance Theological Seminary. Due to continued expansion and commitment to higher education, the school was accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in 1962. By the early 1970’s, the Nyack College name was adopted and professional programs had been added as well. Today, Nyack offers undergraduate, graduate, and seminary programs through seven colleges and schools and has a student body of roughly 2,500.
Nyack College offers online programs through Nyack Online, and the one for which the college has ranked is the Masters in Mental Health Counseling. This is a 63-credit program that typically takes three years to complete. Students will progress through the program in a cohort model and take part in asynchronous courses with some synchronous components. This allows students to benefit from the flexibility of the program while still having the opportunity to foster strong relationships with their cohort and professors. The synchronous components are limited to just two nights a week at most and there are only three on-campus requirements throughout the duration of the program, a one-week residency once per year. The program prepares you to engage both your faith and the psychological principles you learn in a professional setting and also prepares you for licensure. Please keep in mind that your state may have additional requirements.
To learn more about Nyack’s program, check out the school website.
Freshman Retention Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate: 45%
Final Score: 117/200
16: Hope International University
Hope International University is a private Christian university located in Fullerton, California that draws students from all around the world. It initially opened in 1928 as the Pacific Bible Seminary and began to take shape as a college in 1962, when it was renamed as Pacific Christian College. HIU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission and has been operating under its current name since it obtained university status in 1997. It is now comprised of five colleges through which it enrolls 1,373 students. The colleges that comprise HIU are the Pacific Christian College of Ministry & Biblical Studies; the College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Psychology and Counseling; the College of Education and; the College of Business and Management. Programs are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Hope International University offers an online Master of Science in Counseling that is designed to prepare its graduates to work as Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors. It is a 61-credit program that takes an average of three years to complete but students have the option to work at an accelerated pace that condenses the program down to just two years. All of the coursework for the program is accessible entirely online; courses have been expertly designed to integrate the theory and practice knowledge you’ll need to have a comprehensive personal practice that is firmly grounded in your Christian principles. Another impressive aspect of HIU’s program is that it provides you with an incredibly diverse education that spans all of the topics you’re likely to encounter in your career: human sexuality, psychopharmacology, substance abuse, family violence, lifespan development, and so much more. All of your practicum hours can be completed locally.
To learn more about HIU’s program, check out the school website.
Freshman Retention Rate: 67%
Graduation Rate: 48%
Final Score: 115/200
17: Messenger College
Messenger College is a private Christian college in Euless, Texas. The college was officially founded in 1987 but can trace its roots back further to both the Southern Bible College and the Evangelical Christian College. The Pentecostal Church of God elected to merge the two institutions and relocate them to Joplin, Missouri. It stayed in Joplin for the majority of its history before moving to Euless in 2012. It is the Pentecostal Church of God’s national collegiate institution and holds its accreditation from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Accreditation Commission. Students can earn undergraduate degrees in the fields of counseling and Christian Ministry. It is the smallest college we’ve featured in this ranking, serving only 51 students. The size of the college allows for very specially tailored educational programs and an exemplary student to faculty ratio of just five to one.
Messenger College offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Counseling that seamlessly integrates Christian education with the diverse psychology education that will prepare you for entry-level careers or expand your education at the graduate level in preparation for your career in Christian counseling. You will learn about biblical literature and interpretation, essentials of Christian leadership, and practical ministry right alongside the counseling courses that cover the profession from a general and pastoral perspective. You will also take foundational courses in family counseling, addiction and recovery, crisis intervention, and behavioral science. This particular program doesn’t prepare you for licensure but does provide the necessary skills and knowledge to continue at the graduate level in a program that can lead to licensure. Even if you don’t want to continue your study, you will be ready to take on a counseling position in the church.
To learn more about Messenger College’s program, check out the school website.
Freshman Retention Rate: 73%
Graduation Rate: 20%
Final Score: 93/200
18: Ohio Christian University
Ohio Christian University is a private Christian college located in Circleville, Ohio. OCU was founded in 1948 under the name Mount Praise Bible College with the prime mission of training ministers for the Churches of Christ in Christian Union denomination; the university has grown significantly since that time but it is still denominationally affiliated with the Churches of Christ Christian Union. Before becoming Ohio Christian University in 2006, the school also spent time operating as Circleville Bible College. OCU is accredited by both the Higher Learning Commission and the Association for Biblical Higher Education, Commission on Accreditation. Recently, the undergraduate-level nursing programs received accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education as well. The university offers degrees at the associates, bachelors, and masters levels and is continuing to grow academically. There are close to 5,000 students in attendance.
Ohio Christian University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Substance Abuse Counseling online. The main objective of both programs is to integrate Christian principles into all that you learn throughout your enrollment, so that regardless of which degree program aligns with your goals as a Christian counselor, you will experience a curriculum and college experience that directly aligns with your faith. Online programs at OCU are presented entirely asynchronously but you will move through the program one course at a time in a cohort. This unique presentation will help you to build close relationships with your peers, focus intently on each course as you work through it so you are getting the most of what you’re learning, and still have the advantage of incredible flexibility. Ohio Christian University has created comprehensive programs that prepare you for work or graduate study with the integration of a Biblical worldview.
To learn more about OCU’s program, check out the school website.
Freshman Retention Rate: 62%
Graduation Rate: 29%
Final Score: 91/200
19: Faulkner University
Faulkner University is a Christian university based in Montgomery, Alabama. It emerged as the Montgomery Bible School in the year 1942. The school underwent two name changes throughout its history, the first of which was in 1953 to Alabama Christian College, and finally to Faulkner University in 1985. When the school first opened, it had the distinct mission was to create an institution that provided preacher training and education based in God’s Holy Word, and it has stuck to that throughout its history. It is affiliated with the Churches of Christ and holds its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The offered law programs are accredited by the American Bar Association. There are now over 3,000 students at the university and they have the opportunity to earn degrees at the associates, bachelors, masters, and doctorate levels through five colleges.
Faulkner University offers a Bachelor of Science in Counseling Psychology online. The 121-credit program is composed of several different components that ensure literacy in several general education areas along with psychology. Christian Literacy takes up 18 hours of the program and will explore Christian cultural heritage, understanding the Bible, and more. The psychology major is 29 hours of the program and teaches students developmental psychology, research methods, social psychology, and more. You will have the option to explore other topics or concentrate in an area of specialization that you want to focus your career in Christian counseling on with 12 hours of electives. Faulkner provides students the opportunity to obtain a degree in a Christian environment where faith and learning intersect and it does so conveniently, with flexible online delivery formats and even some paths to accelerated graduation.
To learn more about Faulkner’s program, check out the school website.
Freshman Retention Rate: 54%
Graduation Rate: 28%
Final Score: 82/200
20: Dallas Christian College
Dallas Christian College is a private Christian college in Farmers Branch, Texas. The college was initially founded in 1950 and is historically affiliated with the Churches of Christ. Degrees are offered in eight fields, primarily at the undergraduate level, but there are some post-baccalaureate certificates available. The college is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education, Commission on Accreditation. It is a very small college, with only 231 students in total. Of its student body, over half of them are participating in the distance education opportunities at the college and roughly a third of them are enrolled entirely online. The mission of the college is to educate and mentor students to be people of influence, engaging in their calling to the work of Christ in the Church and in the world and it has been striving consistently towards those outcomes since classes began.
Despite its small size, Dallas Christian College does have a selection of online programs for its students. Students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Psychology online at DCC, and they have the added option of a Christian Life Coaching Track. This degree is designed to honor God as the source of all wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. The general education component of the program was created to help you gain a solid understanding of yourself, the world around you, and your community and learn how to apply that according to your faith. The psychology major covers the skills and tools of psychology and counseling and teaches them from a biblical perspective so that you can keep your faith at the center of your studies and your career. The Bachelor of Science in Psychology has been specifically created as a prerequisite to graduate studies rather than directly entering the workforce.
To learn more about DCC’s program, check out the school website.
Freshman Retention Rate: 46%
Graduation Rate: 24%
Final Score: 70/200