By OCC Staff
Online Christian Colleges is pleased to present another subset of the 50 Best Christian Colleges and Universities. This ranking focuses on schools in the Midwest to help students who want to focus their research on Christian schools in this region. Online Christian Colleges and Universities provide here a detailed review of schools that are Christian in their mission, values, and vision. We want to help you make a decision on your education that is well informed and in-synch for your aspirations and goals.
Ranking Methodology To determine our ranking of the best Christian colleges and universities in the Midwest, we began by compiling a list of any and all Christian schools located in the midwestern United States. We then used the following points-based system to narrow down our list to just the 25 best.
Annual Tuition Cost: Under $10,000 — 5 points Under $20,000 — 4 points Under $30,000 — 3 points Under $40,000 — 2 points $40,001 and higher — 1 point
Student/Faculty Ratio: 12:1 and lower — 5 points 13:1 to 15:1 — 4 points 16:1 to 20:1 — 3 points 21:1 and higher — 2 points
Overall Graduation Rate: 50% and Above — 3 points 25% to 49% — 2 points 24% and below — 1 point
20-Year Net Return on Investment (ROI): 10% and above — 5 points 8-9% — 4 points 6-7% — 3 points 4-5% — 2 points 3% and lower — 1 point
Note: In the event of a tie in points, the higher ranking was given to the college or university with the lower annual tuition. All tuition numbers and other stats are accurate as of March 2021.
#25. Evangel University
Springfield, Missouri Annual Tuition: $25,037 Total Points: 8
Evangel University is a private Christian liberal arts university. The school was founded in 1955 as the first Pentecostal liberal arts post-secondary institution chartered in the United States. Evangel University is affiliated with the Assemblies of God church but maintains admission to a broad scope of Christian denominations and faith traditions. Evangel’s 80-acre campus sits like an oasis in the northern part of the city with its tree-lined pathways and open spaces amid medium-to-high density development. Evangel University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and offers over 100 Bachelor’s Degree programs in its two colleges. Evangel University also includes the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary and has a vibrant department of Online Studies.
#24. University of Northwestern – St. Paul
St. Paul, Minnesota Annual Tuition: $33,200 Total Points: 9
The University of Northwestern-St. Paul is a private Christian liberal arts school. The Northwestern Bible and Missionary Training School founded the school in 1902. The University maintains membership in the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and the Association of Christian Schools International. They are a member in good standing of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, the Council for Independent Colleges, and the North American Coalition for Christian Admissions Professionals as well. The campus abuts Lake Johanna, adding to the rugged beauty of the region. The University of Northwestern-St. Paul is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers degree programs within its several colleges and schools.
#23. Tabor College
Hillsboro, Kansas Annual Tuition: $32,100 Total Points: 9
Tabor College is a private Christian liberal arts college. The college was founded in 1908 by members of the Mennonite Brethren and Krimmer Mennonite Brethren faiths. It maintains a close affiliation with the Mennonite Church. From the beginning, Tabor has offered a liberal arts curriculum founded on Christian values and deliberately Christ-centered. Tabor College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers Bachelor’s Degrees in over two dozen programs. It has three master’s degree programs, including an MBA. The school also maintains a robust online degree program.
#22. Greenville University
Greenville, Illinois Annual Tuition: $28,956 Total Points: 9
Greenville University is a private Christian liberal arts college. The school was founded in 1892 by the Central Illinois Conference of the Free Methodist Church. According to the college, learning objectives for all students include: “seek truth through critical inquiry and research,” “collaborate and communicate,” “engage culture and be creative” and “demonstrate faith and learning in action.” Greenville University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. It offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
#21. Sterling College
Sterling, Kansas Annual Tuition: $27,300 Total Points: 9
Sterling College is a private, Christian liberal arts school. The Synod of Kansas of the United Presbyterian Church of North America founded the school as Cooper Memorial College in 1887. The school was renamed to designate its location in 1919. As a deliberately Christian school, Sterling affirms its historical ties with the Reformed tradition while partnering with various Christian churches to advance the mission and vision of the College. Sterling College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission; Member-North Central Association and offers Bachelor’s Degrees in over 20 varied undergraduate programs. Sterling also offers two graduate programs: Master of Science in Athletic Training and Master of Arts in Sports Ministry. Sterling also offers seven online degree programs.
#20. MidAmerica Nazarene University
Olathe, Kansas Annual Tuition: $32,872 Total Points: 10
MidAmerica Nazarene University is a private liberal arts institution. The school was founded in 1966 with a small campus and 263 students. Over the past 50+ years, the university has grown dramatically and now boasts a 105-acre main campus with over 20 buildings, nearly 1,900students and an alumni population of more than 20,000. In addition to the Olathe main campus, MidAmerica Nazarene University operates satellite locations in Sante Fe, New Mexico, and Liberty, Missouri. MidAmerica Nazarene University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It offers 35 undergraduate degree programs and seven degree completion programs. The university also offers certificate programs in Business, Education, Nursing, and Counseling. It also has online program options in many professional and graduate degrees.
#19. Northwestern College
Orange City, Iowa Annual Tuition: $32,920 Total Points: 11
Northwestern College is a private Christian liberal arts college that seeks to educate students under traditional Reformed Christian values. The college dates back to 1882 as Northwestern Classical Academy. The Academy launched a junior college in 1928 which grew into a full-fledged four-year college in 1960. Northwestern College is affiliated with the Reformed Church in America. Northwestern College is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission. It is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities and the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. The school’s curriculum includes over 80 academic programs, including more than 40 majors, 16 pre-professional programs, in addition to many specific career concentrations and certificates.
#18. Dordt University
Sioux Center, Iowa Annual Tuition: $32,820 Total Points: 11
Dordt College is a private Christian liberal arts college affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church of North America. The school’s history started in 1953 when the school was founded as Midwestern Christian Junior College. Dordt College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) as a four-year bachelor-degree-granting institution. It offers over 90 degree programs.
#16. (tie)Anderson University
Anderson, Indiana Annual Tuition: $32,100 Total Points: 11
Anderson University is a private Christian liberal arts school. The school is affiliated with the Church of God. Anderson University was founded in 1917 as a Bible Training school and has grown into a well-established four-year liberal arts university offering both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Anderson University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It offers 50 undergraduate degrees, and several master’s degrees.
#16. (tie) North Park University
Chicago, Illinois Annual Tuition: $32,100 Total Points: 11
North Park University is a private Christian school. The university has modest beginnings, founded in 1891 and housed in a Minneapolis church basement.bAfter relocating to Chicago, the school has a distinctly urban atmosphere. North Park University is affiliated with the Evangelical Covenant Church. An indication of the urban focus of the school is the vast diversity of the student body – 3,000 students including 40% who identify as ‘persons of color.’ No single ethnicity has a majority representation. This diversity is also displayed by the varied denominational backgrounds of the students. North Park University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It offers Bachelor’s Degrees and Master’s Degrees through its many schools.
#15. Spring Arbor University
Spring Arbor, Michigan Annual Tuition: $30,472 Total Points: 11
Spring Arbor University is a private Christian liberal arts school. The school was founded in 1873 as the Spring Arbor Seminary, offering elementary and secondary education. The school achieved accreditation as a university in 1960. Spring Arbor University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers Bachelor’s Degrees in 50 fields of study.The University also offers four residential and seven online Master’s Degree programs.
#14. Judson University
Elgin, Illinois Annual Tuition: $29,870 Total Points: 11
Judson University is a private evangelical Christian liberal arts school. The school was founded as Judson College in 1963. The school grew out of the undergraduate division of the Northern Baptist Theological Seminary. The College became a university in 2007. Judson University strives for recognition in environmental stewardship as evidenced by its reputation as a “green” university; it is home to a LEED Gold certified building which is one of the most energy-efficient buildings of its kind in America. Judson University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers 50 undergraduate degree programs in addition to minors and pre-professional programs. The school also offers several graduate programs, including the only fully-accredited Masters of Architecture program offered by any Christian school.
#13. Huntington University
Huntington, Indiana Annual Tuition: $26,846 Total Points: 11
Huntington University is a private Christian liberal arts college. The school was founded in 1897 as Central College by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ with whom the university maintains affiliation today. Huntington University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. It offers undergraduate, graduate, and pre-professional degree programs. There is also an Entry-level Doctoral Degree in Occupational Therapy; and pre-professional programs in Law, Medicine, Pharmacy and Athletic Training.
#12. Cornerstone University
Grand Rapids, Michigan Annual Tuition: $26,250 Total Points: 11
Cornerstone University is a private, non-denominational Christian school. Founded as the Bible Institute of Grand Rapids in 1941, the school offered Bible instruction for $2 per term. In 1963 the school became a state-approved Bible college. In 1964 the school was received into membership by the American Association of Bible Colleges and relocated to its present location. The school adopted the name Cornerstone University when the State of Michigan accepted it as a university in 1999. Cornerstone University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers Bachelor’s Degrees and Master’s Degrees as well as online degree programs.
#11. Hannibal-LaGrange University
Hannibal, Missouri Annual Tuition: $24,000 Total Points: 11
Hannibal-LaGrange University is a private Christian university. The school was founded in 1858 in LaGrange, Missouri and remained there until 1928 when it relocated to Hannibal, the childhood home of author Mark Twain. The University is affiliated with the Missouri Baptist Convention (Southern Baptist). The school is deliberately Christian in its structure and approach to education. Hannibal-LaGrange University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers Bachelor’s Degrees in several disciplines including:
- Behavioral Science
- Christian Studies
- Communication Studies
- Computer Information Systems, and more
#10. College of the Ozarks
Point Lookout, Missouri Annual Tuition: $19,960 Total Points: 11
The College of the Ozarks was founded in 1906. This private Christian liberal arts school started offering 4-year Bachelor degrees in 1965. The College offers a work-study program to all students so they can offset the expense of tuition through one of over 100 campus jobs or industries. The remaining costs are covered through gifts, donations, and scholarships that are funded by a network of generous sponsors. The impact of this financial structure is that full-time students are charged nothing for tuition costs. This means that the College of the Ozarks is one of the most affordable Christian colleges in the country. The College of the Ozarks is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission- North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. The College of the Ozarks offers a broad scope of undergraduate degree programs.
#9. York College
York, Nebraska Annual Tuition: $19,810 Total Points: 11
York College is a private Christian liberal arts school.The college dates back to 1890 when citizens of York founded it. Control of the school and its affiliation with specific churches changed several times in the early years.The school today is affiliated with the Church of Christ. When a full four-year institution in the 1990s, the school received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. York College offers many undergraduate degrees in a variety of disciplines. The school also includes pre-professional, and graduate degrees, including the Master of Arts in Education and the Master of Arts in Organization and Global Leadership. Many programs are offered online as well.
#8. Wheaton College
Wheaton, Illinois Annual Tuition: $39,100 Total Points: 12
Wheaton College is a private Christian liberal arts college and graduate school. The school was founded in 1860 as the Illinois Institute. Among notable alumni are many recognizable Christian figures, including missionaries, pastors, and evangelists. The College describes itself as being “explicitly Christian” and “academically rigorous.” Wheaton has a distinct diversity of population including many missionary- and third culture-kids. Wheaton also has a relatively high percentage of ethnic minority faculty members among its full-time and part-time faculty. Its location close to Chicago provides students with many resources and opportunities for service and study. Wheaton College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. It offers over 40 undergraduate degree programs, over a dozen graduate-level degrees and a Doctor of Psychology degree.
#7. Bethel University
Arden Hills, Minnesota Annual Tuition: $39,030 Total Points: 12
Bethel University is an interdenominational Christian university. It was founded dates in 1871 as a Baptist seminary. Today, Bethel University is sponsored in part by member churches of Converge, which consists of the former Baptist General Conference (BGC) and Converge Worldwide. Bethel University comprises of two colleges, a graduate school, and a seminary. The university offers over 88 undergraduate degrees and 11 pre-professional programs. The Graduate School offers 10 master’s degree programs. The Bethel Seminary offers graduate programs in dozens of theological, pastoral and leadership concentrations as well as a distance learning program.
#6. Calvin University
Grand Rapids, Michigan Annual Tuition: $37,806 Total Points: 12
Calvin University is a private Christian liberal arts school. Calvin is affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church of North America as well as the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities. The school dates back to 1876. Calvin University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. It and offers majors or minors in over 100 academic and/or pre-professional fields.
#5. Taylor University
Upland, Indiana Annual Tuition: $36,800 Total Points: 12
Taylor University is a private evangelical Christian college located. The school is among the oldest evangelical Christian colleges in the United States. It was founded in 1846. Taylor University is noted for its many cross-cultural and “service-learning” programs. Many students earn credits participating in more than 30 programs situated in 35 countries around the world. The university was highly ranked among schools recognized for study abroad programs, according to a survey sponsored by Open Doors. Taylor University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers over 115 undergraduate majors, including:
- 45 Bachelor of Arts majors
- 60+ Bachelor of Science majors
- 3 Bachelor of Music majors
- one Bachelor of Fine Arts major
- 4 Associate of Arts majors
There is also a Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Development, and a Master of Business Administration.
#4. Trinity International University
Deerfield, Illinois Annual Tuition: $33,298 Total Points: 12
Trinity International University is a private Christian liberal arts university system. Trinity dates back to 1897. In 1997 Trinity established a campus in Davie, Florida and a law school in Santa Ana, California. It merged all schools under one organization called Trinity International University. Today, Trinity is the educational ministry of the Evangelical Free Church of America. Trinity International University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers over 30 undergraduate degrees and over 25 graduate degrees between the liberal arts college, divinity school, graduate school, and law school.
#3. Trinity Christian College
Palos Heights, Illinois Annual Tuition: $32,075 Total Points: 12
Palos Heights, Illinois is a suburb of Chicago and serves as the site of Trinity Christian College, a private Christian liberal arts institution. The school dates back to 1956 when it was founded by a small group of business leaders who sought to meet a need for a Christian college in Chicago. The college’s roots are in Reformed Christianity with the Bible as the foundation of all elements of the school. The college does welcome all denominations of Christianity. Trinity Christian College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and several individual programs hold specific accreditations.
#2. Indiana Wesleyan University
Marion, Indiana Annual Tuition: $28,184 Total Points: 12
Indiana Wesleyan University is a private Christian liberal arts college. The school was founded in 1920 as Marion College and has since become the largest member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. It is affiliated with the Wesleyan Church although students represent more than 80 Christian denominations. Indiana Wesleyan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It offers more than 80 undergraduate degrees, 38 graduate degrees and five doctorate degrees.
#1. Bethel University
Mishawaka, Indiana Annual Tuition: $29,790 Total Points: 13
Bethel University is a private evangelical liberal arts college. The name Bethel ‘house of God.’ Church approval was granted in 1944 and the school formally opened in 1947 and featured the youngest college president in the United States, 27-year-old Woodrow Goodman. Bethel University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers degrees in two Divisions and the School of Nursing.
- 25 Best Christian Colleges and Universities in the South
- 25 Best Christian Colleges and Universities in the West
- 50 Best Christian Colleges and Universities
- 50 Best Christian Graduate Schools Online