California Christian Colleges
- Pepperdine University
- Westmont College
- Biola University
- Chapman University
- San Diego Christian College
The Golden State’s expansive post-secondary teaching scene of 314 schools features 30 Christian colleges in California to choose from. According to the Pew Research Center, 63 percent of California adults identify as Christians, including Protestants, Mormons, Catholics, Orthodox Christians, Baptists, Episcopalians, and other denominations. Young people may decide that attending a Christian university will deepen their spiritual connection to God for Church or secular careers. The top benefits of Christian colleges are low student-faculty ratios, Biblical liberal arts curricula, whole-person learning, volunteer work, like-minded peers, and high graduation rates. Here are five top-ranking Christian colleges for California students to reaffirm their faith.
1. Pepperdine University
Affiliated with the Churches of Christ, Pepperdine University is a private, nonprofit Christian NAICU member that’s endowed for $781.3 million, enrolling 7,826 Waves, and generating “moderate research activity” in Malibu. Split into five WASC-accredited schools, Pepperdine confers 47 bachelor’s majors, including Advertising, Creative Writing, Film Studies, Political Science, and Physics, and 66 graduate degrees. Given an “A-” Forbes financial grade for America’s 231st most grateful grads, Pepperdine University is ranked 50th nationally by the U.S. News.
2. Westmont College
Established as the Bible Missionary Institute by Ruth Kerr in 1937, Westmont College is a private, nonprofit interdenominational Christian school endowed for $75 million that’s serving 1,313 Warriors from a 111-acre campus in Montecito. Westmont undergrads complete a Biblical core before 26 WASC-accredited majors, including Data Analytics, Biology, Mathematics, Engineering Physics, and Sociology. Ranked America’s 85th “Best Small College” on Niche, Westmont College was placed 99th among liberal arts schools nationally by the U.S. News.
3. Biola University
Directed by Provost Deborah Taylor, Biola University is a private, nonprofit evangelical Christian institution sitting on 96 suburban acres in La Mirada outside LA to educate 5,319 Eagles with its $105.4 million endowment. Biola’s six WASC-accredited schools offer 145 programs of study like Visual Media, Financial Planning, Worship Music, Spanish, and Kinesiology with 30 required units of Bible classes. Crowned America’s 16th “Safest College” on Niche, Biola is ranked the 164th top national university by the U.S. News.
4. Chapman University
Endowed for $301.5 million, Chapman University enrolls 7,570 Panthers under President Daniele C. Struppa’s leadership as a private, nonprofit CCCU member linked to the Disciples of Christ near Villa Park in Orange, California. Regionally accredited by the WASC, Chapman’s nine schools grant 126 bachelor’s and 72 graduate programs, including Athletic Training, Film Screenwriting, Food Science, Marital Therapy, and Accounting. Designated America’s 130th “Hardest College to Get Into” on Niche, Chapman is ranked the West’s sixth best university by the U.S. News.
5. San Diego Christian College
Enrolling 909 Hawks full-time, San Diego Christian College is another of the private, nonprofit evangelical Christian colleges in California founded by pastor Tim F. LaHaye in 1970 with 50 acres in the East County suburb of Santee. Just 18 miles from the Pacific, SDCC bestows 35 WASC-accredited Bachelor of Art or Science degrees, such as Communication, Psychology, Secondary Education, Marketing, and Aviation. Named America’s 202nd “Best Liberal Arts College” on Niche, San Diego Christian is ranked the West’s 15th top school by the U.S. News.
Entering a Christian school in California can be pricey with annual tuition spanning from $28,470 to $50,022 before room and board at the above colleges. Fortunately, several Christian groups have created California scholarships, such as the Mario Cugia Scholarship, Foundation for College Christian Leaders Scholarship, and Bill Watkins Scholarship. Funding is available for young adults footing the bill at these and other Christian colleges in California like Pacific Union College, Point Loma Nazarene University, Azusa Pacific University, La Sierra University, and Simpson University.