Most would be surprised to find out that there are more than 50 Christian colleges in California.
And in fact it’s true.
And since California makes up one of the largest states in the US, it’s only natural that this third largest state in the US would boast of the most Christian Colleges in America. This leaves many people interested in faith based higher learning institutions with so many options.
You may also be surprised that places like the University of San Diego and San Francisco are faith based colleges – but this fact is also true, and both schools have numbers of students enrolled being fewer than 10,000, which is surprising in and of itself.
So look a little deeper when encountering a school that is named after a city followed by University, there is a chance based on its age and history that it could in fact be a Christian higher learning institution and not a state school.
What Are Really the Advantages to Going to a Christian College in California?
Speaking from a person who graduated from a Catholic college, I can tell you that the advantages are many.
Firstly, the average Christian college in California (and even nationally) is below 10,000 students. This means that because the campus is smaller, you end up developing deeper and more meaningful relationships not just with fellow students but also with faculty.
The likelihood of a faculty member knowing and remembering your name is also extremely high. Secondly, let’s face it if you had to pick a faith based school in the US, most people would likely pick California not only because of the beautiful weather, but also because of the options. There are a wide variety of denominational schools to choose from including: Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist, Lutheran, and Mennonite and even non-denominational. The fact that California is so large as a state truly works in your favor.
Thirdly, most of these types of schools in this state are not only well accredited, but some are also rather prestigious as well and remain on the top higher education schools in the country. Some of the most prestigious Christian colleges in California: Pepperdine University and Loyola Marymount University.
Additionally, some findings are pointing to the fact that employers appreciate an employee with a Christian college education. Some even suggest that the hiring company usually regards an employee from a college like this as having high moral standards and an ethical approach to business and life. This is really telling because most of what a person is hired for is largely due to perception.
Lastly, and probably one of the best is the level of education. Most people would believe that religious colleges are dogmatic and closed minded. This really isn’t the case. Many faith based higher education curriculum is not only rigorous but there is a big push to challenge status quo, even in the curriculum of faith.
And typically, one doesn’t just have to choose from the faith in which the college was founded in. You’ll find Islamic studies at Catholic Colleges or Buddhist studies at Baptist colleges and even a large focus on general philosophy if you choose to opt out on a religion class. And this is a little known fact when it comes to Christian schools and colleges, which encourage out of the box focus, thinking and debate.
What Are the Disadvantages of a Christian College Education?
The reason why I left out the aspect of California in the disadvantages section is because the draw backs of a faith based college education is broader than the state of California. It’s really true for all Christian colleges across the country.
Really the only down side to a Christian college education boils down to one thing: money. These schools are typically very expensive to attend. In California alone, the range goes from around $6,000 to near $40,000 a year.
Pepperdine is the most expensive private Christian college in California. And the reasons for Christian schools being expensive is obvious, these schools don’t rely on state funding. So it really is left up to the school and associated faith based order to do the funding. And since most of these schools are quite small in size in comparison to larger state schools, these colleges really rely on the higher tuition to meet its needs.
There you have it, the pros and cons of faith based schools generally and even in California. See below the complete list of Christian Colleges in California.
American Baptist Seminary West Berkley, CA
Azusa Pacific University Azusa, CA
Bethany University -Scotts Valley
Bethel Seminary -San Diego
Bethesda Christian University - Anaheim
Biola University - La Mirada
Booker T. Crenshaw Christian Leadership University Inc - San Diego
California Baptist University – Riverside
California Christian College - Fresno
California Lutheran University – Thousand Oaks
Chapman University – Orange
Chapman University College – Orange
Church Divinity School of the Pacific – Berkley
Concordia University – Irvine
Defense Language Institute – Monterey
Dominican School of Philosphy and Thelogy - Berkely
Domincan University of California - San Rafael
Fresno Pacific University – FresnoFranciscan School of Theology – Berkeley
Fuller Theological Seminary- Pasadena
Holy Names University – Oakland
Hope International University – Fullerton
Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley – Berkeley
King’s College and Seminary – Van Nuys
La Sierra University – Riverside
Life Pacific College – San Dimas
Loma Linda University – Loma Linda
Loyola Marymount University – Los Angeles
Marymount College – Rancho Palos Verdes
Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary – Fresno
Mount St. Mary’s College- Los Angeles
Notre Dame de Namur University – Belmont
Pacific Baptist College – Pomona
Pacific School of Religion – Berkeley
Pacific Union College – Angwin
Patten University – Oakland
Pepperdine University – Malibu
Point Loma Nazarene – San Diego
Saint Mary’s College of California – Moraga
Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary – Berkeley
San Diego Christian College – El Cajon
San Francisco Theological Seminary – San Anselmo
Santa Clara University – Santa Clara
School of Urban Missions – Oakland CA
Shasta Bible College and Graduate School – Redding CA
Simpson University – Redding
St. John’s Seminary- Camarillo
Starr King School of Ministry – Berkeley
The Master's College and Seminary – Santa Clarita
Thomas Aquinas College – Santa Paula
Trinity Law and Graduate School – Sacramento
Trinity Life Bible College – Sacramento
University of San Diego – San Diego
University of San Francisco – San Francisco
Vanguard University of Southern California – Costa Mesa