Why an Online Christian College?
Contrary to popular belief, many Christian colleges are not just schools of theology where you train for a career in ministry or church work. Most are just like other public universities in that they offer many of the same liberal arts, business, communications, and education degrees. However, in addition to these secular programs, they also offer degrees in theology, Biblical studies, and ministry. Yes, there are some Christian colleges that only offer degrees in theology and ministry, but there are many more that offer traditional degrees.
If you are a Christian, attending a Christian college is a great way to earn your degree in an environment that is nurturing to your spirit. Many classes are taught through a Biblical viewpoint and weave Christian-based ethics and beliefs into the curriculum. For example, if you are earning your MBA at a Christian college, you will be taught the importance of having and using Christian ethics when making business decisions.
Now, why an online Christian college? As with all online colleges, an online Christian college provides you with a more convenient way to earn a degree, but in a Christian environment. More non-traditional students (adults who often hold down full-time jobs) are attending college now than ever before. And because it can be difficult for these non-traditional students to attend evening and weekend classes while working a full-time job, many schools now offer the option to earn particular degrees through online coursework.
Online coursework is also a great option for those who live in rural areas or those who live far away from the college campus. By offering specific online degree options, colleges are now giving these people the opportunity to advance their education without having to move away from home or drive a long way to class.
And if you travel a lot for work, online college is the perfect way to earn that master’s degree you’ve always strived for; you can access your classwork from anywhere that has internet access!
What Online Degrees are Offered by Christian Colleges?
It depends on the school. However, like other colleges, most Christian colleges offer a select choice of online degree options for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Some Christian colleges also offer online associate’s and doctoral degrees, as well.
Associate’s degree programs offered include:
- Criminal Justice
- Paralegal Studies
- Biblical and Theological Studies
Common online bachelor’s degree programs offered by Christian colleges include:
- Bachelor of Science in a business-based degree (management, accounting, finance, or economics)
- Bachelor of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies
- Bachelor of Science in Marketing
- Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Christian Psychology
Common online master’s degree programs offered by Christian colleges include:
- Master of Arts in Communication
- Master of Arts in Education
- Master of Business Administration
- Master of Science in Nursing
- Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Leadership
- Master of Public Administration
- Master of Health Administration
- Master of Science in Accounting
- Master of Arts in Teaching
- Master of Arts in Religion
Common online doctoral degrees offered by a few Christian colleges include:
- Doctor of Education
- Doctor of Ministry
- Doctor of Professional Counseling
- Doctor of Theology
How Long Will it Take Me to Complete an Online Degree?
It depends on what type of degree you are seeking and if you are attending full time or part time. Most online programs take the same amount of time to complete as campus-based programs.
If you are seeking a certificate or associate’s degree, it will take about one to two years to complete the program. If you are taking online classes for a bachelor’s degree, you typically must earn around 120 credit hours to graduate. As with campus-based colleges, this will usually take you four years to complete. However, you could continue your online courses through the summer and finish your degree six to 12 months early.
Depending on the specific degree you are seeking, most master and doctoral degrees offered at Christian colleges can take anywhere from one to two years to complete.
Are There Scholarships Available for Online College Students?
Yes, scholarship opportunities are available to all students who are enrolled (usually full-time) at an accredited institution. Although most big-money and full-ride scholarships are awarded to students who have exhibited excellent academic performance or experienced some kind of personal struggle. All interested students are encouraged to apply for any and all scholarship opportunities.
There are many small scholarships available that are simple to apply for and usually only require a short essay about why you deserve the scholarship. Although it can be difficult to find these opportunities, the internet has made it much easier to search for scholarships. Listed below are a few great scholarship search websites:
- The U.S. Department of Education provides an online scholarship search on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website.
- fastweb.com provides the largest amount of resources for available scholarships. It is free and just requires you to provide some information about yourself to complete the search.
- Scholarships.com is much like fastweb.com in that it requires some personal information to complete your scholarship search. It is also a free resource.
When searching for scholarships through the internet, remember that you should never have to pay a fee for student financial aid information. If the website asks you to pay a fee to complete the scholarship search, it is probably a scam.
Although the internet provides you with a fast, convenient way to search for scholarships, the best way is probably still the old-fashioned way. First, call or visit your college’s financial aid office and ask about any scholarships offered to students by the college. You should also ask them about any information they may have about any other scholarships not provided by the college. Second, if there is a specific industry you are interested in working in (health care, art, teaching, etc.), ask any local businesses in that industry if they offer scholarships to students who are going to school for a degree in that field.
In addition to internet-based scholarship searches, paper-based scholarship guides are published every year. These can be found at your local public library or campus library.
As with all student financial aid opportunities, the sooner you apply for scholarships, the better your chances of being awarded one.
Can I Apply for Federal Student Aid Even Though I Will be Attending a Private Christian College?
Yes. As with scholarships, federal student aid is available to all students who attend any accredited institution. The basic eligibility requirements for federal financial aid are as follows:
- You must be a United States citizen or an eligible noncitizen.
- You must provide a valid Social Security number when you apply for federal student aid.
- You must have a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate.
- You must be working to complete at least six credit hours toward a degree or certificate.
- If you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25, you must register with the Selective Service System.
To learn more about the different types of federal student aid and how to apply, click here.
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