Online Christian Colleges – Faith & Technology

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Online Christian Colleges: The Basics

Colleges with religious affiliations can be found throughout the United States. In 2013, 970 faith-based institutions received regional or national accreditation, 570 of which were Christian, according to the Department of Education. This includes Catholic, Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian schools, among a handful of others.

In addition to denomination, many Christian colleges vary by level of religious focus. For example, some Christian institutions boast academic environments with strong dedication to a faith-based curriculum. These institutions often use Scripture as a backbone for lessons and coursework, and require students to take classes on the Old Testament and New Testament. Students may also participate in ministry work locally or overseas, or work toward an actual career in the ministry. A master’s degree in divinity serves as the staple here, taking an estimated two years to complete.

Other Christian colleges have a more relaxed approach, remaining tied to the church but offering a more secular education. These Christian colleges tend to have strong liberal arts foundations that lead to a wide range of degree program options. Also, despite relatively loose affiliation with the church, they often have faith-based clubs and support groups for students and faculty.

Online Learning at Christian Colleges

Similar to secular institutions, many Christian colleges have prioritized distance learning via new courses, full-fledged degree programs, support services and a revamped technological infrastructure. More courses, programs and degrees available online means increased diversity and happiness among the student body. Online learning maximizes flexibility, allowing degree seekers with family, job or other important commitments to work toward graduation without neglecting elsewhere.

This is especially true of asynchronous, or self-paced, online programs. Here students listen to or watch pre-recorded lectures, submit assignments and take exams on their own time. This could be a day, a week or a month after the live event. Many self-paced programs, however, do come with some deadlines to ensure students move forward.

In contrast, synchronous programs call for regular student activity and attention. Participants may need to log on at preset dates to chat with professors and peers in real-time. They may also be required to take timed exams or engage in group discussions or projects on a set schedule. These courses still offer great flexibility, but also promote collaboration.

Online Christian colleges offer a unique approach to higher learning. They are committed to developing Christ-centered adults who impact the world in positive ways. Through a variety of learning formats, students learn important biblical principles that they can take back to their homes, workplaces and communities.

At Christian colleges, students and faculty connect through a shared faith, whether they attend classes on campus or online. Requirements vary widely among Christian colleges. Although church attendance is not mandatory at some institutions, other schools require students to attend church regularly, even in an online program.

More conservative programs require all faculty members to practice their faith and even sign a Christian doctrinal statement. Courses may be the same as those taught at secular schools, but the perspective is likely to be different. It would not be unusual to find a course such as “Foundations of Christian Living” alongside courses on the Old Testament and New Testament. “

Some online Christian colleges offer students in distance learning programs the chance to connect spiritually via the web. Resources often include prayer and counseling through a dedicated forum. Students in distance learning programs at some Christian colleges can earn credit for volunteering and social activism.

Spotlight Interview Christian Brothers University

The best to truly understand how a college’s distance learning works is to ask. Affordable Colleges Online asked C. Michael Perry, an admissions counselor at Christian Brothers University, to explain how the school’s Christian component works with online learning.

Are online students at Christian Brothers University required to receive the same instruction in Catholic doctrine and practice as on-campus students?
While CBU was founded as a Catholic school, the student body is quite religiously and culturally diverse. Catholic studies are not a requirement, and there is no instruction in Catholic doctrine outside of certain Religious Studies courses. However, students who live on campus have opportunities to participate in faith-based programs such as bible study groups, prayer events and service activities. For example, we have a tutoring program with Blesses Sacrament and Holy Names Schools and our students work with St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen.
Is the material in the online courses at Christian Brothers University similar to the material in traditional on-campus courses?
Our students receive the same academic material regardless of the course being offered online, in a hybrid format, or completely on campus. Currently only a select group of courses are offered completely online, although we have quite a few hybrid courses, especially within the College of Adult Professional Studies. As the popularity of those courses increases, there is the possibility of expansion.
Please describe the value of your online courses in comparison to on-campus courses.
The hybrid format allows for flexibility. It blends face-to-face time with the school’s faculty and other students, with the freedom to complete coursework online. In our hybrid courses, we utilize online lectures and discussions in addition to campus classes.

Interview with an Online Student

Hearing from administrators of online programs at Christian colleges means more detail and insight into the mindset and resources that fuel online learning. However, to cultivate a more well rounded point of view, AC Online reached out to Anna G., an undergraduate student at Liberty University Online.

What made you choose the online program at Liberty University?
When I first graduated from high school I looked at different Christian colleges because my faith is really important to who I am. But I ended up working full-time for a few years before I was ready to commit to earning a degree. Scheduling classes around a full-time job is difficult, so I thought taking classes online would be a good way to work around my schedule. And it has been. Plus I still get the benefit of being in a Christian environment. The faculty is Christian, the other students are Christian. The perspective is just what I was looking for.
What does Liberty University offer in terms of faith-based services for online students?
Obviously it is a little different because when you don’t live on campus or take classes there every day, you aren’t able to take part in the same activities. But if you go to Online Communities on the website, you can connect through live streams, bible studies, and that kind of thing. People post their testimonies, sign up for public service. Basically anything you would do on campus is there in a virtual environment.
What type of academic support do you receive through Liberty University Online?
I have always felt supported by the school academically. For example, I have gotten help through when I’ve needed it. Any time I have a question I can reach my professors online and they get back to me right away. My advisor has also been really helpful. I have always been able to find what I need when I need it.

Best Online Christian Colleges

Christian colleges give students the opportunity to earn a higher education in an environment focused on faith. For years, students have earned degrees on campus while going to church and participating in religious activities with their peers. And while these on-campus activities continue, many Christian colleges have moved academics online, providing a wide range of degree programs and courses to both undergraduate and graduate students. Some have even extended religious support and interaction to the web, allowing their online students to discuss their faith with fellow classmates, even if they're not on a campus.

The following schools offer the full package: a Christian ethos, affordable tuition, full online programs, and a number of student support services that help shape cost-effective, quality learning at the college level. In other words, they belong to an exclusive list: The Best Online Christian Colleges for 2015.

For more information on criteria and scoring for the list, please visit our methodology page.

ONLINE CHRISTIAN DEGREE - Grand Canyon University

Earn your online degree from Grand Canyon University. Founded in 1949, GCU is an interdenominational christian university that welcomes students from all backgrounds. Offering over 100 majors and concentrations for bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs, GCU online programs include programs in business, nursing, teaching, and christian studies.

Score: 97.88 Online cost per credit: $220 Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic

Viterbo, based in La Crosse, Wisconsin is a private Franciscan liberal arts school affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. They offer 70 undergraduate degree programs, 5 graduate programs, 2 associate degree programs, and multiple certificate programs. Students can earn associate or bachelor degrees in business, education, health care, leadership, and technology fields. They offer flexible online degree programs for busy, working adults.

Students can earn their BA or BS degree fully online in the following fields:

  • Associate of Arts & Sciences
  • BSN Completion
  • Communications
  • Organization and Advocacy
  • Management of Informational Systems
  • Organizational Management
  • Organizational Studies
  • Substance Abuse Counseling

All online students enrolled at Viterbo University will have full access to the Academic Resource Center, Business Office, Career Services, and Library. The university also offers a wide range of blended programs for students to receive a quality education through versatile learning formats. All credits earned as part of an associate degree from a regionally accredited school will transfer to Viterbo, as well as any coursework earned through a completed baccalaureate degree from an accredited four-year college or university, or through an associate of arts or science degree (A.A. or A.S.) at an approved two-year college program.

Viterbo University is accredited by Higher Learning Commission.

Score: 95.34 Online cost per credit: $1,487 Religious Affiliation: Evangelical Free Church of America

At Trinity International University, students have the opportunity to enroll in a degree completion program online. TIU offers three online degree completion programs in Christian Ministries, Business and Psychology. This style of programming offers students the chance to experience the true Trinity community with the added bonus of convenience and flexibility.

In addition to taking integrative and core courses, students completing their Christian Ministries degree online at Trinity choose from one of three specializations to fulfill their degree requirements. Students can specialize in pre-seminary, family ministries or broad field. Students pursuing the online Business degree can focus on social entrepreneurship, ministry and nonprofit management as well as general management. The third online degree completion program in Psychology gives students the opportunity to focus on counseling psychology. Online students at Trinity International University must complete 47-62 credit hours of general education requirements and to complete a bachelor’s degree program requires at least 124 credit hours.

Score: 93.01 Online cost per credit: $482 Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic

Based in Indiana, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods is the oldest Catholic liberal arts college for women in the United States and is recognized for being a military-friendly school. The college offers flexible online degree programs for adults looking to change careers or advance in their current one. Programs are also offered in different formats for different learning styles, with both 8-week and 16-week course programs available.

These online programs allow students and professors to collaborate and interact with each other on a web-based platform, with both individual and group assignments and structured deadlines.

  • The 8-week program is offered for those interested in Accounting, Business Administration, Human Resources Management, Marketing, or R.N. to B.S.N. degrees.
  • The 16-week program is structured similarly, with additional degrees offered for Computer Information Systems, Creative Writing, Criminology, Education, English, Health Care Administration, Humanities, Journalism and Media Studies, Mathematics, Paralegal Studies, Psychology, Teaching Licensure, and Theology.
  • Associate degrees are offered in Accounting, Childhood Development, K-Elementary Education, General Business, Humanities, and Paralegal Studies.
  • Post-baccalaureate programs are offered in Music Therapy Equivalency, Teaching Licensure, and Paralegal Studies.

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods offers a wide variety of grants and scholarships, as well as financial aid to eligible students. It also offers college credit outside of online courses, for example through CLEP testing. It is free to apply online, though applicants will need their official transcripts and a completed FAFSA® form.

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is accredited by Higher Learning Commission and approved for teach training by the Indiana Department of Education and the National Council for Accredited of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Score: 91.5 Online cost per credit: $510 Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic

Immaculata University offers online degree completion programs that may be completed in two years depending on a student’s time commitment, prior education and experience. Online courses are self-paced, and most take 15 weeks. Students can register for up to 18 credit hours per semester. Accelerated degrees from the College of LifeLong Learning generally use a7-week schedule and hybrid format blending online studies with evening class sessions.

One associate degree in business administration is delivered online. Some bachelor’s degree programs focus on management skills applied to fields such as business, health care and human resources. Other choices for majors include:

  • Emergency Planning and Management
  • Finance
  • Health Information Management
  • Human Performance Management
  • Marketing Management

Immaculata University also delivers individual courses online. Certain web-based courses require logging in to the Moodle learning platform by a certain day and time each week. Potential subjects delivered electronically include human development and literacy assessment for educators.

Prerequisites for admission to this Catholic university vary — for example, the bachelor’s degree program in nursing is designed for registered nurses. For many programs, applicants need a high school diploma or GED, and transfer studies or work place training courses may be eligible for credit. A rolling admissions schedule has different registration deadlines for fall, spring and summer.

Score: 91.45 Online cost per credit: $285 Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic

Saint Joseph’s College of Maine has offered distance education to students since 1976. Currently, the college has 30 online programs to choose from. Their “benchmarks of excellence” for online education include “quality curricula, effective support services and dedication to excellence.” Students can choose to earn continuing education credits, a certificate, or an associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Undergraduate degrees offered online from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine include general studies, criminal justice, nursing and psychology. Six graduate degrees are also offered online in the following disciplines: theology, accountancy, business administration, education, health administration, and nursing. Graduate-level students can also earn certificates online, including theology, Catholic school leadership and nursing administration, and leadership.

Online classes at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine are administered though the ANGEL online learning program. Students view course information, communicate with classmates, and take quizzes all through ANGEL. Usually 10-15 students take a course at the same time and communicate via discussion boards. Each course lasts 10 or 15 weeks and there are usually four to six assignments that students must complete in that timeframe. Assignments are generally submitted to course instructors via email. Some classes have a proctored final exam, which means students take it in the presence of someone qualified to oversee such exams.

Score: 90.7 Online cost per credit: $541 Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic

Building upon 160 years of education in the Jesuit, Catholic tradition, St. Joseph’s University has moved into an exciting new phase of education with online degree programs. Students can earn certificates, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in criminal justice, business, leadership, health services, education, and liberal studies.

The bachelor’s program offers the unique autism studies program, as well as the professional and liberal studies degree. The university also offers degree completion programs for those who have previously completed some college work and want to finish their bachelor’s degree. Those who are pursuing a master’s degree will find more unique programs for targeted career paths, such as those in business intelligence, deaf education and instructional technology.

Graduate certificates cover a wide range of fields, including homeland security, behavioral analysis, hearing-impaired teaching, instructional technology, special education, and the accelerated teaching certification, among others.

Some programs require weekly appointments online, while others are asynchronous, with only certain deadlines that need to be met during the course period. A personal student services coordinator is made available to each online student for help with any issues that might arise, and technical support is available 24/7 for those who have issues with logging in, uploading assignments, and the like. Just as with any other courses at the university, financial aid is available to online students who qualify, and members of the military receive a tuition discount.

Score: 90.22 Online cost per credit: $500 Religious Affiliation: American Baptist

Linfield College is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the American Baptist Church. The college offers 47 majors through 3 programs for undergraduate students. Over 500 students worldwide use Linfield’s distance learning programs of the McMinnville Campus to study Arts/Humanities, Business, Nursing, and Social and Behavioral sciences. Linfield College has been recognized by the U.S. News World Report as one of the Best Online Programs for Bachelor’s Degrees in 2014.

Although Lindfield was established in 1858, the college created the Division of Continued Education in 1975, which now administers an Adult Degree Program. This program allows busy, working individuals a way to earn their bachelor’s degrees online.

  • Online students can earn their bachelor degrees in: Accounting, Business Information Systems, International Business, Management, Marketing, and R.N. to B.S.N.
  • They also offer post-baccalaureate degrees for Human Resource Management, Health Administration, and Global Health.

To apply for the Continuing Education Adult Program, individuals must have official transcripts from regionally accredited post-secondary institutions, a minimum G.P.A of 2.0 and a high school diploma or G.E.D.

Linfield College is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities. The college also offers rolling admission with a 92% acceptance rate. The deadline for early action is November 15. Tuition and fees are approximately $37, 346, with $450/credit and an online fee of $50 per credit and $150 per course.

Score: 90.13 Online cost per credit: $295 Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic

From its home base in Euclid, Ohio, Notre Dame College provides an extensive selection of online learning options. With a 90-year history, this Catholic school has embraced 21st century technology as a tool for academic outreach. Students can take courses 100 percent online, but if they choose, they may visit the physical campus at any time. Nearly 20 degrees, certificates, licensures and endorsements are available in online and blended formats. For example, teachers can earn the 4th and 5th grade endorsement through a web-based program that requires attendance for some scheduled online sessions as well as field experience.

Notre Dame College’s numerous online degree offerings range from associate to master’s degree programs, with degree completion offerings such as the RN to BSN pathway. Additional options lead to certificates or professional endorsements. The master’s degree in national security and intelligence studies explores topics such as intelligence analysis, emergency management and homeland security, with on-campus immersion sessions scheduled for three weekends. The completely online bachelor’s degree in criminal justice provides an overview of the justice system and emerging law enforcement trends in criminal intelligence and cyber security. The online bachelor’s degree in business administration comes with a management concentration and is designed to prepare students to think critically and evaluate important business issues.

Score: 90.11 Online cost per credit: $325 Religious Affiliation: Baptist

Students who attend Shorter University can opt for an associate, bachelor’s, or graduate degree taken in accelerated eight-week courses. Associate or bachelor’s degrees are available in sports management, business, criminal justice, general studies, and human services. At the graduate level, students can enroll in accounting or business programs, as well as the master of business administration or the master of management. Those who need to complete graduation requirements can pursue non-degree general education courses, and those who need a little help with mathematics can look into the calculus distance education courses.

Shorter University uses Moodle as its online learning management system to deliver and manage courses. Professors have “office hours” once a week, during which students can ask them questions via live chat or phone calls. Programs are asynchronous, which allows students to work at a time that is convenient for them. Each class lasts for eight weeks, and there are five terms in the year, spread through the spring, summer and fall. Since each course is worth three credit hours, students who choose to take two courses per term could complete 30 credits hours in one year.

Score: 89.7 Online cost per credit: $412 Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic

Dominican University has been educating students away from campus since 1925, when the college established one of the first study abroad programs in the nation. That rich tradition continues today as the university offers a comprehensive online degree program.

The university currently offers three Masters of Arts in Education programs, all fully online and designed to be completed in as little as 18 months. The specialization in reading offers students an opportunity to learn advanced strategies to facilitate the enhancement of student reading and comprehension skills. The elementary education specialization is best for students who plan to teach in grades K-8, and the English as a Second Language (ESL) track prepares teachers to handle the unique challenges of a diverse student population.

The online program offers six sessions throughout the year, allowing students to begin their education at a time that is convenient for them. The university pairs with University Alliance to deliver the high-quality content necessary to complete the degree program. Students can expect online learning tools such as streaming video, online chats, message boards and other options that allow students to collaborate with professors and peers, whether asynchronously or in real time. A program representative is made available to all students to help with any issues that might arise.

Score: 89.34 Online cost per credit: $265 Religious Affiliation: Church of the Nazarene

Students of Mount Vernon Nazarene University have access to online and blended courses and degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level. The fully web-based baccalaureate in business administration features concentrations such as human resources, marketing and executive management. The bachelor’s degree program in early childhood education follows a hybrid format blending online studies with 510 clock hours of field and clinical experience. Other online offerings include master’s degree programs in business administration and management.

Distance education opportunities from Mount Vernon Nazarene University include a summer online learning program for undergraduate students and non-students. Non-MVNU or “guest” students may take courses without seeking a degree. Four terms are available that last six, eight or 12-weeks, typically scheduled between mid-May and the end of August. Applicants for the summer online program can purchase a $450 iPad/textbook package, which offers a 16GB iPad and the main course text for up to two subjects.

Many summer courses focus on general education requirements. Choices for subjects include five options in arts and humanities, two in business, six in the field of education, five in natural and social sciences courses, three in theology and philosophy, and a college prep course in basic algebra.

Score: 89.23 Online cost per credit: $425 Religious Affiliation: Baptist

Averett University’s online offerings are aimed at working professionals. Courses offered online through the Graduate and Professional Studies division take work experience into consideration. Classes taught in an online format are structured similar to on-campus classes in that students interact with one another and must turn in coursework and complete assigned readings.

The university online programs include an associate degree in business and bachelor’s degrees in sociology and criminal justice, which are offered only online. The criminal justice program requires some previous college, as well as experience in a criminal justice-related field. Master’s degrees can be earned online for business administration with concentrations in marketing, leadership and human resources, and for education specializations including administration, special education, and curriculum and instruction.

Online students may also benefit from Averett’s Individually Designed Education for Adult Learners Program, known as IDEAL. The IDEAL program works best for adults who already hold an associate’s degree, have some college credits or are in the military. Students meet individually with an academic advisor who helps them maximize any transfer credits from other colleges, work experience or military training. To earn a bachelor’s degree with Averett University, students must earn at least 30 of their 120 credits with the university.

Score: 89.03 Online cost per credit: $660 Religious Affiliation: United Methodist

Baker University was established in 1858, making it the oldest university in Kansas. It is a private, liberal arts school affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Baker University offers both individual online courses and fully online degree programs for undergraduate and graduate students.

Online programs are offered year round. The business classes can take from 6-8 weeks, and the liberal arts and business concentration courses range from 6-7 weeks. This arrangement allows students to earn more credits per year than traditional colleges while still maintaining busy work schedules.

Bachelor and other undergraduate degrees are offered in over 40 areas of study, including Business Administration, Business Leadership, Mass Media, Criminal Justice, and Online Teaching and Learning.

Graduate degrees include Education, Organizational Leadership, Liberal Arts, Business Administration, and Business Concentrations. Certification courses for continuing education serve the needs of professional educators.

All online courses at Baker University are asynchronous, meaning there is no predetermined meeting times. Each course meets for weeklong modules via Moodle—a learning management platform that allows students to receive and turn in assignments and projects, take tests, interact with instructors, and collaborate with their peers. Students can access course materials online at any time and participate in threaded discussions. Attendance is tracked via log in and participation in class sessions within a 7-day time frame.

Score: 88.73 Online cost per credit: $474 Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic

Fontbonne University offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs online.

For undergraduates, a completely online degree in special education is offered via the school’s Paraprofessional Pathways program. This program is designed for students currently working in a school environment, such as teacher assistants, who would like to be certified as a special education teacher and complete a bachelor’s degree at the same time.

Blended degree programs, which include an online and face-to-face component, include applied behavioral sciences, business administration, healthcare management, human resources management, management and leadership, and marketing. There is also an undergraduate minor in marketing. Undergraduate concentrations available online include finance and management.

There are seven graduate programs offered, with four available as blended courses of study. There are five graduate certificates available totally online and four as blended programs. Graduate students can also choose from three certificates offered completely online or five as blended programs.

Most programs are available in eight-week terms that begin in January, March, June, August and October. Advisers are available to help prospective students develop the most appropriate coursework and schedule.

Financial aid is available for students who qualify, and students enrolled in at least 12 credit hours may be eligible for Fontbonne scholarships.

Score: 88.44 Online cost per credit: $417 Religious Affiliation: Wesleyan

Indiana Wesleyan University offers over 80 degree programs from the associate to the doctoral level, many of which are available in a fully online format. The largest array of online degrees is found in the areas of business, counseling, education, and theology and ministry, but other departments also provide programs, including psychology and social work, nursing, liberal arts, leadership and health sciences. Online undergraduate offerings focus on majors such as accounting, business, computer information and health care administration management.

Indiana Wesleyan University students who want to earn online certificates find that there are numerous options in that category as well. Certificates cover topics such as human resources, health care, accounting, criminal justice, addictions counseling, communications and more. Students can also look to endorsements and professional development for teachers through distance learning formats. Continuing education is offered in business, educational leadership, and service and leadership.

Online programs at Indiana Wesleyan University are asynchronous; however, professors and students can make use of the Virtual Classroom to collaborate on a real-time basis. Applicants can determine whether a specific online program requires any participation at scheduled times. Courses often include numerous types of learning materials, such as videos, audio podcasts, virtual tours, case studies and interactive web-based activities. Accelerated courses are typically completed during an eight-week period.

Score: 88.4 Online cost per credit: $237 Religious Affiliation: Church of the Nazarene

Olivet Nazarene University offers distance learning degree programs at the bachelor’s and master’s level, for example:

  • Bachelor’s: business administration, nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Master’s: curriculum and instruction, pastoral leadership, business administration, engineering management, organizational leadership, nursing

Reading specialist and teacher leader endorsement programs are also available online.

Online programs at Olivet Nazarene use a cohort model, where students enter together and progress through the classes as a group, networking and building relationships with peers. The programs typically are in an accelerated format, and can be completed in two years or less.

Some of Olivet’s online classes are held in an asynchronous format, so students can participate at any time during the week. Asynchronous classes have no specific day or time that students must log on; however, there are schedules for assignments and participation. Other classes are partially synchronous and require students to log on at a specific time, but this may be only once per week or on a similarly limited basis.

Many programs have a hybrid option. This allows students to complete some classes at a distance, while taking others on campus. The hybrid model provides a chance for students to connect with peers and instructors in person while still offering a flexible schedule. The online bachelor’s degree program in nursing blends web-based studies with in-person participation in a clinical practicum.

Score: 88.16 Online cost per credit: $350 Religious Affiliation: Southern Baptist

This South Carolina institution offers numerous bachelor and graduate degree programs online. Bachelor’s degrees include business administration, criminal justice and legal studies, psychology, early childhood education, elementary education and Christian ministry. Among the graduate degree options are business, education, teaching, music education and Christian ministry. The doctorate in ministry is also available. Online opportunities at NGU include the MBA through the T. Walter Brashier Graduate School, which U.S. News & World Report has given one of the highest rankings in the state.

Certain programs may require in-person participation for some classes. A graduate ministry program could blend on-campus classes with online courses in subjects such as spiritual formation or prayer and spiritual awakening. Those who seek teaching certification from North Greenville University can take required courses online; however, observation hours and supervised student teaching must be completed at a physical school in South Carolina.

NGU is dedicated to small online class sizes and a Christianity-focused educational environment. Students can expect bachelor’s degree programs to have accelerated courses in six-week sessions, and they can choose to attend entirely online or opt for one evening per week at the physical campus. Many programs are designed to be completed in two years or less.

Score: 88.08 Online cost per credit: $640 Religious Affiliation: American Baptist

Located in Philadelphia, Eastern University has a long list of courses available to students who choose to pursue their education online. Students who want to create a stepping stone to other degrees can begin with the associate in liberal arts, while those interested in a bachelor’s can choose between organizational leadership, business administration or youth ministry leadership.

Numerous master’s degree programs are offered in education, including reading, school health services, special education, TESOL-online and multicultural education. Those seeking a degree in business can opt for the fast-track MBA in healthcare administration or a master’s degree in economic development, international development, organizational leadership or non-profit management. A master’s degree in urban studies is offered as well.

Students who are pursuing their doctorate will find opportunities at Eastern, where they can earn a Ph.D. in organizational leadership, marriage and family therapy, or a D.A. in marriages and family therapy studies.

Dozens of certificate programs are available through the education department, covering most certifications from preschool through secondary levels. More specialized certificates, such as those for special education, early childhood director, and autism course work are available.

Summer courses are available entirely online. These include numerous courses under the umbrella of biokinetics, general education, business, education, English, communications, psychology and political science. Eastern University uses Blackboard or Moodle to deliver all courses.

Score: 87.96 Online cost per credit: $395 Religious Affiliation: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Midway College in Kentucky offers online associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, as well as free-standing courses. Online associate degrees are available in business and medical assisting. Choices for bachelor’s degrees include business administration with a concentration in accounting, healthcare administration, psychology, interdisciplinary studies and elementary/middle school education. The bachelor’s degree in public safety administration offers three concentrations: corporate security, criminal justice and emergency management. The college also features an online master’s degree in business administration, or MBA.

Open-enrollment courses through Midway College are free-standing online courses available to all students regardless of their choice of degree program. Students can expect to find subjects such as accounting, psychology, marketing, religion or statistics.

Certain web-based programs integrate elements of in-person participation, such as a field practicum for psychology majors or the externship required for the medical assisting degree. Natural sciences courses to satisfy general education requirements may include a lab component.

Accelerated degree programs are structured to allow students to complete their degree in as little as 18 months. Students can enroll on a full-time or part-time basis. Online students enjoy access to the bookstore, library materials and career services. Students use Midway Moodle to access their courses, and a help desk is available around-the-clock for issues with site functions.

Score: 87.73 Online cost per credit: $540 Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic

Established in 1863, La Salle University is a private liberal arts institution offering online and hybrid study options for undergraduate and graduate students. Fully web-based programs are available at varying academic levels:

  • Master’s degree: Computer information science, economic crime forensics, human capital development, information technology leadership, instructional technology leadership and nonprofit leadership
  • Graduate certificate: Application development, cybersecurity, fraud and forensic accounting, human capital development, instructional technology management and software project leadership
  • Bachelor’s degree completion: Organizational leadership and nursing (RN to BSN)

In addition, the post-baccalaureate program for pre-speech language pathology students provides many prerequisites online for master’s degree programs in the field.

The College of Professional and Continuing Studies offers opportunities for adult students at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Certain programs integrate digital delivery of course materials, like the hybrid accelerated program for a bachelor’s degree in social work. La Salle’s Lifelong Learning Institute also incorporates online courses in some of its programs.

This Catholic university has rolling admissions, and different degree programs have specific requirements. For undergraduate online studies, applicants must have a diploma from an accredited high school or general equivalency diploma (GED) from a state Department of Education. Online degree completion programs typically require an associate degree or college credits for transfer students.

Score: 87.62 Online cost per credit: $400 Religious Affiliation: Church of God

The University of Findlay Online offers several degree programs, including accelerated degree options. Online classes are designed with working professionals in mind, and in many cases, are identical to offline courses; that includes the professors who teach the courses as well.

Online students can choose from five program areas, such as business management, business administration, and health informatics. From there, students choose which degree they wish to obtain. For example, students interested in business management can earn a bachelor’s degree in health care management, business management, environmental safety and health, or emergency operations. Those interested in the environmental, safety and health management area can choose to earn a master’s degree or one of three certificates—emergency and disaster management, environmental management or occupational health and safety management. The university offers one associate’s degree, in positron emission tomography/computer tomography.

The University of Findlay offers five online graduate programs: Doctor of Education, Master’s of Arts in Education, Master’s of Business Administration, Master’s of Environmental, Safety and Health Management, and Master’s of Health Informatics. Students seeking an online master’s degree must already have a bachelor’s degree to be admitted.

Score: 87.52 Online cost per credit: $500 Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic

Mount St. Joseph is authorized to accept students for their distance learning programs from the following states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

The school offers two online degree programs—an RN to BSN and a Master of Arts: Reading Science. Students who have already have an associate degree and a registered nurse license can earn their Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. The RN to BSN program starts every August and January.

The online Master of Arts: Reading Science program is designed specifically for students who have received the Ohio Reading Endorsement and Dyslexia Certification.

The school also offers five online certificates and endorsements, including Chemical Dependency Counseling Assistant (CDCA) Certificate, Pre-K Special Needs Endorsement, Gerontology Certificate, Ohio Reading Endorsement and Dyslexia Certificate.

Mount St. Joseph University does not have any specific technological requirements. Students need only a high-speed Internet connection to complete their courses online. It takes the same amount of time to achieve an online degree as it would if specific courses were earned on campus, and distance learners receive the same educational quality and attention as their campus-based peers. The same financial aid offered to on-campus students is also available to online students.

Score: 87.3 Online cost per credit: $367 Religious Affiliation: Missionary Church Inc

Bethel College-Indiana offers online degree programs in a variety of formats, including hybrid and accelerated options. Choices for online degrees include the following:

  • Associate or bachelor’s in business
  • Master’s in business administration
  • Master’s in education

As an example of an online program, the MBA requires 36semester hours at the graduate level. A typical web-based course is divided into weekly sessions, which contain the information needed to complete that week’s assignments and discussions. Instructional materials are delivered through tools such as text, video, audio and slides. Course content may include interactive simulations, video lectures and so on.

Degree programs are also offered in an accelerated format that may have online delivery options. The bachelor’s in nursing degree completion program includes courses that blend on-campus and online studies. Other possibilities for accelerated programs include business, early childhood education, general studies and human services. Accelerated courses usually meet on weekday evenings, Saturday mornings and online. Another online option is the school administrator’s licensure program.

Prerequisites for admission to online and accelerated Bethel College-Indiana programs vary. Generally applicants for undergraduate degree programs must submit high school transcripts — unless they have at least 30 hours of credits from an accredited college or university — and must fulfill college proficiency requirements in math, reading and English.

Score: 87.29 Online cost per credit: $537 Religious Affiliation: Free Methodist

Based in New York, Roberts Wesleyan College offers graduate degrees, completion programs, certificates and stand-alone courses through online education. Students can pursue their degree through an asynchronous learning program that is just as vigorous as the institution’s brick-and-mortar education.

Students who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree completion can enroll in the organizational management, health administration, or RN to BS programs. Those who are seeking a graduate degree can choose from programs in strategic leadership, strategic marketing, healthcare informatics administration, nursing leadership and administration, nursing education, or special education.

There are also four online certificate programs available through Roberts Wesleyan College, including those in nursing education, nursing leadership and administration, health information technology, and nursing home administration.

In many cases, degree programs can be completed in 15 to 18 months. During that time, students will enjoy many of the benefits on-campus learners have, such as access to the library, student services and other important areas. Many certificate programs, such as that in nursing home administration, is based on a grading system that takes into account class participation, papers, presentations and projects – but no tests. In most cases, books and iPads are included in the tuition cost. Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

Score: 87.23 Online cost per credit: $400 Religious Affiliation: United Methodist

McKendree University is a private institution that offers fully online programs for undergraduate and graduate degrees. Founded as Lebanon Seminary, with ties to the United Methodist Church, McKendree describes itself as the oldest college in Illinois. Out of approximately 3,306 students, nearly 300 take their classes exclusively online.

Web-based degree options include bachelor’s degrees in psychology and nursing, which is offered as a baccalaureate completion program for candidates with associate degrees or diplomas in nursing. The online bachelor’s degree program in business administration has optional concentrations such as accounting, sports management, human resources management, management and marketing.

Online opportunities for graduate studies include a master’s in education with concentrations in higher education administration services, curriculum design and instruction, or a middle school teaching endorsement. In addition to master’s degrees in business administration and nursing, there is an MSN/MBA option combining the two. McKendree also offers individual courses at the undergraduate and graduate level, and an Accelerated Instruction with McKendree (AiM) program for adult students.

Students using distance learning at McKendree do not have to check in at a particular time/date throughout the week. The Blackboard learning management system facilitates the use of discussion boards, postings, remote communication and interactive collaborations. Students should verify attendance requirements for individual programs; for example, online graduate studies in nurse management and administration include participation in a clinical practicum.

Score: 87.2 Online cost per credit: $300 Religious Affiliation: Presbyterian Church (USA)

Founded in 1867 as King College, this Presbyterian college offers a range of academic options to prospective students. At King University, students can choose from several different online degree programs. Most online programs are at the bachelor’s level; however, an online Associate of Arts degree is available as well as two master’s degrees—MBA and MSN. Four-year degrees are available in the following fields:

  • Applied Science
  • English
  • Business Administration
  • Communication
  • Information Technology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Health Informatics
  • History
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • RN to BSN
  • Religious Studies
  • Psychology

Admission requirements for King University’s online bachelor’s programs include a minimum 2.2 GPA and either 45 semester hours or an associate degree. Applicants must also complete a “Plan of Study”, which outlines how they will earn additional credits (if necessary) and complete the program. Applicants with 45 to 60 credit hours will need to meet with a support specialist to map out a graduation plan. Without this plan, online students will not be able to register for classes. There are additional requirements for the associate degree program, RN to BSN, MBA, and MSN programs.

King University Online has consistently been recognized by G.I. Jobs, a premier magazine for military personnel returning to civilian life, as being a military-friendly institution. Active duty personnel and veterans can take advantage of any of the university’s online programs and resources specifically for military personnel.

Score: 86.63 Online cost per credit: $299 Religious Affiliation: Evangelical Lutheran Church

Augsburg College’s online programs are offered in a hybrid format that allows students to complete courses both online and on the DePaul campus. This hybrid format is on an alternating, week-to-week schedule. At the bachelor’s degree level, hybrid degree programs are available in business, communication, education, nursing and psychology. The business program includes specializations such as accounting, finance, management and business administration. In the education program, students can choose from elementary education, ESL, secondary education and special education.

At the graduate level, Augsburg College offers a Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL), also a hybrid program that has on-campus requirements. The program begins with a five-day summer session, followed by online courses in the fall, spring and summer sessions. Eleven courses are required for graduation, and the program concludes with a capstone course. Students can select a dual degree option that allows them to earn a MAL/MBA. This option requires seven credits of MBA courses, which must be taken on campus. Admission into the MAL program does not require admissions exams. For the MAL/MBA option, applicants can take a math/writing proficiency exam or submit GRE or GMAT scores, which are used to develop skills improvement plans for graduate students.

Score: 86.61 Online cost per credit: $398 Religious Affiliation: Assemblies of God Church

Northwest University offers both graduate and undergraduate programs online. Certain web-based programs may have attendance requirements, such as international internships at the graduate level. Undergraduate students can choose from two associate degrees, in general studies or ministry leadership, and two bachelor’s degrees, in criminal justice or ministry leadership. A certificate in ministry leadership can also be earned online. Master’s degree program are available online in business administration, international community development, ministry or teaching English to speakers of other languages.

Classes are delivered via Moodle, where students can access course information, assignments and group discussions. Students who wish to apply are assigned an enrollment representative to advise them on admission requirements and the application process. Online students also can consult an advisor regarding course schedules or technical support. Potential Northwest University students must supply academic transcripts, and international students must submit a TOEFLiBT score of at least 90. It’s recommended that undergraduate applicants submit ACT or SAT scores; otherwise they are required to take a placement exam. Programs may have specific admission requirements — for example, candidates for the online MBA need GMAT scores unless they have two years of professional experience and a 3.2 undergraduate GPA.

Score: 86.07 Online cost per credit: $459 Religious Affiliation: Southern Baptist

The oldest college in the state, Mississippi College is also proud of being one of the oldest Baptist universities in the country. The college is home to numerous online programs, including those that result in undergraduate and graduate degrees or certificates. Some online degrees are available in an accelerated format.

Mississippi College offers online bachelor’s degrees in homeland security, paralegal studies and loss prevention, as well as accelerated programs in business administration and communication. The online bachelor’s degree in nursing is intended for students who hold an associate degree in the field. Undergraduates can also earn certificates in homeland security and loss prevention.

Graduate students can choose from numerous options, including online programs in health services administration, higher education administration, teaching arts, athletic administration, homeland security, health informatics and communication. The master’s in applied communication is delivered in the accelerated format. Post-baccalaureate or graduate certificates are available in homeland security, loss prevention and paralegal studies.

Online courses are offered through the MC Moodle platform. Traditional students who are interested in distance learning can take individual online or hybrid courses. Accelerated courses are offered in eight-week sessions designed for busy individuals. Students can enroll full-time or part-time, and those who choose accelerated programs can receive a tuition discount.

Score: 86.02 Online cost per credit: $430 Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic

Benedictine University offers online degree options in three different areas of concentration: health care, business and education.

Students pursuing graduate degrees in health care may obtain a Master of Science in Nursing degree, a Master of Public Health degree or a Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness degree.

Business students may pursue a Master of Business Administration degree, a Master of Science in Management and Organizational Behavior degree, a Bachelor of Arts in Management or a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership.

For postgraduate education students, Benedictine offers a Doctor of Education in Higher Education and Organizational Change.

Graduates can also choose from dual-degree options that can earn them impressive credentials in two master areas of studies. Dual-degree programs include:

  • MBA/Master of Public Health
  • MBA/MS in Management and Organizational Behavior
  • Master of Public Health/MS in Management and Organizational Behavior
  • Master of Science in Nursing/MBA
Score: 85.99 Online cost per credit: $482 Religious Affiliation: Mennonite Brethren Church

Tabor Online, the distance learning division of Tabor College, features accelerated programs that allow students to finish their degree in 18 months or less. The college offers associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, including an associate in urban ministry, a unique program that prepares students for urban church leadership and ministry in inner cities. Students can also choose to pursue an associate degree in business, which often serves as a stepping stone to a four-year degree program.

At the bachelor’s degree level, students can pursue the fields of business administration or Christian ministry, as well as the RN to BSN program for practicing RNs who want to further their job prospects with a higher level degree. The bachelor’s degree in business administration offers four concentrations: entrepreneurship, human resources management, healthcare administration and operations management.

Those who are pursuing a master’s degree can choose from the master of business administration or the master’s in entrepreneurial ministry leadership. The EML degree does require two in-person sessions, one in the United States, and one abroad.

The STEPS program is another feature of distance learning at Tabor College. Through this program, students who want to get a jump-start on general education requirements can take accelerated courses that will allow them to complete some of the requirements on their own schedule.

Score: 84.73 Online cost per credit: $620 Religious Affiliation: Presbyterian Church (USA)

Arcadia University students may apply for admission to the school, but this is not a requirement for taking an online course. Arcadia University offers several online programs and certificates:

  • Graduate Level: M.Ed. in instructional technology; M.Ed. in special education; MFA in creative writing; transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
  • Undergraduate Level: B.A. in liberal studies; B.A. in business administration
  • Certificate Level: applied behavior analysis; autism; digital literacy (education); digital design (education); general technology (education); infant-toddler mental health (education); professional writing (English); readiness to practice (physical therapy)

These programs are fully online, using the Blackboard Learning Management System as a digital classroom. Blackboard supports a variety of learning and communication methods, including video and audio lectures and chats, discussion forums, reading materials and assignment submission. Students are also able to confer with professors through email and phone.

Textbooks can be purchased online, but some online courses use Internet resources and do not require a textbook. Online students also have access to the same library resources as on-campus students, and are encouraged to contact university librarians with any questions by email, phone, or instant message. Tech support for online students is available 24/7.

Prospective students can register for online graduate courses before they have applied for admission. “special status students” can earn up to nine graduate credits online before enrolling in a program.

Score: 84.66 Online cost per credit: $420 Religious Affiliation: Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

Concordia University, St. Paul offers several online degree programs at the associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s levels. Areas of study include:

  • Business, finance, and marketing
  • Communication studies
  • Computer science and information technology
  • Criminal justice
  • General studies
  • Health and medicine
  • Nursing
  • Psychology and family studies
  • Sport management
  • Teacher education

Concordia’s online programs use a cohort model, where students enter the program as a group and progress through the degree together, taking classes sequentially. This allows students to form close relationships with peers for collaboration in schooling and professional connections after graduation.

Concordia also offers many of their programs in a hybrid format, where students take some classes online and others on campus. Classes typically meet once per week, whether online or in person. There are multiple start dates for programs throughout the year, and most programs are accelerated. Courses are seven weeks long, and most associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees can be completed in two years or less.

Students with an associate degree transferring into an online program from certain institutional partner colleges may qualify for the Concordia Transfer Advantage program. This program ensures a simple transfer of credits, scholarship opportunities, availability of additional courses, priority admissions and accelerated program completion.

Score: 84.63 Online cost per credit: $820 Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic

Lewis University, a private, Catholic liberal arts school based in Illinois, offers customizable online undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Students earn full degrees online and can often choose a curriculum to meet their goals — for example, the information security graduate program has management and technical concentrations. Similarly, the master’s in nursing program has options such as adult gerontology, nursing education and health care systems leadership. Choices for online degree programs include:

  • Bachelor’s: Organizational leadership, professional studies
  • Accelerated bachelor’s: Business administration, information security and risk management, information technology management
  • Master’s: Business analytics, data science, organizational leadership, criminal/social justice, public safety administration, aviation and transportation, nursing
  • Doctorate: Nursing practice

Lewis students also can take individual online courses through undergraduate or graduate programs. The College of Professional and Continuing Education integrates some online instruction into its accelerated adult programs.

Courses are completed via virtual classrooms. Assignments are received and completed online, and communication with instructors and fellow classmates occurs through forums and threaded discussions. Students do not report at any particular time or date; instead, they are expected to stay on schedule throughout the course by logging in several times each week. Lewis University offers 24/7 technical support and assigns each student a dedicated services coordinator for additional assistance.

Score: 84.46 Online cost per credit: $630 Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic

Loyola University Chicago offers a number of graduate and undergraduate degrees and certificates that can be completed online. The university started delivering courses digitally in 1998, and Loyola Onlinenow features over 100 individual courses ranging from biology to theology. Online bachelor’s degree completion programs are available for majors such as information technology, nursing (RN-to-BSN), criminal justice and management. An online baccalaureate in applied studies allows for program personalization.

Loyola Online also has a number of web-based graduate programs. More than 15 master’s degree programs are available in fields such as bioethics and health policy or health system management. Some programs require limited time on campus or at other locations. For example, the Children’s Law and Policy program includes an immersion weekend at the Civitas Child Law Center. The “Intercontinental MBA” program blends online course work with residencies abroad. Students who wish to earn a doctorate online have options such as nursing practice or school psychology. Students in the DNP program attend two weekend immersion sessions for presentations and seminars.

Students interested in earning a certificate online have more than a dozen options, some with a technological focus, like the “Public Relations in a Digital World” offering. Other possibilities include advanced school mental health practice and business communication. Certain certificate programs incorporate in-person components.

Score: 84.33 Online cost per credit: $530 Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic

Sacred Heart University offers numerous degrees online, mostly in the field of nursing. They also offer one certificate, the English as a Second Language (ESL) certificate, for students interested in learning English.

The Master’s in Applied Psychology (MSAP) is the only non-nursing degree that Sacred Heart University offers online. In this program, students can choose from three concentrations: industrial-organizational psychology, community psychology or general applied psychology. This program is research-based and does not lead directly to licensure, which means that no clinical hours are required. Students have three capstone options with this program: a thesis, an exam or essay and a “role immersion experience” with fieldwork.

Nurses who want to earn an online degree have multiple options at Sacred Heart University. Current RNs can complete the RN-Bachelor of Science in Nursing program or the RN-Master of Science in Nursing program. There’s also a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program, where students can choose to specialize in Clinical Nurse Leader, Patient Care Services Administration or Nursing Education.

Online MSN students have until the mid-way point in the program to choose their specialization, and students can take up to six years to complete the program, if necessary. Nurses need not hold an undergraduate nursing degree to apply to the program. However, they will need a diploma or associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), plus a bachelor’s degree in any subject area.

Score: 84.08 Online cost per credit: $1,012 Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic

Loyola University New Orleans is a Jesuit institution that offers online graduate degree programs, for example:

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), with either a post-baccalaureate or post-master’s track
  • Master of Science in Nursing, which focuses on health care systems management
  • Master of Pastoral Studies, offering students a focus area relevant to their ministry
  • Master of Religious Education, featuring electives for specialization in an area of interest

Certain programs, such as the nursing doctorate, require limited on-campus attendance for orientation and the final capstone project. The nursing master’s degree incorporates a residency in a health care setting for 180 hours of practical experience. Another distance learning option in the health care field is Bridge to Leadership Education for Nurses at a Distance (BLEND). BLEND offers undergraduate nursing courses and is designed for registered nurses with non-nursing bachelor’s degrees wishing to enter the MSN program.

Online courses at Loyola use the Blackboard learning platform and often offer asynchronous access to course materials. This system provides a virtual classroom where professors can post course documents and materials, students can ask questions and submit assignments, and everyone can interact through forums, email and chat tools. Students in Loyola’s online programs have access to services and benefits such as a Web Support Portal and library resources.

Score: 83.51 Online cost per credit: $680 Religious Affiliation: Churches of Christ

Established in 1869, Freed-Hardeman offers both a long history and modern instructional technology used for online courses and degrees. The master’s in business administration, a fully online program designed for those with busy schedules, has four-week accelerated courses that dedicated students may be able to complete within one year. Online options from the Graduate School of Theology include degree programs in ministry and divinity. The master’s degree program in clinical mental health counseling blends distance learning with courses in a classroom setting. Flexible scheduling, including nights and weekends, is a feature of this hybrid program.

Students can expect to use Blackboard Learn as their web-based platform for study and communication. Lectures may be simulcast in real time or recorded for later viewing, and the college utilizes tools such as web conferencing. Online students have access to technical support, including a tutorial to check system requirements for digital learning, and resources such as library access and student services. Applicants can ask about the iKnow program, which could supply free iPads to meet the needs of mobile learners. For those who want to get a jump-start on their college education, Freed-Hardeman’s FHU@Home program allows high school-level home schooled students to take general education college courses in a purely online format.

Score: 81.9 Online cost per credit: $795 Religious Affiliation: Baptist

Dallas Baptist University, established in 1998, offers 59 fully online degrees for undergraduate and graduate levels. Their distance learning program makes it possible for students balancing busy work schedules to earn their associate, bachelors, and master’s degrees by accessing coursework asynchronously, instead of at a specified date and time. Through the Blackboard learning management system–web technology that includes mobile platforms, web conferencing and media on demand–students receive and complete weekly assignments and timed exams/quizzes at their convenience, and participate in online threaded discussions, collaborative learning and some group projects.

DBU has been awarded the Blackboard Bbionic Course Award, as well as the eLearning 2006 Outstanding Online Course Award. They currently offer certificate programs for undergraduates in health care management, information system and technology, and management. Degree programs for undergraduates include Biblical studies, business administration, arts and sciences. Master’s degree programs are offered in ministry, Christian education, management, professional development, business administration, education, and liberal arts. DBU also offers advanced graduate certifications for Christian military Leadership, Christian school administration, distance learning, marketing, ministry leadership, and management in the fields of health care, human resources, international management and project management.

The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and has a 92% student course completion rate.

Score: 81.8 Online cost per credit: $570 Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic

DePaul University’s online program offerings include more than 50 programs at the undergraduate, graduate and certificate levels. Offered completely online, the programs range from bachelor’s degrees in communication and psychology to certificate programs in financial planning and cloud computing. DePaul’s online bachelor’s degree programs in communication and media, information technology and psychology are open to transfer students only.

While each online program differs, most of DePaul’s online programs are asynchronous, so students can log in to classes, view lectures and participate in discussions at any time. The types of study materials available in online classes differ from program to program, but many classes include PowerPoint presentations, video lectures and live webcasts. Exams can also be taken online, through an online proctoring service that monitors a student’s exam session through the use of a webcam.

Admissions requirements for DePaul’s online programs are similar to traditional on-campus programs, with some master’s degree programs having undergraduate GPA requirements and minimum GMAT scores. Applicants to the online transfer programs must have 30 semester hours of coursework toward a bachelor’s degree from their previous institution. The online bachelor’s degree program in psychology has a modern language requirement that can be fulfilled at DePaul or through transfer credit.

Score: 81.49 Online cost per credit: $500 Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic

Though its home base is in North Dakota, the University of Mary reaches a far broader audience through online study options. Web-based bachelor’s degree programs are available in areas such as accounting, information technology management and nursing, but the longest list of online degrees comes at the graduate level, with choices including business, nursing, education and healthcare administration. Students can also take advantage of a hybrid educational experience to pursue their Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.

Though some of these courses are blended, with a mixture of online courses and hands-on classroom time, many use an entirely online format. Students who choose a blended program can find various campus locations at which to complete their studies, including those in Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri and Kansas.

Candidates for degree programs can inquire about the specific prerequisites for each major — for example, the bachelor’s in nursing is designed for registered nurses who hold an associate degree or diploma in the field. Students may be able to complete a degree in as little as 20 months, depending upon their background, how quickly they prefer to work and the intensity of the program. This Catholic school is proud of offering a small class size and services for online students, including flexible delivery options.

Score: 81.28 Online cost per credit: $275 Religious Affiliation: Baptist

Campbell University offers a variety of online degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including associate, bachelors, and master’s degree programs. Associate degree options include general education, business, information technology security, and information technology management. At the bachelor’s degree level, Campbell University offers a Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Arts degrees in criminal justice and religion, and Bachelor of Science degrees in psychology, information technology management and information technology security. Bachelor of Applied Science degrees are also available in the same subject areas, with an additional concentration in homeland security.

Campbell University’s two master’s degree programs are also offered completely online. The Master of Science in Clinical Research program features highly interactive online classes, with tools such as videos, chat rooms, video lectures, discussion boards and live sessions with students and faculty. The online Master of Education (M.Ed.) program is offered in both synchronous and asynchronous formats, a combination of scheduled online meetings and self-paced online sessions. Program options for the M.Ed. program include

  • Elementary education
  • Middle grades education (language arts, math, social studies)
  • Secondary English education
  • K-12 (physical education)

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Applicants to master’s degree programs must submit GRE scores.

Score: 81.17 Online cost per credit: $320 Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic

Rivier University offers four fully online programs and four hybrid programs that combine online and on-campus courses. Offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, Rivier University’s online programs are offered in 8-week sessions. At the bachelor’s degree level, the university offers fully online programs in nursing, public health, and psychology. At the master’s degree level, the university offers a fully online program in health systems management. Online MBA options include hybrid programs in healthcare administration, information technology management, and marketing.

Online courses at Rivier University are delivered through the Canvas learning management system, which allows for 24-hour access to classes. For students enrolled in hybrid programs, classes meet on campus at various times throughout the program, although some classes may meet every week. Online students can expect to devote at least 6-10 hours of study and participation each week. Instructors keep online office hours, during which time they are available to provide assistance to distance learners.

Admission into Rivier’s graduate programs requires a 3.0 undergraduate GPA. GRE scores are not required. Applicants to the online RN to BSN program should have an RN license and 60-credits of undergraduate coursework, such as an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing.

Score: 80.97 Online cost per credit: $330 Religious Affiliation: Assemblies of God Church

Vanguard University offers fully online programs in early childhood education, including associate and bachelor’s degrees. Additionally, students can complete a 27-unit online certificate or enroll as a “Student at Large”, which allows them to take individual education courses rather than seeking a degree. Delivered in an accelerated format, online classes at Vanguard University are designed to meet Title 22 and Title V education requirements of the state of California.

The curriculum is centered around the Christian faith, with courses on teaching and child development delivered from a Biblical viewpoint. Other courses focus on diversity in classrooms, childhood assessment and the spiritual growth of young children. Finally, an early education practicum places student teachers in a classroom at a school of their choice. Students are required to videotape their teaching experiences during the practicum. These lessons are then evaluated by faculty in order to assess the students’ teaching abilities.

Online classes at Vanguard University are asynchronous. Students can access classes 24-hours per day, and each course is eight weeks in length. The program is open to students who hold a high school diploma or GED. Applicants must take the SAT or ACT and submit a pastoral reference from a church leader.

Score: 80.78 Online cost per credit: $511 Religious Affiliation: Southern Baptist

California Baptist University’s School of Online and Professional Studies (CBU Online) provides several online and hybrid programs for non-traditional students who are working or require a more flexible learning schedule. They include:

  • Certificate: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • Bachelor’s: accounting, business administration, Christian ministries, communication studies, computer information technology, criminal justice, early childhood studies, English, graphic design and digital media, interdisciplinary studies, kinesiology, liberal studies, marketing, nursing, organizational leadership, political science, public administration, public relations, sociology, public health
  • Master’s: accounting, business administration, communication, counseling psychology, disability studies, organizational leadership, public administration, public relations, education (specializations in educational leadership, early childhood studies, online teaching and learning, special education, teaching, and general education)

CBU’s programs are accelerated. Many of the programs offered are degree completion programs, for students who have earned at least 24 transferrable credits from CBU on-campus or another accredited college and who wish to complete their degree with distance courses.

CBU Online uses Blackboard, Telepresence and Webex to deliver online instruction and course materials. Tuition for all courses at CBU Online is the same, whether classes are on-campus, hybrid or fully online. Following graduation, career services such as advising, mock interviews, resume and cover letter reviews, and online job boards are available to assist students with job placement.

Score: 79.7 Online cost per credit: $938 Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic

Founded in 1847, Saint Francis University is the oldest Franciscan college in the United States and one of the first Catholic colleges established in this country. St. Francis University offers five degree programs online: the Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science and Bachelor of Science in Health Studies; the Master of Health Science (MHSc); the Master of Medical Science (MMS); and the Master of Human Resource Management (MHRM). An Autism Spectrum Disorder Endorsement is also available online.

The online master’s degree in human resources management is an 11-course program that has the approval of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Graduates of the program are also eligible to apply for certification based on guidelines from the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI).

The MHSc combines a Master of Public Health and a Master of Healthcare Administration to prepare healthcare professionals for leadership roles. Most students are able to complete the MHSc program within a year and a half. The curriculum also offers distinct specialty tracks to help students pursue the specific areas of the healthcare field that interest them most–Clinical, Health Education, and Health Leadership. Students can also choose courses from these three areas to customize their degree program.

Score: 78.63 Online cost per credit: $614 Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic

Mount Saint Mary College offers learning options for distance students, including bachelor’s degree programs as well as individual courses in subjects such as art, sociology and religion. Online classes are available as a component of degree programs delivered in these different formats:

  • A traditional on-campus degree
  • A blended or hybrid degree program including in-person and online elements
  • A fully online degree

Online degree programs from Mount Saint Mary College include a bachelor’s in nursing for registered nurses. Students can transfer credits from their RN training and experience towards a BS degree. Classes are taught online, and residency requirements are limited to a summer session.

The business management and administration degree completion program uses a hybrid format, combining classroom instruction with online courses. This setup gives students scheduling flexibility while providing opportunities for face-to-face interactions.

Online and blended courses are hosted by the eClass Learning Management System, which creates virtual classrooms where students and professors can submit and view course materials. eClass provides email and chat functions, assessment capabilities such as quizzes and testing, and a variety of instructional formats. The Online Teaching and Learning Resources center offers support for distance learners and suggests students log onto their course website at least five days a week, spending 12-16 hours weekly for coursework, readings and participation in discussions.

Score: 75.98 Online cost per credit: NR Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic

Online education from Saint Peter’s University is focused on the RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. This fully online program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and includes 31 credits of coursework. Web-based nursing courses include writing for health sciences, health assessment, nursing research and community health nursing. In the final course in the program, students complete a scholarly research project with the assistance of a faculty mentor.

The online learning platform at Saint Peter’s University is interactive and flexible, with an asynchronous format that does not require live participation. Students can log in at any time of the day to take part in discussions and access lectures and instructional materials, although assignments should be submitted according to the instructors’ deadlines. The university also offers varied resources to online students, including academic advising and 24/7 technical trouble-shooting support. Online students are assigned a program manager who helps them through the admissions process and provides an orientation to the online learning environment.

To qualify for admission, students must have a registered nurse’s license and an associate degree or diploma in nursing. Up to 36 credits of general education courses are required, depending on the student’s academic background.

Score: 73.4 Online cost per credit: $422 Religious Affiliation: Brethren Church

Grace College and Theological Seminary has a range of online undergraduate degree completion programs and online master’s degree programs. Studies integrate academics and career preparation with the foundations of Biblical teachings. Degree completion options include Bachelor of Science programs in management, general studies, business administration and human services. Graduate degree options include master’s programs in clinical mental health counseling, ministry studies, business administration, athletic administration, nonprofit management and higher education.

Although Grace College delivers many programs fully online, the master’s degree program in clinical mental health counseling does have residency requirements. Online students attend three residencies over the course of the program. During these sessions, participants spend 7-10 days on campus, collaborating with other students, attending orientation, and receiving in-person advising and training.

For admission into online degree completion programs, applicants need 60 credits of undergraduate coursework and a 2.0 undergraduate GPA. Graduate program applicants must have a 2.75 undergraduate GPA, while the clinical mental health counseling program has a minimum GPA of 3.0 and also requires a background check. Application deadlines for the fall and spring semesters are July 1 and December 1. Each program has specific criteria for applicants — for example, the online program in athletic administration may award credit for professional experience, and no GRE is needed.