As one delves into religious studies, it becomes apparent that Christianity, with its historical and spiritual depth, plays a central role. For those seeking a profound understanding of Christian theology, tradition, and community, Tennessee is home to an array of colleges that specialize in Christian education. These institutions stand as beacons, illuminating the way for individuals who yearn to cultivate their faith alongside an excellent academic foundation.
What makes Tennessee a distinctive place for Christian education is the convergence of Southern hospitality, deep-rooted religious values, and a thriving intellectual climate. The colleges here offer not only rigorous theological curricula but also foster an environment where faith and community service are inextricably linked.
In the list that follow, you will discover a curated selection of Christian colleges in Tennessee, their course offerings, and what makes each institution a unique and enriching place for the study of Christian faith. Let this guide serve as a compass as you navigate the landscape of possibilities that await in the beautiful state of Tennessee.
List of Christian Colleges in Tennessee
Tennessee, a state located in the southeastern region of the United States, boasts a rich tapestry of history, culture, and education. Among its educational institutions, a significant number of colleges and universities are founded on Christian principles and offer courses on Christian studies and religious education.
Students seeking an education that interweaves academic scholarship with Christian faith will find a plethora of options in Tennessee. This list serves as a comprehensive guide to colleges based in Tennessee that offer Christian or religion courses, as well as some of the Christian courses one can enroll in.
Lipscomb University (Nashville, Tennessee)
Tuition: The average annual cost for attending this institution, before receiving any financial aid, is $55,228. However, after factoring in grants and scholarships provided by the institution, state, and federal government, the cost is reduced to $24,627.
Graduation Rate: 67%
Acceptance Rate: 74%
Lipscomb University, a private Christian university in Nashville, Tennessee, is affiliated with the Churches of Christ, known for their commitment to biblical teachings. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), ensuring a high standard of education.
What distinguishes Lipscomb University is its unique integration of faith and learning. The university emphasizes the application of Christian principles across all disciplines, encouraging students to develop a biblical worldview and connect their faith with their academic pursuits and everyday lives. Spiritual growth is nurtured through chapel services, Bible studies, and service-oriented programs.
Additionally, Lipscomb University takes a holistic approach to education, preparing students for both professional success and a purposeful life of service. The university offers a diverse range of academic programs spanning liberal arts, business, health sciences, engineering, and more. Students have access to experiential learning opportunities, internships, and community engagement initiatives, enabling them to apply their knowledge and skills in real-world contexts.
You can find more information about admissions at Lipscomb University by visiting their website: www.lipscomb.edu/admissions.
Lipscomb University’s College of Bible & Ministry offers the Youth Ministry program, providing students with a comprehensive curriculum designed to equip them with the necessary skills to effectively engage with youth and families worldwide. This Bachelor of Arts degree program is centered around cultivating a healthy youth ministry and provides students with the knowledge and training essential for success in this field.
At the core of the Youth Ministry program lie comprehensive educational foundations, with students culminating their studies through a capstone project. This project entails a closely supervised ministry experience under the guidance of a mentor, with a particular focus on applying best practices in youth and family ministry.
While primarily targeted at individuals aspiring to work with youth and families, the program is also valuable for those interested in youth work beyond the church setting. Throughout the program, students explore various crucial areas, including how to welcome families into the spiritual care of children and youth, the foundational principles of family science relevant to this work, and an understanding of congregational dynamics.
For individuals driven by a passion for ministry, the program serves as a valuable resource in preparing them for Kingdom service, regardless of their future calling. Located in Nashville, a city brimming with diverse ministry opportunities, students benefit from hands-on experience and exposure. The Theology and Ministry program provides an extensive overview of theological studies and practical ministry skills. Whether pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree or a minor, students engage in full-time, in-person learning within the esteemed Bible & Ministry College/School.
A key component of the Theology and Ministry program is the mandatory Practicum course. This course offers students a valuable opportunity to engage in supervised ministry fieldwork, enabling them to apply their acquired knowledge and skills in a real-world setting.
Under the guidance of dedicated theologians, students receive comprehensive training to serve in Kingdom service, wherever their calling may lead them. Faculty members actively challenge, mentor, connect, and encourage students, demonstrating intentional support and availability.
Union University (Jackson, Tennessee)
Tuition: With an average annual cost of $57,590 before aid, the financial burden significantly diminishes to $27,475 after receiving grants and scholarships from the institution, state, and federal government.
Graduation Rate: 70%
Acceptance Rate: 53%
Affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention, which is part of the Southern Baptist Convention, Union University was formed through the merger of multiple institutions: West Tennessee College (formerly Jackson Male Academy), Union University of Murfreesboro, Southwestern Baptist University, and Hall-Moody Junior College of Martin, Tennessee.
To ensure the quality of its programs and education, Union University holds several accreditations. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), signifying its adherence to rigorous academic standards. The university’s School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and its education programs hold accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Additionally, Union University is a member of various professional organizations and associations that uphold standards of excellence in specific disciplines.
Union University’s commitment to its Baptist Christian identity, its affiliation with the Tennessee Baptist Convention, and its rich history of institutional mergers contribute to its distinct character. With a focus on academic quality and a faith-centered approach to education, Union University prepares students for professional success and a life of service rooted in Christian values.
By visiting their website (https://www.uu.edu/admissions/), individuals can access detailed information about the admissions process for each program of interest.
While all majors within the School of Theology and Missions (STM) are founded on the Bible, the Biblical Studies/Languages major specifically emphasizes the ability to interpret the Bible within its historical context, enabling students to apply its teachings faithfully to the modern world. Mastery of Greek and Hebrew is a requirement for all students pursuing this major, as it greatly enhances their analysis and understanding of the Bible.
Alongside the core curriculum of the STM, which covers various aspects of Christian life, theology, church history, philosophy, ethics, and ministry, the Biblical Studies/Languages major focuses on providing a comprehensive understanding of Greek and Hebrew, biblical backgrounds, biblical literature, biblical theology, and practical application in contemporary contexts.
For students interested in pursuing a major in Biblical Studies/Languages, it is important to note that completion of first-year Greek and first-year Hebrew courses (GRK 211-212 and HBR 311-312) is a prerequisite.
The Christian Ministry and Missions major within the School of Theology and Missions offers students practical training for a range of ministries through four distinctive tracks: pastoral, missions, youth, and general. The general track is specifically designed for students who feel a calling to church-related ministry but are unsure about a specific area of focus. Flexibility is a key aspect of all four tracks, allowing students to tailor their studies according to their individual interests and passions.
In the General Track, students have the opportunity to choose 15 elective hours from a diverse selection of courses in Ministry and Missions, Biblical Studies/Languages, and Theological Studies.
To provide a well-rounded education, the Christian Ministry and Missions major incorporates an 18-hour core curriculum that is shared across most majors within the School of Theology and Missions. This core curriculum sets a strong foundation for students while allowing them the freedom to specialize in their chosen track.
Bryan College (Dayton, Tennessee)
Tuition: For the average annual cost, the amount before aid is $29,360, which decreases to $15,470 after aid. Aid comprises grants and scholarships from the institution, state, and federal government.
Graduation Rate: 45%
Acceptance Rate: N/A
As an institution founded on Christian principles, Bryan College maintains strong religious affiliations and a commitment to integrating faith into its educational programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), ensuring that it meets high academic standards and provides quality education to its students.
At Bryan College, small classroom sizes are emphasized to cultivate an interactive and personalized learning environment. This approach allows for meaningful student-faculty interactions, collaborative discussions, and individualized attention, fostering a close-knit academic community. Students benefit from the opportunity to actively engage in their studies, participate in class discussions, and receive mentorship from professors who are invested in their success.
Furthermore, Bryan College offers distinctive programs such as the Worldview Initiative, which focuses on helping students develop a comprehensive biblical worldview through specialized coursework, seminars, and events. The college also provides opportunities for students to engage in service-oriented activities, community involvement, and mission trips, fostering a culture of servant leadership and compassionate engagement.
If you’re seeking information about the admissions process at Bryan College, you can find valuable resources and details on their website at https://www.bryan.edu/admissions/.
Developing a biblical worldview is essential for effective ministry in today’s world, and the Biblical & Theological Studies (B.A.) major at Bryan College focuses on cultivating and communicating this worldview, preparing students for a life dedicated to Kingdom service.
Grounded in a strong biblical and theological foundation, the program aims to shape the spiritual formation of students for a lifetime of Kingdom service. Through this major, students are trained to think critically and deeply about how their worldview impacts and influences all aspects of life.
Within the Biblical & Theological Studies major, students have the opportunity to specialize in one of three areas using their 24 hours of Christian Studies electives: Biblical Languages, Greek, or Philosophy & Christian Thought. Additionally, they can choose from five Christian Ministry minors/specialization areas.
The Christian Ministry (BS) major at Bryan College is built upon a strong foundation of biblical and theological principles, emphasizing spiritual formation, and encompassing both timeless and contemporary ministry practices. Through focused studies in three key areas—biblical worldview, character and piety, and service leadership—you will be equipped for a wide range of ministry opportunities.
Within the Christian Ministry major, students can utilize their 15 hours of Christian Ministry electives to specialize in one of five minors or specialization areas: Pastoral Ministry, Youth Ministry, Worship Ministry, Ministry Leadership, and Missions.
This program offers numerous benefits, including a solid grounding in biblical and theoretical foundations for ministry. It also requires practical application of these foundations through a mandatory Ministry Internship, ensuring hands-on experience.
Trevecca Nazarene University (Nashville, Tennessee)
Tuition: Before aid, the average annual cost at the institution amounts to $38,608, but after aid is applied, it reduces to $13,848. This aid encompasses grants and scholarships from the institution, state, and federal government.
Graduation Rate: 57%
Acceptance Rate: 78%
With a strong commitment to delivering a faith-centered education, the university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), ensuring the maintenance of rigorous academic standards and the provision of high-quality education to its students.
Trevecca Nazarene University maintains small classroom sizes deliberately, fostering an intimate and engaging learning environment. This intentional approach facilitates meaningful interactions between students and faculty, encouraging collaborative discussions and personalized attention. Through close relationships with dedicated professors, a supportive academic community is cultivated, promoting student growth and learning.
To facilitate spiritual growth, the university offers various programs and initiatives such as chapel services, discipleship groups, mission trips, and service-learning opportunities. This comprehensive approach prepares students not only for professional success but also for a purposeful life of service to others.
For information about the admissions process, you can visit the website at https://www.trevecca.edu/admissions.
The program’s core curriculum encompasses Bible, theology, and church history courses, providing a solid foundation. Additionally, you have the opportunity to customize your program by choosing a professional minor in pastoral ministry, youth ministry, children’s ministry, intercultural studies, worship ministry, or church and community.
Throughout your program, you will gain a deep understanding of the essential components of the field, while also being challenged to approach ministry in innovative, creative, and transformative ways.
It’s important to note that the Religion major, when combined with the minors in pastoral ministry, youth ministry, and children’s ministry, meets the educational requirements for ordination in the Church of the Nazarene. This demonstrates the comprehensive nature of the program and its alignment with the practical needs of ministry within this specific denomination.
At Trevecca University, it is strongly believed that every student has a unique plan and purpose in their life, guided by God’s divine calling. To cater to the diverse backgrounds and aspirations of students, the university offers a Bachelor of Arts program in religious studies. This program is specifically designed for two distinct groups of students.
The program welcomes students who have already chosen a major in a field outside of the Millard Reed School of Theology and Christian Ministry or have completed a minimum of 60 credit hours. Even without a second major, these students have the opportunity to petition for acceptance into the religious studies program.
It should be noted that while the religious studies major does not fulfill all the educational requirements for ordination in the Church of the Nazarene, it does provide the necessary core of biblical, theological, and historical courses for those students who may consider pursuing ordination in the future.
Resources and Christian Organizations in Tennessee
But that’s not all! Tennessee is home to exceptional organizations and accessible resources that prioritize both academic excellence and nurturing your faith. Think about the endless opportunities you’ll have—chapel services, faith-based organizations, and community service initiatives—all designed to help you develop a well-rounded, impactful approach to your education. It’s not just about gaining knowledge; it’s about equipping yourself with the skills, values, and experiences that will shape you into a compassionate and influential individual.
Let’s dive in and explore this list together. Embrace the spirit of South Carolina’s Christian education as you embark on an exciting journey of intellectual curiosity, deepening faith, and preparing to make a meaningful impact in the world.
Young Life: Young Life is a well-known evangelical Christian organization that focuses on reaching out to young people in middle school, high school, and college.
A significant aspect of their work revolves around organizing week-long Summer camps that hold a central role in their activities. These camps have a clear objective of evangelism, incorporating large-group “Bible talks” that occur once or twice daily, followed by smaller, more intimate “cabin time” discussions. As the week progresses, participants are encouraged to spend 15 minutes alone, seeking personal connection and communication with God.
Young Life estimates that approximately one-third of the campers make a commitment or recommitment to Jesus Christ and the Christian faith. This estimation is based on various factors, including the distribution of Bibles, the participation in “new believer walks,” and the number of individuals who publicly express their faith during the “Say-So” moment.
LifeWay: Lifeway understands the significance of community and connection in the lives of Christian college students. To cater to their needs, Lifeway organizes events, conferences, and retreats specifically tailored for this demographic. These gatherings offer invaluable opportunities for students to come together, worship, learn, and fellowship with like-minded peers from various campuses. The sense of community and shared experiences fostered by Lifeway events play a crucial role in supporting students, nurturing their faith, and providing a sense of support and understanding throughout their college years.
In addition to fostering community, Lifeway recognizes the importance of mentorship and discipleship in the spiritual growth of students. Through mentorship programs and small group resources, Lifeway encourages students to engage in intentional relationships with experienced believers who can provide guidance, wisdom, and support. These mentors serve as role models, helping students navigate the challenges of college life and offering insights into how to integrate their faith into their daily routines, relationships, and decision-making processes.
Furthermore, Lifeway places a strong emphasis on the practical application of faith in the modern world. They equip Christian college students with resources and training on evangelism and apologetics, empowering them to effectively share their faith and engage in meaningful conversations with their peers.
Christian Student Fellowship: Christian Student Fellowship (CSF) is a dynamic community dedicated to supporting Christian college students in their spiritual journey. With an inclusive atmosphere and a strong sense of belonging, CSF offers a space where students can connect, grow, and deepen their faith while navigating the unique challenges and opportunities of college life.
Through engaging events, group activities, and gatherings, CSF provides a warm and supportive environment for students to form genuine connections with fellow believers, participate in Bible studies, worship services, and thought-provoking discussions. CSF equips students with practical tools and resources, such as study materials, devotionals, and workshops, empowering them to integrate their faith into their everyday lives, navigate relationships, make ethical decisions, and discover their purpose.
Frequently Asked Questions About Studying in Tennessee
Is it possible to pursue a career in a non-religious field while attending a Christian college in Tennessee?
Yes, absolutely! Christian colleges in Tennessee offer academic programs in a wide range of fields, including secular disciplines. These colleges prioritize equipping students with strong foundational knowledge and skills relevant to their chosen careers, whether they be in secular or Christian contexts. The focus is on integrating faith and values into students’ professional lives, allowing them to navigate and contribute to their chosen fields with a Christian perspective.
How does faith integration work in the academic programs at a Christian college in Tennessee?
Faith integration varies among Christian colleges in Tennessee but generally involves connecting biblical principles with the subjects being studied. Professors may incorporate Christian perspectives, ethical discussions, and spiritual reflection into coursework, helping students see the relevance of their faith in their chosen field of study.
Can I pursue a profession that may not align directly with Christian ministry after graduating from a Christian college in Tennessee?
Certainly! Christian colleges in Tennessee understand that students have diverse career aspirations. While they provide a strong foundation in Christian values and faith, they also offer academic programs that prepare students for a variety of professions beyond direct ministry work.
Will attending a Christian college in Tennessee limit my exposure to diverse perspectives and ideas?
Not at all! Christian colleges in Tennessee value diversity and seek to provide students with a well-rounded education. While these institutions have a Christian foundation, they often promote an inclusive and intellectually stimulating environment. They encourage students to engage with diverse perspectives, engage in respectful dialogue, and critically examine different ideas. This allows students to broaden their horizons, develop critical thinking skills, and graduate with a well-rounded worldview.
Can I study a secular major and still receive a strong foundation in my faith at a Christian college in Tennessee?
Absolutely! Christian colleges in Tennessee recognize the importance of academic diversity and offer a wide range of secular majors alongside their theological and ministry programs. While pursuing your secular major, you can expect to receive a strong foundation in your faith through dedicated chapel services, Bible studies, spiritual formation classes, and opportunities for Christian community engagement.