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Most conservative colleges in America

  • Most conservative colleges in America
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    Most conservative colleges in America

    In some conservative circles, there is a belief that the definition of inclusion on college campuses has evolved to exclude them. And some would argue that any exclusion runs counter to the notion that colleges are where divergent views should be embraced and discussed.

    “Right-wing political ideologies should have a place in colleges to allow for choice and debate amongst young individuals,” according to a 2011 article by Jeremy Los on the news website Mic. “College campuses are a place for differing opinions and debate, and they encourage students to broaden their horizons. This is not a matter of what ideology is right or wrong, but rather what is best for the young people on campuses.”

    For some students, the way to avoid the sense of ideological dismissal is to choose to attend a conservative college. Typically religiously affiliated, conservative schools distinguish themselves because of a codified sense of religious identity, strong conservative ideologies, or deep-rooted connections to conservative politicians and organizations. Some schools inherit the conservative vibe from their communities, while others are conservative on their own. Some are inherently conservative because of their professional or business-friendly nature, while others are steeped in a deeply held history of conservatism.

    Regardless of how they define conservatism, these schools are among the most conservative-friendly institutions around. Stacker examined the nation's colleges and universities and compiled a list of the 50 most conservative colleges in the United States. For this list, we consulted the research website Niche, which ranked schools' conservatism based on students' reviews of the schools' campus communities. These reviews weigh the political leanings of the reviewer, if the reviewer attends or has attended the school, and the reviewer's opinion of it. Details on Niche's methodology explain the site's rankings, and survey data are accurate as of 2019.

    Read on to find out which colleges are the most conservative in the country.

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  • #50. Asbury University
    2/ Amannelle // Wikimedia Commons

    #50. Asbury University

    - Location: Wilmore, KY
    - Students: 1,325 (student to faculty ratio: 13:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 70% (ACT: 21-28; SAT: 980-1280)
    - Tuition: $29,500
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 69%; six year median earnings: $35,100

    A Christian liberal arts school, Asbury University is a nondenominational school that started from a Wesleyan-Holiness tradition. Asbury Theological Seminary is located immediately across the street from the school. Asbury's mission states that it “equips students, through academic excellence and spiritual vitality, for lifelong learning, leadership and service to the professions, society, the family and the Church, preparing them to engage their cultures and advance the cause of Christ around the world.”

  • #49. Wheaton College - Illinois
    3/ Kenneth C. Zirkel // Wikimedia Commons

    #49. Wheaton College - Illinois

    - Location: Wheaton, IL
    - Students: 2,310 (student to faculty ratio: 10:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 85% (ACT: 27-32; SAT: 1230-1410)
    - Tuition: $35,190
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 89%; six year median earnings: $45,200

    Wheaton College is a Christian college that served as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Despite its reputation for being progressive on race and LGBTQ+ issues, Wheaton was a co-litigant in a lawsuit challenging the requirement to provide emergency access to contraceptive drugs under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and was at the center of a controversy when it suspended a professor for wearing a hijab.

  • #48. Northwestern College - Iowa
    4/ Ali Eminov // Flickr

    #48. Northwestern College - Iowa

    - Location: Orange City, IA
    - Students: 997 (student to faculty ratio: 12:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 68% (ACT: 21-27; SAT: 1000-1240)
    - Tuition: $30,200
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 68%; six year median earnings: $37,200

    Northwestern College is a private Christian college affiliated with the Reformed Church in America. The school's educational vision is "rooted in the wisdom of the Bible" where they "view learning as worship, using our minds to better understand, serve and love God's world."

  • #47. University of Saint Francis - Indiana
    5/ Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

    #47. University of Saint Francis - Indiana

    - Location: Fort Wayne, IN
    - Students: 1,523 (student to faculty ratio: 10:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 99% (ACT: 19-24; SAT: 960-1140)
    - Tuition: $29,430
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 58%; six year median earnings: $38,400

    A Roman Catholic-affiliated university, the University of Saint Francis promotes Franciscan ideologies. These include service to each other and the church, a respect for creation, and a reverence of the “unique dignity” of each person.

  • #46. Campbell University
    6/ Gerry Dincher // Wikimedia Commons

    #46. Campbell University

    - Location: Buies Creek, NC
    - Students: 3,634 (student to faculty ratio: 15:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 81% (ACT: 20-25; SAT: 1010-1190)
    - Tuition: $31,190
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 52%; six year median earnings: $44,200

    A private university founded by a Baptist minister, Campbell University is the largest private university in terms of North Carolina residents' enrollment. While no longer strictly a Baptist school, Campbell University remains a nondenominational Christian school.

  • #45. Southern Utah University
    7/ Cory Maylett // Wikimedia Commons

    #45. Southern Utah University

    - Location: Cedar City, UT
    - Students: 6,279 (student to faculty ratio: 19:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 76% (ACT: 20-27; SAT: 1010-1220)
    - Tuition: $6,676 (in-state); $20,288 (out-of-state)
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 47%; six year median earnings: $38,400

    A former teaching college, Southern Utah University is a public university. As with many schools in Utah, the college has a large presence on campus of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • #44. Ohio Christian University
    8/ Aesopposea // Wikimedia Commons

    #44. Ohio Christian University

    - Location: Circleville, OH
    - Students: 2,429 (student to faculty ratio: 11:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 65% (ACT: 17-22; SAT: 760-980)
    - Tuition: $21,140
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 29%; six year median earnings: $30,600

    A private university affiliated with the Churches of Christ in Christian Union, Ohio Christian University is a private Christian college that changed its name from Circleville Bible College in 2006. While accredited, a large part of the school's mission is to prepare Churches of Christ in Christian Union ministers for service.

  • #43. South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
    9/ PatrickRohe // Flickr

    #43. South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

    - Location: Rapid City, SD
    - Students: 1,997 (student to faculty ratio: 15:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 83% (ACT: 24-29; SAT: 1150-1350)
    - Tuition: $10,560 (in-state); $14,820 (out-of-state)
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 51%; six year median earnings: $54,200

    One of the only technical schools on this list, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a public professional training school. In 2012, the school made news when it was announced that it had passed Harvard University for the highest average starting pay for graduates.

  • #42. University of Dallas
    10/ Wissembourg // Wikimedia Commons

    #42. University of Dallas

    - Location: Irving, TX
    - Students: 1,421 (student to faculty ratio: 11:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 47% (ACT: 24-31; SAT: 1140-1370)
    - Tuition: $37,500
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 68%; six year median earnings: $44,500

    A major Catholic university, the University of Dallas is seen as being a fount of conservative cultural perspectives. William F. Buckley and Pat Buchanan are among the many conservative leaders who have spoken there. The school is also viewed as a leader in Catholic orthodoxy and tradition.

  • #41. Pittsburg State University
    11/ Mr. Huffman // Flickr

    #41. Pittsburg State University

    - Location: Pittsburg, KS
    - Students: 5,109 (student to faculty ratio: 18:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 87% (ACT: 19-25; SAT: data not available)
    - Tuition: $7,100 (in-state); $18,152 (out-of-state)
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 47%; six year median earnings: $38,100

    On April 19, 2019, Pittsburg State University announced that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would be a speaker in October 2019 as part of the university's H. Lee Scott Speaker Series. While former President Bill Clinton was the inaugural speaker for the series, which began in 2015, the former teaching college has developed a conservative air.

  • #40. Olivet Nazarene University
    12/ caddy_corner // Flickr

    #40. Olivet Nazarene University

    - Location: Bourbonnais, IL
    - Students: 3,113 (student to faculty ratio: 17:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 66% (ACT: 20-26; SAT: 1020-1230)
    - Tuition: $34,940
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 66%; six year median earnings: $38,300

    Church of the Nazarene-affiliated liberal arts college Olivet Nazarene University has emerged as being more welcoming to students of all Christian denominations in recent years. The school teaches creationism and has shown intolerance to homosexuality.

  • #39. South Dakota State University
    13/ AlexiusHoratius // Wikimedia Commons

    #39. South Dakota State University

    - Location: Brookings, SD
    - Students: 8,425 (student to faculty ratio: 17:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 91% (ACT: 20-26; SAT: 980-1260)
    - Tuition: $8,441 (in-state); $11,689 (out-of-state)
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 55%; six year median earnings: $42,000

    The largest and oldest continually operated university in South Dakota, the public South Dakota State University is currently involved in a free speech fight that began in October 2018 when state legislators questioned if the university's removal of fliers that were viewed as non-inclusive denied the free speech of the flier's creator. The situation reflects both reflects the Republican vibe of the state and a pushback to perceived liberal influence in higher education.

  • #38. Union University
    14/ Niche

    #38. Union University

    - Location: Jackson, TN
    - Students: 1,599 (student to faculty ratio: 10:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 60% (ACT: 23-29; SAT: 1070-1320)
    - Tuition: $31,510
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 68%; six year median earnings: $41,200

    Union University is a private evangelical Christian university affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention. In 2015, Union University left the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities when two member schools changed their rules to allow the hiring of individuals identified as LGBTQ+.

  • #37. Louisiana Tech University
    15/ Stirlingrb // Wikimedia Commons

    #37. Louisiana Tech University

    - Location: Ruston, LA
    - Students: 8,090 (student to faculty ratio: 25:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 65% (ACT: 22-27; SAT: 870-1100)
    - Tuition: $9,861 (in-state); $18,774 (out-of-state)
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 53%; six year median earnings: $41,000

    Also rated the #2 top public public university by Niche, some students have called Louisiana Tech University a conservative campus: Student Cassidy Clark says she founded Feminists in Action when she arrived on campus to discover there was no existing feminism club to join. “By creating this organization, I wanted to give an outlet for all women and minorities to use their voices and not feel alone on this conservative campus,” Clark said, quoted in an April 2019 article on The Tech Talk, a site that features the voices of Louisiana Tech. Louisiana Tech recently faced significant damage after a tornado ripped through the campus. The tornado, an EF3, destroyed several university buildings. The university has since reopened.

  • #36. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Prescott
    16/ Aerojimmy // Wikimedia Commons

    #36. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Prescott

    - Location: Prescott, AZ
    - Students: 2,471 (student to faculty ratio: 18:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 77% (ACT: 23-29; SAT: 1130-1350)
    - Tuition: $34,662
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 60%; six year median earnings: $62,400

    The residential campus of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, is a business-turned school about 100 miles north of Phoenix. The university became the nation's first provider for student airline certification to be Federal Aviation Administration-approved.

  • #35. North Greenville University
    17/ Ianmccor // Wikimedia Commons

    #35. North Greenville University

    - Location: Tigerville, SC
    - Students: 2,080 (student to faculty ratio: 14:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 61% (ACT: 19-28; SAT: 930-1270)
    - Tuition: $19,150
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 51%; six year median earnings: $31,300

    North Greenville University is a private Baptist university. Affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention, the university recently was in the news due to an order to pay $2.5 million in penalties for allegedly violating a ban barring schools from compensating recruiters with commissions or bonuses.

  • #34. Dallas Baptist University
    18/ Turn685 // Wikimedia Commons

    #34. Dallas Baptist University

    - Location: Dallas, TX
    - Students: 2,423 (student to faculty ratio: 13:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 39% (ACT: 19-24; SAT: 1090-1250)
    - Tuition: $27,480
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 58%; six year median earnings: $42,500

    Dallas Baptist University is a Christian liberal arts university. The school's mission is to “provide Christ-centered quality higher education in the arts, sciences, and professional studies at both the undergraduate and graduate levels to traditional age and adult students in order to produce servant leaders who have the ability to integrate faith and learning through their respective callings.”

  • #33. Brigham Young University - Hawaii
    19/ Daniel Ramirez // Wikimedia Commons

    #33. Brigham Young University - Hawaii

    - Location: Laie, HI
    - Students: 2,702 (student to faculty ratio: 17:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 37% (ACT: 22-26; SAT: 1090-1250)
    - Tuition: $5,400
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 56%; six year median earnings: $41,000

    Owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Brigham Young University-Hawaii was created in response to the growing population of LDS followers in the 50th state. While not requiring ecclesiastical endorsement like other BYU schools, the university is still 97% LDS followers. BYU-Hawaii students must follow the honor code, which enforces a strict dress code and bans extramarital sex, alcohol, drugs, caffeine, and tobacco.

  • #32. Wisconsin Lutheran College
    20/ txnetstars // Flickr

    #32. Wisconsin Lutheran College

    - Location: Milwaukee, WI
    - Students: 921 (student to faculty ratio: 11:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 90% (ACT: 20-26; SAT: 1010-1280)
    - Tuition: $29,140
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 67%; six year median earnings: $40,900

    Affiliated with the Wisconsin Evangelic Lutheran Synod, Wisconsin Lutheran College was formed in 1973. A small school, the college emphasizes Christian values in its degree programs, with conservative website Newsmax noting that the school “states with lawyerlike precision that its faculty ‘believes, teaches and confesses that the 66 canonical books of the Old and New Testaments—in all their words and all their parts—are the inspired and inerrant Word of God.'”

  • #31. University of Northwestern-St. Paul
    21/ Tony Webster // Wikimedia Commons

    #31. University of Northwestern-St. Paul

    - Location: Saint Paul, MN
    - Students: 2,033 (student to faculty ratio: 17:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 93% (ACT: 21-27; SAT: 970-1240)
    - Tuition: $30,794
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 62%; six year median earnings: $36,600

    University of Northwestern-St. Paul is a private evangelical Christian school that saw the late evangelist Billy Graham as its president from 1948 to 1952. Students must take a 30-credits minor in Bible studies in order to graduate.

  • #30. Harding University
    22/ Josh // Flickr

    #30. Harding University

    - Location: Searcy, AR
    - Students: 3,945 (student to faculty ratio: 14:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 72% (ACT: 22-28; SAT: 1050-1280)
    - Tuition: $19,385
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 67%; six year median earnings: $38,600

    The largest private university in Arkansas, Harding University is associated with the Churches of Christ. The university requires students to attend morning chapel services, to complete eight credit hours of Bible studies, and to take a Bible study class if the student has eight credit hours of courses scheduled in a single semester. Individuals of opposite genders are banned from being in the same dorm room at the same time under any circumstance, extramarital or homosexual sex is prohibited, and alcohol consumption is not allowed on campus.

  • #29. Oklahoma Baptist University
    23/ Gigrantula // Wikimedia Commons

    #29. Oklahoma Baptist University

    - Location: Shawnee, OK
    - Students: 1,835 (student to faculty ratio: 15:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 65% (ACT: 20-26; SAT: 960-1150)
    - Tuition: $26,840
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 59%; six year median earnings: $37,700

    Oklahoma Baptist University is a private Baptist liberal arts college owned by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Unlike other religious schools, Oklahoma Baptist University requires freshman to take a course in ancient Greek and sophomores to take a 12-credit-hours series of courses on the history and literature of Western society from Rome to the present. Literature Prof. Benjamin Myers defended the requirement, writing, “Knowledge of Western civilization—a true knowledge of its change and continuity over time—gives the student room to breathe intellectually, morally, spiritually, and emotionally. It frees the student from the tyranny of the moment, from merely fashionable, inevitably superficial ways of being in the world.”

  • #28. Crown College
    24/ Bobak Ha’Eri // Wikimedia Commons

    #28. Crown College

    - Location: Saint Bonifacius, MN
    - Students: 698 (student to faculty ratio: 19:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 51% (ACT: 18-25; SAT: 830-1100)
    - Tuition: $25,430
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 67%; six year median earnings: $32,800

    Crown University is a small private Christian college west of Minneapolis. Affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance, among the most popular majors are biblical studies and religious education.

  • #27. Tarleton State University
    25/ Billy Hathorn // Wikimedia Commons

    #27. Tarleton State University

    - Location: Stephenville, TX
    - Students: 8,429 (student to faculty ratio: 19:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 50% (ACT: 18-23; SAT: 950-1130)
    - Tuition: $7,367 (in-state); $17,111 (out-of-state)
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 46%; six year median earnings: $41,600

    A public state school affiliated with the Texas A&M University system, Tarleton State University is located in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area. Despite having transgender-friendly policies on campus, members of the LGBTQ+ community have argued that the school's environment has made them feel unwelcome.

  • #26. Palm Beach Atlantic University
    26/ Solarisys // Shutterstock

    #26. Palm Beach Atlantic University

    - Location: West Palm Beach, FL
    - Students: 2,350 (student to faculty ratio: 12:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 97% (ACT: 20-26; SAT: 980-1200)
    - Tuition: $29,950
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 53%; six year median earnings: $39,400

    A private Christian university, Palm Beach Atlantic University was founded in 1968 by the First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach. While the school is no longer affiliated with the church, students must attend chapel services 24 times a year.

  • #25. Grove City College
    27/ Paul Hamilton // Flickr

    #25. Grove City College

    - Location: Grove City, PA
    - Students: 2,315 (student to faculty ratio: 13:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 80% (ACT: 23-32; SAT: 1070-1250)
    - Tuition: $17,254
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 83%; six year median earnings: data not available

    A former teacher's college, Grove City College is a nondenominational Christian liberal arts school. Students are required to attend 16 chapel services per semester, and the school is regularly affiliated with conservative and libertarian think tanks.

  • #24. Lee University
    28/ James R. Martin // Shutterstock

    #24. Lee University

    - Location: Cleveland, TN
    - Students: 3,854 (student to faculty ratio: 16:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 85% (ACT: 21-28; SAT: 1000-1240)
    - Tuition: $16,730
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 52%; six year median earnings: $33,600

    A part of the Appalachian College Association, Lee University is a Christ-centered, private institution that offers its students undergraduate and graduate programs both on campus and through distance learning. Lee University is committed to the “conservative, evangelical, Pentecostal religious position of its sponsoring denomination,” the Church of God International Offices in Cleveland, Tn. Part of the school’s mission statement notes “the foundational purpose of all educational programs at Lee is to develop within the students knowledge, appreciation, understanding, ability, and skills which will prepare them for responsible Christian living in a complex world.”

  • #23. Anderson University - South Carolina
    29/ Excel23 // Wikimedia Commons

    #23. Anderson University - South Carolina

    - Location: Anderson, SC
    - Students: 2,550 (student to faculty ratio: 17:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 79% (ACT: 21-26; SAT: 1040-1230)
    - Tuition: $26,970
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 57%; six year median earnings: $34,300

    A highly selective private school, Anderson University is affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. The school requires students to take two Bible courses to graduate: “Introduction to the Bible” and “The Teachings of Jesus.”

  • #22. Southeastern University
    30/ Loren Kerns // Flickr

    #22. Southeastern University

    - Location: Lakeland, FL
    - Students: 4,288 (student to faculty ratio: 17:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 53% (ACT: 18-24; SAT: 950-1170)
    - Tuition: $25,360
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 40%; six year median earnings: $33,200

    A private Christian university, Southeastern University first started in Alabama as Southeastern Bible Institute before relocating to Florida. It is the largest Assemblies of God school currently in operation in the United States.

  • #21. University of North Georgia
    31/ Georgia National Guard // Flickr

    #21. University of North Georgia

    - Location: Dahlonega, GA
    - Students: 12,712 (student to faculty ratio: 19:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 78% (ACT: 20-25; SAT: 910-1130)
    - Tuition: $5,569 (in-state); $19,657 (out-of-state)
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 29%; six year median earnings: $40,600

    A public university in the University of Georgia system, the University of North Georgia is one of the six senior military colleges in the nation. Military tradition has it that “Reveille” is played every day at 7 a.m. on campus, during which all on campus are expected to face the flag; “Retreat/To the Colors” is played each day at 5 p.m. when everyone engaged in outdoor activities must stop to salute the flag.

  • #20. Weber State University
    32/ D.fletcher4 // Wikimedia Commons

    #20. Weber State University

    - Location: Ogden, UT
    - Students: 11,311 (student to faculty ratio: 21:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 100% (ACT: data not available; SAT: data not available)
    - Tuition: $4,892 (in-state); $14,679 (out-of-state)
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 33%; six year median earnings: $43,300

    A public university located north of Salt Lake City, Weber State University was founded by, but is not currently affiliated with, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Its closeness to Salt Lake City and history with the church makes it popular with LDS members.

  • #19. University of Mississippi
    33/ James Kirkikis // Shutterstock

    #19. University of Mississippi

    - Location: University, MS
    - Students: 17,511 (student to faculty ratio: 18:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 84% (ACT: 22-29; SAT: 1070-1290)
    - Tuition: $8,300 (in-state); $23,564 (out-of-state)
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 60%; six year median earnings: $41,100

    Located in Oxford, “Ole Miss” is Mississippi's largest university. A part of the university is its struggle with its Confederate history. Since 1997, the university has been engaged in rebranding its image, including removing the Confederate flag and use of the mascot “Colonel Reb” from its stadium, and banning the playing of “Dixie” by its marching band. Still, race remains a divisive issue on the campus.

  • #18. Evangel University
    34/ AJU_photography// Flickr

    #18. Evangel University

    - Location: Springfield, MO
    - Students: 1,461 (student to faculty ratio: 15:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 99% (ACT: 19-25; SAT: 960-1200)
    - Tuition: $10,750
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 48%; six year median earnings: $34,400

    The Assemblies of God-affiliated Evangel University is a private Christian university with a seminary on campus. It is the nation's first Pentecostal school of arts and sciences.

  • #17. Southwestern Assemblies of God University
    35/ Fkbowen // Wikimedia Commons

    #17. Southwestern Assemblies of God University

    - Location: Waxahachie, TX
    - Students: 1,492 (student to faculty ratio: 16:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 28% (ACT: 17-24; SAT: 900-1080)
    - Tuition: $19,994
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 44%; six year median earnings: $33,200

    The last Assemblies of God university remaining in Texas, Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private Christian university in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. The school offers degrees in liberal arts, Bible studies, and Assemblies of God ministries. The school's mascot is Judah the Lion, a play on the “Lion of Judah,” a Jewish national symbol thought to symbolize the tribe of Judah.

  • #16. Cornerstone University
    36/ Wcbpolish // Wikimedia Commons

    #16. Cornerstone University

    - Location: Grand Rapids, MI
    - Students: 1,260 (student to faculty ratio: 15:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 67% (ACT: 19-25; SAT: 920-1160)
    - Tuition: $25,360
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 53%; six year median earnings: $36,400

    A nondenominational Christian university, Cornerstone University was once the Baptist Bible Institute. Cornerstone has a seminary program on campus. However, what makes the school noteworthy is an open and public adherence to Christian ideology. It is not uncommon to see public praying in the quad, and most school activities center around faith.

  • #15. Samford University
    37/ Sweetmoose6 // Wikimedia Commons

    #15. Samford University

    - Location: Birmingham, AL
    - Students: 3,266 (student to faculty ratio: 12:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 83% (ACT: 23-29; SAT: 1080-1280)
    - Tuition: $30,490
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 76%; six year median earnings: $46,300

    Originally known as Howard College, Samford University is a Christian college. With a divinity school on campus, Samford is a high-ranking school on the national “Best Value” charts. The student body is 82% white, 62% Republican, and 46% conservative, per Niche data.

  • #14. Oklahoma Christian University
    38/ Oklahoma Christian University // Flickr

    #14. Oklahoma Christian University

    - Location: Edmond, OK
    - Students: 1,846 (student to faculty ratio: 14:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 63% (ACT: 20-27; SAT: 990-1220)
    - Tuition: $21,670
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 54%; six year median earnings: $36,800

    The Christian liberal arts university Oklahoma Central University started out as Central Christian College by the founder of Florida Christian College. All students must take at least 16 credit hours of Bible studies to graduate. Students also must adhere to the “Oklahoma Christian Covenant,” which calls for the school community to be a Christian one, despite being open to all faiths. Daily church service is mandatory.

  • #13. Ouachita Baptist University
    39/ Brandonrush // Wikimedia Commons

    #13. Ouachita Baptist University

    - Location: Arkadelphia, AR
    - Students: 1,500 (student to faculty ratio: 12:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 71% (ACT: 21-28; SAT: 1020-1260)
    - Tuition: $25,870
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 64%; six year median earnings: $38,400

    Arkansas Baptist State Convention-affiliated Baptist college Ouachita Baptist University requires unmarried students under the age of 22 to live on campus, unless they have family in the area. Visits to rooms of students of opposite sex are limited to specific hours, and national fraternities and sororities are not allowed on campus.

  • #12. LeTourneau University
    40/ Billy Hathorn // Wikimedia Commons

    #12. LeTourneau University

    - Location: Longview, TX
    - Students: 1,301 (student to faculty ratio: 12:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 47% (ACT: 21-28; SAT: 1060-1310)
    - Tuition: $29,320
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 60%; six year median earnings: $47,700

    An interdenominational Christian school, LeTourneau University has distinguished itself by having both a commitment to scientific research and biblical scholarship, which works as a cohesive curriculum. The school requires from nine to 12 hours of theological studies. It is also one of the few religiously based schools to offer online courses.

  • #11. Oral Roberts University
    41/ 4kclips // Shutterstock

    #11. Oral Roberts University

    - Location: Tulsa, OK
    - Students: 2,866 (student to faculty ratio: 15:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 93% (ACT: 20-26; SAT: 990-1210)
    - Tuition: $26,792
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 57%; six year median earnings: $34,900

    An evangelical university, Oral Roberts University was founded in 1965. LGBTQ activities are officially against the school's honor code and the school has received large endowments from the family of Mart Green, founders of Hobby Lobby. The company was a party in the U.S. Supreme Court case Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby, which allowed an exemption from the employer requirement to fund insurance policies that provide emergency contraceptives on the grounds of religious freedom.

  • #10. Biola University
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    #10. Biola University

    - Location: La Mirada, CA
    - Students: 3,882 (student to faculty ratio: 14:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 72% (ACT: 21-28; SAT: 1060-1300)
    - Tuition: $40,488
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 73%; six year median earnings: $43,100

    Biola University is an evangelical Christian university near Los Angeles. Standing for the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, Biola not only maintains four university centers—the Center for Christian Thought; the Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts; the Center for Marriage and Relationships; and the Center for the Study of the Work and Ministry of the Holy Spirit Today—but it also has a center for messianic Jewish studies in New York City. In addition, the university offers an online database for the sharing of videos and learning materials on academic material from a Christian perspective.

  • #9. Maranatha Baptist University
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    #9. Maranatha Baptist University

    - Location: Watertown, WI
    - Students: 591 (student to faculty ratio: 11:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 73% (ACT: 20-25; SAT: 1080-1260)
    - Tuition: $21,910
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 50%; six year median earnings: $31,600

    A small Baptist university in Wisconsin, Maranatha Baptist University requires students under the age of 23 to live on campus, unless commuting or living with their parents. Daily church services are a part of campus life and the university has a college conservative club, but no equivalent for liberal or progressive views.

  • #8. Utah State University
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    #8. Utah State University

    - Location: Logan, UT
    - Students: 17,188 (student to faculty ratio: 20:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 89% (ACT: 21-27; SAT: 1000-1220)
    - Tuition: $7,870 (in-state); $21,520 (out-of-state)
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 50%; six year median earnings: $42,400

    A public land grant university, Utah State University is the most conservative non-religiously affiliated university on this list. The high population of Mormon students, however, plus the presence of the largest non-regular curriculum seminary in the United States and no Greek system on campus, offer a conservative college atmosphere.

  • #7. Colorado Christian University
    45/ Ekul184 // Wikimedia Commons

    #7. Colorado Christian University

    - Location: Lakewood, CO
    - Students: 1,840 (student to faculty ratio: 16:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 94% (ACT: data not available; SAT: data not available)
    - Tuition: $21,856
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 50%; six year median earnings: $36,900

    Originally known as the Denver Bible Institute, the interdenominational Colorado Christian University requires traditional undergraduate students to sign a “Lifestyle Covenant.” This covenant requires students to attend church services, to stay in compliance to all laws, and to engage in behavior cohesive to community living. Violation of the covenant is subject to immediate suspension or expulsion.

  • #6. Franciscan University of Steubenville
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    #6. Franciscan University of Steubenville

    - Location: Steubenville, OH
    - Students: 2,011 (student to faculty ratio: 14:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 83% (ACT: 23-28; SAT: 1080-1300)
    - Tuition: $26,430
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 78%; six year median earnings: $36,100

    The Rev. Sean Sheridan, president of the Franciscan University of Steubenville, resigned after it was reported that the school initially offered support to an English professor who assigned a pornographic book to his graduate course in 2018. The argument, that the assignment could help students deal with their faith by showing two sides of an issue, was silenced by later news that Sheridan's office tried to stifle staff from speaking about the issue to the media. This reflected the attitude of the Catholic university, where the human life studies minor explores aspects of the “Culture of Death”—a concept suggested by Pope John Paul II that opposes “sexual irresponsibility,” a reference to LGBTQ+ sexuality.

  • #5. Bob Jones University
    47/ John Foxe // Wikimedia Commons

    #5. Bob Jones University

    - Location: Greenville, SC
    - Students: 2,306 (student to faculty ratio: 13:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 86% (ACT: 20-27; SAT: 960-1180)
    - Tuition: $16,500
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 67%; six year median earnings: data not available

    Founded by evangelist Bob Jones Sr. in the 1920s during the Presbyterian Church's Fundamentalist-Modernist schism, Bob Jones University was created specifically to combat secularism in higher education. A traditionally conservative school, the university has spawned controversy by embracing accreditation only recently, having an interracial dating ban as late as 2000, previously supporting racial segregation, and actively engaging in Republican politics. Possession of pornography, alcohol, or drugs, or demonstrating for a cause the university does not support, are all grounds for expulsion.

  • #4. Cedarville University
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    #4. Cedarville University

    - Location: Cedarville, OH
    - Students: 3,109 (student to faculty ratio: 14:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 71% (ACT: 23-29; SAT: 1130-1350)
    - Tuition: $30,070
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 72%; six year median earnings: $40,200

    A private Baptist university in Ohio, Cedarville University distinguishes itself by requiring all students to take a 15-credit-hour minor in Bible studies, as well as attend weekday church services. The university's academic freedom policy strictly controls the media, literature, and art used in classrooms and on campus, which has led some to call the rules censorship.

  • #3. Brigham Young University
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    #3. Brigham Young University

    - Location: Provo, UT
    - Students: 28,156 (student to faculty ratio: 20:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 52% (ACT: 27-32; SAT: 1210-1410)
    - Tuition: $5,620
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 83%; six year median earnings: $56,800

    Fully owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Brigham Young University is known for its strict honor code, prohibiting extramarital sex, profanity, tobacco, caffeine, tea, alcohol, and recreational drugs. The school also mandates courses in Bible studies, in LDS scripture and doctrine, and in church history.

  • #2. Brigham Young University - Idaho
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    #2. Brigham Young University - Idaho

    - Location: Rexburg, ID
    - Students: 17,230 (student to faculty ratio: 25:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 95% (ACT: 20-25; SAT: 990-1180)
    - Tuition: $4,018
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 59%; six year median earnings: $39,900

    Previously known as Ricks College, Brigham Young University-Idaho adheres to the same Latter-day Saints code of conduct for its students as the original Brigham Young University. The rules include strict adherence to a dress code, no extramarital sex, an no recreational use of drugs or alcohol. Since almost all of the university's students are members of the LDS church and all students must receive an ecclesiastical endorsement to enroll, the school maintains a religious atmosphere.

  • #1. Liberty University
    51/ The Old Major // Shutterstock

    #1. Liberty University

    - Location: Lynchburg, VA
    - Students: 26,892 (student to faculty ratio: 18:1)
    - Acceptance rate: 30% (ACT: 21-27; SAT: 1040-1240)
    - Tuition: $21,310
    - Outcomes: graduation rate: 47%; six year median earnings: $35,200

    The evangelical Christian university Liberty University was co-founded by Southern Baptist evangelist-turned-political-advocate Jerry Falwell. First-year students are required to take three Bible studies courses, and the university's honor code prohibits premarital sex and interactions between members of the opposite sex in private. The university is also known for teaching creationism alongside evolutionary biology, and for having strong anti-LGBT policies.

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