Christian colleges distance learning programs have grown steadily in numbers in recent years. The U.S. Department of Education estimates that about 900 schools of higher learning today are “religiously affiliated.”
There number of schools with a specifically Christian focus is smaller, but growing rapidly. The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), a leading group that has served Christian schools for 30 years, has 102 “Christ-centered” institutions in its membership. These schools grant over 350 different types of undergraduate degrees and 140 types of graduate majors.
The schools have grown because of rapidly rising interest from students. Over 300,000 students are now enrolled in CCCU-member schools. Most are seeking a liberal arts education that will inform a Christian life, not specifically studying for the ministry.
Accreditation may not be a key issue to you if you are seeking a religious education strictly for personal enhancement. If you want to invest several years of your life to gain a bachelors or masters degree from a distance education Christian liberal arts college, however, it’s advisable to find a school that is accredited by one of the same organizations that gives accreditation to non-religious schools. There are six main groups in the U.S. that accredit schools of higher education:
- MSA–Middle States Association
- NASC–Northwest Association of Schools & Colleges
- NCA–North Central Association of Colleges & Schools
- NEASC–New England Association of Schools & Colleges
- SACS–Southern Association of Colleges & Schools
- WASC–Western Association of Schools & Colleges