Top 20 Best Christian Colleges in California in 2020 - Best Value Schools

Top 20 Best Christian Colleges in California in 2020

March 4, 2021 | Staff Writers

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If you find yourself at one of the Christian Colleges in California, you may never regret it. With beaches like Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Surfrider Beach, Zuma Beach, and much more, California may give you more than academic education.

To give you a snap view of the Top 19 Christian colleges and help you make a smart choice, we’ve compiled a list below. It’s ranked according to the return on investment for first-year students. It shows you the median annual salary that you’re likely to get six years after graduation. Check the list out!

What admission requirements do Christian Colleges in California have?

Institutions of higher learning like universities have more or less similar requirements for undergraduates and graduates. Christian Colleges are not an exception. They may have additional demands like spiritual recommendations. Here are the general admission needs for the freshman.

  • High School GPA
  • SAT
  • ACT
  • Application Fee (some don’t need it)
  • Academic and Spiritual recommendation (depends on college)
Rank School Location
1Pepperdine University (PU)Malibu, California
2Chapman University (CU)Orange, California
3California Lutheran University (CLU)Thousand Oaks, California
4Pacific Union College (PUC)Angwin, California
5Westmont College (WC)Santa Barbara, California

Christian colleges in California.

1

Pepperdine University (PU)

  • Malibu, California
  • Graduation Rate: 87%

Three words define Pepperdine University; Purpose, Service, and Leadership. Established in 1937 and named after George Pepperdine, it’s located at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Malibu Canyon Road. Offering bachelor’s, master’s, certificates, and doctorate programs, PU is committed to the highest standard of academic excellence and Christian values. It’s a highly rated university with popular majors such as Business, Public Relations, Psychology, and much more.

School Overview

Graduation rate: 83 %
Tuition: $30,000
Financial Aid: 91%
Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $65,500, Niche.com
Employment after 2 years of graduation: 92% (National average is 83%)
Visit School Website
2

Chapman University (CU)

  • Orange, California
  • Graduation Rate: 79%

Founded in 1861 as Hesperian College, Chapman University is a 4-year, private non-profit Christian institution. It’s situated in Orange County, CA., and exists to promote original thinking in students so that they can lead ethical and productive lives as global citizens. With a student ratio of 13 to 1, CU offers 146 undergraduate degrees and programs both majors and minors. Business, Cinematography, and Video production, Psychology, and Corporate Communication are the most popular programs.

School Overview

Graduation rate: 79 %
Tuition: $56,830
Financial Aid: 87% receive aid
Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $54,600
Employment after 2 years of graduation: 91% (National average is 83%)
Visit School Website
3

California Lutheran University (CLU)

  • Thousand Oaks, California
  • Graduation Rate: 72%

Dr. Orville Dahl was the first president of California Lutheran University, founded in 1959. It’s a 4-year, private not-for-profit Christian educational center located between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean. CLU seeks to educate leaders with strong characters for the world, who are committed to service and justice. It offers 41 majors and 41 minors in the form of bachelor’s, master’s, doctorates, and credentials. The most popular majors include Business, Communications, Psychology, Kinesiology, and Exercise Science, etc.

School Overview

Graduation rate: 76%
Tuition: $45,500
Financial Aid: 98% receive aid
Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $54,200
Employment after 2 years of graduation: 93% (National average is 83%)
Visit School Website
4

Pacific Union College (PUC)

  • Angwin, California
  • Graduation Rate: 52%

Located in Angwin, CA., Pacific Union College is a private, not-for-profit Seventh-day Adventist Christian college, whose motto is “Learn with Purpose. Rise in Faith. Serve with Love.” In a cutting-edge environment, it offers 70 programs in the form of associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. The most popular majors are Nursing, Business, Foods, Nutrition, and Wellness Studies, etc.

School Overview

Graduation rate: 91 %
Tuition: $31,100
Financial Aid: 100% receive aid
Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $51,700
Employment after 2 years of graduation: 91% (National average is 83%).
Visit School Website
5

Westmont College (WC)

  • Santa Barbara, California
  • Graduation Rate: 77%

Located in Santa Barbara, Westmont College-originally called Bible Missionary Institute- is a small institution with a student ratio of 11to 1. WC seeks to develop thoughtful scholars, grateful servants, and faithful leaders. Though small, it offers 100 programs including bachelor’s, master’s, certificates, and doctorates. Popular majors include Managerial Economics; Kinesiology and Exercise Science, and Biology, etc.

School Overview

Graduation rate: 75%
Tuition: $63,220
Financial Aid: 100% receive aid
Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $51,400
Employment after 2 years of graduation: 89% (National average is 83%)
Visit School Website

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6

Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU)

  • San Diego, California
  • Graduation Rate: 71%

Phineas Bresse, the founder of the Nazarene Church, established Point Loma Nazarene University in 1902. Located in the safe San Diego neighborhood of Point Loma, PLNU exists to prepare students for a career after they graduate. It aims at shaping them to be thinkers, service-minded, and engaged members of their community. Its student ratio of 14:1 encourages a one-on-one relationship with professors while offering more than 60 areas of study; bachelor’s, master’s and doctorates. Additionally, popular majors include Nursing, Psychology, undergraduate Sociology, etc.

School Overview

Graduation rate: 73%
Tuition: $37,600
Financial Aid: $40,6 m in grant and scholarship awarded to PLNU for 2019-20.
Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $50,900
Employment after 2 years of graduation: 91% (National average is 83%)
Visit School Website
7

La Sierra University (LSU)

  • Riverside, California
  • Graduation Rate: 73%

Founded in 1922, La Sierra University, formerly called La Sierra Academy, is located in Riverside, California. It’s a 4-year, private not-for-profit Seventh-day Adventist affiliated institution, whose motto is “Where academic investigation, Christian faith, and service to others unite.” Offering bachelor’s, master’s, doctor’s, and certificates, it has more than 50 undergraduate and 23 pre-professional programs. The most popular programs include Criminal Justice & Safety Studies, Business, Kinesiology & Exercise Sciences, and Health Service & Preparatory Studies

School Overview

Graduation rate: 45 %
Tuition: $33,228
Financial Aid: 100% receive aid
Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $49,500
Employment after 2 years of graduation: % (National average is 83%)
Visit School Website
8

Concordia University

  • Irvine, California
  • Graduation Rate: 63%

Concordia University sits on a spectacular 70-acre plateau overlooking Orange County in Irvine, which is rated one of the safest counties in the U.S. Originally called Christ College Irvine, this Lutheran Christian university aims at empowering students for service and leadership. With an annual enrollment of more than 4000 students, it offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees. Business, nursing, psychology, etc. are some of the popular majors, which are offered on-campus and online. To help students register with ease, it has waived its application fee of $50.

School Overview

Graduation rate: 63%
Tuition: $48,610
Financial Aid: $58 m available for aid & 100 percent receive aid.
Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $46,400
Employment after 2 years: 92% (National average is 83%)
Visit School Website
9

Biola University

  • La Mirada, California
  • Graduation Rate: 72%

Founded a century ago in 1908, Biola University (BU) is a biblically centered-educational institution. It rests on the border of Orange and Los Angeles counties in the heart of Southern California. Apart from choosing courses from 150 university programs, students can also refresh at the Southern California beaches. Not only does BU have small classes (student ratio:14 to 1), it’s accredited by 9 professional bodies and affiliated with more than 20 organizations.

School Overview

Graduation rate: 73%
Tuition: $54,551
Financial Aid: 80% receive financial aid
Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $44,500
Median salary per annum; Employment after 2 years: 92% (National average is 83%)
Visit School Website
10

Fresno Pacific University (FPU)

  • Fresno, California
  • Graduation Rate: 72%

Fresno Pacific University is an HSI (Hispanic-Serving Institution) and is an above-average, non-profit and independent university. FPU was founded in 1944 with a mission to develop students for leadership and service. Besides its main campus in Southeast Fresno, it has regional centers in North Fresno; Visalia; Bakersfield; Merced; and Online. Offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Additionally, 81 percent of its professors have doctorates. FPU offers four-year graduation guarantees to qualified students, so they can get started on their career. A two-year guarantee is offered to qualified transfer students. Liberal Arts and Humanities, Business, Child Development, Organizational Behavior Studies, etc. are popular majors with students.

School Overview

Graduation rate: 66%
Tuition: $32,954
Financial Aid: 98 percent receive aid.
Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $43,900
Employment after 2 years: 90% (National average is 83%)
Visit School Website
11

California Baptist University

  • Riverside, California
  • Graduation Rate: 58%

With Spanish-style buildings, California Baptist University (CBU) traces its beginning on September 18, 1950, with only 42 students. For more than five decades later, it reached an enrollment of 11, 045 students in 2019 in the Fall. CBU exists to provide a Christ-centered educational experience so that graduates can become skilled, have a purpose, and maintain their integrity. Students have a wide range of programs to choose from; 80 bachelor’s degrees; 150 major concentrations; 50 minors; and 30 master’s degree programs with 45 concentrations.

School Overview

Graduation rate: 55%
Tuition: $48,038
Financial Aid: Academic scholarship; CBU aid, Private aid
Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $42,600
Employment after 2 years: 91% (National average is 83%)
Visit School Website
12

Azusa Pacific University (APU)

  • Azusa, California
  • Graduation Rate: 70%

From an enrollment of 12 students in 1899, Azusa Pacific University (APU) has grown by leaps and bounds in the 21st century. Formerly called Training School for Christian Colleges, 5000 students have found it a center that meets their educational needs. APU is an above-average, non-denominational university located in Azusa and exists to carry out God’s work through academic excellence. Students are spoilt for choice because it offers 68 Bachelor’s degrees; 48 Master’s; 18 Certificates;10 Credentials; and 9 Doctoral degrees.

School Overview

Graduation rate: 63%
Tuition: $20,415
Financial Aid: 58 million worth of aid; 100% receive financial aid
Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $42,600 Niche.com
Employment after 2 years: 92% (National average is 83%);Niche.com
Visit School Website
13

Vanguard University of Southern California

  • Costa Mesa, California
  • Graduation Rate: 56%

Harold K. Needham is the founding president of Vanguard University, formerly called Southern California College. It’s a private, Christian institution defined by three words; Truth, Virtue, and Service, located in Orange Country. It seeks to equip each student for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service. As a college of Liberal Arts, offering bachelor’s, master’s, and certificates, it has over 50 distinct fields of study. Business, Psychology, Kinesiology, Communication, and Biology are among the most popular majors.

School Overview

Graduation rate: 64%
Tuition: $35,800
Financial Aid: 98% receive financial aid
Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $41,800
Employment after 2 years of graduation: 92% (National average is 83%)
Visit School Website
14

The Master’s University & Seminary

  • Santa Clarita, California
  • Graduation Rate: 64%

The Master’s University is a 4-year, private non-profit Christian university, which has been in existence since 1927. Located in Newhall, California, it seeks to empower students with Christian principles and academic education so that they can make a lasting contribution to the church and the world. With several centers in CA., it offers more than 175 programs namely bachelor’s, master’s, credentials, and certificates across its eight schools. Business, Communication, Theology and Ministry Studies, Liberal Arts, and Humanities are the most popular majors.

School Overview

Graduation rate: 60%
Tuition: $37,950
Financial Aid: 100% receive aid
Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $41,700
Employment after 2 years of graduation: 98% (National average is 83%)
Visit School Website
15

William Jessup University (WJU)

  • Rocklin, California
  • Graduation Rate: 70%

San Jose Christian College, now William Jessup University, was born during the depression of the 1930s. Founded by William L. Jessup, WJU is located in Rocklin, CA. on a 130-acre campus in Sacramento. With its motto “Forward in Faith”, it exists to develop skills in communication, reasoning, and critical thinking. Offering over 20 degrees and 50 programs across its four campuses, popular majors include Psychology, Business, Elementary Education, etc. Its professors hold doctorates from leading research universities such as Cambridge, MIT, etc.

School Overview

Graduation rate: 59%
Tuition: $36,000
Financial Aid: $30 maid per year; 84% receive aid
Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $37,300
Employment after 2 years of graduation: 88% (National average is 83%)
Visit School Website
16

San Diego Christian College (SDCC)

  • San Diego County, California
  • Graduation Rate: 36%

A threesome; Drs. Tim Lattaye, Art Peters, and Henry Morris founded San Diego Christian College in 1970. It was formerly called Christian Heritage College (CHC) at that time. Defined by three words; Truth, Purpose, and Impact, SDCC seeks to educate and inspire students by developing their competencies so that they can change the world. Based in San Diego, CA. (East County San Diego), it offers more than 35 programs, minors, and concentrations. Business, Communication, and Psychology are some of the popular majors.

School Overview

Graduation rate: 44%
Tuition: $33,312
Financial Aid: 100% receive aid.
Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $36,700
Employment after 2 years of graduation: 87 % (National average is 83%)
Visit School Website
17

Simpson University (SU)

  • Redding, California
  • Graduation Rate: 81%

Simpson University, the only university with no application fee, is a private, Christian institution located in Redding, CA.SU’s motto is “Gateway to World Service” and it exists to develop each student in mind, faith, and character so that they can serve the world through work throughout their life. Offering plus 30 programs, popular majors include Psychology, Business, Liberal Arts and Humanity.

School Overview

Graduation rate: 60%
Tuition: $42,752
Financial Aid:
Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $34,500
Employment after 2 years of graduation: 87% (National average is 83%)
Visit School Website
18

Hope International University (HIU)

  • Fullerton, California
  • Graduation Rate: 42%

Hope International University, founded in 1928, is located in North Orange County in the city of Fullerton, CA. Founded as Pacific Seminary, it’s an above-average small institution, which exists to empower students to serve the church and impact the world. On its recently renovated state-of-the-art facilities, it offers programs ranging from the College of Arts and Sciences, Business Management, Education to Psychology and Counseling, and much more.

School Overview

Graduation rate: 44 %
Tuition: $33,250
Financial Aid: 98 percent receive aid.
Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $36,300
Employment after 2 years: 88 % (National average is 83%)
Visit School Website
19

Life Pacific College/University

  • San Dimas, California
  • Graduation Rate: 53%

Established in 1923, Life Pacific College is located in Sam Dimas, California, and is a private, non-profit Christian college. Endorsed by the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, it aims at transforming and developing students into leaders. With a student of 11 to 1, it offers 15-degree programs in the form of associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s. Additionally, Pastoral Counseling & Specialized Ministries, Liberal Arts & Humanities, and Biblical Studies are the most popular majors.

School Overview

Graduation rate: 41%
Tuition: $26,884
Financial Aid: 97% receive aid
Median Earnings 6 Years After Graduation: $32,700/year
Employment after 2 years of graduation: 86% (National average is 83%)
Visit School Website

METHODOLOGY

Our list of the Top Christian Colleges in California was obtained from several credible sources on Google. We grouped the colleges according to the return on investment indicated by the median earnings 6 years after graduation. This was extracted from Niche.com. We also took into account tuition per annum and then arranged the colleges accordingly. Colleges that had the highest median earnings 6 years after graduation were ranked first. Colleges with a low return on investment appear at the bottom of the list. For example, Pepperdine University has the highest median salary annually six years after graduation ($65,500) and so, it appears first.

Looking for other Top Best Colleges that can help you fulfill your dream career? Check out this article.

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BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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