10 notable Christian colleges in Georgia

cross on building

Students of strong Christian faith often want to attend a college that reflects their beliefs and incorporates them into the educational process. Bible colleges in Georgia offer an opportunity for students to earn a degree while enjoying an atmosphere of faith, inspiration and ministry. If attending a Christian-centered school is important to you, these Georgia colleges should be on your list of potential institutions of higher learning. Not only do students receive a top-notch education in a Christian atmosphere, the state of Georgia itself offers numerous opportunities for any college-bound dreamer. The Peach State is home to pristine beaches, gorgeous mountains, small towns with a homey feel and major metro areas, including the state capital of Atlanta.

From small institutions nestled in the mountains to large urban colleges, Georgia has a diverse offering for anyone of strong faith. Check out this list of 10 Christian schools in Georgia, in alphabetical order, to get a taste of the faith-based college experiences available in the Peach State.

1. Andrew College

A residential two-year Methodist school in Cuthbert, Andrew College has a rich history. Chartered in 1854 to award degrees to young women, the school became a junior college in 1917 and a co-educational institution in 1956. There were difficulties along the way — the college closed during the Civil War and served as a hospital, and it had to be rebuilt in 1892 after the buildings were destroyed by fire. Today, 350 students enjoy the private 40-acre campus, seven competitive athletic teams, numerous campus activities and an average class size of 12 students.

2. Brewton-Parker College

Chartered in 1904, this four-year Baptist college in Mount Vernon offers numerous degree programs in a strongly Christian environment. Students can choose among the bachelor of science, bachelor of arts, bachelor of ministry and bachelor of business degrees, as well as preprofessional programs in dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and veterinary medicine. Students are required to live on campus in one of six residence halls unless they are seniors, over the age of 22 or live with their families within 50 miles of campus.

As of June 2014, Brewton Parker's accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges is in jeopardy. The school is appealing the decision, so while that is pending, Brewton-Parker will remain on probation. Dr. Ergun Caner, the college president, said in a press release that he is confident that the ruling will be reversed, as the college met SACS' recommendations (which were all financial) from the previous year.

3. Carver Bible College

Established in 1943, this college in Atlanta was named for scientist George Washington Carver. The school motto is "Training to Transform," and this historically black college pursues that motto with academic programs in biblical studies, with minors of concentration that complement the ministry. Approximately 150 students are enrolled at Carver Bible College, most of them are older than the traditional college student, and most don't attend full time. (Carver's website says many of its students are either full-time professionals or full-time pastors, who typically take just a few courses at a time.) The school has an active basketball team and numerous options for mission trips, work study and student government.

4. Clark Atlanta University

This private institution offers undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees, as well as certificate programs. Atlanta University, founded in 1865 by the American Missionary Association, and Clark University, founded in 1869 by the Methodist Episcopal Church, joined forces in 1988. Today, this Christian university enrolls almost 4,000 students in 38 degree programs, boasts numerous sports teams, and has over 80 student organizations, including four fraternities and four sororities. Those enrolled can expect cozy class sizes of only 17 students to each professor.

5. Covenant College

This Presbyterian college sits on a 300-acre campus near Lookout Mountain, making it a sight to behold. Founded in 1955 in Pasadena, Calif., the college expanded to Georgia with the purchase of the Lookout Mountain Hotel in 1964. The hotel was renovated and expanded to handle more than 1,000 students in the four-year liberal arts curriculum. Top programs at Covenant College include education, English, community development, business, psychology and history. A whopping 75 percent of students are involved with intramural sports, so if you are looking for a college that emphasizes athletics along with faith, this might fit the bill.

6. Emory University

Founded in 1836 as Emory College by the Methodist Episcopal Church, the tiny college struggled for decades until 1915 and the "Million Dollar Letter" — an offer of seed money and land from Asa Chandler, the founder of Coca-Cola. Today, Emory University consists of four undergraduate schools and seven graduate colleges, and it enrolls more than 14,000 students each year. A notable standout is the School of Medicine, which works closely with Emory Healthcare, the largest and most comprehensive health care system in the state. The Goizueta Business College also receives worldwide recognition, ranked on numerous lists as one of the best business school opportunities. Emory is a Christian school but also a mainstream university, which offers students the chance to maintain their own faith but also interact and learn alongside students of other backgrounds.

7. Georgia Christian University

In 1986, the Immanuel Original Bible Institute was founded in Alabama. In 1995, the institute moved to Alpharetta, Ga., and became the School of Theological Seminary. By 2002 it was called Georgia Christian University, and since then the college has grown to include divisions in divinity, Christianity, music, business, and oriental medicine. A very small college with fewer than 300 students enrolled and an average class size of 11, GCU is also a truly global university, with four sister institutions in Korea.

8. Shorter University

Based in Rome with off-campus instructional sites in Cobb, Gwinnett and Riverdale, Shorter University was established in 1873 as the Cherokee Baptist Female College. The institution now enrolls just over 2,600 students in 48 areas of study, offering degrees on the bachelor's and graduate level, as well as online and professional studies. The university offers many online associate, bachelor's and graduate degree options, but those who attend the physical school on a full-time basis must reside on campus unless they fill out a commuter application with documentation

Shorter's accreditation had been in question in the past year, but in June 2014, the SACS reaffirmed the college's status as a fully accredited institution. "Today's vote confirms our belief that strong scholarship and Christian commitment can go hand in hand," Dr. Donald Dowless, Shorter University president, said in a press release."We continue to be firmly dedicated to providing our students with access to professors and academic programs of the highest quality, while adhering to biblical standards."

9. Toccoa Falls College

Founded in 1907, this Christ-centered college is located in the beautiful foothills of the northeast Georgia mountains. Approximately 875 students are enrolled in 28 majors and 38 minors, all spread across three schools: arts and sciences, professional studies and Christian ministries. The college has many intriguing offerings, including a radio station, active athletic teams, numerous online programs, and of course, Toccoa Falls — a 186-foot waterfall right there on the campus.

10. Young Harris College

Also nestled in the mountains of northeast Georgia, the college was founded in 1886 by the United Methodist Church. More than 1,100 students are enrolled in over 20 bachelor's degree programs and enjoy a typical class size of only 18. The college offers numerous minors of concentration, several athletic teams, large recreational areas and a mission to "Educate, Inspire, and Empower." In keeping with that commitment to inspiration, YHC has a thriving art program with multiple shows and performances, as well as three lecture series.

Sources:

Andrew College,
http://www.andrewcollege.edu/

"Brewton-Parker College challenges SACS accreditation finding," BPC News, June 19, 2014,
http://www.bpc.edu/pressrelease/sacspressrelease.html

Brewton-Parker College,
http://www.bpc.edu/

About Carver, Carver Bible College,
http://www.carver.edu/contents/Home/AboutCarver.aspx

Clark Atlanta University History, Clark Atlanta University,
http://www.cau.edu/About_CAU_History.aspx

Covenant College,
http://www.covenant.edu/

About Emory, Emory University,
http://www.emory.edu/home/index.html

Georgia Christian University,
http://www.gcuniv.edu/about-us/overview/

"Shorter University faculty affirmed by SACSCOC," Shorter University, June 19, 2014,
http://su.shorter.edu/blog/2014/06/19/shorter-university-faculty-affirmed-by-sacscoc/

Shorter University,
http://su.shorter.edu/

About Toccoa Falls, Toccoa Falls College,
http://www.tfc.edu/about-tfc

Young Harris College,
https://www.yhc.edu/

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