Online Christian Universities
The Christian schools that have opted to extend into online education have taken a number of approaches to this growing academic niche. Some schools have focused on distance learning programs for professional degrees in an assortment of fields: education, business, nursing, criminal justice, healthcare, and others. Additional schools have incorporated the online format into both the secular degree programs and those that are focused on theology and the ministry. A unique set of challenges arise for every degree that is formatted for online delivery. The Christian schools that have risen to the challenge with graduate programs in religious studies have maintained the same educational integrity found at universities that are training engineers and educators online.
1. Concordia University was founded by the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod. Today there are ten campuses in several states, all of them offering a Christian education to students of any faith. The Concordia University in Portland, OR has recently gone online with a Masters in Education degree offering several areas of specialization. The MEd from Concordia is available in Curriculum & Instruction with specializations in Reading, Special Education, Mathematics K-8, Science K-8, Environmental Education, and several others. There is also a MEd in Educational Leadership for those interested in administrative careers. U.S. News & World Report recognizes this school as one of the nation's top universities.
2. Abilene Christian University was founded a century ago in Texas as a local academy and is today affiliated with the Churches of Christ. The school has entered the online education field with a group of graduate programs that includes the Master of Education (MEd) in Leadership & Learning, and in Curriculum & Instruction. There is also a MEd in Higher Education Affairs for those who wish to work in administration at the university level. In addition there is a Masters in Organizational Development & Human Resources, and a Masters in Conflict Resolution & Reconciliation. U.S. News & World Report recognizes this school as one of the nation's top universities.
3. Grand Canyon University was founded in Phoenix in 1949 by the Arizona Southern Baptist organization as a western outpost for Baptist Christian learning. It has become a strong online education institution but has maintained its Christian orientation on the campus and in some of its online degrees. The College of Education offers a MAT and several MEd options including many teaching specializations. There is a College of Business with an extensive MBA program; a College of Nursing & Health Sciences that offers a MPH, and a College of Humanities & Social Science with graduate degrees in both Criminal Justice and Christian Studies.
4. Liberty University is the largest Evangelical Christian university in the world with 60,000 students; well over half of them are enrolled online. Graduate programs include the MBA and several other business oriented masters' degrees; several Masters in Counseling degree options as well as the Master of Marriage & Family Therapy, a MEd and MAT program for prospective educators and administrators; a MSN program from the Nursing School, and a dozen master's degrees in theology, ministry, and many other areas of Christian education.
5. Le Tourneau University is an interdenominational Christian University in Longview, TX that was established right after World War II as a technical school. It has grown into a full-fledged college that continues to roll out graduate programs as the school expands. In 2011 the University has introduced the online Masters in Counseling with tracks in either professional & school counseling, or in marriage & family therapy. The second new online graduate program is the Masters in Psychology, a non-licensure track for counseling ministries.