The 16 Best Christian Colleges in Tennessee for 2024


The editors at Lord’s Library have compiled this list of the best Christian colleges in Tennessee to save you the search.

Searching for the best Christian colleges in Tennessee can involve a fair bit of research with a number of options across the state. According to Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study, the religious composition of Christian adults in the state is 81 percent. Tennessee’s Christian higher learning landscape includes colleges and universities with varying degrees of religious study, as well as dedicated Bible colleges for a scripture-first approach.

Choosing the institution that is right for you will largely depend on your spiritual and educational goals. It’s with this in mind that our editors assembled this list of the best Christian colleges in Tennessee to consider. Each entry includes the school’s location and a brief “From the institution” description to give you a high-level overview of the college and save you time. Simply click the college name or logo to go direct to the institution’s website if you want to learn more.

Note: The best Christian colleges in Tennessee are ranked in alphabetical order.

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The Best Christian Colleges in Tennessee

American Baptist CollegeAmerican Baptist College

Location: Nashville, TN

From the institution: “The mission of American Baptist College, a Historically Black College with a liberal arts emphasis, is to educate, graduate, and prepare diverse students for Christian leadership, service, and social justice in the world. Founded in 1924, by black and white Baptists, ABC’s vision is to provide educational opportunities for gifted students who have limited academic experiences and resources but unlimited potential for leadership in society.”

Belmont UniversityBelmont University

Location: Nashville, TN

From the institution: “Consistently recognized as a “Most Innovative” university, Belmont University draws more than 8,200 students who represent every state and more than 28 countries. The campus sits on 93 picturesque acres that are located just two miles from downtown Nashville, Tennessee, a dynamic and vibrant hub for government, healthcare, music, tourism and more. A private, four-year university, Belmont brings together the best of liberal arts and professional education in a Christian community of learning and service. The University’s purpose is to help students explore their passions and develop their talents to meet the world’s needs.”

Bryan CollegeBryan College

Location: Dayton, TN

From the institution: “William Jennings Bryan University was chartered in 1930 and admitted its first class in the fall of that year. Its stated purpose was, and is, to provide “for the higher education of men and women under auspices distinctly Christian and spiritual.” In 1958 its name was changed to William Jennings Bryan College and in 1993 was shortened to Bryan College. Our mission is educating students to become servants of Christ to make a difference in today’s world.”

Carson-Newman UniversityCarson-Newman University

Location: Jefferson City, TN

From the institution: “We see the Christian university as an educational arm of the church, the body of Christ. As creator and sustainer of all things, Christ is Lord of the university. The Gospel of Matthew calls us to “Love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind.”  Recognizing all truth as God’s truth, we follow this calling to live as his disciples. As an intentionally Christian academic community, Carson-Newman strives to follow Christian principles in all aspects of communal life.”

Christian Brothers UniversityChristian Brothers University

Location: Memphis, TN

From the institution: “Christian Brothers University is a four-year, private university affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. The University was founded in 1871 by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, a Catholic teaching order. Christian Brothers University is a Catholic university in the student-centered tradition of the De La Salle Christian Brothers. CBU fosters academic excellence in a range of programs to prepare students from all faiths and backgrounds for careers and lives informed by the Lasallian values of faith, service, and community.”

Freed-Hardeman UniversityFreed-Hardeman University

Location: Henderson, TN

From the institution: “The mission of Freed-Hardeman University is to help students develop their God-given talents for His glory by empowering them with an education that integrates Christian faith, scholarship and service. At Freed-Hardeman, you are taught by professors who have received the highest degrees possible in their field of study. Small class settings ensure personal attention, better preparing you for great opportunities. When it’s time for you to leave Freed-Hardeman to pursue a higher level of education or a career, you will experience high acceptance rates into medical and professional schools as well as extremely high job placement rates.”

Johnson UniversityJohnson University

Location: Knoxville, TN

From the institution: “The Johnson University mission is to educate students for Christian ministries and other strategic vocations framed by the Great Commission in order to extend the kingdom of God among all nations. Explore our site to learn more about the JU mission, our academic programs, and student life on our campuses. Our Tennessee campus sits on the banks of the French Broad River in south Knoxville. Students enjoy the rolling hills of this rural campus combined with close proximity to the fun and culture of downtown Knoxville and the beauty of the Smoky Mountains.”

King UniversityKing University

Location: Bristol, TN

From the institution: “Founded in 1867, King University (originally King College) is a Presbyterian-affiliated Christian academic community dedicated to the integration of rigorous academic programming and the exploration of faith. The University establishes students in a robust liberal arts foundation and offers specialization in a contemporary range of undergraduate degrees. These include Nursing, Security and Intelligence Studies, Exercise Science, and Digital Media Art & Design, as well as more traditional majors such as Mathematics, History and Political science, English, Biology, and more.”

Lee UniversityLee University

Location: Cleveland, TN

From the institution: “Lee University is a private, comprehensive university located in Cleveland, Tennessee, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Over the past two decades, Lee has become one of the largest Christ-centered private institutions in Tennessee and the largest in the Appalachian College Association. During that period, the university has seen a remarkable transformation that has included significant growth in its academic programs, student enrollment, faculty expertise, and diversity, as well as an expanded sense of mission and vision.”

Lipscomb UniversityLipscomb University

Location: Nashville, TN

From the institution: “As a private, Christian liberal arts institution located in the heart of Nashville, Lipscomb University is joyfully committed to developing students whose academic excellence, faith and practice reflect our ideas of global citizenship. With top academic programs, small class sizes, intentional faculty and faith-integrated experiences and curriculum, we are prepared to invest in you holistically. So that you can grow into the person God desires you to be. We believe that when you know your gifts, your God and your direction, you confidently welcome what is next.”

Mid-South Christian CollegeMid-South Christian College

Location: Memphis, TN

From the institution: “Mid-South Christian College exists to glorify God by partnering with Christian Churches in raising up individuals called by God to fulfill the global vision of Christ by facilitating their academic, practical and spiritual preparation. At Mid-South we desire to help each student prepare for ministry, spiritually and emotionally, as well as academically. I hope and pray that you will find a spiritual family here that will help you grow and develop in your service in God’s Kingdom.”

Milligan UniversityMilligan University

Location: Milligan, TN

From the institution: “Milligan is a Christ-centered liberal arts university in Johnson City, Tennessee, boasting a close-knit community, 235-acre picturesque campus, and over 100 majors, minors and other degree offerings. For over 150 years, Milligan has educated men and women to lead and to serve. Our commitment to Christ-centered liberal arts education has led Milligan to become a growing, well-respected liberal arts institution. Because of our emphasis on scholarship, community, and faith, students come from all over the world to experience our distinctively different approach to higher education.”

Trevecca Nazarene UniversityTrevecca Nazarene University

Location: Nashville, TN

From the institution: “Founded in 1901, Trevecca is committed to holistic education, encouraging students to grow intellectually, socially, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Located approximately one mile from thriving downtown Nashville, Trevecca provides a liberal arts education while guiding students to find God’s calling on their lives through traditional undergraduate programs, continuing and graduate studies and online offerings. With students from 47 states and 25 countries, Trevecca offers 20 associate degrees, 73 undergraduate bachelor’s programs, 17 master’s degrees and three doctoral programs, as well as specialist and certificate programs.”

Union UniversityUnion University

Location: Jackson, TN

From the institution: “Union University is an academic community, affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention, equipping persons to think Christianly and serve faithfully in ways consistent with its core values of being excellence-driven, Christ-centered, people-focused, and future-directed. These values shape its identity as an institution which prioritizes liberal arts based undergraduate education enhanced by professional and graduate programs. The academic community is composed of quality faculty, staff, and students working together in a caring, grace-filled environment conducive to the development of character, servant leadership, and cultural engagement.”

Visible Music CollegeVisible Music College

Location: Memphis, TN

From the institution: “Visible Music College is a global, spiritual community of musicians, technicians, business professionals, and educators serving the Church and society with our collective energy and talent, fostering an environment of creativity, worship, and innovation in artistic endeavors for the glory of God. Visible Music College trains and equips musicians, technicians, and business professionals in craft and Christian character, for effective service in the music industry and in the Church.”

Welch CollegeWelch College

Location: Gallatin, TN

From the institution: “Welch College’s original purpose, as indicated in the Charter of Incorporation registered in 1945, was to be “devoted to the promotion and impartation of higher Biblical education,” for the purpose of “the equipment of Christian workers, teachers, ministers, and missionaries of both sexes for Christian service.” The mission statement above is intended to express the same fundamental concept. Welch College emphasizes a distinctly Christian education with a strong core of biblical and theological studies at the heart of all educational programs, a Christian worldview integrating the entire curriculum, Christian morals and ethics, and Christian leadership and service.”

NOW READ: The Ultimate List of Christian Colleges and Universities in America by State

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Timothy Andrew

Timothy Andrew

Tim is the Founder of Lord's Library. He believes the Bible commands us to minister "as of the ability which God giveth" (1 Peter 4:11). Tim aspires to be as The Lord's mouth by "taking forth the precious from the vile" (Jeremiah 15:19) and witnessing The Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15: 1-4) to the whole world.

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