Best Christian Colleges in California 2022

For prospective college students looking for schools that align with their Christian faith and demonstrate academic excellence, here are the best Christian colleges and universities in California.

Best Christian Colleges in California 2022

Colleges and Universities in California

California’s higher education institutes span across the entire state, allowing students to study by the beach, in the forest, in small towns, and in large cities. There are over 30 high quality online degrees programs that would literally allow you to study from anywhere in California, or the world. The largest university, the University of California, Los Angeles, serves nearly 44,000 students and offers a tuition rate around $13,000. This isn’t the only school with a large student body though. California is home to 23 colleges and universities with student populations of over 20,000 students.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

However, more than half of the state’s schools serve smaller student populations, offering plenty of options for students who crave a more intimate campus experience. Additionally, California boasts 50 religiously affiliated schools. Many of these schools have high graduation rates, though tuition costs can range greatly, from $8,000 at Bethesda University up to $54,000 at Pepperdine University.

Additionally, many of California’s colleges and universities boast influential faculty and alumni, including Neil Armstrong, Jerry Lewis, and Weird Al Yankovic. In addition to famous alumni and professors, California’s schools are also home to some of the country’s top degree programs, including nursing, business, religious studies, education, literature, and law.

Though Hollywood has given an inside look into California’s most popular landmarks and attractions, these one-of-a-kind places aren’t the only reason people flock to The Golden State. With hundreds of colleges and universities to choose from, students have countless opportunities to further their education in California.

To learn more about earning your degree in California, check out some of the state’s top programs and career paths.


What are California’s Colleges & Universities?

California’s Best Overall

The following list of the best Christian schools consists entirely of colleges and universities that offer four-year undergraduate degrees. We’ve identified 30 Christian colleges in California. In order to be included in this ranking list of best Christian colleges and universities, a school must self-identify as Christian, be fully accredited, and offer a broad range of bachelor degree programs.

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How do we determine California's best Christian colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence in their fields of study.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is freer from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

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Best Christian Colleges in California 2022

  1. #1

    Santa Clara University

    Santa Clara , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    51%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1360/30

    What is Santa Clara University known for?

    Santa Clara University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Religious Studies
    • Economics
    • Business
    • Law
    • Philosophy
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
    • Psychology
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. #2

    University of San Francisco

    San Francisco , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $53K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1230/26

    What is University of San Francisco known for?

    University of San Francisco’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Law
    • Political Science
    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  3. #3

    Pepperdine University

    Malibu , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    42%

    Graduation

    89%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1340/29

    What is Pepperdine University known for?

    Pepperdine University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Law
    • Communications
    • Education
    • Philosophy
    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  4. #4

    Chapman University

    Orange , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    80%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1285/28

    What is Chapman University known for?

    Chapman University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Economics
    • Physics
    • Sociology
    • Philosophy
    • Law
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Business
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  5. #5

    University of San Diego

    San Diego , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $53K

    Acceptance

    59%

    Graduation

    80%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1280/28

    What is University of San Diego known for?

    University of San Diego’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Law
    • Chemistry
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Sociology
    • Nursing
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    Loyola Marymount University

    Los Angeles , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $54K

    Acceptance

    50%

    Graduation

    83%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1320/29

    What is Loyola Marymount University known for?

    Loyola Marymount University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Psychology
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #7

    Biola University

    La Mirada , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $44K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1195/24

    What is Biola University known for?

    Biola University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology
    • Anthropology
    • Literature
    • Communications
    • Education
    • History
    • Business
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  8. #8

    Azusa Pacific University

    Azusa , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $42K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1145/23

    What is Azusa Pacific University known for?

    Azusa Pacific University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Philosophy
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Political Science
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  9. Tuition + fees

    $52K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/25

    What is Saint Mary's College of California known for?

    Saint Mary's College of California’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Economics
    • Sociology
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #10

    La Sierra University

    Riverside , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    57%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1030/20

    What is La Sierra University known for?

    La Sierra University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Social Work
    • Psychology
    • Religious Studies
    • Biology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #11

    California Baptist University

    Riverside , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $37K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1100/21

    What is California Baptist University known for?

    California Baptist University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Nursing
    • Engineering
    • Anthropology
    • Chemistry
    • Social Work
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  12. #12

    Point Loma Nazarene University

    San Diego , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $40K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1225/26

    What is Point Loma Nazarene University known for?

    Point Loma Nazarene University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Religious Studies
    • Social Work
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
    • History
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #13

    Westmont College

    Santa Barbara , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $49K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1215/25

    What is Westmont College known for?

    Westmont College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Physics
    • Literature
    • Anthropology
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  14. #14

    Pacific Union College

    Angwin , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    59%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1060/21

    What is Pacific Union College known for?

    Pacific Union College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Social Work
    • Biology
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #15

    California Lutheran University

    Thousand Oaks , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $46K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1160/24

    What is California Lutheran University known for?

    California Lutheran University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Religious Studies
    • Earth Sciences
    • Biology
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. #16

    Concordia University Irvine

    Irvine , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $39K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1100/21

    What is Concordia University Irvine known for?

    Concordia University Irvine’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  17. #17

    Thomas Aquinas College

    Santa Paula , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $26K

    Acceptance

    86%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1270/28

    What is Thomas Aquinas College known for?

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. #18

    Hope International University

    Fullerton , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    38%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    990/19

    What is Hope International University known for?

    Hope International University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Psychology
    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Economics
    • Literature
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  19. Tuition + fees

    $28K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1124/23

    What is John Paul the Great Catholic University known for?

    John Paul the Great Catholic University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Sociology
    REQUEST INFO
  20. #20

    Holy Names University

    Oakland , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $41K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    800/19

    What is Holy Names University known for?

    Holy Names University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Psychology
    • Social Work
    • Philosophy
    • Religious Studies
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Nursing
    • Literature
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  21. #21

    Simpson University

    Redding , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    60%

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/20

    What is Simpson University known for?

    Simpson University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Biology
    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Education
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Sociology
  22. #22

    Marymount California University

    Rancho Palos Verdes , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $37K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Marymount California University known for?

    Marymount California University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  23. #23

    San Diego Christian College

    Santee , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    50%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/20

    What is San Diego Christian College known for?

    San Diego Christian College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  24. #24

    The Master's University

    Santa Clarita , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    60%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    2K

    What is The Master's University known for?

    The Master's University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Literature
    • Communications
    • Earth Sciences
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  25. #25

    Vanguard University

    Costa Mesa , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $38K

    Acceptance

    50%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/21

    What is Vanguard University known for?

    Vanguard University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Religious Studies
    • Sociology
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Chemistry
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  26. #26

    William Jessup University

    Rocklin , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $37K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/21

    What is William Jessup University known for?

    William Jessup University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Religious Studies
    • Business
    • Biology
    • History
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Mathematics
    • Sociology
  27. Tuition + fees

    $45K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/19

    What is Mount Saint Mary's University, Los Angeles known for?

    Mount Saint Mary's University, Los Angeles’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Sociology
    • Chemistry
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  28. #28

    Fresno Pacific University

    Fresno , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1040/20

    What is Fresno Pacific University known for?

    Fresno Pacific University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Sociology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Social Work
    • Biology
    • History
    • Law
    • Religious Studies
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  29. #29

    Providence Christian College

    Pasadena , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    42%

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Providence Christian College known for?
  30. #30

    Life Pacific University

    San Dimas , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $18K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1001/17

    What is Life Pacific University known for?

    Life Pacific University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies

    Most Influential Alumni

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California’s Best Christian Colleges in Your Area of Interest

Resources for College-Bound Students

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Pepperdine University
  2. Santa Clara University
  3. University of San Francisco
  4. Notre Dame de Namur University
  5. American Jewish University
  6. Chapman University
  7. University of San Diego
  8. Loyola Marymount University
  9. Pacific Union College
  10. La Sierra University
  11. Biola University
  12. Thomas Aquinas College
  13. Westmont College
  14. Saint Mary's College of California
  15. Hope International University
  16. Concordia University Irvine
  17. John Paul the Great Catholic University
  18. Azusa Pacific University
  19. Holy Names University
  20. Point Loma Nazarene University
  21. Simpson University
  22. Marymount California University
  23. San Diego Christian College
  24. California Lutheran University
  25. The Master's University