Tennessee’s Best Christian Colleges & Universities of 2021

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 Tennessee.

Tennessee’s Best Christian Colleges & Universities of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Tennessee

About one third of the higher learning institutes in Tennessee are public schools. Students who attend these schools can expect to pay anywhere between $4,000 to $13,000 in tuition and have the option to pursue degrees in fields such as economics, history, nursing, literature, education, and criminal justice. Tennessee’s largest public school, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, boasts some impressive alumni, including Oprah Winfrey, Kurt Vonnegut, and Cormac McCarthy. The private school alumni are equally as notable. For example, author James Patterson and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus both attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

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Tennessee also offers nearly 30 religiously affiliated schools, the largest being Belmont University in Nashville, located just blocks from the famous Music Row. Here, students can study a wide range of fields including Christian leadership, audio engineering technology, and biophysics. Additionally, Tennessee offers students several loan forgiveness programs. Math and science teachers, minority teachers, and registered nurses interested in becoming teachers or administrators who meet certain requirements may be eligible.

Tennessee is home to mouthwatering barbecues, electrified blues, and the sweeping majesty of the Smoky Mountains National Park. And with access to countless historic sites, unique museums, and lush green spaces, students attending one of the more than 60 colleges and universities in The Volunteer State will have plenty to do and see in their downtime.

Discover more about the top programs and higher education learning opportunities available in Tennessee.


What are Tennessee’s Colleges & Universities?

Tennessee’s Best Overall


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

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

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.

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


There are 22 Christian colleges and universities in Tennessee, 16 of which satisfy our criteria. The best Christian schools below consist entirely of colleges and universities that offer four-year undergraduate degrees and the following four conditions:

  1. It must self-identify as Christian.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. It must offer a broad range of bachelor degree programs.
  4. It must have a graduation rate greater than 40%.

Best Christian Colleges & Universities in Tennessee

  1. #1

    Rhodes College

    Memphis , TN
    #1097 of 3,439 Influence
    Rank
    #1162 of 3,439 Desirability
    Rank

    Tuition + fees

    $51K

    Acceptance

    51%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1325/29

    What is Rhodes College known for?

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

    • Literature
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Religious Studies
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. #1169 of 3,439 Influence
    Rank
    #1056 of 3,439 Desirability
    Rank

    Tuition + fees

    $47K

    Acceptance

    56%

    Graduation

    80%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1245/27

    What is Sewanee: The University of the South known for?

    Sewanee: The University of the South’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • Business
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Earth Sciences
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    Bryan College

    Dayton , TN
    #2569 of 3,439 Influence
    Rank
    #159 of 3,439 Desirability
    Rank

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    51%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Bryan College known for?

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

    • Education
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Religious Studies
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Literature
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4767 of 3,439 Influence
    Rank

    Tuition + fees

    $23K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Southern Adventist University known for?

    Southern Adventist University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Business
    • Law
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    REQUEST INFO
  5. #5

    Maryville College

    Maryville , TN
    #3038 of 3,439 Influence
    Rank
    #1137 of 3,439 Desirability
    Rank

    Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    45%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1141/24

    What is Maryville College known for?

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

    • Education
    • Business
    • History
    • Religious Studies
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    Carson–Newman University

    Jefferson City , TN
    #4997 of 3,439 Influence
    Rank
    #287 of 3,439 Desirability
    Rank

    Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/24

    What is Carson–Newman University known for?

    Carson–Newman University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Psychology
    • Education
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Religious Studies
    • Biology
    • Nursing
    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #7

    King University

    Bristol , TN
    #2416 of 3,439 Influence
    Rank
    #1412 of 3,439 Desirability
    Rank

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    60%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1097/22

    What is King University known for?

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

    • Education
    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Nursing
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #8

    Tusculum University

    Greeneville , TN
    #8552 of 3,439 Influence
    Rank

    Tuition + fees

    $26K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/20

    What is Tusculum University known for?

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

    • Education
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Sociology
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #9

    Lipscomb University

    Nashville , TN
    #1851 of 3,439 Influence
    Rank
    #1338 of 3,439 Desirability
    Rank

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1185/26

    What is Lipscomb University known for?

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

    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Business
    • Religious Studies
    • Medical
    • Law
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Engineering
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  10. #10

    Lee University

    Cleveland , TN
    #2408 of 3,439 Influence
    Rank
    #1378 of 3,439 Desirability
    Rank

    Tuition + fees

    $20K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1070/24

    What is Lee University known for?

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

    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    REQUEST INFO
  11. #11

    Union University

    Jackson , TN
    #2445 of 3,439 Influence
    Rank
    #1263 of 3,439 Desirability
    Rank

    Tuition + fees

    $23K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1170/26

    What is Union University known for?

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

    • Education
    • Religious Studies
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Philosophy
    • Engineering
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  12. #2905 of 3,439 Influence
    Rank
    #1298 of 3,439 Desirability
    Rank

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    50%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Christian Brothers University known for?

    Christian Brothers University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Religious Studies
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
  13. #3608 of 3,439 Influence
    Rank
    #1267 of 3,439 Desirability
    Rank

    Tuition + fees

    $27K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1179/23

    What is Trevecca Nazarene University known for?

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

    • Religious Studies
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Business
    • Physics
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  14. #9767 of 3,439 Influence
    Rank
    #1059 of 3,439 Desirability
    Rank

    Tuition + fees

    $23K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/24

    What is Freed–Hardeman University known for?

    Freed–Hardeman University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • History
    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Sociology
    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #3164 of 3,439 Influence
    Rank
    #1398 of 3,439 Desirability
    Rank

    Tuition + fees

    $26K

    Acceptance

    61%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/22

    What is Tennessee Wesleyan University known for?

    Tennessee Wesleyan University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Business
    • Sociology
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. #16

    Belmont University

    Nashville , TN
    #1895 of 3,439 Influence
    Rank
    #698 of 3,439 Desirability
    Rank

    Tuition + fees

    $37K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1225/26

    What is Belmont University known for?

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

    • Business
    • Education
    • Literature
    • History
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Communications
    • Law
    • Political Science
    • Nursing
    REQUEST INFO

Find Tennessee’s best Christian college for your major

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