Most conservative colleges in America

Published 8:40 pm Tuesday, March 28, 2023

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Most conservative colleges in America

In some conservative circles, there is a belief that the definition of inclusion on college campuses has evolved to exclude them. And some would argue that any exclusion runs counter to the notion that colleges are where divergent views should be embraced and discussed.

For some students, the way to avoid a sense of ideological dismissal is to choose to attend a conservative college. Typically religiously affiliated, conservative schools distinguish themselves through a codified sense of religious identity, strong conservative ideologies, or deep-rooted connections to conservative politicians and organizations. Some schools inherit the conservative vibe from their communities, while others are conservative on their own. Some are inherently conservative because of their professional or business-friendly nature, while others are steeped in a deeply held history of conservatism.

Stacker examined the nation’s colleges and universities and compiled a list of the 50 most conservative colleges in the United States. For this list, we consulted the research website Niche which ranked schools’ conservatism based on students’ own reviews of the schools’ campus communities. These reviews weigh the political leanings of the reviewer, whether the reviewer attends or has attended the school, and the reviewer’s opinion of it. Details on Niche’s methodology explain the site’s rankings. Survey data are accurate as of 2023.

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Read on to find out which colleges are the most conservative in the country.

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A brick education hall.

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#50. Lock Haven University

– Location: Lock Haven, Pennsylvania
– Acceptance rate: 93%
– Net price per year: $19,521
– SAT range: 930-1130
– Overall Niche grade: C

Lock Haven University is a public university falling under the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. As a public school, Lock Haven is not affiliated with a religious group; however, the campus sits in Lock Haven, a rural area with residents who mostly lean conservative.

Bauer Hall at Southeastern University.

FireKnight1935 // Wikimedia Commons

#49. Southeastern University

– Location: Lakeland, Florida
– Acceptance rate: 43%
– Net price per year: $25,987
– SAT range: 960-1170
– Overall Niche grade: B-

A private Christian university, Southeastern University first started in Alabama as Southeastern Bible Institute before relocating to Florida. It is the largest Assemblies of God school currently in operation in the United States.

A brick entrance to Troy University.

JNix // Shutterstock

#48. Troy University

– Location: Troy, Alabama
– Acceptance rate: 92%
– Net price per year: $13,257
– SAT range: 930-1090
– Overall Niche grade: B

Founded in 1887, Troy University is a public school accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It was originally founded under the Alabama State University system; however, at present, it is the flagship school in the Troy University system. The university is not affiliated with a religious group or political ideology, but it is located in a conservative-leaning suburban town.

A large stone library with a round glass window.

Trevecca Nazarene University // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Trevecca Nazarene University

– Location: Nashville, Tennessee
– Acceptance rate: 63%
– Net price per year: $16,508
– SAT range: 1040-1290
– Overall Niche grade: B

Trevecca Nazarene University is a private liberal arts college that considers itself a “Christ-centered community” where faculty and staff are “multi-denominational” and “unapologetically Christian.” Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Trevecca Nazarene University is one of 51 institutions around the world affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene.

An ornate brick historic brick building.


#46. University of Arkansas

– Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas
– Acceptance rate: 78%
– Net price per year: $16,759
– SAT range: 1090-1280
– Overall Niche grade: A-

This flagship school of the University of Arkansas System boasts the largest campus of the six affiliated colleges. The university is a land-grant institution, meaning that it is designated by the state of Arkansas to receive funding through the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890. Among the university’s traditions is Schola Cantorum, a choral ensemble that performs all around the world. It’s perhaps most well-known former teachers are former President Bill Clinton and former U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, both of whom taught law there and the latter of whom founded the university’s legal clinic. Its student body leans moderate to conservative.

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An arched iron sign to Anderson University.

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#45. Anderson University – South Carolina

– Location: Anderson, South Carolina
– Acceptance rate: 59%
– Net price per year: $21,576
– SAT range: 860-1210
– Overall Niche grade: B

A selective private school, Anderson University is affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. The school requires students to take two Bible courses to graduate: Introduction to the Bible and The Teachings of Jesus. It is also located in an area considered “very conservative.

A modern round red and white stone building.

Michael Barera // Wikimedia Commons

#44. LeTourneau University

– Location: Longview, Texas
– Acceptance rate: 56%
– Net price per year: $25,661
– SAT range: 1110-1330
– Overall Niche grade: B+

An interdenominational Christian school, LeTourneau University has distinguished itself by having both a commitment to scientific research and to biblical scholarship which works as a cohesive curriculum. The school requires nine to 12 hours of theological studies. It is also one of the few religiously based schools to offer online courses.

A historic ornate brick building with a clocktower on top in the snow.

Notorious4life (talk) (Uploads) // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Hillsdale College

– Location: Hillsdale, Michigan
– Acceptance rate: 36%
– Net price per year: $22,048
– SAT range: 1290-1470
– Overall Niche grade: A

Hillsdale College prides itself on being a private, Christian, liberal arts college that functions without any government funding. The college considers its purpose to promote “learning, character, faith, and freedom” among its students and emphasizes teaching students about the classics of Western Philosophy and the history of American political thought as part of its core curriculum. It is also located in a heavily conservative area.

A round stone university building.

rklopfer // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Franciscan University of Steubenville

– Location: Steubenville, Ohio
– Acceptance rate: 73%
– Net price per year: $25,175
– SAT range: 1070-1290
– Overall Niche grade: B

The Rev. Sean Sheridan, former president of the Franciscan University of Steubenville, resigned after it was reported that the school initially offered support to an English professor who assigned a pornographic book to his graduate course in 2018. The argument—that the assignment could help students deal with their faith by showing two sides of an issue—was silenced by later news that Sheridan’s office tried to stifle staff from speaking about the issue to the media. This reflected the attitude of the Catholic university, where the human life studies minor explores aspects of the “Culture of Death”—a concept Pope John Paul II equated with a “conspiracy against life” and “sexual irresponsibility,” a reference to LGBTQ+ sexuality.

Radford University in the snow.

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#41. Radford University

– Location: Radford, Virginia
– Acceptance rate: 79%
– Net price per year: $15,747
– SAT range: 890-1060
– Overall Niche grade: B

Founded in 1910, Radford University is a public university unaffiliated with a religious or political group. The college is located in Western Virginia, away from Virginia’s urban centers, which could help explain why some students consider the university to be a conservative college. The college’s core values, however, place it firmly in the spectrum of most liberal arts institutions.

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A red brick building with columns.

Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0 // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Wayland Baptist University

– Location: Plainview, Texas
– Acceptance rate: 81%
– Net price per year: $25,220
– SAT range: 900-1090
– Overall Niche grade: C+

Though based in Plainview, Texas, Wayland Baptist University has a total of 11 campuses spread over six states, many of which have multiple locations within a single campus, as well as extension campuses in American Samoa and Kenya. The school’s core educational values are aimed at combining environmental responsibility with “Christian distinctiveness and Baptist heritage.”

An aerial view of University of Northwestern.

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#39. University of Northwestern – St. Paul

– Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota
– Acceptance rate: 92%
– Net price per year: $23,967
– SAT range: 1110-1330
– Overall Niche grade: B-

Originally established as a bible and missionary training school in 1902, the University of Northwestern – St. Paul operates on a philosophy of unity through diversity by which “every person in the Northwestern community be accepted and valued regardless of gender, race, color, social status, ability/disability, age, ethnicity, or gifts.” This philosophy is backed by several on-campus groups, including those dedicated to Asian Student Fellowship, Latino students, and Students of Disability Appreciation. That said, students polled consider the school to lean heavily conservative overall.

The University of Alabama.

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#38. The University of Alabama

– Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
– Acceptance rate: 80%
– Net price per year: $20,518
– SAT range: 1070-1330
– Overall Niche grade: A-

Part of the University of Alabama System and founded in 1820, the University of Alabama is one of the state’s oldest public research institutes. As a public university, U of A is not affiliated with a religious or political group. Alabama is considered a conservative state, with the Center for Legislative Accountability labeling it the most conservative state government in the U.S.

The Moody Bible Institute.

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#37. Moody Bible Institute

– Location: Chicago, Illinois
– Acceptance rate: 98%
– Net price per year: $18,790
– SAT range: 990-1200
– Overall Niche grade: A-

Focused on the principles of Christian orthodoxy, Moody Bible Institute operates by a five-article Doctrinal Statement originally drafted in 1928, by which its mission is to “proclaim the Gospel through equipping people to be biblically grounded, practically trained, and to engage the world through Gospel-centered living.” The college holds that the Bible is the only authoritative guide for faith and practice, which is reflected in all of its course and degree offerings, including biblical studies and languages, applied linguistics, and a bachelor of arts in preaching.

University House at Eastern Washington University.

Ian Poellet // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Eastern Washington University

– Location: Cheney, Washington
– Acceptance rate: 79%
– Net price per year: $12,322
– SAT range: 880-1090
– Overall Niche grade: B-

This public university was founded in 1882 and has campuses in Spokane and Riverpoint. Being a public university, it has no religious or political affiliations. Cheney is a small town of around 13,000 residents that considers itself a farming community first and a college town second, where most people lean conservative.

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The University of Evansville with a vast green lawn.

Avontbone // Wikipedia

#35. University of Evansville

– Location: Evansville, Indiana
– Acceptance rate: 64%
– Net price per year: $23,212
– SAT range: 1090-1290
– Overall Niche grade: B+

This private university was founded in 1854 as Moores Hill College and is today affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Through this affiliation, the University of Evansville focuses its curriculum on holistic (or “whole person”) education to spur “intellectual, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual growth,” which the school’s mission believes “cannot be isolated from one another but must be integrated if we are to achieve our full, God-given potential.” The university also has a satellite campus in a 100-room Victorian manor in Grantham, England.

A library at Arkansas State University.

Zereshk at English Wikipedia // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Arkansas State University

– Location: Jonesboro, Arkansas
– Acceptance rate: 67%
– Net price per year: $14,275
– SAT range: 1000-1220
– Overall Niche grade: B

This public college is considered the flagship campus of the state university system in Arkansas, offering degrees in subjects ranging from accounting to teaching. Since Arkansas State is a public school, it does not have an official religious or political affiliation. Nonetheless, Arkansas is considered one of the top red states in the country, which may explain why students at this campus might feel like it’s a conservative college.

A brick building at University of Tennessee.

Benjamin Hunt // Wikimedia Commons

#33. University of Tennessee at Martin

– Location: Martin, Tennessee
– Acceptance rate: 65%
– Net price per year: $11,895
– SAT range: 975-1170
– Overall Niche grade: B

A public college and one of the five campuses of the University of Tennessee, the Martin campus finds its roots going back to 1900 when it was the Hall-Moody Institute. Now, it has over 6,800 students with multiple online offerings. Being a public college, the university is not officially affiliated with a religious or political group; however, the surrounding area is moderately conservative.

The optics building at University of Alabama.

AlabamaUSA // Wikimedia Commons

#32. The University of Alabama in Huntsville

– Location: Huntsville, Alabama
– Acceptance rate: 77%
– Net price per year: $16,990
– SAT range: 1170-1430
– Overall Niche grade: B+

This public school in Alabama offers students more than 85 graduate and undergraduate degree programs and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It is not affiliated with any religious or political groups, but it is located in Alabama, which, as a whole, is considered a conservative state.

A museum in Western New Mexico University.

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#31. Western New Mexico University

– Location: Silver City, New Mexico
– Acceptance rate: 100%
– Net price per year: $13,172
– SAT range: data unavailable
– Overall Niche grade: B-

Founded in 1893, Western New Mexico University is an applied liberal arts and sciences university. Until 1920, it was known as the Normal School of New Mexico, its focus being on supplying “the grammar schools of the territory with competent and carefully trained teachers devoted to their chosen profession and conscious of its splendid possibilities.” Three decades of the university using a new name—New Mexico State Teachers’ College—followed before the institution settled on its current moniker. To this day, degrees in education are a key part of the curriculum.

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A historic brick building with a clocktower.


#30. Auburn University

– Location: Auburn, Alabama
– Acceptance rate: 85%
– Net price per year: $24,028
– SAT range: 1150-1320
– Overall Niche grade: A

Another land-grant research school, Auburn is the second-largest university in Alabama by enrollment. Despite its size, the school has one of the lowest enrollments of Black students. As of 2022, only 4.9% of the student body was Black. A 2021 article in the New York Times by Auburn’s former student chairman of diversity posited that one cause of this limited enrollment was that tuition rose significantly in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis alongside commensurate declines in state funding. In 2017, amid mass protests, white nationalist Richard Spencer spoke at Auburn after filing a suit in federal court against the school’s refusal on First Amendment grounds.

A large sculpture of praying hands at Oral Roberts University.

4kclips // Shutterstock

#29. Oral Roberts University

– Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
– Acceptance rate: 78%
– Net price per year: $20,461
– SAT range: 980-1220
– Overall Niche grade: B+

This private evangelical university is named after Christian evangelist Oral Roberts. Oral Roberts University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education. The university is also a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, Oklahoma Independent Colleges and Universities, the Council of Independent Colleges, and the National Association of Schools of Music. According to Forbes, students at Oral Roberts University must attend biweekly chapel services and live in sex-segregated dorms.

A brick building at Susquehanna University.

Susquehanna University // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Susquehanna University

– Location: Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania
– Acceptance rate: 73%
– Net price per year: $26,597
– SAT range: 1020-1230
– Overall Niche grade: B

Founded in 1858 as the Missionary Institute of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the school was renamed Susquehanna University in 1895. Each holiday season, the university puts on a Christmas Candlelight Service featuring traditional Christian readings, songs, and prayers. It is also located in a very conservative area.

A brick science building at Taylor University.

TheSource2001 // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Taylor University

– Location: Upland, Indiana
– Acceptance rate: 70%
– Net price per year: $25,991
– SAT range: 1080-1310
– Overall Niche grade: B+

Taylor University is a private, interdenominational, evangelical Christian university. Known largely for its hospitality and leisure management programs, the school also requires all students, faculty, and staff to make a profession of faith before entering the university. Regular chapel attendance is also required, with upperclasspeople taking charge of freshpersons’ attendance and organizing “worship nights.”

The top of a historic university building.

James Casil // Shutterstock

#26. Wheaton College – Illinois

– Location: Wheaton, Illinois
– Acceptance rate: 87%
– Net price per year: $27,474
– SAT range: 1210-1450
– Overall Niche grade: A

This private evangelical college prides itself on providing students with a liberal arts education that is “deeply rooted within a Christian worldview.” The college is known for its Conservatory of Music, which seeks to provide an intellectual musical understanding “in light of a biblical perspective which describes the making of music as an act of worship and service.”

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A statue of a man at Montanta Tech.

Lyumars // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Montana Technological University

– Location: Butte, Montana
– Acceptance rate: 97%
– Net price per year: $14,618
– SAT range: 1110-1280
– Overall Niche grade: B+

Founded as the Montana State School of Mines, Montana Tech was rated by Best Accredited Colleges; it is also one of the best electrical engineering programs in the nation and has a top 20 mechanical engineering program. Among its notable alumni is Ryan Lance, CEO of ConocoPhillips, one of the largest energy companies in the world.

A brick building at George Fox University.

George Fox University // Wikimedia Commons

#24. George Fox University

– Location: Newberg, Oregon
– Acceptance rate: 91%
– Net price per year: $29,589
– SAT range: 1020-1230
– Overall Niche grade: B

This private Christian university was founded as a school for Quakers in 1891. Formerly known simply as George Fox, the school merged with Western Evangelical Seminary in 1996 and changed its name to George Fox University. In 2021, a GFU student participated in a suit filed challenging the constitutionality of Title IX religious exemption for Christian universities.

A red brick building with a round front and white columns.

James R. Martin // Shutterstock

#23. Lee University

– Location: Cleveland, Tennessee
– Acceptance rate: 83%
– Net price per year: $17,629
– SAT range: 970-1200
– Overall Niche grade: B

A part of the Appalachian College Association, Lee University is a Christ-centered, private institution that offers its students undergraduate and graduate programs both on campus and through distance learning. Lee University is committed to the “conservative, evangelical, Pentecostal religious position of its sponsoring denomination,” the Church of God International Offices in Cleveland. Part of the school’s mission statement notes “the foundational purpose of all educational programs at Lee is to develop within the students knowledge, appreciation, understanding, ability, and skills which will prepare them for responsible Christian living in a complex world.”

Abilene Christian University


#22. Abilene Christian University

– Location: Abilene, Texas
– Acceptance rate: 63%
– Net price per year: $28,725
– SAT range: 1010-1220
– Overall Niche grade: B+

Founded in 1906 as Childers Classical Institute, this university did not become known as Abilene Christian until 1976. It has a long affiliation with the Churches of Christ and currently bars employees from engaging in same-sex relationships, though the school did recognize a student LGBTQ+ organization in 2016.

Seated graduates in caps and gowns.

Anna Jurkovska // Shutterstock

#21. Maranatha Baptist University

– Location: Watertown, Wisconsin
– Acceptance rate: 80%
– Net price per year: $19,999
– SAT range: 1130-1320
– Overall Niche grade: B-

A small Baptist university in Wisconsin, Maranatha Baptist requires students under the age of 23 to live on campus unless they are living with family members. Daily church services are a part of campus life, and the university has a college conservative club—and no equivalent for liberal or progressive views.

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Students playing lawn games on campus at Evangel University.

EUP5 // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Evangel University

– Location: Springfield, Missouri
– Acceptance rate: 95%
– Net price per year: $23,219
– SAT range: 960-1200
– Overall Niche grade: B

The Assemblies of God-affiliated Evangel University is a private Christian university with a seminary on campus. It is the nation’s first Pentecostal school of arts and sciences. It is located in Springfield, Missouri which leans conservative.

Texas A&M University with flags and floral landscaping.


#19. Texas A&M University

– Location: College Station, Texas
– Acceptance rate: 63%
– Net price per year: $19,906
– SAT range: 1160-1380
– Overall Niche grade: A+

Known colloquially as Aggieland, Texas A&M boasts one of the largest enrollments of any university in the United States. The university’s main campus houses the headquarters of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, one of the biggest transportation research institutions in the world, with over 700 professional members across 38 countries. Like Evangel, Texas A&M has a tradition of Reveille—only here it is the school’s official mascot, a Shetland sheepdog known as Miss Rev.

A student looking at a frozen lake in front of Cornerstone University.

Wcbpolish // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Cornerstone University

– Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
– Acceptance rate: 87%
– Net price per year: $20,112
– SAT range: 1040-1060
– Overall Niche grade: B

A nondenominational Christian university, Cornerstone University was once the Baptist Bible Institute. Cornerstone has a seminary program on campus. However, what makes the school noteworthy is an open and public adherence to Christian ideology. It is common to see public prayer in the quad, and most school activities center around faith.

Harding University in the trees.

Valis55 // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Harding University

– Location: Searcy, Arkansas
– Acceptance rate: 55%
– Net price per year: $19,454
– SAT range: 1060-1290
– Overall Niche grade: A-

The largest private university in Arkansas, Harding University is associated with the Churches of Christ. The university requires students to attend morning chapel services and complete eight credit hours of Bible studies. Individuals of opposite genders are banned from being in the same dorm room at the same time under any circumstance, extramarital or homosexual sex is prohibited, and alcohol consumption is not allowed on campus.

A large stone Old Main building at West Texas A&M University.

Creative Commons // Wikimedia Commons

#16. West Texas A&M University

– Location: Canyon, Texas
– Acceptance rate: 58%
– Net price per year: $13,105
– SAT range: 920-1130
– Overall Niche grade: B+

Originally founded as a teachers’ college, West Texas A&M has become one of the largest public colleges in the state. Its student population is largely female with a minority enrollment of more than 40%. Despite being located in one of the most conservative states of the U.S., the university’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion offers free courses on diversity that are open to the public. Fun fact: Famed artist Georgia O’Keeffe served as the school’s art director from 1916 to 1918.

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A red brick entrance to a large white building at Dallas Baptist.

Turn685 // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Dallas Baptist University

– Location: Dallas, Texas
– Acceptance rate: 90%
– Net price per year: $26,062
– SAT range: 980-1200
– Overall Niche grade: C+

Dallas Baptist University is a Christian liberal arts university. Its bachelor’s degrees for working adults have made the school one of the most well-respected programs for working adults pursuing bachelor’s degrees in Texas. The university’s mission is to “provide Christ-centered quality higher education in the arts, sciences, and professional studies at both the undergraduate and graduate levels to traditional age and adult students in order to produce servant leaders who have the ability to integrate faith and learning through their respective callings.”

A stone building on a hill with all glass on the top floor.

Wissembourg // Wikimedia Commons

#14. University of Dallas

– Location: Irving, Texas
– Acceptance rate: 54%
– Net price per year: $27,450
– SAT range: 1130-1350
– Overall Niche grade: B+

A major Catholic university, the University of Dallas is seen as a fount of conservative cultural perspectives. William F. Buckley and Pat Buchanan are among the many conservative leaders who have spoken there. The school is also viewed as a leader in Catholic orthodoxy and tradition.

A historic brick building with a tower going to a tall point.

Sweetmoose6 // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Samford University

– Location: Birmingham, Alabama
– Acceptance rate: 84%
– Net price per year: $31,322
– SAT range: 1060-1240
– Overall Niche grade: A-

Originally known as Howard College, Samford University is a Christian college. With a divinity school on campus, Samford is a high-ranking school on the national “Best Value” charts. The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education rank it the top college in the country for student engagement.

Grove City College campus in spring.

Mark Schellhase // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Grove City College

– Location: Grove City, Pennsylvania
– Acceptance rate: 78%
– Net price per year: $22,371
– SAT range: 1130-1380
– Overall Niche grade: B-

A former teachers’ college, Grove City College is a nondenominational Christian liberal arts school. Students are required to attend at least 12 chapel services per semester, and the school is regularly affiliated with conservative and libertarian think tanks.

A round brick historic building with a green dome on top.


#11. Southern Methodist University

– Location: Dallas, Texas
– Acceptance rate: 53%
– Net price per year: $41,444
– SAT range: 1250-1450
– Overall Niche grade: A+

Though founded in 1911 by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South—now the United Methodist Church—Southern Methodist University’s long-standing connection with the church has begun to fracture. In 2019, the university amended its bylaws and articles of incorporation to take control out of the church’s hands and place it exclusively with the university’s board of trustees as a result of the church’s redoubled prohibitions against same-sex marriage and the ordination of LGBTQ+ clergy. The church sued in Dallas County court, but the court ultimately ruled in favor of the university. As of March 2023, the case is pending appeal.

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A stucco building with a terra cotta roof.

Solarisys // Shutterstock

#10. Palm Beach Atlantic University

– Location: West Palm Beach, Florida
– Acceptance rate: 92%
– Net price per year: $27,242
– SAT range: 1000-1210
– Overall Niche grade: B

A private Christian university, Palm Beach Atlantic University was founded in 1968 by the First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach. While the school is no longer affiliated with the church, students must attend chapel services 24 times a year.

Utah State University.


#9. Utah State University

– Location: Logan, Utah
– Acceptance rate: 91%
– Net price per year: $13,530
– SAT range: 1080-1320
– Overall Niche grade: B+

A public land-grant university, Utah State University is the most conservative non-religion- affiliated university on this list; however, the high population of Mormon students, the presence of the largest non-regular curriculum seminary in the United States, and the absence of Greek life on campus contribute to a conservative college atmosphere.

A lecture room.

Photographeroflife // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Biola University

– Location: La Mirada, California
– Acceptance rate: 64%
– Net price per year: $34,713
– SAT range: 1070-1290
– Overall Niche grade: B+

Biola University is an evangelical Christian university near Los Angeles. Standing for the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, Biola not only maintains four university centers—the Center for Christian Thought; the Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts; the Center for Marriage and Relationships; and the Center for the Study of the Work and Ministry of the Holy Spirit Today—but it also has a center for messianic Jewish studies in New York City. In addition, the university offers an online database for sharing videos and learning materials on academic material from a Christian perspective.

A football game with a rainbow in the background.

Ianmccor // Wikimedia Commons

#7. North Greenville University

– Location: Tigerville, South Carolina
– Acceptance rate: 65%
– Net price per year: $20,627
– SAT range: 870-1240
– Overall Niche grade: B

North Greenville University is a private Baptist university. Affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention, the university made the news in 2019 when it was ordered to pay $2.5 million in penalties for allegedly violating a ban barring schools from compensating recruiters with commissions or bonuses. The school recently launched a College of Allied Health.

Brigham Young University witha stone-lined pond in front.

marner3 // Shutterstock

#6. Brigham Young University – Idaho

– Location: Rexburg, Idaho
– Acceptance rate: 97%
– Net price per year: $6,871
– SAT range: 1000-1200
– Overall Niche grade: B

Previously known as Ricks College, Brigham Young University – Idaho adheres to the same Latter-day Saints code of conduct for its students as the original Brigham Young University. The rules include strict adherence to a dress code, no extramarital sex, and no recreational use of drugs or alcohol. Since almost all of the university’s students are members of the LDS church and all students must receive an ecclesiastical endorsement to enroll, the school maintains a religious atmosphere.

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Two students walking in front of Colorado Christian.

Ekul184 // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Colorado Christian University

– Location: Lakewood, Colorado
– Acceptance rate: 100%
– Net price per year: $25,882
– SAT range: data unavailable
– Overall Niche grade: B

Originally known as the Denver Bible Institute, the interdenominational Colorado Christian University requires traditional undergraduate students to sign a “Lifestyle Covenant.” This covenant requires students to attend church services, comply with all laws, and engage in behavior cohesive to community living. Violation of the covenant is subject to immediate suspension or expulsion.

A pond in front of Cedarville University.

The Wu’s Photo Land // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Cedarville University

– Location: Cedarville, Ohio
– Acceptance rate: 59%
– Net price per year: $24,965
– SAT range: 1110-1350
– Overall Niche grade: A-

A private Baptist university in Ohio, Cedarville University distinguishes itself by requiring all students to take a 15-credit-hour minor in Bible studies, as well as attend weekday church services. The university’s academic freedom policy strictly controls the media, literature, and art used in classrooms and on campus, which has led some to call the rules censorship.

The entrance to Bob Jones University.

John Foxe // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Bob Jones University

– Location: Greenville, South Carolina
– Acceptance rate: 100%
– Net price per year: $15,669
– SAT range: 960-1180
– Overall Niche grade: B+

Founded by evangelist Bob Jones Sr. in the 1920s during the Presbyterian Church’s Fundamentalist-Modernist schism, Bob Jones University was created specifically to combat secularism in higher education. A traditionally conservative school, the university has spawned controversy by embracing accreditation only recently, having an interracial dating ban as late as 2000, previously supporting racial segregation, and actively engaging in Republican politics. Possession of pornography, alcohol, or drugs, or demonstrating for a cause the university does not support are all grounds for expulsion.

An aerial view of Liberty University.

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#2. Liberty University

– Location: Lynchburg, Virginia
– Acceptance rate: 50%
– Net price per year: $28,762
– SAT range: 1040-1250
– Overall Niche grade: A-

The evangelical Christian university Liberty University was co-founded by Southern Baptist evangelist-turned-political-advocate Jerry Falwell. First-year students are required to take three Bible studies courses, and the university’s honor code prohibits premarital sex and interactions between members of the opposite sex in private. The university is also known for teaching creationism alongside evolutionary biology and for having strong anti-LGBTQ+ policies.

The entrance sign to Brigham Young.

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#1. Brigham Young University

– Location: Provo, Utah
– Acceptance rate: 69%
– Net price per year: $13,150
– SAT range: 1200-1410
– Overall Niche grade: A

Fully owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Brigham Young University is known for its strict honor code, prohibiting extramarital sex, profanity, tobacco, caffeine, tea, alcohol, and recreational drugs. The school also mandates courses in Bible studies, LDS scripture and doctrine, and church history.

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