Top 25 Religiously Affiliated Colleges | 2023 Rankings

Top colleges with religious affiliations 2023.The United States is a melting pot of different cultures and religions, and for many, religion is an important part of their life. Hundreds of universities and colleges across the United States were founded with religious affiliation, and many have held onto those roots. They have the ethics and belief system of their religion built into available programs, student organizations, and daily life. They combine those religious roots with a top-notch education.

Topping this year’s list are Duke, Notre Dame, and Georgetown. But make sure to view the full list as some schools that might surprise you! Interested in attending religiously affiliated colleges or universities? Make sure to use our College Match Tool to find the right school for you.

See the best religiously affiliated colleges here!

Top 25 Best Top Religiously Affiliated Colleges

Methodists and Quakers founded Duke University in 1838. The school has produced 50 Rhodes Scholars, 3 Turing Award winners, and 15 Noble laureates. Known as the Blue Devils, the university’s colors are Duke blue and white. The top majors among students include Econometrics, Computer Science, Public Policy Analysis, Biology, and Nursing.
Location Durham, NC
Religious Affiliation United Methodist
Student Enrollment 16,172
Edward Sorin founded the University of Notre Dame in 1842 as a private Catholic research University. Their motto is, “Vita Dulcedo Spes” or “Life, Sweetness, Hope” – referencing the Virgin Mary. The school’s teams are known as the Fighting Irish and wear the colors blue and gold. Their mascot is the very iconic leprechaun. Currently, just over 12,800 students attend.
Location Notre Dame, IN
Religious Affiliation Roman Catholic
Student Enrollment 12,809
A private Jesuit research university, Georgetown University was founded as the Georgetown College in 1789 by Bishop John Carroll. It’s the oldest Catholic institution of higher education in the country and offers 48 different programs. Past graduates include Bill Clinton, Lyndon B. Johnson, senators, representatives, and other leading politicians.
Location Washington, DC
Religious Affiliation Roman Catholic
Student Enrollment 19,371
Hillsdale’s motto is “Virtus Tentamine Gaudet” or “Strength Rejoices in the Challenge.” The school has a 97% first year retention rate and a 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio. All students who attend are required to take courses on the “Great Books,” the United States Constitution, and Science courses. 78% of students will graduate within 6 years.
Location Hillsdale, MI
Religious Affiliation Undenominational
Student Enrollment 1,543
Emory University receives over 28,000 applications annually and has an acceptance rate of just over 19%. It has a 93% first year retention rate, 82% four-year graduation rate, and a 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio. There are nine academic divisions in this school including Emory College of Arts and Sciences, Laney Graduate School, Rollins School of Public Health, and others.
Location Atlanta, GA
Religious Affiliation United Methodist
Student Enrollment 13,997
Boston College is a private Jesuit research university. Αἰὲν ἀριστεύειν, or “Ever to Excel,” is the school’s motto. Their athletic teams are known as the Eagles, with a mascot known as Baldwin the Eagle, and they wear maroon and gold. Past students have included John F. Kerry, Leonard Nimoy, Chris O’Donnell, and Amy Poehler.
Location Chestnut Hill, MA
Religious Affiliation Roman Catholic
Student Enrollment 14,934
Davidson College was founded in 1837 and already started trying to reduce the cost of college for students by the 1850’s. Today, the school meets the financial needs of students through grants, student employment, and more, and doesn’t require their students to take out loans. 20% of applicants are accepted. Davidson has a 93% first year retention rate.
Location Davidson, NC
Religious Affiliation Presbyterian Church (USA)
Student Enrollment 1,983
Villanova University is the oldest Catholic university in Pennsylvania. It’s also the only Augustinian university in the country. The school still has deep religious roots and the administration is led by priests. Their motto is “Veritas, Unitas, Caritas” or “Truth, Unity, Charity.” Jill Biden and Howie Long are two famous alumni who have attended Villanova.
Location Villanova, PA
Religious Affiliation Roman Catholic
Student Enrollment 11,032
Originally opening in 1851, it is actually the oldest operating institution of higher learning in the state. Athletes at Santa Clara are known as the Broncos where they compete in the West Coast Conference. Former Broncos have gone on to play in the NBA, NFL, and MLB and have won at least 13 Olympic gold medals.
Location Santa Clara, CA
Religious Affiliation Roman Catholic
Student Enrollment 8,616
Exclusively for undergraduates, Macalester College has an acceptance rate of around 39%. They have a relatively low student to faculty ratio (10 to 1) and a 90% first year retention rate. Although the school is located in Minnesota, many students also come from California, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Macalester’s campus is located near the mighty Mississippi River.
Location St. Paul, MN
Religious Affiliation Presbyterian Church (USA)
Student Enrollment 2,049
The College of the Holy Cross has a 37.9% acceptance rate, 89% first year retention rate, and an impressive 90% four-year graduation rate. It is the oldest Catholic college in New England. Today, it’s a part of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. Athletes are known as the Crusaders (who are also their mascot) and they wear Royal purple and white.
Location Worcester, MA
Religious Affiliation Roman Catholic
Student Enrollment 2,970
Lafayette College is known as a Hidden Ivy and a Little Ivy. Although the college is based in Pennsylvania, there is a small satellite campus in New York City. The school is named after General Lafayette, a hero of the American Revolution. Lafayette’s campus is located on the historic Delaware River.
Location Easton, PA
Religious Affiliation Presbyterian Church (USA)
Student Enrollment 2,514
Grove City College is an undemoninational college located in Grave City, PA. The school has a high acceptance rate of 77.6% and they receive around 1,600 applications annually. Over half the students that attend are from Pennsylvania, and another majority come from surrounding states. With an 87% first year retention rate, 80% of students will graduate in 4 years.
Location Grove City, PA
Religious Affiliation Undenominational
Student Enrollment 2,277
Also known as SMU, the Southern Methodist University receives over 14,000 applications per year and accepts about 53% of them. Only 39.5% of first-year students come from Texas; others come from Florida, New York, and California to attend. Additionally, 90% of those first-years continue their education at SMU.
Location Dallas, TX
Religious Affiliation United Methodist
Student Enrollment 12,373
A large Roman Catholic college located in the Bronx, Fordham University has over 9,000 undergraduates and just under 7,000 graduate students. The school attracts students from all over the country and offers distanced learning. Business Administration and Management and Finance are the most popular majors.
Location Bronx, NY
Religious Affiliation Roman Catholic
Student Enrollment 16,364
Wheaton College was founded by evangelical abolitionists in 1860 and would become a stop on the Underground Railroad. Business is by far the most popular major at the school. Athletic teams are known as The Thunder. They wear blue and orange and compete in the NCAA Division III in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin.
Location Wheaton, IL
Religious Affiliation Undenominational
Student Enrollment 2,908
A private Ivy League research university, Dartmouth was founded before the Declaration of Independence was signed. Three famous alumni were Daniel Webster, Robert Frost, and Thaddeus Stevens. The school also graduated several members of the Senate and House of Representatives in the United States, Nobel Prize laureates, and more.
Location Fairfield, CT
Religious Affiliation Roman Catholic
Student Enrollment 5,513
Centre College’s motto is “Doctrina Lux Mentis,” or “Learning is the Light of the Mind.” The college accepts over 72% of applicants and 82% will graduate within 4 years. The highest degree offered is the bachelor’s, so you’ll only find undergraduate students on campus. Centre College does not charge an application fee for any students interested in attending.
Location Danville, KY
Religious Affiliation Presbyterian Church (USA)
Student Enrollment 1,333
Founded by Norwegian-American immigrant pastors and farmers, the campus has actually been visited by King Olav and King Harald V. Their mascot is named St. Olaf College accepts only 50.8% of students, with many going on to major in Biology, Economics, Mathematics, and Research and Experimental Psychology.
Location Northfield, MN
Religious Affiliation American Evangelical Lutheran Church
Student Enrollment 2,953
Providence College is affiliated with the Roman Catholic church. It was founded in 1917 and was also a founding member of the original Big East Conference. The college offers over 45 undergraduate majors to students, and many will go on to major in Finance, Marketing, Biology, Business Administration and Management, and Accounting.
Location Providence, RI
Religious Affiliation Roman Catholic
Student Enrollment 4,821
Also known simply as JTS, the seminary accepts about 58.3% of students who apply. Its main building is located along the Hudson River. There are more graduate students at JTS than undergraduates, at 63% and 37% respectively. Though many alumni have gone onto careers in theology, many have also had notable careers in music, academia, and politics.
Location New York, NY
Religious Affiliation Jewish
Student Enrollment 360
Did you know that only 2% of the students at Rhodes College study at the graduate level? The student body is primarily undergraduate. The school has an acceptance rate just over 51%. “Truth, Loyalty, Service” is the motto of Rhodes. Red and black are the colors for the Lynx sports teams, who compete in events like lacrosse, soccer, tennis, and track.
Location Memphis, TN
Religious Affiliation Presbyterian Church (USA)
Student Enrollment 1,875
Trinity College has over 41 majors available to students with a large number choosing either Political Science and Government or Economics. Originally known as Washington College in 1825, it would be renamed to its current name 20 years later. Over 50% of students receive institutional aid from Trinity and the school has a 90% first year retention rate. Associated with the Presbyterian church, the school’s Latin motto “E Tribus Unum” means “From three, one.”
Location San Antonio, TX
Religious Affiliation Presbyterian Church (USA)
Student Enrollment 2,677
Thomas Aquinas College is an extremely small liberal arts college in California. The only major the school offers is Liberal Arts and Sciences. The college has a 93% first year retention rate, 80% four-year graduation rate, and an 11:1 student to faculty ratio. Thomas Aquinas College’s motto is “Fides Quaerens Intellectum” or “Faith Seeking Understanding.”
Location Santa Paula, CA
Religious Affiliation Roman Catholic
Student Enrollment 462
Muhlenberg College is a midsize private, liberal arts college about an hour and half north of Philidelphia. Over 70% of students who attend this Lutheran college come from three states - Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. 77% of students will graduate in four years.
Location Allentown, PA
Religious Affiliation American Evangelical Lutheran Church
Student Enrollment 2,067

Methodology

Colleges are ranked based on a combination of factors, including graduation rates, campus diversity, endowment per student, and other data as reported via the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for the most recently-available enrollment year. Some colleges may have been excluded from rankings based on certain criteria, including specialization and classification. Learn about our full methodology.

Interested in any of these schools? Check out College Raptor’s free match tool to see if they’re a good fit for you!

Advertisements

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.