Higher education is expensive and may seem overwhelming to students interested in earning a degree from a Bible college, which may lead to careers with lower salaries. Some Bible colleges strive to provide a faith-based education while keeping tuition costs at a minimum.

Harding University

Harding University, located in Searcy, Arkansas, is a faith-based private university offering bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in more than 100 areas of study.

Harding offers free tuition to those seeking a Bachelor of Ministry degree if the student is 24 years or older, an active member of the Church of Christ and has a “heart” for ministry.

The college is affiliated with the Church of Christ and has more than 6,300 students. "Princeton Review" ranks Harding University in its top 146 schools.

Harding University 915 E. Market Ave. Searcy, Arkansas, 72143 501-279-4000 harding.edu

Lancaster Bible College

Lancaster Bible College (LBC), founded in 1933, offers one-year Bible certificate programs, an associate's program, bachelor's and master's degree programs in a variety of studies. All curricula integrate Bible and theological studies with professional majors. Lancaster Bible College has more than 1,100 students.

Tuition is cheaper at Lancaster Bible College when compared to other accredited colleges at under $16,000 a year for the 2010/11 school year. The average scholarship awarded by Lancaster Bible College was $5,200 in the same year. The financial aid office helps students apply for state and federal grants, further reducing costs.

LBC is a nondenominational college.

Lancaster Bible College & Graduate School 901 Eden Road Lancaster, PA 17601 717-569-7071 lbc.edu

West Coast Bible College and Seminary

West Coast Bible College and Seminary offers 11 different bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in ministry, counseling and worship studies from its Internet-based campus. The college offers low tuition and the option to pay for each class as it is taken.

Tuition for bachelors-level classes as of 2010 is $75 per class, masters-level classes are $100 and doctorate level classes are $125 per class. Students also pay a $50 registration fee, $100 graduation fee and for required books.

West Coast Bible College keeps costs low by not having a traditional campus, therefore reducing the costs of maintaining buildings. All courses are offered online and are self-paced. Students can apply at any time of the year.

The college is affiliated with Casa do Oleiro Ministries in Brazil.

West Coast Bible College & Seminary www.westcoastbible.org

Considerations

When choosing a Bible college, it is important to consider your goals. Fully accredited programs may be more expensive, but their financial aid offices can offer scholarships and grants to lower your costs. Degrees from these colleges will transfer credits to other secular schools for advanced degrees or qualify the graduate to teach at a public school. Nonaccredited programs have lower tuition costs, but may not qualify a graduate to teach at a public school. Graduates from these bargain-priced private colleges can earn a degree in ministry to deepen their faith and become top-notch ministers or counselors.

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About the Author

Alice Drinkworth has been a writer and journalist since 1995. She has written for community newspapers, college magazines and Salon.com. Drinkworth earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Wisconsin and won a media award for her in-depth coverage of local politics. She is also a certified master gardener.