The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is an institution that promotes athletics as an integral component of academic learning. There are approximately 300 NAIA member colleges nationwide, out of which 23 are in California. Students enrolled in an NAIA college have the opportunity to study in small classes and receive individualized attention from faculty. NAIA student athletes participate in 23 championships and 13 sports including baseball, golf, football, soccer and football.

California Baptist University

Founded in 1950, California Baptist University is located in Riverside, and is a private Christian college. In 2010, the university's baseball team received NAIA's Gold Glove team player award. The athletics department at the university includes aquatics, baseball, basketball, cross-country and wrestling.

In addition to offering a variety of programs in Christian studies, students can enroll in undergraduate or graduate fields like behavioral science, nursing, public administration and history. Students who wish to specialize in athletics can major in kinesiology and sports managements.

The Master of Science in athletic training is the only degree program that is offered in California, and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The course prepares students for work in a variety of athletic fields as certified athletic trainers.

California Baptist University 8432 Magnolia Avenue Riverside, CA 92504 877-CBU-3615

California State University Maritime

California State University Maritime (Cal Maritime) is located in Vallejo, and is one of just seven national degree-granting maritime academies. The university is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

In addition to providing maritime degrees, students can also enroll in international business, engineering technology and global studies. All programs are offered at the bachelor's degree level. In 2010, "U.S. News & World Report" ranked Cal Maritime one of the best colleges in the nation. The athletics department consists of sports like rugby, basketball, sailing and water polo.

Cal State University Maritime 200 Maritime Academy Drive Vallejo, CA 94590 707-654-1000

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Concordia University

Concordia University was founded in 1955 and provides a liberal arts education based on the Lutheran tradition. The university offers undergraduate programs in art, history, mathematics, business administration and communication. Graduate studies include coaching and athletic administration, education, business administration and theology.

In addition to enrolling in traditional programs, the adult education program offers accelerated degree courses; students typically can complete their course work within 16 months. The athletic training department consists of basketball, cross-country, track and field and swimming.

Concordia University 1530 Concordia West Irvine, CA 92612 800-229-1200

About the Author

Selam Nuri has been writing academic articles and working across the curriculum since 2001. She has been published online at various websites and earned her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology in 2006 from the City University of New York.