Christians make up a much larger segment of the college student population than you may think. According to figures from the Pew Research Center, approximately two-thirds of all college graduates self-identify as Christian. Apart from their shared faith, however, Christian college students are just like any others. They all have different interests, life goals, and backgrounds. And many can use a helping hand paying for college and finding their footing once they get there.
That’s where this guide comes in. Below you’ll find plenty of useful financial aid and other college resources geared toward helping Christian students successfully navigate college life and lay a solid foundation for launching their professional careers. We’ve included with these resources a list of great scholarship programs tailored specifically for Christians, including those who want to join the healthcare and medical field.
Scholarships & Financial Aid for Christian Students
With the exception of buying a home, college is likely the single biggest financial expense an individual will ever take on. So, what can you do to cut your college expenses and eliminate some of that debt? One of the best ways is to pursue one or more scholarships or grants.
Compared to other types of financial aid, scholarships and grants are particularly attractive because they’re essentially “free money.” While they can be incredibly competitive, winning an award or two can put a small dent – sometimes a big dent – in your overall education costs. We’ve listed some good examples below of scholarships designed for Christian students pursuing healthcare studies and other academic tracks.
American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS)
Applicant must be a full-time undergraduate or graduate student (with a GPA of 2.75 or better) at a four-year college or university located in the U.S. or Puerto Rico. Applicant must also hold an active membership in an American Baptist church.
How to Apply
Follow the link on the scholarship website to request an application.
Baptist Life Association
Available to full-time undergraduate and graduate students who are insured through the Baptist Life Association, or one of its affiliates, for at least two year prior to applying. Awards are based on academic achievement, financial need, and the applicant’s goals and ambitions.
How to Apply
Follow the link on the scholarship webpage to download the application. Application requirements include academic transcripts and proof of financial need.
Christian Missionary Scholarship Foundation
Open to the children of missionaries recently returned from or currently in the mission field who have made significant financial sacrifices in serving the Lord. Applicants must be enrolled in one of the seven colleges listed on the scholarship website.
How to Apply
Follow the contact link on the website to receive application information.
Foundation for College Christian Leaders
Open to entering or current undergraduate students with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Christian testimony and verifiable Christian leadership is also required. Applicant’s primary residence or attending college must be in California, Washington, or Oregon.
How to Apply
Download the necessary application forms linked on the scholarship webpage.
The General Board of Higher Education & Ministry/United Methodist Church
$500 to $1,000 (undergraduate); $500 to $2,000 (graduate)
Applicant must be a full-time student (2.5 GPA or higher) pursuing a degree program at an accredited institution in the U.S. Applicant must additionally be an active, full member of The United Methodist Church for at least one year.
How to Apply
Click on the “Apply Now” link on the scholarship webpage and follow the instructions.
Medical and Health Scholarships
American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE)
For healthcare management graduate students with financial need. One scholarship requires applicant to be in final year of studies, one is open exclusively to minority students.
How to Apply
Follow the online application link on each scholarship’s webpage. Application requirements include a current resume/CV, undergraduate and graduate transcripts, an application essay, and three letters of recommendation.
Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO)
Open to students in their third year of undergraduate studies (with a 3.0 or higher GPA) demonstrating a desire for a career in the field of foods, drugs, or consumer public safety. Demonstrated leadership capabilities required.
How to Apply
Follow the application link on the scholarship webpage. Application requirements include a complete college transcript and two letters of recommendation.
American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
$1,000 to $2,500 (varies by degree level)
Eligibility requirements vary by specific scholarship. Scholarships awarded on associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels to students pursuing degrees in the health information management field. All applicants must be AHIMA members.
How to Apply
Follow the application instructions on the scholarship website. Application requirements include evidence of program enrollment, resume, and two letters of recommendation.
American Medical Technologists (AMT)
Open to high school seniors and graduates (or GED holders), and students currently enrolled at a college or university. Applicant’s course of study must lead to a career in an AMT-certified discipline.
How to Apply
Follow the online application link on the scholarship webpage.
American Psychological Association (APA)
Applicant must be a graduate student or licensed psychologist enrolled in a clinical psychology program.
How to Apply
Follow the online application link on the scholarship website. Application requirements include a current resume or CV, academic transcript, two letters of recommendation, and statement on how the applicant fills the purpose of the scholarship.
5 Keys to Landing Your Scholarship as a Christian Student
Finding scholarships is one thing, but winning them is another. Whether they’re need-based or merit-based, the one thing most scholarships have in common, is that they’re highly competitive, meaning there will likely be lots of applicants vying to win each one. To be the selected recipient, you’ll have to find a way to stand out from your competitors. Here are a few tips to help you do that:
- Key #1: Start early and plan ahead.
Some scholarship programs have early application deadlines and many have lots of submission requirements. The earlier you get started, the more likely you’ll get all of your ducks in a row long before the submission deadline. Remember, the closer you get to the deadline, the more likely you’ll make a mistake. And when it comes to scholarship applications, mistakes are usually fatal.
- Key #2: Play to your strengths:
Always check the award criteria carefully. Some are awarded strictly on academic achievements. Some place special importance on extracurricular activities or community service. Others award solely on the writing quality of a required essay. What you want to do is find those scholarships with criteria that play to your unique strengths and go for them.
- Key #3: Pick who writes your letters of recommendation carefully.
Almost every scholarship program requires submitting one or more letters of recommendation. Aim to impress with your letter writers. You want them to speak glowingly about you. Also, if you know someone of particular renown in your chosen field, use them. There’s a good chance the scholarship committee will know about them, as well.
- Key #4: Go over your application with a fine-tooth comb.
Nothing will sink your chances of winning a scholarship quicker than misspelled words and poor grammar. So, write and rewrite your essay. Then find an English major to proofread it. Actually, have them read everything you’re submitting. Pay them if you have to. It’s worth it.
- Key #5: Don’t miss deadlines.
Above everything else, remember this: Get your application in late, even by a day, even by an hour… and you’ve missed your shot.
College Resources for Christian Students
As we said, the purpose of this guide is to provide Christian students with a range of practical resources for college success. But just exactly what kinds of resources are we talking about? We mentioned scholarships already, but there are lots of others, including academic and career programs, social and networking groups, and educational and professional organizations. Some are specific to Christian students, some to health care majors, and even a few specific to both.
Academic & Career
- Christ Community Health Gap & Summer Internships
Christ Community Health is a nonprofit organization located in Augusta, Georgia that provides primary health and dental care to uninsured and underserved patients in their area. CCH offers one-year internships to students taking a gap year prior to starting their studies at a health profession (physician assistant, public health, medical) school. Additionally, CCH offers one-week and four-week summer internships for Christian students that provide experience in a variety of practice-related skills.
- Christian Health Care Center (CHCC) Undergraduate Summer Internship Program
The CHCC is a nonprofit organization that offers short-term rehabilitation, senior living, and mental-health services to seniors. The CHCC’s summer internship program offers six-week, non-clinical internships in various departments to students currently enrolled in full-time four-year undergraduate degree programs at a college or university.
- Christian Union
The vision of Christian Union is to develop Christian leaders by connecting with students on a number of the most prestigious college campuses in the U.S., including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, and many others. Services available include a mentorship program that connects Christian students and young professionals with experienced leaders in a range of businesses and professions.
- Global Medial Missions Alliance (GMMA)
The GMMA is an international association of current and future Christian health care professionals ministering through a range of activities, including conferences, partnerships with mission organizations, local and global outreach, and student networking opportunities. Student-focused services include sponsorship of regional chapters on campuses throughout the U.S. and Canada, and mentorship programs that pair students with active, retired and semi-retired professionals in the medical field.
- InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA
The InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is an interdenominational evangelical Christian nonprofit organization that ministers on college and university campuses across the U.S. InterVarsity activities include Bible study groups, and undergraduate, graduate, and faculty ministry groups. InterVarsity’s Urbana Student Missions Conference is held every three years, drawing thousands of Christian college students and others for worship meetings, seminars, and social networking events.
Social & Networking
- Chi Alpha
Sponsored by the Assemblies of God, Chi Alpha is an interdenominational Christian fellowship with affiliate ministries on over 300 campuses throughout the U.S. and around the world. You can access Chi Alpha through the website link above or via the Chi Alpha Facebook page.
- Fellowship of Christian Unity Students (FOCUS)
FOCUS is a faith-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit multidenominational ministry group located on eight college and university campuses in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, area. Activities include on-campus and live streaming meetings, and annual events, including its Winter Camp. You can access FOCUS through the website linked here or through its Facebook group page.
GodTube is a Christian video sharing site with exclusive partnerships with a number of content providers, including the Universal Music Group, the Provident Label Group, and the Dream Label Group. GodTube content includes daily devotionals, workshop and ministry videos, music, comedians, and more.
- Life is a Dare
Life is a Dare is the blog site Rebecca Danielle Lindenbach, a psychology graduate student from Ottawa, Canada. The blog contains entries under several topic headings, including faith, relationships, lifestyle, and college life.
myPraize bills itself as the “internet’s first and largest Christian Social Network”. myPraize provides photos, videos, songs, and counseling to visitors in need. You can visit myPraize at its website or via its Facebook page.
Advocacy & Diversity
- Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS)
CAPS is a nonprofit professional association of Christian psychologists, marriage and family therapists, counselors, researchers, social workers, and pastors, as well as psychology students and professionals in training. Its purpose is to encourage the consideration of therapeutic, research, theological, and theoretical issues through its publications, conferences, and other services.
- Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA)
Consisting of the Christian Medical Association and Christian Dental Association, the CMDA provides a public voice in healthcare from the Christian perspective. The CDMA resources include education and networking opportunities for Christian medical and dental students and professionals.
- Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International (CPFI)
The CPFI is a professional organization and worldwide Christian ministry association of pharmaceutical professionals and students whose mission is to serve Christ and the world through pharmacy. The CPFI sponsors a variety of services and outreach activities, an annual global health conference, mission projects, and student leadership opportunities through its National Student Council and regional student chapters.
- Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU)
The CCCU is an association of more than 180 higher education institutions throughout the world, including over 150 in the U.S. and Canada. Its mission is to support and advocate for Christ-centered education providing a unified voice for the contributions of its members for the common good. Among the features of the CCU website is its Career Center that lists job and internship opportunities for students and employers alike.
- Nursing Christian Fellowship (NCF)
Sponsored by InterVarsity Fellowship/USA, the NCF is a professional organization whose purpose is to establish and advance witnessing communities among practicing nurses and nursing students. The NCF sponsors Student Ministry Chapters on college campuses with the goals of helping students integrate their faith into their nursing and empower them to share their faith with faculty and other students.
- Khan Academy – Health and Medicine
The Khan Academy provides a wealth of academic resources for students on all educational levels on practically any subject you can think of, including articles, videos, practice exercises, and more. College health care students will find literally hundreds of individual resources on virtually every health care topic, all available free of charge.
- MERLOT Materials – Health Sciences
MERLOT Health Sciences Materials collection offers hundreds of resources of every kind covering practically every discipline in the health care field. A program of the California State University System in partnership with industry, professional societies, and educational institutions.
- NCBSN Nursing Resources
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing’s Resources webpage offers dozens of excellent books, articles, videos, online courses, and links to additional resources, all aimed at supporting nursing education and academic and career success.
- NIH National Library of Medicine
A resource from the National Institutes of Health, the NIH National Library of Medicine bills itself as the world’s largest biomedical library. Site visitors will find an almost endless supply of health care related books, articles, journals, clinical studies, and much more.
- Open Textbook Library – Medicine
The Open Textbook Library site provides online access to peer-reviewed, openly-licensed textbooks covering practically all college major subjects Health care subjects can be accessed via the webpage linked here.