DURHAM, N.C., Aug. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading Christian higher education resource, Christian Universities Online (http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org/), has published a ranking of the Top 10 Christian College Visual Arts Programs 2017 (http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org/top-10-christian-college-visual-arts-programs-2017/).
Union University, located in Jackson, Tennessee, with its nine degree programs in visual arts, claimed the top spot on the list. Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, came in second for its eight visual arts programs and Calvin College, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, completes the top three with its five visual arts programs.
Other schools making the list include (in alphabetical order):
Azusa Pacific University - Azusa, California
Bethel University - St. Paul, Minnesota
Cedarville University - Cedarville, Ohio
College of the Ozarks - Point Lookout, Missouri
Houghton College - Houghton, New York
Messiah College - Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Mississippi College - Clinton, Mississippi
To arrive at this ranking, Christian Universities Online used the following methodology. First, it gave consideration to schools that are members or member eligible of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). Publicly available data for these schools was then compared in the following categories: 1) number of undergraduate and graduate visual art degrees; 2) faculty-to-student ratio; 3) percent of full-time beginning undergraduates receiving grant or scholarship aid; 4) selectivity; 5) overall retention rate; and 6) overall graduation rate. Slightly higher weight was given to the number of degree programs offered by each school, while all other categories received equal weight in calculating the final ranking.
Site editor Anna-Rebekah Orr states that the goal of this ranking is to highlight Christian schools that excel in their educational offerings in the fine arts. Orr says, "Christian colleges and universities that specialize in the fine arts--whether visual, film, music, or theater--are doing the important work of training the next generation of artists to produce edifying content for the current market. Studying the fine arts within the context of a Christian community challenges students to think critically about human creativity and how creative works have the potential to be informed by faith. Prospective students who are serious about a career in the arts but want to do so within an inspiring, supportive, faith-centered context will find that this ranking points to some very solid art departments. Christian schools that are cultivating strong programs in the arts and exploring the questions of how Christians can best engage with culture offer aspiring Christian artists a unique environment in which to develop their talent. Christian Universities Online hopes that this list will help students find a program that will be the ideal fit for their needs and interests."
Christian Universities Online (http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org/) is an online resource for students and families researching Christian higher education. The site publishes rankings and reviews of the best Christian colleges and universities, information about Christian scholarships and financial aid, and many other resources for finding, getting into, and paying for a quality Christian education.
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