American colleges and universities may be liberal strongholds for the most part, but there are some outstanding institutions of higher learning that still cater to conservative values.
Some are religious, some secular, but all of the schools on this list have demonstrated a commitment to conservatism, either through their original mission statements, their curriculums, volunteer and work opportunities, or on-campus activities available to students.
To help young people find a top-notch education at an institution that resonates with their principles, Newsmax — with the help of TheBestSchools.org
, the Young America's Foundation
, and other resources — has compiled a list of the 40 best colleges and universities for conservative values.
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1. Hillsdale College
— Located in Hillsdale, Michigan, the college is a coeducational liberal arts college that provides classes such as Western heritage and American heritage and includes the Kirby Center, based in Washington, D.C., which helps students find placement for government internships. It was founded in 1844 and has about 1,400 students.
2. Christendom College
— Located in Front Royal, Virginia, this Catholic college, with about 550 students, was founded in 1977 and offers seven undergraduate majors and a master's degree program in theological studies.
3. Grove City College
— Located in Grove City, Pennsylvania, it is a private liberal arts college with about 2,500 students established in 1876. Its website states: "The College unapologetically advocates preservation of America's religious, political, and economic heritage of individual freedom and responsibility."
4. College of the Ozarks
— All 1,400 students at this Missouri college work 15 hours per week in lieu of paying tuition, earning the college its nickname of "Hard Work U." The Christian, liberal arts college offers 41 majors and 38 minors, as well as pre-professional courses, and prides itself on offering a "patriotic education," stating it wants to "encourage an understanding of American heritage, civic responsibility, love of country, and willingness to defend it."
5. Biola University
— A private, Christian university located in La Mirada, California, this school has more than 6,000 students and 40 major fields of study.
6. Colorado Christian University
— Located in Lakewood, Colorado, this school has about 1,000 students, as well as 3,500 adult and graduate students, and is dedicated to "traditional family values, sanctity of life, compassion for the poor, Biblical view of human nature, limited government, personal freedom, free markets, natural law, original intent of the Constitution, and Western civilization."
7. University of Dallas
— Located in Irving, Texas, this Catholic university was founded in 1956 and, today, offers 30 undergraduate majors, 30 master's programs, four doctoral programs, and 10 graduate certificate programs.
8. Franciscan University of Steubenville
— Located in Steubenville, Ohio, the school notes that it is "Academically Excellent, Passionately Catholic." Founded in 1946, the university has more than 2,000 undergraduate and 650 graduate students, and many professors who are distinguished conservative authors. Its Institute of Bioethics grapples with issues such as abortion, euthanasia, and other social ethical questions.
9. Liberty University
— Founded in 1971 by the Rev. Jerry Falwell and located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University has 14,500 resident students and another 95,000 online pupils. The Christian school offers more than 522 degree programs and is the largest Christian university in the world.
10. Harding University
— Located in Searcy, Arkansas, it has 7,100 students in more than 100 majors and 20 graduate and professional degrees. All students sign a moral code. Past speakers at the university have included former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, William F. Buckley, Jr., President George W. Bush, and conservative broadcaster Sean Hannity at its American Studies Institute.
11. Houston Baptist University
— A Christian liberal arts college in Houston, Texas, affiliated with the Baptist Church, it was founded in 1960 and has more than 2,000 students. It includes a College Republicans organization.
12. Brigham Young University
— Established by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Mormons, BYU is the largest religious university in the U.S. More than 29,000 students adhere to BYU's insistence on no alcohol, tobacco, coffee, drugs, or pre-marital sex, and they also follow a strict dress code.
13. Regent University
— A conservative and interdenominational Christian school located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, it was founded by the Rev. Pat Robertson in 1977 as the Christian Broadcasting Network University and underwent a name change in 1990. Today, it boasts more than 6,000 students in 70 courses of study ranging from associate to doctoral degrees.
14. Ohio Christian University
— Located in Circleville, Ohio, the university was founded in 1948 to train ministers for the Churches of Christ in Christian Union, but since then has expanded to a fully accredited university with more than 4,000 students, including 500 residential students, studying, through master's degree level, in business, government and public service, criminal justice, disaster management, education, human services, ministry, music, nursing, and social sciences.
15. Patrick Henry College
— The Virginia school's motto, "For Christ and for Liberty," underlines its commitment to a conservative, Christian education. Its 400 students engage in post-graduate internships in government, media, and other spheres in order to build hands-on, real-world experience on top of academic achievement.
16. Saint Vincent College
— A Catholic university located in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, St. Vincent combines liberal arts and science education with community service. For example, 12 students each year travel to India to work with Mother Teresa's Calcutta ministry. The school has about 1,800 students in nearly 50 undergraduate and 50 post-graduate programs.
17. The King's College
— Located in New York City, its website states, "We prepare principled leaders." The institution emphasizes western civilization, writing, politics, philosophy, and economics in its curriculum, taught by leading conservative authors and educators
18. Thomas Aquinas College
— A Catholic college located in Santa Paula, California, Thomas Aquinas has about 350 students, and concentrates on the "great books" of western civilization, resulting in bachelor of arts degrees. About 11 percent of the college's students go on to religious careers.
19. Thomas More College of Liberal Arts
— Located in Merrimack, New Hampshire, Thomas More is a small Catholic college with only about 100 students, but 75 percent of them graduate, as compared to the nationwide average of just 47 percent for five-year completion
. It offers a bachelor of arts degree in liberal arts.
20. Ave Maria University
— Based in Ave Maria, Florida, this private Catholic university offers 12 undergraduate degrees, with an emphasis on Catholic teaching, and is considered socially conservative, with nearly 30 available major fields of study. It has 1,200 students.
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21. Pepperdine University
— With all students required to take classes in Western heritage, religion, and the American experience, Pepperdine certainly qualifies as a conservative institution. Located in Malibu, California, the university has 7,632 students and is affiliated with the Churches of Christ, though it is nondenominational. Campus clubs include Young Republicans and Young Libertarians.
22. Wisconsin Lutheran College
— Located in Milwaukee, the college hosts 785 students in 30 undergraduate study programs, with courses taught from a Christian perspective. Forbes and U.S. News and World Report have ranked it
among America's best colleges and it attracts nationally known conservative speakers to address its more than 1,100 students.
23. Hampden-Sydney College
— In Hampden Sydney, Virginia, this school is the oldest private charter institution in the southern U.S., founded in 1775. An all-male four-year liberal arts college, the school has 1,100 undergraduates and states that its purpose is to "form good men and good citizens in an atmosphere of sound learning." It has a strict honor code and educational emphasis on rhetoric.
24. Texas A&M University
— With a reputation for being both politically and socially conservative, the university, a secular institution, began in 1876 as the state's first public university. It offers 130 undergraduate programs, 170 master's degree programs, and 93 doctoral degree programs and is the home of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library. It has 56,200 students.
25. Cedarville University
— Located in Cedarville, Ohio, the college has 3,047 undergraduate students and provides a Christ-centered education.
26. Bob Jones University
— Located in Greenville, South Carolina, this school is well known for its conservative and Christian values. With about 2,800 students, it has hosted Republican presidential candidates Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio, and Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, and Scott Walker have all stopped by, just in 2015 alone.
27. Oral Roberts University
— Located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this university is an interdenominational Christian liberal arts institution with 3,335 students. It was established in 1965 and has more 65 undergraduate programs.
28. Union University
— Located in Jackson, Tennessee, Union is a Christian college founded in 1823, with 100 programs of study and a student body of 4,000.
29. George Fox University
— A Christian college in Newberg, Oregon, Fox has 3,931 students and offers 30 majors and 13 master's and doctoral degrees.
30. Evangel University
— Located in Springfield, Missouri, this private Christian college is affiliated with the Assemblies of God and includes a seminary. It offers more than 100 academic programs to its more than 2,200 students.
31. Southeastern University
— A private Christian liberal arts college in Lakeland, Florida, it is the nation's largest Assemblies of God educational institution in the U.S., offering 54 bachelor's degree programs, 15 master's degrees, and one doctoral degree to its 4,538 students.
32. Southern Utah University
— The school has more than 8,000 students at its Cedar City, Utah, campus, which includes the Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service.
33. North Greenville University
— Located in Tigerville, South Carolina, this Christian liberal arts college affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention has an enrollment of 2,260 undergraduate students.
34. Samford University
— A private Christian coeducational college in Homewood, Alabama, this institution was formerly known as Howard College. It hosts 5,206 students from 46 states and 32 countries, and provides 155 undergraduate majors.
35. Taylor University
— This private, interdenominational evangelical Christian institution located in Upland, Indiana, has 1,910 undergraduate students and 108 graduate students. Its website states, "At Taylor, Christian faith is infused into the study of every subject and discipline."
36. Campbell University
— A private, coeducational college located in Buies Creek, North Carolina, Campbell has more than 6,200 students and recently opened its School of Osteopathic Medicine. An open Bible and a cross are depicted on the school's seal.
37. Anderson University
— Located in Anderson, Indiana, the Christian liberal arts school is affiliated with the Church of God. It was founded in 1917 and, today, has 2,400 students in 60 undergraduate major fields of study.
38. Faulkner University
— A private Christian university in Montgomery, Alabama, this school has 3,574 students and states its mission is "to glorify God through education of the whole person."
39. Oklahoma Baptist University
— This coeducational Christian liberal arts school in Shawnee has about 2,000 students enrolled and numbers the Rev. Oral Roberts among its alumni.
40. The Moody Bible Institute
— With two campuses in Chicago and Spokane, Washington, and a graduate school in Plymouth, Michigan, Moody has 3,985 total students, and boasts a 62-percent graduation rate. Its website states: "Everything at Moody falls under the authority of the Bible, which declares timeless truth that is relevant today."
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