Will College Credits I’ve Earned at a Secular University Be Transferable Into a Christian College?

Transferring colleges can be difficult. There are a number of details to work through, not the least of which is course credit. Schools can be bureaucratic about transferring course credit. Every transferred course means less money for them. If you think you may be transferring, consult with the new school as soon as possible about their transfer policy. They will advise you on their protocol and may even help you in selecting courses for your final term at your current school.

What about Christian colleges? If you are transferring from a secular university to a Christian college, will your credits transfer? The simple answer is: yes. Unless you are attending a Bible school, Christian colleges operate the same as secular universities in that regard.

General Education Requirements

As long as you are transferring from one accredited college to another, most of your general education courses will be transferred with no questions asked. Accreditation is a mark of accepted academic standards that all colleges recognize amongst each other, so accredited colleges accept transfer credit from all other accredited colleges. Transferring is a very common process, so your Christian college will have an established and streamlined procedure and may even have its own transfer department.

Most schools, Christian and secular, have a chart with common course names, and the transfer equivalent at their school. College Transfer.net has an excellent database where you can plug this in for yourself. Any courses on this list, in which you have earned a “C” or better, will immediately be accepted as the school’s equivalent and count toward your degree requirements. The grade will not be calculated into your GPA.

General Theology Requirements

Most Christian schools list a handful of theology classes as part of their general education requirements. These usually include courses such as surveys of the Old and New Testaments, and perhaps a course or two specific to their school. While these courses are sometimes available at secular schools, they are a unique aspect of the Christian school’s culture. They may be transferable, but it may be advisable to wait and take these at the Christian college.

Major Requirements

Colleges, both Christian and secular, are a little wary of accepting major transfer courses. This has to do with the integrity of the degree. They want their graduates to have a certain reputation, and if you have completed too many of your courses elsewhere, you may not fill that pedigree. They will usually accept introductory courses, but advanced courses may be denied. Denied major courses will usually count as elective credits, and will not go to fill the degree requirement. Most schools will not accept any transfer credit during the last 30 hours of the degree.

Bible Colleges

The majority of Bible colleges are non-accredited. If they are accredited, they are only able to award Associate’s degrees. Because they are non-accredited, accepting transfer credit is done solely at their discretion. Any theology courses you may have taken might be accepted toward the degree requirement, but will probably be counted as electives. Your academic courses will likely not transfer at all.

Transferring can be an arduous process, and every school has different rules and processes. Communicate with the transfer director as early as possible to make sure you know how their procedures work. For any course that doesn’t appear easily transferable, you may have to provide a syllabus or course description. Make sure to keep these. Afterward, if you don’t agree with the original transfer evaluation, find out about your school’s appeal process.