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Christian Studies (BS) | Online

With its large number of electives beyond the core requirement in biblical and general education, the Christian Studies program enables you to construct a course of study suitable to your needs and career interests. You’ll be equipped to skillfully communicate biblical and theological truth, and serve effectively in ministry as a vocation or applying biblical principles to your chosen career field.

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Why Christian Studies?

A Christian Studies degree offers an in-depth Bible education with maximum flexibility to take other courses in other theology, ministry, and electives of your choice. Courses concentrate on biblical perspectives on contemporary issues, church history, spiritual formation and discipleship, and Bible.

A dual-level program, in which you work concurrently towards a Christian Studies BS in Bible and an MA in Religion, is available.

Curriculum Intro

The BS in Christian Studies program has been designed with input from our expert faculty in the School of Divinity, ensuring you graduate with the in-demand skills and knowledge that the local church and ministry needs.  The program requires 66 credits from the University Core, 6 credits in Bible/theology, 45 credits from electives. View a sample curriculum sheet for a snapshot of the courses you will take.

Christian Studies from Cairn

Biblical Integration

Cairn University is committed to the centrality of Christ and the Word of God and is reflected in the curriculum and instruction. At Cairn, faith and truth do matter. We teach our students accordingly, challenge you to think deeply on these things, and strive to make you ready to serve Christ in the church, society, and the world as biblically minded men and women who not only give assent to truth but think and live in light of it.

Academic Opportunity

The Cairn mission statement begins with education and ends with character, because we believe that education should change not only what you know, but who you are and what you do. Faculty mem­bers understand that education involves more than the transfer of ideas, but also the giving of themselves to teach, train, and inspire their students, both in and out of class.

Experienced Faculty

Our online courses are taught by faculty who are committed to your professional and spiritual growth. In addition to the carefully crafted learning activities, our faculty are substantively engaged throughout the course delivery. Students don’t just have professors, they have mentors who invest in them throughout the program and often remain connected long after graduation.

Flexibility

Complete coursework anywhere through our asynchronous course design, reinforced by substantive faculty engagement.

Affordability

Cairn University students earn more than a professional credential – you develop a solid foundation for all of life and learning. Wherever you go after you graduate from Cairn, you go prepared and ready to make a difference in your workplace, your community, your church, and around the world. And our competitive tuition rates and financial aid packages help to keep your education costs reasonable.

Campus Community

Community is about more than simply taking classes together. It is more than having a similar experience. Community is powerful, instructive, encouraging, and biblical. And at Cairn, community is intentional. It is attended to closely as an outworking of the University’s biblical commitment and understanding that in Christ, we are one.

more Details

Get an inside look at our Christian Studies Program

There are over 70 unique programs at Cairn to choose from! Not sure if this is the best program for you? Here are some more details to help you decide.

Required Credits: 120

Curriculum Highlights: 

    • CHM 221 Spiritual Formation/Disciple
    • BIB 204 The Old Testament
    • BIB 303 The Gospels
    • BIB 304 The New Testament

Church ministry

Para-church ministry

Christian Education

Graduate studies

Local Ministries

Christian education

NC-SARA Approved InstitutionCairn Online has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), which regionally oversees postsecondary online education.

Additional Accreditation Information

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An Affordable Education

While the cost of a Cairn University education is competitive with similar institutions, we realize you may need financial assistance to take this journey.  You are not alone. 97% of our full-time undergraduate students receive some form of financial assistance. 

Meet Our Faculty

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Gregory Parker Jr.

Assistant Professor, School of Divinity

Gregory Parker Jr. joined the School of Divinity faculty in 2022. He teaches courses in systematic theology at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including Triune God, Narrative of Redemption, and Life and Calling.

After graduating from Cairn University in 2013, Greg pursued graduate school in theology, receiving an MDiv and a ThM from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, MA.

He completed his PhD in systematic theology at the University of Edinburgh under the supervision of James Eglinton. His dissertation focuses on the relationship between the dogmatics and ethics of the 19th century Dutch Reformed theologian, Herman Bavinck. He also played lacrosse for the University of Edinburgh.

In addition to teaching, Greg loves Philadelphia sports, hanging with friends and family, and advocating for Tame Impala.

He is delighted to be teaching at Cairn because, in his words, “Students here are guided toward a different path than that of the world, but it is the glorious and narrow path that all Christians are called to walk—one in which we ‘cleave to God’ (Ps. 73:28) and make much of his love.”

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Keith Plummer

Dean; Professor of Theology, School of Divinity

Dr. Keith Plummer teaches a variety of courses including Apologetics, Introduction to Christian Theology, and Technology & Christian Discipleship. His love of apologetics resulted from the role it played (particularly through the works of Francis Schaeffer) in helping him through a period of intense doubt in his early Christian life.

Before teaching at Cairn, Dr. Plummer served as associate pastor at Our Saviour Evangelical Free Church in Wheeling, IL for 18 years where his primary responsibilities were adult education and pastoral counseling. For ten of those years, he served as a volunteer police chaplain.

He and his wife have two adult children who are Cairn alumni.

What Our Students Have To Say

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Makenzie Landis

I have found the Christian studies program to be a good fit for me, as it allows me to take the Bible classes I enjoy while also allowing flexibility to take other classes to fit the type of ministry I would like to go into. The faculty are incredible, and I’ve appreciated the mentorship I’ve been able to have with many of my professors.

Cairn Online Frequently Asked Questions​

The tuition for post-secondary education has become expensive in general. However, Cairn Online programs rank amongst the most affordable online bachelor’s and master’s programs. While the tuition costs vary by program level, the rate is typically $425 per credit or 12K per year for A.A. and B.S. programs and $300-$725 per credit for graduate programs. 

The current tuition rates are available from this page. Scholarships and financial aid are also available. 

Currently there are over 6 million online learners in the United States, and those numbers are growing every day. Online degrees that have regional accreditation are held to the same standards as traditional universities, ensuring that students earn a valuable degree that will prepare them with the skills and credentials for their career. Do research to find an online degree that is accredited and reputable, such as those offered at Cairn University.

Cairn Online courses based on Cairn’s 100+ years tradition of excellence in biblical education. Our on faculty has carefully designed them taking into consideration what works best for the online learner. The modular design and asynchronous delivery enable you to complete your studies while you pursue your career, ministry and spend time with your family.

Courses typically contain seven units and are delivered in 7-week terms*. Each unit contains 5-7 modular activities. Each learning activity includes instructional videos accompanied by reflections, quizzes, discussion forums and other assessments. Courses also utilize adaptive learning technologies such as Cerego for long-term retention of concepts and VoiceThread for enhanced collaboration.

The asynchronous delivery provides flexibility around your daily busy schedule. In most courses, interactive activities are typically due by Wednesday while the rest of the unit’s work is due by Sunday night. The MBA, M.A. in Music and Criminal Justice programs use the 7RD2 process and require the completion of certain activities daily to optimize learning.

Our own Cairn faculty intentionally participate in the course throughout the week to provide you with an incarnational experience.

*Few capstone courses are intentionally offered in 14 weeks to optimize student learning.

A.A. programs usually take 2 years and B.S. and B.A. programs typically take 3-4 years to complete.

Graduate programs vary in length by program. As an example, Cairn’s traditional MBA typically takes 20 months to complete but then there is also the accelerated One-Year MBA that you can complete in 12 months.

If you are looking to complete your program sooner, you can consider taking more 7-week courses at a time. 

All courses are developed by one or more course developers and taught by our own faculty. The instructors are also intentionally involved in the course throughout the week by providing direction in the course activities, participating in the forum discussions, grading the student work and providing substantive feedback. Most courses also offer optional office hours weekly via Zoom or similar video conferencing tools.

Our instructional design team works very closely with the course developers and carefully plans the courses to balance the technology requirements. Most courses use the eLearning platform for hosting the course materials, Panopto for video capture and storage, VoiceThread for enhanced discussion forums, and Cerego for adaptive learning. Zoom is used at times for virtual office hours. These sessions are optional.

Except for the Hebrew and Greek language courses for the B.S. in Biblical Studies program, typically there are no required meeting times for the completing the course activities.  

The course transfer depends on where you are transferring from, and what program you are transferring to. If you are coming to Cairn Online from another institution, it is very likely you will have some credits that will transfer. Because there are so many options, we encourage you to talk to an enrollment counselor. If you are transferring out, Cairn is a regionally accredited school and some credits should transfer with relative ease. Each college sets their own transfer criteria, so be sure to check their policies for specifics.

Cairn Online offers a variety of options for prior learning and experience. You can receive up to 6 credits for prior learning for graduate programs. At the discretion of the program advisor, three to six credits for prior learning (CPL) can be awarded for students with extensive background in areas addressed by specific courses. Additionally, advance standing may be granted for Bible or theology credits earned at an accredited Bible college, Christian liberal arts college or university, or seminary. Credits will be granted on a course by course basis.

Cairn is approved to offer financial aid because of its regional accreditation. There are many options available and typically students qualify for at least one type of federal aid. Many students receive scholarships and grants that make earning their degree even more affordable. Cairn offers a variety of scholarships and discounts in addition to options for loans and grants. Please refer to this page for details. 

The requirements depend on the program you are considering. Please refer to this page for details. 

Apply Now

Ready to take the next step? You can apply today!