Cairn Online

Walk a different path – wherever you are.

Cairn Online is an affordable and flexible way to receive a Christ-centered and relationship-based education that works around your schedule. All of our programs offer you professional preparation for your career and equip you to think critically about all of life from a biblical worldview. It’s an education that can be completed on your own time, wherever you choose to complete it: the army base, the mission field, or your kitchen table. 

Online Degree Programs

Associate’s Degree (AA) Online Programs

Affordable Tuition: Simple, flat $425* per credit rate or 12K/year for undergraduate AA and BS Programs. Why spend 30K+/year when you can complete your degree wherever you are for much less?
*Applies to undergraduate programs for the 2021–2023 academic years.

Dual-level Master of Science (MS)/Master of Arts (MA) Online Programs

In a dual-level program, you earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in as few as five years – all while keeping your low undergraduate tuition rate and financial aid.

I started Cairn’s program last year and have found the online experience to be excellent. The courses have been challenging in a positive way so that I am excited whenever we begin a new course. I appreciate the flexibility online learning offers and the opportunity I have to learn at an institution like Cairn. Cairn encourages rigor in academia, while incorporating a Christian worldview.

Celeste S.
MS in Education

Why Cairn Online?

Biblically-Based Education: Centered in Christ and His Word

No matter what your intended career path or field of study, Cairn is committed to helping professionals think about their current and future work through a biblical worldview lens.

Flexibility to Learn Anywhere, Anytime

Complete coursework anywhere, anytime, through our asynchronous course design, coupled with the accountability and camaraderie of weekly course requirements.

High-Quality, Varied Instruction

Take classes via our eLearning online learning platform, granting you access to quality video instruction (tightly integrated with reflection and assessment) enhanced by interactive learning activities.

Committed Faculty Mentors

Our online courses are taught by faculty committed to professional and spiritual mentorship, walking alongside students as they grow spiritually, intellectually, and professionally.



Cairn University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). 


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

Programs Begin Every 7-8 Weeks

Cairn Online enrolls new students in early September, early October, January, early March, May and early July. A term is typically only 7 weeks long. You can start when you’re ready, rather than rushing (or waiting) for the typical semester enrollment. Just enroll two weeks prior to these starting points to be eligible to begin the upcoming term. 

Modular Courses Designed for You to Succeed

All courses are designed from our own Cairn faculty and built from the ground up on our 100+ years of sound biblical education. Activities are modular and flexible to fit your life and ministry needs. 

Convenient and Committed to your Success

Our courses are convenient and only 7 weeks and 7 units. Our faculty is intentionally engaged in the course delivery, adding value to your investment and committed to your success and most importantly preparing you to serve Christ in the church, society, and the world. 

Transferring Is Easy

If you ever decide that you want the on-campus experience, transferring is a simple process. All who transfer from Cairn Online to the Langhorne Campus will receive any federal and state aid they’re eligible for, plus a $13K Campus Transfer Scholarship (which equates to a 40% discount on tuition!). 

Frequently Asked Questions About Cairn Online Programs

Are Cairn online degrees credible?

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.

What is attendance at Cairn Online like?

Cairn programs are asynchronous enabling you to complete your studies while your pursue your career, ministry and be with your family. Courses are typically designed in 7 units and delivered in 7 weeks with substantive faculty interaction throughout the term intentionally providing the learner an incarnational experience, different from many other online offerings. Each unit contains 5-6 learning activities. Each activity contains instructional videos accompanied by assessment activities, quizzes, discussion forums and other assessments. Some courses also utilize adaptive learning and AI technologies such as Cerego for long-term retention of the concepts. The activities in each unit are carefully designed to be modular so that you can complete them throughout the week as convenient for you. Most activities in a unit are due by the end of the week while some discussions earlier.

The courses are based on Cairn’s 100+ years of tradition of excellence in biblical education and are built and delivered by our own faculty. Active learning and adaptive learning tools are incorporated in the courses to maximize your investment.

How long does it take to finish a degree?

Associate’s and Master’s Degrees typically take 2 years. Bachelor’s of Science degrees typically take 4 years. However, you can complete them even sooner by taking more 7 week courses at a time.

How does the faculty participate in the course?

All courses are developed by one or more course developer and taught by our own faculty. The instructors are 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.

What technologies does Cairn use for the delivery of the online courses?

Our instructional design team 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.

What are the technology requirements for taking Cairn online courses?

Technology plays an important role in successfully completing online courses at Cairn University, but most individuals with a reliable desktop or laptop computer already have all the necessary equipment and software to succeed. As you consider online learning at Cairn, you will need to complete assignments, download course materials, and work on other tasks. With this in mind, you will be expected to have access to the following hardware and software:

Hardware & Peripherals

The student must have access to a desktop computer or laptop (PC or Mac) with the following minimum specifications in order to succeed in the online courses:

  • Intel i3 processor or AMD equivalent
  • 4GB RAM
  • 160GB hard drive
  • High-speed internet connection of 25 Mbps (check your speed here)
  • 1200×800 resolution monitor
  • Webcam (built-in or external)
  • DVD drive (optional)
  • Inkjet or laser printer (optional)

Important Note: While most of the course activities may work, Chromebooks and mobile tablets are not fully supported for Cairn online courses. Students are still required to have a regular computer with the minimum requirements above.

To check your computer specifications, see this procedure.

Software & Applications:

The student must have the following operating systems and applications:

  • Windows 10 or later OR Mac OS 10.12 (Sierra)
  • Microsoft Office 2007 (PC) or Office 2008 (MAC)
  • One of the following browsers: Google Chrome (recommended), Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari
  • Adobe Reader DC
  • Ability to add plug-ins to your browser
  • Local administrative privileges to the computer (for required software installations)
  • A Cairn University Gmail account, which you must check throughout the week

In addition, please check your syllabi for any course-specific software and/or technology requirements. Please note that as technology changes and improves, hardware and software requirements may as well, as we strive to maintain the highest standards for online instruction and learning.

See also these FAQs about online learning at Cairn. If you have any questions about these requirements, please contact or (215) 702-4554 or “live help” (green button) on the bottom left on any eLearning page. For additional requirements for a particular course, please contact your instructor.

Am I required to be online at a certain time for the course lectures or course work?

All courses are offered asynchronously i.e. you can complete the course work throughout the week at your convenience. There are no required meeting times for the completing the course activities. You can however join the optional Zoom sessions that the online instructors offer.

Can I transfer my college credits?

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.

Can I get credit for prior learning or work experience?

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. See the program pages for details.

How much will my degree cost?

The tuition for post-secondary education has become expensive in general. However, Cairn Online programs rank amongst the most affordable online bachelor’s programs. While the tuition costs vary by program level, the rate is typically $425 per credit or 12K per year for AA and BS programs. This is far less expensive than traditional universities tend to be. Please check the program pages for more details.

Can I get financial aid for an online degree?

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. 97% of students who apply for financial aid receive funds.

What are the requirements for enrolling in a Cairn Online program?

The requirements depend on the program you are considering. For a master’s degree, see this page and for an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, please see these requirements.

Have other questions about Cairn Online? Check out these course related FAQs to get the full picture or reach out to our Admissions team.

I enjoy online learning just as much as I do being in the classroom. The teachers are just as accessible as they are when a course is taken on campus. I appreciate the opportunity to learn online. Otherwise, finishing my degree may not be an option.

Monica C.

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