United Methodist Colleges

Oct 25, 2022

United Methodist colleges are welcoming of many faiths and denominations. Along with spirituality retreats and times for meditation, these schools offer a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees.

School Comparison

Here is a look at tuition costs for five schools affiliated with the United Methodist Church around the United States. We'll also see the varying student populations and locations of these colleges and universities.

School Name Institution Type Student Population (2021)* Location Undergraduate Tuition (2021-2022)*
Duke University 4-year, private not-for-profit 17,620 Durham, NC $60,244
Union College 4-year, private not-for-profit 1,024 Barbourville, KY $28,889
Cornell College 4-year, private not-for-profit 1,055 Mount Vernon, IA $47,726
Columbia College 4-year, private not-for-profit, women's 1,389 Columbia, SC $20,880
Hamline University 4-year, private not-for-profit 2,931 Saint Paul, MN $46,221

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

Overview of United Methodist Schools

The following United Methodist colleges and universities all combine education with spiritual reflection. Many of the traditions that run through these schools are ways to help students connect their faith with fellow students and God.

Duke University

Perhaps the most well-known of the United Methodist schools, Duke University has some high rankings. Among other awards, U.S. News and World Report named Duke University #10 in National Universities for 2020. Duke has 21 sports teams, including rowing, lacrosse, fencing, wrestling, swimming & diving, and golf. Duke offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Their top five undergraduate majors are public policy, economics, biology, biomedical engineering, and computer science. The university has a 98% retention rate for first-time students who began in the fall of 2020 and returned the fall of 2021, and 96% of their students who began in the fall of 2015 graduated within four years. Students can choose to live in one of 76 residence halls or apartments on campus. PathWays is an ecumenical program at the university which incorporates many denominations and groups and provides activities where students can pursue their faith. Duke also incorporates the creative arts into their faith by having art exhibits displayed on the walls of the campus chapel.

Union College

Along with 17 varsity sports offered at Union College, there are 35 undergraduate and graduate majors to choose from. Some of the majors include Latin American & Iberian studies, nursing, media communications, pre-law, human performance, and law enforcement studies. Three residence halls and two apartment buildings make up the housing on campus. Two of the residence halls are single-sex, while the third is coed for upperclassmen. Christian outreach options are available on campus, including service opportunities and the Spiritual Life Team. The Spiritual Life Team organizes several activities to engage students through their interests, such as a book club, coffee club, and special concerts. It is also interesting to note that of the full-time first-year students that applied for grants and scholarships at Union College in 2021, 99% of students were given some form of assistance.

Cornell College

At Cornell College, 92% of students live on campus, and each residence hall has its own special theme. Upperclassmen have the opportunity to live in special communities where students of similar interests and causes live together. Students often work together to support each other and create programs or assistance toward the cause in which they are passionate. Regarding spirituality, students can take a moment to reflect on their spiritual life through prayer, worship, meditation, and even yoga. Stillness and Flow is also an outdoor retreat for students where they can find God in nature. A unique academic experience at Cornell includes the one-course-at-a-time class schedule. The school year is broken up into eight blocks, and students take only one course in each block. This intensive way of learning has been in practice at Cornell since 1978, and through it students have the chance to fully immerse themselves in one class for several hours a day for 18 school days. Afterwards, students are given four days off to spend some time volunteering and renewing before the next course begins.

Columbia College

Columbia College is a women's college offering undergraduate and graduate programs for female students and some specialized courses for male students. Students are required to live on campus the first two years of their education, with a few exceptions to the rule, and there are five residence halls. Columbia offers 35+ undergraduate degree programs, including some that are offered entirely online or in the evening for working students. Some of the programs include respiratory care, special education, political science, leadership studies, disaster & emergency management, chemistry, and behavioral science. This college has a list of traditions that are over 100 years old. One tradition is the Big Sister & Little Sister program, where an upperclasswoman works with an incoming student to familiarize students with college life. The Galilean Service tradition is the first time students come together to worship and partake of Holy Communion. This service is a time for students to find their spiritual focus with reflection and music.

Hamline University

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Hamline offers close to 50 bachelor's programs, 12 masters programs, and two doctoral degrees. Some of the undergraduate programs include women's studies, social justice, rhetoric, neuroscience, art history, and anthropology. As a United Methodist college, Hamline welcomes all faiths, while incorporating Methodist ideals into everyday life. Students can join choir, attend the Mahle Lecture in Progressive Christian Thought series, take part in the mindfulness meditation, and go to one of the open chapels for moments of reflection and prayer. Each spring break, students can take the Catalyst trip to participate in community service in a much needed area. Hamline has had a host of award-winning scholars graduate from the university. Hamline also provided 100% of students who sought financial aid with help in 2021.

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