2021

Our 2021 list of the Top 10 Faith-Based Online MBA Programs in the US. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.

Top 10 Faith-Based Online MBA Programs – 2021 Rankings
RankingSchoolState
1Pepperdine UniversityCalifornia
2Baylor UniversityTexas
3Santa Clara UniversityCalifornia
4Villanova UniversityPennsylvania
5Creighton UniversityNebraska
6University of DallasTexas
7University of DaytonOhio
8Liberty UniversityVirginia
9Samford UniversityAlabama
10Marquette UniversityWisconsin
1. Pepperdine University, Malibu, California
Pepperdine University

Pepperdine University was established by entrepreneur George Pepperdine in South Los Angeles in 1937. The school, which expanded to Malibu in 1972, serves 8,000 full-time and part-time students, with a full-time faculty of more than 300 professors and scholars. The school has five separate graduate and undergraduate schools offering more than 70 degree programs.

Founded in 1969, the Graziadio School of Business and Management offers online degree programs across six California campuses, including Malibu and Silicon Beach. The online MBA program focuses on building “essential business knowledge in areas such as finance, marketing, accounting, economics, quantitative analysis, law, human behavior, information systems, strategy, management, and leadership,” says the school. Students will build “business intelligence” as they “examine business from a global perspective and address the impact of globalization, competition, technological innovation, and ethics in the workplace.”

Students in this 52 credit hour, AACSB-accredited program will “do more than read case studies about top brands, such as Disney, Starbucks, and Warner Bros.” They will “will actually work” with top executives on” live consulting projects” to “solve real-time challenges.”

Other program highlights include the Personal and Leadership Development Workshop residency, which takes place at the schools’ coastal Malibu campus, Global Business Intensives, which cover relevant topics such as international economics, culture, marketing, finance, and business law, and seven in-demand concentration options. These include Business Analytics, Digital Innovation and Information Systems, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Global Business, Leadership and Managing Organizational Change, and Marketing. A General Concentration that allows students to develop expertise across multiple business areas is also available.

Students will have the option to complete an international residency. The experience allows students to explore global issues and work with international experts to understand foreign markets.

The Graziadio Online MBA can be completed in as few as 24 months or up to 48 months part-time.

2. Baylor University, Waco, Texas
Baylor University

Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas, Baylor University (BU) serves just over 19,500 students enrolled in more than 250 degree programs in 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Hankamer School of Business at BU offers an online MBA that can be completed in as few as 12 months.

The 48-60 credit hour BU Online MBA has four in-demand concentrations, with courses taught by the same faculty as on-campus MBA students. Concentrations include Cybersecurity, Executive Communication, Global Trade & Supply Chain Management, and Marketing.

Through “engaging conversations,” with professors and classmates, students in the General MBA option and all concentrations “will learn to communicate professionally, work in teams and approach complex business situations with faith-based integrity,” says the school.

Depending on the concentration, graduates go on to enhance their careers or to new careers such as Brand Manager, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Information Officer (CIO), Communications Operations Manager, Cybersecurity Consultant, Digital Marketing Manager, Division Leader, Entrepreneur, Global Logistics Manager, IT Director, Management Consultant, Marketing Director, Senior Marketing Analyst, Supply Chain Consultant, Transportation Director, and many others.

3. Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California
Santa Clara University

Established in 1851, Santa Clara University (SCU) is a Jesuit university located in Silicon Valley. The school serves close to 8,700 students enrolled in 50 majors, minors, and programs across six schools and colleges. SCU’s Leavey School of Business (LSB) houses the MBA program, which has on both campus and online options.

Designed to help students become “Silicon Valley Professionals (SVPs),” this AACSB-accredited program highlights a curriculum based in “innovation and responsibility,” says the school. Sample courses include Doing Business in Silicon Valley, Leading People and Organizations, Ethics for Managers, Strategy, Analysis, Design, and Management of Enterprise Platforms, and Marketing is Everything. The program also highlights 28 units of free electives that allow students to focus in one or more areas.

The Leavey Online MBA requires two on-campus intensives, where students will meet their peers and experience Santa Clara University in person. These are the only two campus requirements. Otherwise, online students will take courses whenever and wherever, but they will learn from the same professors who teach the on-campus program. The program may be completed in as few as two years.

Leavey Online MBA alumni include C-level individuals from Adobe, Amazon, Apple, Cisco, Google, GoPro, LinkedIn, and many others.

4. Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania
Villanova University

Villanova University was founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. The school serves 11,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University’s six colleges—the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business (VSB), the College of Engineering, the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. More than 100 programs are available.

Villanova School of Business offers an MBA program that can be completed entirely online. The program is the “very same” program as the on-campus Villanova MBA, says the school. The curriculum includes courses that will expand students’ “essential business knowledge with a focus on innovative and applied concepts, real-world immersion experiences and peer-to-peer learning.” Program highlights include small classes (approximately 20 students per online section), live weekly sessions, and two residency opportunities, which foster “a strong learning community among faculty and students.” Students may also participate in an optional international immersion into an emerging economy.

Students in the VSB Online MBA can begin the 48 credit hour (21 course) program in the fall, spring or summer semester. The curriculum is comprised of core, elective, fundamental, and capstone classes and students may choose up to two specializations from five areas including Analytics, Finance, International Business, Marketing, and Strategic Management.

Semesters for this AACSB-accredited program are divided into two sessions, each of which is eight weeks in the fall and spring and seven weeks in the summer. Students in the program progress through the curriculum, typically taking one or two courses per session. The VSB Online MBA can completed in just two years (Fast Track) and graduates of the program enjoy a 25% average salary raise.

5. Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska
Creighton University

Creighton University is one of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States. Founded in 1878, this private school serves 8,200 undergraduate, graduate and professional students enrolled in degrees and certificate programs in more than 160 areas. More than 40 graduate degree programs are also available and programs are offered in nine colleges and schools.

Heider College of Business offers an MBA program designed for the working professional. The program has three delivery options including online, on campus, or a combination of the two (hybrid). Highlights for this 33 credit hour program include several MBA concentrations, the option to add a graduate certificate or a dual degree in addition to the MBA. Concentrations include Accounting, Business Intelligence and Analytics, Financial Psychology & Behavioral Finance (also a certificate), Finance, Leadership, and Personal Financial Planning (also a certificate).

Other certificate options include Business Analytics, Healthcare Management, Negotiation & Conflict Resolution, Organizational Leadership, and Project Management. Students can combine numerous degrees with the MBA. Just a few include MBA + Law, MBA + PharmD, MBA + MS in Investment Management & Financial Analysis.

Graduates of the AACSB-accredited Heider Online MBA Program have gone on to pursue careers at numerous Fortune 500 companies such as ConAgra Foods, Mutual of Omaha, TD Ameritrade, Union Pacific, and others. Job titles of recent graduates include CEO, Finance Manager, Marketing Manager, Operations Manager, President, Project Manager, and Vice President.

The Heider Online MBA Program can be completed in just over two years.

6. University of Dallas, Irving, Texas
University of Dallas

University of Dallas (UD or UDallas) opened its doors in 1956. Welcoming all faiths, this private, Catholic, co-educational liberal arts university offers a comprehensive list of bachelor's, master's, doctoral and continuing education programs to nearly 2,500 students from across the U.S. and around the world. Programs are offered in four main academic divisions in the Arts, Business, Education, Humanities, Nursing, and Sciences.

The Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business offers an AACSB-accredited MBA program that can be completed 100% online, 100% on campus, or a combination of the two (hybrid). Course schedules are flexible for this 30 credit hour (10 course) program and nine concentrations options are available including Accounting, Business Analytics, Cybersecurity, Finance, Healthcare Analytics, Information & Technology Management, Marketing, Strategic Leadership, and Supply Chain Management. Concentrations require four additional courses (12 credits).

The UD MBA with a concentration can be completed in two to three years. The MBA without a concentration can be completed in just one to two years.

Graduates of the UD Online MBA Program work at companies around the world in hundreds of different industries. Examples of job titles earned by UD MBA alumni include Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Computer and Information Systems Manager, Financial Manager, Health Services Manager, High-End Management Consultant, Investment Fund Manager, IT Director, Marketing Manager, and Sales Manager.

7. University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio
University of Dayton

University of Dayton (UD) was founded in 1850 by the Society of Mary (Marianists) as St. Mary's School for Boys. The school opened in a frame building with just 14 students. Known at various times as St. Mary's School, St. Mary's Institute, and St. Mary's College, the school assumed its present identity in 1920. Today, the University of Dayton sits on nearly 400 acres and the school is recognized as a top-tier national research university rooted in the Catholic tradition.

Serving nearly 11,700 undergraduate, graduate, and law students and more than 120,000 living alumni worldwide, UD houses five colleges and schools including the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Schools of Business Administration, Education and Health Sciences, Engineering, and Law.

The School of Business Administration offers an MBA program known as the [email protected]. This AACSB-accredited program offers concentrations in Business Analytics and Marketing. Students choosing either option will complete three elective courses instead of two (for a total of nine credits). This will add three credits to the course of study.

Several pathways are available including Accelerated, One-Year and Foundational. The One-Year MBA path allows students to advance their careers sooner, for less of a financial investment, by completing the program in a shorter amount of time. Students will take 13-14 courses (30-31.5 credits), along with two immersions in just 12 months. Immersions are collaborative learning experiences that provide opportunities to learn from influential business leaders, engage in group workshops, and network with peers.

The Accelerated MBA is designed for business professionals who have eight or more years of full-time work experience. Students complete fewer foundation courses, allowing them to advance their careers faster and for less of a financial investment. The program consists of 14-19 courses (31.5-39 credits) and two immersions and it may be completed in 15-18 months.

The Foundational MBA is designed for professionals who need to build a comprehensive foundation in the fundamentals of business. Students will take 18-22 courses (36-45 credits) and two immersions in 18-24 months.

Graduates of all programs will have the skills needed to advance into any leadership role in their current industry, transition into a different industry, or move from a small business or nonprofit organization to a more corporate environment.

As part of the UD School of Business, the [email protected] is AACSB accredited.

8. Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia
Liberty University

Liberty University was established in 1971 by American Southern Baptist pastor, televangelist, and conservative activist Jerry Falwell, Sr. This private, evangelical Christian university serves more than 100,000 students, including more than 30,000 military and over 700 international students. The school offers 750+ programs of study, with many offered both residentially and online.  Programs are offered in 15 colleges and schools.

The Liberty School of Business offers a 45 credit hour MBA program that may be completed entirely online. The curriculum builds students’ “existing knowledge and experience” to develop their “critical thinking, leadership, and management skills,” says the school. The program is designed for those seeking to advance in their current position or explore other areas within the field of business administration.

Students have the option to choose the 45 credit hour online MBA with a specialization or the 36 credit hour program with no concentration. More 20 specializations are available. Some options include American Legal Studies, Criminal Justice Administration, Finance, Healthcare Management, International Business, International Legal Studies, Nonprofit Leadership, Public Administration, and Strategic Media and Digital Content, to name a few.

Students may transfer up to 50% of MBA program credit hours from another institution, courses are eight weeks, and there are eight different start dates each year with no set login times. The Liberty University Online MBA may be completed in two years and it is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

9. Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama
Samford University

Founded in 1841, Samford University (SU) is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The school serves more than 5,700 students from 47 states and 30 countries. Programs are offered in 10 academic schools: Arts, Arts and Sciences, Business, Divinity, Education, Health Professions, Law, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Public Health. The university also has one of three accredited law schools and one of only two accredited pharmacy schools in Alabama.

Brock School of Business at Samford offers an MBA program that can be completed on campus, online or in hybrid format. The program teaches “core business functions,” says the school, with “a focus on problem solving and practical application in the workplace,” allowing students to “instantly apply” these skills to their career.

The MBA has concentrations in Data Analytics, Finance and Sports Business and a number of joint degree options are available. These unique programs allow students to “simultaneously pursue degrees in two areas of interest with less credit requirements than earning the degrees separately.” Options include the MBA/MAcc, MBA/JD, MBA/MSEM, MBA/MDiv, MBA/PharmD, and the MBA/MHA.

The curriculum requirement for the Brock Online MBA ranges from 36-45 credits depending on previous academic experiences. To complete a concentration as a part of the degree, students will take 39-48 credits. Students must have a 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA in the program to graduate or add a concentration.

10. Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Marquette University

Founded in 1881, Marquette University serves 8,500 undergraduate and 3,300 graduate and professional students from nearly all states and more than 60 countries. The school offers 80 majors and 87 minors along with pre-professional programs in Dentistry, Law, and Medicine. Postgraduate programs include 77 doctoral and master's degree programs, and 25 graduate certificate programs.

The academic programs at Marquette are offered in 11 colleges and schools. The Marquette University Graduate School of Management offers an MBA that covers “all functional areas of business while placing a unique emphasis on business literacy, strategy and leadership,” says the school.  The curriculum allows students to “customize the program to fit their needs while creating a more efficient path to graduation.”

Course highlights include Business Analytics, Corporate Advocacy, Design and Management of Database Systems, Enterprise Risk Management, FinTech: Foundation and Applications, Global Marketing Strategy, Human Capital Strategy, Leading People and Change, Leading Innovation and Creativity, NCAA: Exploring Current Issues, Negotiations, and Topics in Organizational Management.

Students will also complete a Strategic Management Capstone. This project-based class offers the opportunity to understand and comment on a firm's strategic management, including interviewing a President or CEO and “appraisal on strategy and perspectives on what has been learned.”

Depending on the student’s undergraduate background, the Marquette Online MBA requires 31.5-42 credit hours to graduate. There are no on-campus or in-person requirements, a GMAT/GRE waiver is available and work experience is encouraged but not required for domestic applicants. With three start dates annually, the Marquette Online MBA can be completed in as little as two years.