In 1970, Tim LaHaye, a Baptist minister and author of the Left Behind book series, envisioned a West Coast university where creationism could be the framework in which liberal arts studies were undertaken. Later that year, LaHaye founded the Christian Heritage College in San Diego, CA. In 2005, the school changed its name to San Diego Christian College and now includes a satellite campus in Minnesota. The college emphasizes spiritual growth along with academic study and offers both traditional and online undergraduate degrees.
Per the college’s website, San Diego Christian College claims its mission is “to engage Christians in an academic community that offers a liberal arts education, promotes an environment of scholarship, and fosters the examination of truth, preparing them to influence the world through Godly character within a framework of the authority and inerrancy of Scripture.”
The college is located approximately 25 miles outside of San Diego in Santee, California. While half of the students commute, the college does offer housing in five residential apartment buildings. On campus, spiritual life is emphasized with the college’s five “building blocks” of regular chapel attendance, involvement in the local church, attendance at an annual day of prayer, participation in a five day Missions Conference, and attendance at a three day bible conference once a year.
The college offers a traditional as well as an online undergraduate program. Currently degrees are offered in twelve subjects including Biblical Studies, History and Social Science, English, and Aviation. Full teacher accreditation is available for both elementary and secondary education majors. Additionally, the Adult and Professional Studies program offers both 2-year and 4-year degrees, and the Rivendale Sanctuary Program at the Minnesota satellite campus offers a 16 month associate’s degree program. No graduate level programs are currently available.
The college teams are known as the Hawks. Men compete in baseball, basketball, tennis, soccer, and cross country. The women’s sports include volleyball, softball, and tennis. The Hawks are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and also participate as a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA).
Tuition & Financial Aid
As of May, 2014, full time tuition costs $12, 775.00, and part time tuition is $1,075.00 per credit hour. There are additional fees for room and board, labs, optional health insurance, books, and teacher credentialing. While the institution does not offer any financial aid, students can apply for federal grants and loans.
San Diego Christian College has been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges since 2008. The Office of Private and Postsecondary Education of the California State Department of Education has also approved the college to offer educational degrees.
Applicants should submit an online application which includes an essay along with all high school and college transcripts, The college requires both a spiritual life recommendation and an academic recommendation. There is no fee for the online application. A minimum ACT score of 19 or SAT score of 1350 is required for admission to the college. High school applicants should have a minimum of a 2.75 GPA, and transfer applicants should have a college GPA of at least 2.5.
For more information about admissions to San Diego Christian College, contact the school directly at:
San Diego Christian College
200 Riverview Pkwy.
Santee, CA 92071
Adult and Professional Studies Admissions: 877-788-8438
College Offices – 619.201.8700