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Evangel named one of “The 50 Most Beautiful Christian Colleges & Universities in the U.S.”

Published on Jan 22, 2016 by Paul K. Logsdon

SPRINGFIELD, MO — Evangel University has once again been recognized for the beauty of its 90+ acre campus, located on North Glenstone Avenue in Springfield, Mo.

For 2016, Evangel has been named one of “The 50 Most Beautiful Christian Colleges & Universities in the U.S.”

The honor comes from Christian Universities Online (CUO), an independent online resource for prospective students and their families researching Christian higher education.

“We understand that students make their choice of school based on a multitude of factors,” said Anna Rebekah Orr, associate editor of CUO.

“The natural surroundings, layout and beauty of the campus have considerable weight in this decision. With this understanding, we are pleased to offer up this ranking that focuses purely on location and aesthetics rather than the facts or figures normally used to evaluate schools,” she said.

For the 2016 CUO listing, honored campuses range from Wheaton, in Illinois, to Regent in Virginia Beach, to College of the Ozarks, near Branson, Mo.

There are roughly 900 religiously affiliated colleges in the U.S.

In 2014, Evangel was ranked as one of “The 50 Most Beautiful Christian College & University Campuses in the World” by the CUO.

At that time, the editor stated that Evangel and the others listed “excel not only academically and spiritually, but also aesthetically — boasting some of the loveliest looking campuses anywhere on Earth.”

Online tour:


Campus development

Founded in 1955, Evangel University’s unique setting is traced back to World War II, when the land was used as O’Reilly General Hospital, a treatment center for soldiers of the war. At one time, 86 barracks covered its portion of the land. Now, only the original boiler house remains.

Tulips & students center 200dpi
Students gather by the clock tower, which commemorates Evangel’s 50th Anniversary in 2005. In the background is the Ralph M. Riggs Administration Building. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

The campus transformation began in the early 1960s with a new library, and reached today’s status in 2009 with the completion of the majestic Riggs Hall Administration Building.

“We are honored to receive this recognition,” said Dr. Michael Kolstad, vice president for university advancement. “The transformation of our campus reached its zenith with nine major building projects being completed during the decade of the 2000s. But we are not finished. We are equally excited about our plans for the future.”

Evangel receives local recognition each year when they invite the community to celebrate spring by enjoying nearly 18,000 tulips as they bloom.


Methodology of the rankings

“We also understand that there is an element of truth in the expression, ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,’ said Orr in her introduction to the 2016 list.

“The methodology behind this ranking began with schools that are members or member eligible of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). Each of these schools were evaluated and scored in the following criteria: 1) Continuity of campus, 2) Architectural style, 3) Signature building(s), and 4) Natural setting. The total score from these criteria was then used to rank the schools,” she said.



2016 — “The 50 Most Beautiful Christian Colleges & Universities in the U.S.” (#31)


2014 — “The 50 Most Beautiful Christian College & University Campuses in the World” (#40)