One of the Top 25 Best Christian Colleges in the West

Warner Pacific named a top Christian college - badgeWarner Pacific was recently named as one of the top Christian colleges in the west by Christian Universities Online (CUO).

Christ-centeredness is the lens through which we see all other tenets of the Warner Pacific mission. Our purpose and calling as an institution are inextricably linked to the heritage of deep faith that first called our church of God (Anderson, Ind.) founders to travel west and build a college. At the core is our Wesleyan Holiness theology, which pushes us all to become more like Jesus as we seek to change the world,” explains Dr. Andrea Cook, President of Warner Pacific.

Through this ranking CUO seeks to highlight intentionally Christian colleges and universities that excel in categories of personal attention to their students, selectivity, readily available financial aid, and overall student satisfaction.

CUO is an independent online resource for prospective students and their families researching Christian higher education. Here you will find rankings and reviews of the best Christian colleges and universities

How to Decide Between a Public or Private College

How to Decide Between a Public or Private College

Earning your college degree is more important in today’s professional world than ever before—with one in every three people holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. While a college degree is beneficial across the board, the type of institution from which you earn your degree is a deeply personal decision. With so many factors weighing in on your college decision, how do you choose whether a public or private college is the right fit for you?

Cost of Tuition

How the schools are funded is a key factor differentiating public and private colleges. The funding a college receives outside of tuition directly affects its tuition price. Most public colleges are subsidized by state governments, meaning less of the college’s operating cost will have to be funded with tuition. On the other hand, private colleges rely on private contributions to offset tuition costs and do not receive government subsidies.

Though private colleges have a reputation of carrying a hefty price tag (just take a look at the 20 priciest schools in the nation), many smaller private schools have been recognized as the best value for higher education. A private college in Portland, Oregon even reduced tuition prices over the past couple of years—practically unheard of in a market that experienced a tuition increase of 179% among private colleges, and tuition increases of 226% for in-state and 296% for out-of-state students among public colleges over the past 20 years.

Public universities are often cheaper for in-state students and increase tuition costs significantly for out-of-state students. When applying to out-of-state schools, a small private college will often cost as much or even less than a public university.

With fewer students, grants and scholarships allocated directly through private schools may be available to a larger portion of the student body than those allocated through a public college.

Living costs such as average rent also need to be taken into account. The average monthly rent for an apartment in Portland will be very different than the same apartment in New York City. Because financial aid, grants, scholarships, living costs, and residency all factor into the amount paid for a college degree (outside of base tuition), determining how much a student will pay for a private college versus a public college varies significantly.

Class and Campus Size

Traditionally, private colleges are smaller than public colleges in both student body and campus size. Students looking to “blend in” may like a public college’s 200-person lecture halls, while others thrive in a more intimate classroom setting.

If a public college is divided into different schools, class sizes will likely shrink for students choosing a specific track within a degree, especially for upperclassmen. Class sizes at small private colleges are typically small enough to facilitate interaction among students and professors. Students who think they may thrive in classrooms that make it easy to get to know both professors and fellow students should consider a small private college.

Large public colleges are often considered research universities, employing professors who teach in order to secure support for their research. While this is not always the case, students are more likely to encounter this at a large public school than a small private college.

Students seeking instructors with a greater passion for teaching may find private schools to be a better fit. If a student is particularly interested in research (rather than, for example, a business degree) he or she may choose a public research university over a private Christian college due to the larger number of opportunities to pursue specialized research as part of their degree.

Campus layout is huge in determining the feel of a school. Some college campuses are spread through an entire city or neighborhood, with no real center or meeting space, utilizing the city’s public transportation and fostering a feeling of being in the “real world”. Other campuses have a clear central meeting spot and establish clear campus boundaries that foster on-foot commuting. Many colleges incorporate natural areas such as forests, rivers or beaches into campus—choosing the right campus feel is completely up to student preference and varies within public and private colleges themselves. The best way to decide what works best for you is to schedule a campus visit.

Area of Study

Students looking to major or minor in a specific topic, such as a language or area of history, may struggle to find their area of study listed among degree options at private colleges. Large public universities typically offer more major and minor options (Oregon State University offers more than 200 undergraduate degree programs), and therefore a larger pool of classes to choose from.  

Private colleges offer less diversity in majors, but often specialize in a specific academic focus. One private college may be top-notch for liberal or fine arts while another specializes in math and engineering. Incoming freshmen who know their focus—biochemical engineering or contemporary dance, for example—may find the specialization of a small private school beneficial when honing their craft.

Sports Teams

A college’s athletic department can be a huge part of campus culture. Students who want the experience of roaring football stadiums and intense school rivalries may find a large public university to be a good fit. On the other hand, if you’re vying to be a student athlete, sports teams at small private colleges are usually less competitive and easier to make. Both small private colleges and large public universities often have recreational sports teams that create community and keep students active.


A school’s community is largely determined by size and campus layout, though many factors go into the broader sense of community at a school. Some colleges have a strong network of fraternities and sororities, and some are known for their school newspapers.

Ask yourself: what’s important to you? If your faith is an important influence on your college experience, you may choose a private Christian college. If a strong athletic department is an important piece of your desired college experience, you may choose a large public college with D1 sports teams.

Smaller schools tend to create a tight-knit student body, though a large public college can feel smaller when students get involved in extracurricular activities such as school clubs. Look into college alumni associations, too (both public and private colleges have them). A community of alumni who are still active in their college community is a good indication that students value what they got out of their college experience. Alumni can also provide leads on internships and other ways to transition from college to career.




WPC Student’s Crocheting Benefits Local Charity, Shepherd’s Door

WPC Student Crocheted hats for charity 2016 (K Hilman)With 14 hand-crocheted winter hats completed, Warner Pacific student Krystle Hilman ‘17 is well on her way to fulfilling her goal of creating 20 hats by Christmas for Portland-based charity, Shepherd’s Door.

“I learned to crochet just this past October (2016) when I realized making hats would be an economic way to give gifts to my 12 nieces and nephews,” recalls Krystle, an English major. “I didn’t know I’d catch the crocheting bug! To date I’ve completed more than 30 hats that I plan to give as gifts, donate, or sell.” She’s also crafted a few warm and cozy infinity scarves.

After buy several skeins of yarn and crocheting hooks, she found a hat pattern and created her first foundation chain. In just a few weeks, she had nine hats completed and realized her gift hats would be finished well before Thanksgiving. “I needed another reason to keep crocheting.” That’s when she contacted the Portland Rescue Mission about donating hats for children. Krystle believes kids living in vulnerable conditions are the “first priority.”

Crocheted baby hat; WPC Student Crocheted hats for charity 2016 (K Hilman)Her creations will be worn by the young children of women participating in the addiction recovery program through the Rescue Mission Shepherd’s Door. This program provides sanctuary and security for the women dealing with and recovering from addiction. They learn healthy lifestyle skills, how to restore relationships, and ways to be free from previous life choices.

The movement of creating a single, chain, and slip stitches helps Krystle stay calm and focused during class. She lives with anxiety and restlessness. “In my psychology class, I learned that movement can help you learn better because your brain is more engaged.”

Crocheted hats; WPC student crocheted hats for charity 2016 (K. Hilman)For this Warner Pacific senior, crocheting is not just a solution, it’s a blessing.




Former WPC President Sworn in as Mayor of Seaside, Oregon

Ref. Dr. Jay Barber, former WPC PresidentBuilding on a life dedicated to serving others, Rev. Dr. Jay Barber ’64, President Emeritus of Warner Pacific College, is taking on another leadership role as the newly appointed mayor of the coastal town of Seaside, Oregon.

On Monday, December 5, Barber was sworn in as mayor, filling the unexpired term of former mayor Don Larson, who recently passed away. Barber and his wife Jan moved to the north coastal town in 2006 and three years later he became involved in the Seaside City Council. Barber’s previous political experience includes serving as a city councilor and two-term mayor in Red Bluff, California.

In 1996, Barber became Warner Pacific’s sixth president. When interviewed by the search committee, he said one of the first things he wanted to do as the College President was reinstate intercollegiate athletics, which had been discontinued in 1993. “It’s such an important part of the fabric of the campus,” he claimed. Three years later, Barber saw Warner Pacific Knights in action on the field and court. The continued growth and development of Knights Athletics is just one example of Barber’s rich legacy at the College.

During his 12 years of leadership, Warner Pacific became debt free for the first time in its history, enrollment increased dramatically, and the College’s reputation was solidified. On May 30, 2008, Barber retired; however, he didn’t slow down. Sharing his strong leadership, fundraising, and strategic planning skills, Barber was appointed the first Senior Fellow with the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust in 2008. He also served as a director and two years as chair of the Board of Directors of Mercy Corps, a relief and disaster organization based in Portland. And recently served as the interim Teaching Pastor for the 3,000 member Sunset Presbyterian Church in Beaverton.

“Jay Barber lives a life that truly exemplifies the motto of Warner Pacific College, ‘Where faith and scholarship lead to service,’” said President Andrea Cook. “We are honored to be part of his story and we are grateful for his continued friendship. We wish him all the best and we are confident that the City of Seaside will be blessed by his strategic leadership.”

Warner Pacific congratulates Jay Barber on his appointment as Mayor.

Graduates honored at December Graduation Ceremony

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Jeremiah 29:11

The smiles of our graduates radiated brightly on the rainy Saturday morning (Saturday, December 10, 2016) when 174 Warner Pacific students became new Alumni.

Adult Degree Program graduate Annette Hunt spoke during Commencement: “To my graduating class, I not only congratulate you on the amazing journey that you have just completed but encourage you to keep God first in your life.” She adds encouragement to continue achieving dreams,”Don’t ever quit and don’t allow fears to hold you back. In this increasingly changing society, our knowledge, wisdom, and courage begs for us to be the voice for those who cannot be heard. There will always be room for growth not only within yourself, but in someone else who needs inspiration.”

Several graduates were honored with awards of distinction:

Wilma I. Perry Award: Leslie Catabay

Dr. Wilma I. Perry embodied many wonderful qualities that Warner Pacific College considers of high value for its graduates of the Adult Degree Program. In her lifetime, Dr. Perry served as pastor of the Friendly Street Church of God in Eugene, OR, following years of service as an itinerant preacher and evangelist. Furthermore, she earned a doctorate in psychology from the University of Oregon as an adult student and joined the faculty at Warner Pacific College, where she also directed the College’s Center for Human Services. She was known for her speaking and teaching abilities, and as a gifted, published scholar. Dr. Perry’s life was one of service, academic excellence, integrity, and transformation

Adult Degree Program Outstanding Student Award for Excellence in Christ-Centered Leadership and Service: Jeff L. Scott

Adult Degree Program Outstanding Student Award for Excellence in Urban Leadership and Service: Nena A. Herbst

Adult Degree Program Outstanding Student Award for Excellence in Liberal Arts Leadership and Service: Craig M. Coleman

Adult Degree Program Outstanding Student Award for Excellence in Diversity Leadership and Service: Francoise A. Moisan

When to Start the College Admissions Process

When to Start the College Admissions Process

As your high school graduation quickly approaches, the process of applying to colleges may seem like an overwhelming task. Which colleges will you apply to? Will you accept alternatives? How much, if any, financial aid do you need? All of these questions, and more, need answers as you start the college admission process. You may also be asking yourself when exactly is the best time to begin thinking about private college admissions. These are some things to consider.

When Should I Start Thinking About College?

While it’s never too early to consider what colleges you’d like to attend, the actual application process should begin in earnest during the summer before your senior year. During that time, you should begin to seriously narrow down where to apply. You’ll want to take advantage of the free time that summer vacation offers to research schools as the last thing you want is to be rushed during this process!

It’s important to take your time figuring out exactly what you want, so don’t wait until the summer is almost over. Be diligent in the research you do; at this point, you can’t be sure exactly where you’ll end up so have several options that you think will fit you well. You should also consider that many colleges allow you to apply early; this may increase your chances of being accepted, although it may also require you to commit to a school sooner so decide whether early application is right for you.

How Do I Choose a College?

There are many factors to consider when choosing which colleges to apply to. Of course, you should consider your major and focus on schools that have programs suited to your area of interest. Think about what the college’s admission requirements are, but don’t necessarily become discouraged if you think you don’t quite meet them. Often, the test scores listed on the school website are averages; if yours are slightly lower that doesn’t necessarily mean an automatic rejection.

There should be other considerations as well; research the cost of the schools and the campus culture. Don’t pick a school just because a friend (or boyfriend or girlfriend) is going there. Location matters as well! Do you plan to relocate for college, or stay closer to home? The culture of the college is important, too. Avoid selecting schools just because of the “party” reputations or other non-academic factors. Do consider, however, the values that matter to the school that you’re applying to. Visit the websites, social media and read the mission statements to get an understanding of a college’s core values. If you plan to go to college in the Portland area, and your Christian faith is a strong part of your life, applying at Warner Pacific College is an excellent choice.

What Do I Put On My Application?

Once you’ve narrowed down your potential choices to a manageable list (five to eight is usually recommended), it’s time to start work on the application. Most likely, these applications will need to be submitted by September, so allow plenty of time during summer break to perfect them.

Putting together applications for private college admissions is a bit of an art form; you’ll want to convey your unique personality so the school can see what type of person you are. If you are applying to a school that values leadership, for example, make sure your application emphasizes your leadership abilities. Colleges look not only at courses you completed, they also consider extracurricular activities (clubs, volunteering).

What Else Do I Need?

Often, it’s not enough to simply send in your application. You may need to do more if you want to maximize your chances of being admitted; letters of recommendation from teachers are an example of something that you may want to include. Ask your teachers for these as soon as you can! If the deadline for your application is in early fall, then you’ll want to have a letter ready to go by then. Teachers are busy people, so they may need some time to write your letter. It is not polite to rush them.

Early on in the process you should also consider how you expect to pay for college; find out how much your family plans to contribute and consult with the schools themselves about potential financial aid options.

I Submitted My Application, Now What?

The college admission process does not stop simply because you’ve submitted your application. More than ever, it’s essential you keep your grades up and make sure that potential colleges still see you as a good choice. It is possible for a school to revoke an acceptance offer should you prove to no longer meet the criteria due to falling grades during your senior year.

Usually, acceptance letters do not begin arriving until February, so you’ll have to be patient as you wait to start seeing them. Once they do begin to come in, congratulations! Your hard work will have begun to pay off. During this period, you can re-visit and tour your top choice schools. Observe as much as you can; the campus, the classrooms, and the housing situation should all be factors to consider.

Private college admissions are not easy, so you should be proud once you’ve completed this process! You will have taken a big step toward the next chapter of your life. The actions you take when applying for colleges will have a very profound effect on the rest of your life, so make sure you go through this process with deliberation and care.




Are Small Colleges Still Affordable?

Are Small Colleges Still Affordable?

Though many schools of higher education are firmly rooted in tradition—through campus life, sports, and legacy families—what higher education looks like today is quite different than it did for previous generations. With over 2,700 schools to choose from, online classes are becoming the norm and more schools are offering completely online degrees. Flexible schedules are allowing more people to earn degrees than ever before, but it comes at a cost (literally).

Tuition prices have skyrocketed in the past 20 years. Between 1995 and 2015, the average tuition at private U.S. universities rose by 179%, surpassed by out-of-state tuition for public schools’ increase of 226%, and in-state public university tuition alarming jump of 296% (note that inflation between the same years grew by just 55.1%). Collectively, the 44 million Americans saddled with student loans are $1.3 trillion in student debt. The average higher education graduate in 2016 has $37,172 in student loan debt, 6% more than students who graduated just one year before. So in short, all universities, big and small, are increasingly expensive.

Cost aside, earning your college degree is more important today than it ever has been—with one in every three people holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. With so many factors determining which career path is right for you, affordable small colleges make it easier to find your perfect fit without drowning in debt.

Why Choose a Small College?

Small colleges can be among the most affordable options for higher education and are scaled to create a strong sense of community among students and staff. Starting college can be overwhelming, but a smaller campus with fewer students can reduce reasons for anxiety.

Academically, affordable small colleges are more likely to employ instructors and professors who are there because they love to teach. Large universities often pull big-name professors who teach in order to have an institution to conduct their research. Small class sizes at small colleges facilitate one-on-one interactions and a tight-knit learning environment. With a shorter list of majors, small colleges often offer customizable degrees that cater to the career goals of each individual student.

How to Keep Small Colleges Affordable

Whether you go big or small, starting with a low base tuition is the best way to keep college affordable. Grants, loans, scholarships, and part-time jobs all make getting your degree more affordable, but first you need to determine which combination of these subsidies and payment methods is right for you:

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

During your college years, you’ll likely become quite acquainted with the acronym FAFSA—a huge factor in determining the amount and the kind of financial help you’ll receive each year. Your year in school, enrollment status, cost of attendance, and the income of your parents or guardians (unless you are an independent student, then your personal income will be a factor instead) all determine your eligibility for financial help. The tricky thing is, even if your parents or guardians do not plan to help pay for your tuition, FAFSA will take their income into account as if they are the ones picking up the check.

Government financial aid is divided among two categories. Need-based aid is financial aid that you can receive if you have financial need and meet other eligibility criteria. It includes grants, subsidized loans, and work-study opportunities. Non-need-based aid does not take Expected Family Contribution (based on household assets and income) into account, but rather is based on the other assistance a student has or will be receiving. Unsubsidized loans and minimal grants are included in non-need-based aid.


To qualify for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans, a student must be enrolled at least half-time (taking 6 credit hours of classes, for example). Subsidized loans give students a six-month post-graduation grace period until your payment obligation kicks in. Interest accumulated while the student is enrolled at least half-time is paid by the U.S. Department of Education. Interest payments for unsubsidized loans accrue throughout a student’s enrollment time and are tacked-on to the loan amount once the student graduates.  


Unlike loans, grants do not have to be paid back. Grants can be privately or governmentally funded. The Federal Pell Grant is part of FAFSA’s need-based aid and is usually awarded only to undergraduate students who have not yet earned a degree. Every student who is deemed eligible on a need-based evaluation can receive the Pell Grant. The amount allotted per student each year fluctuates and will change each academic year. Even if you do not qualify for grants through the government, there’s a good chance you can apply to some through your affordable small college’s website.


Scholarships are awarded for just about anything you could think of and though they usually require a lengthy application process, scholarships can help save thousands of dollars on college tuition. High schools, extracurriculars, and sports teams, as well as private foundations and companies, are all great resources for potential scholarship money. College websites list scholarships awarded through the school. Like grants, you don’t have to pay back scholarships.


Nearly every school offers a work-study program that provides part-time work for enrolled students with financial need as determined by FAFSA. Work-study programs are often available to both half-time and full-time students and include both on-campus jobs and jobs through select nonprofit organizations or public agencies. Work-study jobs are typically very flexible and work around class schedules. Students are paid hourly and placement is determined by a student’s skill-set and financial need, though the early worm does usually get the employment worm! Be proactive. If your FAFSA determined you eligible, apply before the semester starts to increase your chances of being placed.




President Cook’s Statement on Free Speech

To the Warner Pacific Community:

Recently, our Knights joined an on-going national conversation about free speech and the rights of student-athletes to protest peacefully. I know that many of you have strong feelings about these actions and some of you have shared your opinions about the decision by members of the men’s basketball team to kneel during the national anthem at the home game on November 15, 2016.

I have heard both support for the actions of these students as well as concerns over the choice they have made, and I understand the deep convictions and concerns driving both perspectives. As a community, our ability to live in this tension with grace is both our privilege as Americans and our calling as followers of Christ.

As a community, Warner Pacific is dedicated to putting our core values into practice. We respect students’ capacity to think independently and encourage each one to engage actively in the academic and co-curricular learning process. While at Warner Pacific, we desire for students to learn the importance of questioning the status quo as they become critical thinkers who are capable of evaluating evidence to inform their decisions. As the President of Warner Pacific College, I fully support your right to enter into this conversation respectfully and I welcome the diverse perspective that each of us brings.

I recognize that some people may be upset by the actions taken by these students, or by the response of those who oppose these actions. But let me be clear, Warner Pacific College holds fast to the First Amendment rights of every student and employee. Whether you are debating in the classroom, praying in the locker room, petitioning at city hall, waving the American flag, or kneeling during the national anthem; we are all protected under the same freedoms.

We have the privilege to walk with young people as they journey through this process of learning; wrestling with their perspectives on many things, including faith and grace. We have this moment—a span of a few years— to engage them in a Christ-centered learning process that will help form and frame their lives beyond this place.

My hope is that Warner Pacific will be known as a community that invites and encourages all to come to the table where we can engage in respectful and civil dialogue rather than shouting at one another from the corners.

With Hope and Gratitude,
Andrea P. Cook, Ph.D.

RELATED: Cascade Collegiate Conference Statement

















Certified Personal Trainer Certification Available to WPC Students

In partnership with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), Warner Pacific is excited to be able to offer our students a Bachelor of Science in Health & Wellness that includes a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) accreditation.

As the only four-year institution in Oregon affiliated with NASM, Warner Pacific believes this partnership will provide our graduates with the competitive edge they need to enter the workforce with the skills, training, and confidence to succeed as health and wellness professionals. According to NASM, “The fitness professional provides guidance to help clients achieve their personal, health, fitness, and performance goals via the implementation of exercise programs, nutritional recommendations, and suggestions in lifestyle modification.”

The NASM CPT certification is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The NCCA is a nationally recognized third party agency that accredits certification programs which are able to meet and comply with its standards. NCCA’s mission is to help ensure the health, welfare, and safety of the public through the accreditation of certification programs that assess professional competence.

Earning your CPT as you complete your Warner Pacific degree program means that you’ll have the practical and scientific knowledge to work in a variety of facilities, including health clubs, gyms, university, corporate, and community or public fitness centers, and positions ranging from freelance to full-time.