Trinity Christian College - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Trinity Christian College
Trinity Christian College turns students’ passions and character into incredible, tangible achievement so they...

Trinity Christian College

Palos Heights, Illinois

Trinity Christian College has been changing students’ lives since 1959, having been begun by a group of entrepreneurs who wanted to develop Chicago-area Christians who would put their faith into action, not just believe. As a smaller college, Trinity provides students with individualized attention, harnessing an extensive network throughout Chicago in order to make a difference in the world. Trinity faculty help students discover their passion and develop it into incredible achievement. Through a Biblically informed liberal arts education, the College community endeavors to provide an environment of Christian integrity and love, enhancing and supporting the entire learning experience.

Student Profile

Fall 2016 Enrollment
1,085 undergraduate students
83% of undergrad students are full time
35% male — 65% female
53% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2016-2017 Academic Year
70 full-time faculty
86 part-time faculty
11 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2016
88% of first-year students live on campus
45% of all students live on campus

School Location

Trinity is located in the Chicago suburb of Palos Heights, IL. As a former golf course, Trinity’s campus is tucked away in a residential community that provides a scenic view of trees and surrounding nature preserves, creating a serene environment in which to study and interact. Restaurants, shopping, and entertainment are all close by, and endless possibilities within Chicago are just minutes away.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

First-Year Seminars and Experiences X
Common Intellectual Experiences X
Learning Communities X
Writing-Intensive Courses X
Collaborative Assignments and Projects X
Undergraduate Research X
Diversity/Global Learning X
Service-Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X


83% of students began in Fall 2015 and returned in Fall 2016 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2016

58% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 2%
Hispanic/Latino 14%
Black or African American 9%
White 68%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 2%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 4%


Trinity boasts 12 varsity teams that compete in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) and are members of both the NAIA and NCCAA. Men’s teams include basketball, baseball, soccer, track & field, cross country, and volleyball. Women compete in basketball, softball, soccer, track & field, cross country, and volleyball. Junior varsity teams also compete in soccer (men’s and women’s) and men’s basketball. Trinity’s mascot is the Troll, recognized nationally as one of the top 10 most unique college mascots.

Other Information

Trinity Christian College is a private, undergraduate and graduate degree-granting institution that operates under a charter granted by the state of Illinois in 1959. Trinity is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Accreditation Council of Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and the Illinois State Board of Education for K-12, elementary, middle grades, secondary, and special education licensure.

In all programs, including the liberal arts and sciences, professional and preprofessional preparation, Trinity strives to offer the highest quality of instruction to prepare students for excellence in their further studies and careers beyond college. The College aims to graduate students who are well equipped to bring the discipline of rigorous academic work into their chosen vocations as well as the practice of Christ-like service toward others into their personal and public lives.

Academic Programs

Art and Design – Art Education – Art History* – Art Therapy – Digital Design – Graphic Design – Studio Art Biology – Bioinformatics – Biology – Biology Education – Environmental Science – Environmental Studies* – Health Science* Business, Accounting, & Economics – Accountancy – Business – Business Education – Economic Studies* – Entrepreneurial Management – Entrepreneurship* – Finance – Human Resource Management – Marketing Chemistry – Biochemistry and Molecular Biology – Chemistry – Chemistry Education Communication Arts – Business Communication – Communication Studies – Film Studies – Health Communication – Media Studies – Theatre Computer Science – Computer Science – Computing Criminal Justice Education – Education* – Education Studies* – Educational Technology* – Elementary Education – Elementary Education Studies – ESL/Bilingual* – Middle Grades Education – Special Education English – English – English Education – Writing* – Writing and Web Design History – Black Studies – History – History Education – Pre-Law* – Social Science Education* Mathematics – Mathematics – Mathematics Education Music – Music – Music Education – Music in Worship* – Music and Worship – Music Production Nursing Philosophy Physical Education, Recreation,& Kinesiology – Coaching* – Exercise Science – Health Education* – Physical Education – Recreation and Sport Management – Sport Studies Physics* Psychology – Neuroscience and Behavior* – Psychology – Speech Language Pathology Science – Science* – Science Education* Social Work Sociology – Sociology* – Urban Studies* Spanish – Spanish – Spanish Education Theology and Ministry – Biblical Studies – Christian Ministry – Cross Cultural Ministry – Historical and Systematic Theology – Theology – Youth Ministry PRE-PROFESSIONAL PROGRAMS – Pre-Physical Therapy – Allied Health Sciences – Engineering 2+2 – Pre-Dentistry – Pre-Law – Pre-Medicine – Pre-Speech and Language Sciences – Pre-Seminary GRADUATE DEGREES – Counseling Psychology – Special Education LBS I – Special Education Behavior Intervention Specialist * Denotes minor only

More Distinctions

  • 2017 U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges and Universities”

  • 2017 Niche “Safest College Campuses in America”

  • 2017-2018 College Consensus “Best Colleges in Illinois”

  • Named a Champions of Character Five-Star Institution by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)

  • Named one of America’s Healthiest Companies by Interactive Health

  • Trinity’s nursing graduates recorded a 100% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN exam administered by NCSBN in 2015 and 2016

  • In 2016, graduates of Trinity’s accounting program scored the highest average passing score in the state for schools with 46 or more exam sections taken on the CPA exams administered by the Illinois Board of Examiners

Honors Program

For academically gifted, intellectually curious, and deeply passionate students interested in leadership formation, Trinity’s Honors Program provides both challenge and support through a customized curriculum. As part of The Honors Program, students become leaders on Trinity’s campus, in communities beyond the College, and in their chosen professional and graduate fields. The program also offers opportunities for mentoring conversations through such activities as excursions to downtown Chicago, Honors teas, and communal meals.

Community Partnerships and Service-Learning

Trinity’s community believes strongly that service is not something to be done exclusively in the summer or over spring break; rather, it should be woven into the fabric of their lives. At the core of the Office of Community Partnerships and Service-Learning (OCPSL) is a strong college-organization relationship with valued partners. Through reciprocal relationships with these community partners, Trinity is able to serve not only students, but the larger community as well. Trinity seeks to equip local organizations with dedicated, responsible student volunteers and interns. It’s with these partners that the College prepares its students to be “active members of a community based on the Biblical requirements of justice, humility, and love”.  

Students regularly engage with ministries and organizations around the Chicago area to provide tutoring, mentoring, meals for the homeless, and a helping hand to others. Some of the ministries with which Trinity partners include By the Hand Club for Kids, Restoration Ministries, Roseland Christian Ministries, Feed my Starving Children, and Children’s Hunger Fund.

Student Research

Students at Trinity have incredible opportunities to participate in undergraduate research. Unlike larger universities at which traditional undergraduates do not have access to research opportunities, students at Trinity are working directly alongside faculty to deepen their engagement within their field of study. Upperclassmen have the additional opportunity to become a VanderVelde Research Fellow, receiving a scholarship as recognition for their work.

One of the key highlights in Trinity research is the opportunity for students to present their discoveries at both a local and national level. Each spring, Trinity students are able to present their work during the annual OPUS celebration, a school-wide recognition of achievement and performance. Students have also been invited to present their work at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR), held annually at various universities around the country. Being able to present on a national level is a rich opportunity for students to showcase their work to their peers, hone their presentation skills, and network with the top graduate schools in the nation.

Study Abroad

There’s no better time to travel abroad than during the college years. Based on its mission to provide an education that encourages cross-cultural understanding within a biblical framework, Trinity encourages all students to take advantage of semester-long trips abroad so that they may broaden their understanding of other cultures and complement their on-campus field of study. Many of the options include field education, internships, or service-learning—both in foreign and domestic settings. Trinity’s off-campus programs include locations in Spain, Ecuador, Netherlands, Oman, Romania, and Downtown Chicago. Students can also participate in several other programs through consortial agreements with other institutions in Australia, the Balkans, Nashville, Costa Rica, Los Angeles, the Middle East, England, Uganda, or Washington, DC.


Campus Ministries X
Choral groups X
Concert band X
Drama/theatre X
International Student Organization X
Jazz band X
Literary magazine  
Marching band  
Model UN  
Music ensembles X
Musical theatre  
Pep band  
Radio station  
Student government X
Student newspaper X
Student-run film society  
Symphony orchestra  
Television station  

It’s often said that “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know,” but it is perhaps better put, “It’s who you know who cares about you.” At Trinity, it is this personal touch that makes an incredible difference in a student’s education. Professors make themselves readily available for students after class, during posted office hours, and even in the evenings so that each student can succeed. Many faculty at other institutions would rather spend time doing research that tending to students’ needs, but what ignites Trinity faculty and sets them apart is their dedication to helping students discover and pursue their passions the fullest extent. This deep drive for student success translates to a rich and vibrant learning community that puts the student first above all.

First-Year Forum

The Office of the First-Year Experience (FYE) is dedicated to helping new Trolls transition successfully to the College. From the first day on campus, this program empowers students to take full advantage of the academic, social, spiritual, and volunteer opportunities on campus, across the Chicago area, and around the world. FYE helps bring students into the campus community in order to figure out more about who they are.

New Programs

As the world changes and new needs arise, Trinity is committed to providing new and innovative programs that meet the demands of today’s market. Trinity recently introduced new programs in Art Therapy, Health Communication, HR Management, Writing and Web Design, Music and Worship, Recreation and Sport Management, Youth Ministry, Cross-Cultural Ministries, and Christian Ministry. Each program will continue to provide hands-on internship or field experience for every student to ensure that they are fully trained for life after graduation.

Office of Learning Services

As a commitment to help all students succeed, Trinity’s Office of Learning Services extends to all Trinity students, helping with peer tutoring, academic coaching, disability, and probationary services. Whether students are afraid of losing a scholarship or struggling to understand content in their classes, Trinity is committed to their the academic well-being

Worldview Series

Trinity’s WorldView series is an annual community and college series for film, word, and current events and music. Students are exposed to a wide variety of interesting topics by thought-provoking speakers who offer critical insights, challenged to think deeply about issues that are crucially relevant to society.


Arts/fine arts X
Computer literacy  
English (including composition) X
Foreign languages  
History X
Humanities X
Mathematics X
Philosophy X
Sciences (biological or physical) X
Social science X


Other: Theology, Cross Cultural, Physical Wellness


Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 95 82 73 30 1 1 0 282

Student Activities

The Trinity Student Activities crew makes campus an exciting place to be! They plan events for students every weekend, utilizing the incredible campus facilities as well as the unlimited opportunities in Chicago. Live music performances, talent shows, dances, movie nights, and fun excursions throughout the city are just the a taste of what happens each week. Campus traditions like The Amazing Mess, Troll Madness, Formal, and Troll Stock always provide something to look forward to. Trinity values the community on campus, and Student Activities exists to help deepen such a College-wide bond.

Troll Nation

Trinity students enthusiastically support their sports teams and their mascot—the one and only Troll—as part of the Troll Nation. Trinity’s student section is easily identified at every home contest, packed with fans who cheer the team on to victory. Student leaders help organize different themes like 80’s night, whiteouts, grilling before the game, and taking pictures with Troll.

Resident Assistants

The residence life program is developed and managed by professional administrative educators, called Area Directors. Assistant Area Directors (AADs) and Resident Assistants (RAs) are experienced student leaders who serve the residence life program alongside professional staff. They are selected for their heart for others, clear understanding for the mission of Trinity, and excellent leadership qualities. Together, the RAs and AADs work to create a fun, safe, and supportive environment by planning events and ensuring that all students are able to thrive while living on campus.

Trinity Business Network

The Trinity Business Network (TBN) is committed to providing Christ-centered business learning opportunities for Trinity Christian College students, alumni, and friends. To fulfill this mission, TBN hosts regular speaking engagements with local and nationally known business people, small group discussions, educational workshops, and seminars. These opportunities are always free to Trinity students, providing them unique insights and access to top business professionals.

Campus Ministries

The Chaplain’s Office facilitates and leads various ministries with the help of the student ministry leadership team. This team is made up of student ministry leaders, student worship scholarship recipients, and peer ministry scholarship recipients. It meets weekly with the Chaplain to review ministry activities, grow in spiritual formation, learn leadership skills, and encourage one another in prayer and by mutual accountability. Worship ministries on Trinity’s campus include the chapel program, Sunday Night Worship, Men’s and Women’s Ministry, Prayer Ministry, and Outcry, a student-led praise and worship group.


Coed dorms X
Men’s dorms  
Women’s dorms  
Apartments for married students  
Apartments for single students  
Special housing for disabled students  
Special housing for international students  
Fraternity/sorority housing  
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing  
Wellness housing  
Other housing options  

Trinity students are prepared for life beyond college thanks to their liberal arts curriculum that is grounded in Christian faith. The College’s 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio allows for personal mentoring that brings out the best in each student. In fact, 92% of the average graduating class is employed or in grad school within six months of graduation. Trinity alumni are confident in what they believe and possess the skills and experience necessary to excel in their field for good, for God, and for the world.


Trinity recognizes that one of the biggest disadvantages of looking for a job after after graduation is lack of professional experience. To combat this challenge, every Trinity student is required to have a practical, hands-on experiences before they graduate. These internship, capstone, or research experiences provide them with the knowledge and network they need by matching them to specific opportunities that fit their ultimate goals. Students work with their faculty advisor, alumni, and career services to find the experience that perfectly suits their needs.

Chicago Network

Being located next to the nation’s third largest city is a distinct Trinity student advantage. Trinity’s extensive network of alumni, friends, and partners provides students with unique experiences that can’t be matched at other institutions. Students bring their coursework to life with excursions both in and around the city, and guest speakers and experts in every field are accessible for lectures and various speaking engagements. Internships and field experiences are nearly unlimited, and the opportunities for weekend exploration and fun never stop.

Office of Career and Vocation

The Office of Career and Vocation provides students with the necessary tools to thrive upon graduation. The process of career preparation does not wait to start until senior year; rather, Trinity is intentional to bring the necessary skills and knowledge to students as soon as they begin their orientation experience. Students can discover their vocational strengths through various inventory tests, and they are each mentored on how to develop productive résumés as early as their freshman year. Faculty regularly partner with the Office to best develop insight on the various career paths and outcomes of their students’ majors. Students regularly praise the one-on-one attention and guidance they receive, enjoying specifically focused aid that helps them pursue their passions.



884 Total Applicants 
569 Total Admissions 
160 Total Freshman Enrollment

64.37% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2017-18 Admission

Rolling admission? Yes

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Rigor of secondary school record
Academic GPA
Standardized test scores

Application Essay
Extracurricular activities
Character/personal qualities
Religious affiliation/commitment

Class rank
First generation
Alumni/ae relation
Geographical residence
Volunteer work
Work experience
Level of applicant’s interest

Freshman Profile Fall 2016

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 418 618
SAT Math 450 600
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 20 27
ACT Math 18 26
ACT English 20 27
ACT Writing    

Admissions Process

Students are encouraged to apply during the fall semester of their senior year. They can apply to Trinity using the Common Application or via the College’s application online. Students are admitted on a rolling basis and typically receive a decision regarding their enrollment within two weeks of submitting all required documents to the College.


Net Price Calculator


Tuition $28,200
Fees $475
Total $28,675
Room and Board (on campus) $9,680
Estimated Total On Campus $38,355


Average Financial Aid Packages 2016-2017

$22,583 First-year students
$15,990 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2016-2017

7% on average, the percentage of need that was met
14% of financial need students that had need fully met

$15,990 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$4,640 Average need-based loan

Financial Aid Info

Trinity seeks to keep the costs of higher education down and has one of the lowest college tuitions in the state of Illinois. Academic and merit scholarships are awarded year-round in addition to other scholarships that have a priority deadline of December 1. Every admissions representative is also trained in financial aid literacy to help students navigate this process. Students are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as October 1 of their senior year to maximize their potential for scholarships and grants.

Scholarships are awarded each year to new incoming students based on the following criteria:

  • Academic
  • Athletic
  • Alumni
  • Financial Need
  • Honors Program
  • Christian leadership
  • Drama/Theater
  • Choir
  • Band
  • National Merit
  • Residency
  • Academic Program/Major
  • Phi Theta Kappa