703-753-2791 info@ascent.edu

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Ascent College

PO Box 690
Gainesville, VA 20156-0690

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I Have Some Questions...

...We Have The Answers!


Will my diploma say I completed my program online?

Your diploma will be exactly the same as if you completed your degree on-campus. It carries the same value as any college degree.


Are Ascent College online degrees accredited?

Ascent College is fully accredited with the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE).  View accreditation.

Admissions Process

How much will my tuition be?

Tuition & Fees for the 2022-2023 Academic Year:
$300 per college credit or $50 per audit credit; $125 Orientation & Library Resource class (one-time).

How do I apply for online degree programs?

The application process for online degree programs is the same as for on-campus degree programs.  The process is started with an application.

What do I need to do if I am accepted into the program?

You will receive an email indicating your acceptance into the program.  Once you decide to attend Ascent College, you will email the Registar, who will send you the  login information to both your Populi (the student records account and the online learning platform) account and your ascent.edu email.  You should log into your Populi account and assure we have your current email. You may change your password to your particular selection.  Also, you should log into your ascent.edu account and make this the primary way of communication on your Populi account. Be sure to purchase your textbook(s) well before classes start.  The textbook list is on the student page.  At least one week before the semester begins, you should daily monitor your Populi account for the posting of your courses.  Once your courses are posted and the semester begins, start with the Week One module.  Populi has some tutorial videos on YouTube that you may find helpful if you are new to our learning platform.  

Online Classes

Can I take my entire program online?  Do I need to come to the Hampton, VA campus for anything?

You will not need to come to campus for anything.  Your degree is completely obtained from your home.

Are online courses open to on-campus students?

Yes.  On-campus students may take online courses as they choose.

How do I order my books?

Ascent College does not operate a college bookstore.  The textbook list for each semester can be found on the Ascent College website on the student page.  You order your books from whatever source you choose.   You may choose to order your textbook from an online source, you may choose to rent your textbook from an online source, or you may procure from a local bookstore. If you choose to order from an online source, you may want to explore www.Amazon.comwww.campusbooks4less.comconsumer affairs textbooks, or google “textbooks” for a listing of several sources. Students may have a choice of ordering electronic books, hardback books, or paperback books from these sources. If you choose to rent from an online source, you may want to explore www.campusbookrentals.comwww.chegg.comwww.bookrenter.com or google “rental textbooks” for a listing of several sources.  Normally, renting books are less costly than purchasing books.  Remember, rental books must be returned to the vendor, while purchased books are yours to keep for your library.

What are online courses like?

To access classes, online students log in to Populi using their Ascent College login.  Populi is a delivery platform that allows students to navigate to each class' announcements, syllabus and schedule (with links to download audio, video and assignments) in addition to discussion boards and student groups. In many respects, it's similar to an on-campus course, but you decide when to log on and view the virtual classroom information.

Do online classes meet at a certain time?

Online courses are asynchronous.  This means that there is not a set time where all students in a class are expected to be online.

Are online classes harder than on-campus classes?

Online and on-campus courses require the same amount of work.  There is no academic difference----both are rigorous and challenging.

How will I interact with faculty if I have a question?

You will be provided with your instructor’s email and phone number on each course syllabus.  In addition, the Populi Discussion Forum will include a discussion forum dedicated to questions to the instructor and responses from the instructor so that every student can see the student’s question and the instructor’s response.

How will I interact with my fellow students?

For each course, Populi will allow students to have email contact with all other students in the course. Also you will be communicating weekly with other class members in your weekly discussion forums and in some courses you may be collaborating with fellow students in virtual small groups, wikis and blogs.

Partner Church Sites

Our multiple partner sites allow students to study and work in ministry at the same time.  The vital training that happens in the partner sites cannot be underestimated.  It is purposeful faith in action at the church level and allows students to put into practice what they are learning about in class.  See our list of sites on the Partner Site page.

Bachelor's Degree

Our 4-year Bachelor's Degree in Ministry Leadership offers students eight concentrations in Ministerial Leadership, Biblical Studies, Children's Ministry Leadership,  Christian Counseling with a Focus in Psychology, Christian Counseling with a Focus in Pastoral Ministry,  Intercultural Studies, Worship Leadership, and Youth Ministry Leadership.

Associate's Degree

Our 2-year Associate's Degree in Ministry Leadership provides students with limited time or funds an opportunity to get started in a new career.


Our 1-year Diploma in Ministry Leadership gives students a starting point for formal education in the church to later build on with additional studies.

Head Office

PO Box 690, Gainesville, VA 20156-0690

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Ascent College's financial aid school code is 041538. It may display as Bethel College, the former name of Ascent College.


Ascent College admits students of any race, color, nationality, or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, handicap, national, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, and other school-administered programs.