14 NAIA schools in Missouri

Are you aspiring to become a student-athlete? Then feel free to join me as I highlight the NAIA schools in Missouri that you can enroll in and make that dream a reality.

Missouri is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is well known for its barbecue, strong agriculture industry, and iconic landmarks like the Gateway Arch.

 It is bordered by eight states: Iowa to the north, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee to the east, Arkansas to the south, and Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska to the west.

Missouri is home to some of the best culinary schools, and accredited online colleges. For people interested in pursuing a nursing degree at a fast pace, you can find some accelerated nursing programs in Missouri to enroll in.

If you have always been an athletic student right from high school and are always involved in sporting competitions, events, and the like of it, and would like to keep up the passion while earning a degree at one of the prestigious universities in Missouri,  then you have just made one of the best decisions ever, because you can be a student-athlete, involved in your favorite sports and still follow up on your academics.

Every year, the NAIA sponsors more than 15 different sports in men, women, and co-ed categories and conducts 22 championships that are aired on major US sports channels.

This presents an opportunity for student-athletes to bring their talents to maximum capacity and catch the attention of big teams for possible signing.

As an aspiring student-athlete, if you play any of the sports below whether male or female, you can go ahead to apply for one of the NAIA colleges in Missouri

  • Baseball
  • Bowling
  • Competitive cheer
  • Competitive dance
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Lacrosse
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming/diving
  • Tennis
  • Indoor track & field
  • Outdoor track & field
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling
  • Beach volleyball
  • Flag Football

All of these sports are offered in male, female, and coed categories.

The NAIA, as well as, the students and colleges involved live up to five core values which are integrity, respect, responsibilities, sportsmanship, and servant leadership. Let’s go into these NAIA schools in Missouri properly.

NAIA Schools in Missouri 

NAIA Schools in Missouri 

According to the NAIA, there are 14 colleges and universities in Missouri affiliated with the association. These schools are as follows;

  •   Park University
  • St. Louis College of Pharmacy
  • Stephens College
  •  William Woods University
  • Harris–Stowe State University
  •  Missouri Baptist University (MBU)
  •  Hannibal-LaGrange University
  •  Missouri Valley College
  • Columbia College
  •  Evangel University
  • Cottey College
  • Culver-Stockton College
  • Avila University
  •  Central Methodist University

1.         Park University

Founded in 1875, Park University is a private university in Parkville and one of the college athletic schools in Missouri. This school offers over 30+ minors, and 40+ majors in 3 different colleges of learning namely; the College of Management, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and College of Education and Health Professions. They also offer a large selection of online degree programs. These degrees work well for a busy professional juggling the demands of career and family.

  The name of their athletic team is The Pirates, and its colors are canary and wine. They have been involved in 18 intercollegiate varsity sports for both men and women, and their Men’s, Women’s, and Co-ed Sports are volleyball, cross country, and Esports respectively.

2.       St. Louis College of Pharmacy

Founded in 1864, the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy is a private university that is focused on the health sciences that is located in St. Louis, Missouri. It is one of the oldest pharmacy schools in the United States and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

For more than 155 years, the college has been preparing students for expert practice and leadership in pharmacy careers. Through a rigorous curriculum, you will learn to provide interprofessional, evidence-based, patient-centered care in any practice setting

The name of their athletic team is The Eutectics and its colors are purple and gold, they are also one of the NAIA member schools in the state. They have been involved in 28 intercollegiate varsity sports for both men and women. Their Men’s and Women’s Sports are Wrestling and Tennis respectively in accordance with other sports.

3.       Stephens College

Stephens College is a privately-owned female college in Columbia, Missouri. It was named after James L. Stephens.

Started on August 24, 1833, as the Columbia Female Academy, Stephens College is one of the oldest women’s educational institutions in the United States. They offer different undergraduate programs, graduate programs, minors, and honor programs in their various schools namely; the School of Health Sciences, School of Integrative Studies, and Conservatory for the Performing Arts

Stephens College is a proud affiliate of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and a member of the American Midwest Conference (AMC). The name of their athletic team is The Stars, and they are participating in four intercollegiate varsity sports: basketball, soccer, softball, and volleyball.

4.        William Woods University

William Woods University was founded in 1870, it is a private university in Fulton, Missouri, and has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The university is a learning community of more than 3,500 students and faculty, including some 1,100 traditional undergraduates representing more than 35 US states and 24 countries on their 225-acre campus in Fulton, Missouri.

They offer unique undergraduate programs, including an internationally recognized equestrian studies program, a four-year American Sign Language interpreting program, and a criminal justice degree with homeland security emphasis.

The name of their athletic team is The Owls and their colors are forest green and maroon.

The Owls have been involved in 19 intercollegiate varsity sports for both men and women. These Sports for men, women, and Co-ed include bowling, golf, and cheerleading respectively with other types of sports.

5.       Harris–Stowe State University

Harris–Stowe State University started as a black public university in St. Louis, Missouri. The school is known for its excellence in offering programs in education, business, and arts & sciences. They offer programs designed to nurture intellectual curiosity and build authentic skills that prepare their students for success in a diverse society.

The name of their athletic team mascots is The Hornets, and their colors are brown and gold, and they as well compete in 12 intercollegiate varsity sports. Their Men and Women’s Sports are soccer and volleyball respectively.

6.        Missouri Baptist University (MBU)

Missouri Baptist University (MBU) is one of the three universities of the Missouri Baptist Convention, it is a private Southern Baptist university in Creve Coeur, Missouri.

 Missouri Baptist University is a progressive liberal arts university that offers over 50-degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Academic programs at Missouri Baptist are designed to be rigorous in nature, encouraging students to reach their full potential.

The name of their athletic team is The Spartans, and they participate in 28 intercollegiate varsity sports for both men and women. Their mascot colors are navy, white, and blue. Their Men and Women’s sports are Golf and Lacrosse respectively in conjunction with other sports.

7.        Hannibal-LaGrange University

Formerly called the Hannibal–LaGrange College, the Hannibal–LaGrange University (HLGU), is a private Christian university in Hannibal associated with the Missouri Baptist Convention. They offer different academic programs, undergraduate majors, online programs, and honors programs.

The name of their athletic team is The Trojans, and they participate in 12 intercollegiate varsity sports fielding both men and women. Some of their Men’s Sports are baseball, basketball, cross country, soccer, track & field, and wrestling. Some of their women’s sports are basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, track & field, and volleyball.

8.        Missouri Valley College

Founded in 1889, Missouri Valley College is a privately-owned college that is religiously affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA) and located in Marshall, Missouri. The school is made up of different academic divisions, course offerings as well as degree programs offered in majors, minors, and online.

The name of their athletic team is The Vikings, their colors are purple and orange, and they participate in 29 intercollegiate varsity sports for both men and women. Their Men and Women’s Sports are powerlifting and volleyball respectively with other sports

9.       Columbia College

Columbia College is also among on the list of the best NAIA colleges in Missouri, it is a private college founded in 1851 as a nonsectarian college in Columbia, Missouri.

Columbia College is a leader in higher education. They serve students on their residential campus, online, and at more than 30 educational venues across the country. Named one of the best online schools in the country, their programs equip learners of all ages with the skills needed to succeed in the workforce of today and tomorrow

The name of their athletic team is The Cougars, and they participate in 18 intercollegiate varsity sports for both men and women. Some of their sports for Men, women, and Co-ed are Lacrosse, Cross country, and competitive cheer respectively with other sports too.

10.    Evangel University

Evangel University is one of the top NAIA schools in Missouri,  located in Springfield, it is a Christian university that is affiliated with the Assemblies of God Christian denomination. Offering more than 70 academic programs, Evangel is on the cutting edge of today’s professional fields and vocational ministry training.

The name of their athletic team is The Valor and they participate in 17 intercollegiate varsity sports for both men and women. Their Male and female sports are golf and tennis respectively, with other types of sports included.

11.   Cottey College

Cottey College is an independent, privately owned liberal arts and sciences women’s college in Nevada, Missouri. Since 1884, the College has offered young women the opportunity to learn and grow into leaders, role models, and confident individuals.

They have multiple degree options intended to fit your needs. You can choose from a variety of 15 bachelor’s programs to study, as well as online courses

The name of their athletic team is The Comets, and they participate in 8 intercollegiate varsity sports namely; basketball, cross country, eSports, flag football, golf, softball, track, and field, and volleyball.

12.   Culver-Stockton College

Founded in 1853 by members of the Disciples of Christ Church, Culver-Stockton College has more than 160 years of educational and historical experience – surviving the Civil War and Great Depression, promoting social equality, and incorporating technological advances – always reaching new levels of excellence. It is a privately-owned liberal arts college in Canton, Missouri.

Culver–Stockton is one of the Missouri athletic colleges that is a member of the NAIA. They offer different Majors and  Minors, Online Undergraduate Programs, Graduate Programs, and  Pre-Professional Programs

The name of their athletic team is The Wildcats, and they participate in 22 intercollegiate varsity sports for both men and women. These sports for Men and women include Football and Softball respectively with a host of other sports.

13.   Avila University

Avila University is the first on our list of NAIA schools in Missouri. It is a Roman Catholic university located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a values-based community of learning providing liberal arts, professional, undergraduate, and graduate education to prepare students for responsible lifelong contributions to the global community. Avila is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. They offer different programs, majors, and minors in their various Colleges Their colleges are as follows;

  • College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
  • College of Science & Health
  • College of Professional Schools

The name of their athletic team is The Eagles, and they compete in 14 intercollegiate varsity sports for both men and women. Their Men and Women’s Sports are baseball and basketball respectively with a host of other sports

14.    Central Methodist University

Founded in 1854, Central Methodist University is a four-year, private, liberal arts university. CMU’s main campus, home to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), is located in Fayette, Missouri, enrolling 1,100 students.

More than 4,000 students attend CMU’s College of Graduate and Extended Studies (CGES), which offers classes online and at sites across Missouri and the region. CMU is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and welcomes students of all faiths.

They are involved in 19 intercollegiate varsity sports competing for both men and women, and the name of their athletic team is The Eagles. Their sports for Men, Women, and Co-ed Sports  are Football, Softball, and  Esports with a host of others


Seeing these NAIA schools in Missouri, if you are currently residing in the State, you should consider enrolling in any of these schools as a student-athlete