SBUBolivar, Missouri Est. 1878

Religion and Philosophy major at Southwest Baptist University

Degree Requirements

Clubs & Organizations

Related Majors

Questions? Contact

Bing Boyd Bayer, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Theology, and Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew
(417) 328-1765

Visit the Department of Theology website for more information.

Christian leaders need a strong foundation in church history, philosophy and theology.

Establish that foundation at Southwest Baptist University, where students gain insight into philosophical problems and representative systems of thought to understand important doctrines of the Christian faith and to understand the development, expansion and historical impact of Christianity.

The SBU Advantage

  • Courses in Greek and Hebrew lay the essential linguistic foundations for those who teach and proclaim the Bible as well as teach the language skills necessary to a liberal arts program.
  • All professors hold doctorates and represent a wide range of educational backgrounds including Baylor Graduate School, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, Dallas Theological Seminary and others.
  • Our Religion and Philosophy professors are published authors and have completed additional study at institutions such as Oxford, Notre Dame and Hebrew Union.

Course Information

In addition to general education, graduation and Redford CORE requirements, Religion and Philosophy majors must complete a total of 36 hours of courses: History of Christianity I or II (3 hours), Philosophy of Religion (3 hours), 15 hours of Philosophy classes beyond the required CORE classes, and 15 hours of Theology classes beyond the required CORE classes.


Students preparing for a church-related vocation, including Intercultural Studies majors, can apply for the Church-Related Vocation Scholarship. Students must submit applications by March 1 and other required supporting documentation by June 1. Recipients are expected to participate in SBU’s In-Service Training Program and must complete The Baptist Denomination (THE 3023) class.

More information is available on the Financial Aid page.

Graduate and Career Opportunities

The coursework is excellent preparation for missions, church service, and seminary or graduate school. About half of our theology graduates go on to seminary or graduate school and half being work in churches upon graduation.

Degree Requirements

Redford CORE Classes

BIB 2093 Methods of Biblical Interpretation
Introduction to the task of interpreting the Bible in its literary and historical context and applying its teaching to modern life. Particular attention is given to principles concerning the qualifications and presuppositions of the interpreter, the nature of prose and poetic literature, and the character of the various genres found in both testaments.
CHR 3013 Introduction to Ministry
Study of the work of the vocational ministers of the local church with special attention given to the ministry of all believers.
PHI 2013 Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview
Introduction to historical and/or contemporary philosophical questions, problems, issues, and figures, with special emphasis on topics relevant to constructing and defending a coherent, philosophically adequate, Christian worldview.
THE 3113 Christian Doctrine
Analysis and interpretation of the major doctrines of the Christian religion.
Choose one of the following:
THE 3463 History of Christianity I
Survey of early and medieval Christianity up to the eve of the Reformation.
THE 3673 History of Christianity II
Survey of the history of Christianity from the Reformation to the present.
PHI 4013 Philosophy of Religion
Critical analysis of central problems and issues in philosophy of religion, including such topics as the attributes of God, arguments for and against God’s existence, the relationship of faith and reason, divine foreknowledge and human freedom, the problem of religious diversity, and the possibility and nature of religious experience, miracles, and immortality.
Fifteen hours of Philosophy courses (beyond CORE courses)
Fifteen hours of Theology courses (beyond CORE courses)
Choose one of the following (whichever one not taken for CORE):
THE 3463 History of Christianity I
Survey of early and medieval Christianity up to the eve of the Reformation.
THE 3673 History of Christianity II
Survey of the history of Christianity from the Reformation to the present.