SBUBolivar, Missouri Est. 1878

Theater Education major at Southwest Baptist University

Today’s high school students must know how to communicate.

At Southwest Baptist University, speech communication and theatre education graduates are prepared to teach today’s future leaders how to communicate effectively. Our education program teaches future teachers how to teach through classroom instruction, technology integration and multiple classroom field experiences.

The SBU Advantage

  • Classroom field experiences begin during the sophomore year.
  • Our faculty’s commitment to networking will help you with job placement.
  • The SBU Forensics team has more than 40 years of active membership in Pi Kappa Delta and has won 12 Pi Kappa Delta National Championships.
  • Our Theatre Department produces multiple theatrical productions each year.
  • The “Omnibus” student newspaper offers hands-on opportunities for students to hone communication skills.

Engaged Learning

Our education classrooms are equipped with the same technology that is utilized in many public school classrooms, and our faculty utilize hands-on teaching methods and projects to teach our future teachers.

Course Information

Students must complete 38 hours of Speech Communication and Theatre Courses in addition to the 52 hours of general education and graduation requirements.

Education coursework begins during the sophomore year with classes such as Foundations of Education, Educational Psychology, and Technology for Educators, in addition to the first field experience in an area secondary classroom.

Junior year education curriculum includes Principles and Methods of Secondary Education, Teaching Reading in the Content Area, and Behavior and Classroom Management, along with another field experience.

Senior-level classes focus on preparing the student for the full semester student teaching experience.

Clubs and Organizations

SBU has a chapter of Student Missouri State Teachers Association, the pre-professional organization for education majors on Missouri college and university campuses that provides opportunities for personal and professional growth and development of leadership skills.


Performance Scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate outstanding ability in theatre (application deadline the second Monday of February) or speech and debate (application deadline is March 1).

Internship Opportunities

Classroom field experiences begin during a student’s sophomore year and continue throughout the program, culminating with a full semester student teaching experience during the senior year. Field experiences provide students with a variety of experiences to help the student decide what is the best fit. During the student teaching experience, the student will work directly with a cooperating teacher at the school, as well as an SBU faculty member who will supervise the student’s experience.

Career Opportunities

SBU Speech Communication and Theatre Education graduates are eligible for an initial teaching certification for K-12 in the State of Missouri.

Graduate Opportunities

Students who want to pursue a graduate-level degree in education can return to SBU, with a variety of options for master’s and specialist’s degrees, as well as a doctoral in education program.

Special features

  • As part of a Christian university, we integrate the Christian faith into classroom instruction within the Department of Education. Scriptural truths are brought into the classroom for supporting educational truth and theoretical truth.
  • Area school district leaders seek out SBU graduates because they are well-prepared to teach in the classroom and be servant leaders in the academic community.
  • Our education department offers 26 certifications in a wide range of programs.

Degree Requirements

COM 1103 Fundamentals of Speech Communication
Foundations of speech communication. Special attention to the theory and practice of effective preparation and delivery of public speeches.
COM 2223 Argumentation and Debate
Emphasis on methods and theories of argumentation and debate. Attention to research, analysis, case building and oral participation.
COM/THR 3303 Oral Interpretation of Literature
Emphasis on theory and practice of communicating works of literature from the printed page.
COM 3313 Advanced Public Speaking
Advanced study of preparation and delivery of various speech types. Special attention to extemporaneous and manuscript speaking.
COM 3351 Intercollegiate Forensics and Debate
Participation in intercollegiate debate and forensics program.
THR 1001 Theatre Performance Workshop
Rehearsal and performance of a major drama production.
THR 1011 Theatre Production Workshop
Thirty hours of work on backstage duties and/or technical crews for major drama production.
THR 1023 Acting I
Fundamentals of acting techniques. Emphasis on movement and mime.
THR 1033 Introduction to Theatre
A study of the history and literature of the theatre with introductory participation in the areas of acting and stagecraft.
THR 1053 Stagecraft
Basic principles of scenic construction, scenic painting, and lighting and sound techniques.
THR 4023 Directing of Plays
Principles of directing the various steps of a production, and practice in rehearsing and presenting plays.
EDU 4502 Methods of Teaching Theatre
An introduction to methods of teaching theatre in the secondary school. Topics include curriculum development; teaching strategies; and assessment. Additionally, this course addresses strategies for organizing and implementing a production schedule.
EDU 4552 Methods of Teaching Speech in the Middle and Secondary Schools
Emphasis on principles, techniques and problems that are unique in teaching speech. Unit and course plans are developed for all areas of speech. Attention is given to directing forensic activities.
Plus an additional six hours of electives in Communication or Theatre.