student standing in front of stained glass window in Randolph Chapel

Southwest Baptist University has adopted Mission, Vision, and Core Values statements that guide decision-making and daily operations. 

mission statement

(Adopted by the Board of Trustees, May 1997)

Southwest Baptist University is a Christ-centered, caring academic community preparing students to be servant leaders in a global society.

vision statement

(Adopted by the Board of Trustees, October 2019)

Southwest Baptist University will be the exemplar Christian university, providing a transformative and holistic educational experience.

purpose of the university

The mission statement of the University implies there will be a fusing of the liberal arts with career preparation and the Christian faith with learning. Recognition is also given to the enduring values of the liberal arts as the foundation of critical thinking, decision making, and the high literacy required for responsible careers in the contemporary world.

Therefore, the purposes of SBU are to produce graduates who:

  • have been presented with Jesus' invitation to personal faith, life commitment, and responsible church membership.
  • have acquired the ability to think critically in rational and coherent ways.
  • are able to communicate effectively through reading, writing, speaking and listening.
  • have adopted a lifestyle which incorporates health and physical fitness.
  • have developed principles for personal, family and social life, and make responsible decisions based upon Christian values.
  • have discovered that learning is a life-long process, have developed a spirit of inquiry that motivates, and have been equipped with the necessary abilities to continue learning.
  • have acquired an understanding of scientific inquiry and process, and have an ability to evaluate the achievements, limitations, and ethical questions of scientific methodology.
  • understand the basic ideas upon which the United States was founded, and will be involved as a responsible citizen working for justice, freedom and peace in the affairs of the community, nation and world.
  • understand the social institutions and forces that have shaped and are shaping individuals, cultures and civilizations.

core values

In fulfilling the University’s mission and vision through its strategic planning process, Southwest Baptist University is committed to upholding the following core values grounded in Scripture, guided particularly by I Corinthians 13, to prepare servant-leaders for a global society:

Christian distinctiveness (1 Peter 2:9)

Southwest Baptist University is Christ-centered. From its inception, and continuing today, the University is a distinctively Christian and Baptist institution supporting a Christian worldview. Led by the Spirit, following the example of Jesus Christ, the University family seeks to demonstrate commitment to love, mercy, and grace.

Baptist Heritage (1 Kings 8:57; 2 Timothy 1:14)

Southwest Baptist University’s academic foundations are built on historical Baptist traditions beginning with the Southwest Missouri Baptist Association and continuing today with the Missouri Baptist Convention. This heritage acknowledges God as the ultimate source of all knowledge and truth. It is committed to scholarly endeavor, under God, seeking a proper balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility.

compassion and care for sbu family (Romans 12:9-10)

Southwest Baptist University is a caring community. Scripture teaches that all individuals are worthy in the eyes of God. Therefore, we will honor and serve one another in love.

academic excellence (Romans 12:2; Colossians 3:23)

Southwest Baptist University is an academic community. The University pursues excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. Students are prepared to meet the challenges of a global society through the integration of Christian faith, liberal arts, research, and professional studies. The University recognizes that academic excellence is achieved through continuously striving for improvement.

social and spiritual development (Colossians 2:6-7)

Southwest Baptist University encourages the social and spiritual development of the University family. Students, faculty, and staff are provided intentional opportunities to grow spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally through exposure and response to the needs of the larger community.

Personal Wellness (Genesis 1:27; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Southwest Baptist University recognizes the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the University will offer opportunities for education and activities which promote personal wellness.

Statement of Faith

(Adopted by the Board of Trustees in 1921)

University Charter for Southwest Baptist University
Article XVI, Section 2

The Board of Trustees adopts the following Statement of Faith and Belief:

It is hereby expressly declared that Southwest Baptist University is, and must forever remain, distinctively a Baptist institution. It must conserve, defend, and promote the fundamentals of the Baptist Faith, and in all its teachings and policies conform to and be in harmony with the established and acknowledged principles and policies of Baptist churches affiliated with the Missouri Baptist Convention and with the Southern Baptist Convention.

We hold the following as fundamental Baptist Doctrine:

  1. Belief in the inspiration and all sufficient authority of the Bible in all matters of Christian faith and practice.
  2. The absolute Deity, the Virgin birth, the vicarious death, the bodily resurrection, the visible second coming, and the supreme Lordship of Jesus Christ.
  3. That salvation is only and wholly by grace through faith.
  4. That the human conditions of salvation are—Repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
  5. That the individual soul is competent to deal directly with God through Christ.
  6. That all members are entitled to equal privileges in the church.
  7. That the true ideal of the relations between church and state is "a free church and a free state."
  8. That a church is a body of baptized believers associated together in solemn covenant, with Christ as its head and the scriptures as its Law, to worship God, conserve and administer the ordinances of His house, and to preach the Gospel to the world.
  9. The ordinances of the church are two, viz: Baptism and the Lord's Supper.
  10. That baptism is immersion in water, by a scripturally authorized administrator, of a believer in Christ; that its purpose is to symbolize the death of the subject to sin and his resurrection to a newness of life.
  11. That the Lord's Supper is memorial in nature and that the terms of admission to the supper are regeneration, baptism, and church membership.