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College of Arts and Social Sciences

collage of photos showing students at work in areas of art, communication, sciences, etc.

Arts & Social Sciences Degrees

The College of Arts & Sciences at Southwest Baptist University fosters academic excellence in a Christian community that integrates communication skills, creativity, appreciation of the arts, an understanding of cultural heritage, and scientific awareness.

Four divisions exist within the College of Arts & Sciences:

Division of the Arts

Area of Art

The Division of Art facilitates and promotes excellence in the visual creative process. Three majors and two minors are available within this division:

Within the art education program, students work toward earning K-12 teaching certification. 

Area of Music

SBU's music programs offer a learning environment that inspires and leads its constituents to achieve excellence in performance, scholarship and appreciation. Faculty encourage the highest levels of artistic achievement in a variety of performance media while recognizing the value of historical and cultural perspective and scholarship in the practice and appreciation of the musical art. Five degrees are available from this area:

  • Bachelor of Arts in General Music
  • Bachelor of Science in General Music- Instrumental Concentration
  • Bachelor of Science in General Music- Keyboard Concentration
  • Bachelor of Science in General Music- Vocal Concentration
  • Bachelor of Music in Church Music- Instrumental Concentration
  • Bachelor of Music in Church Music- Keyboard Concentration
  • Bachelor of Music in Church Music- Vocal Concentration
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education- Instrumental Concentration
  • Bachelor of Music in Music Education- Vocal Concentration
  • General Music Minor
  • Piano Pedagogy Minor

Students with any music degree also may pursue a Performer's Certificate option.

Performing Groups

SBU Music features both choral and instrumental performing groups. Non-music majors are able to audition for many of these performance ensembles.

Performance Ensemble Information


The majority of SBU music students are selected to receive financial assistance through a music performance scholarship in one or more areas (keyboard, vocal and instrumental). Awards are renewable annually. Requirements for receiving scholarships are listed with each scholarship:

Choral and Instrumental Scholarships - Participate in an assigned role in SBU ensembles.
Keyboard Scholarships - Perform assigned accompanying duties for soloists and/or ensembles.

All scholarships must maintain a 2.5 minimum grade point average in all college course work.

Music Scholarship Application

Repertoire Guidelines 

Division of Behavioral Sciences

The Division of Behavioral Sciences prepares students to investigate and evaluate the human experience and to develop skills of intervention, prevention, and protection accompanied by the integration of faith and discipline. There are three areas within the Division:

Area of Criminal Justice: 

  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice  
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice – Forensic Psychology Concentration  
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice – Law Enforcement Concentration 
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice – Pre-Law Concentration 
  • Criminal Justice Minor 
  • Military Science Minor 

Area of Psychology: 

  • Bachelor of Arts/Science in Psychology 
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology – Pre-Physical Therapy Concentration 
  • Bachelor of Science in Sports Psychology  
  • Counseling Minor  
  • Psychology Minor 

Area of Social Work  

  • Bachelor of Social Work  
  • Bachelor of Social Work – Forensic Social Work Concentration  
  • Bachelor of Social Work – Healthcare Based Social Work Concentration  
  • Bachelor of Social Work – Pre-Clinical Social Work Concentration 
  • Bachelor of Social Work – School Based Social Work Concentration 
  • Social Work Minor 
  • Sociology Minor 

These criminal justice, psychology, and social work degree programs are focused on supporting students to serve others in their communities. Their work in these professions is grounded in Christian values and will lead their development as professionals in their respective fields.

Division of Christian Ministry

The Courts Redford division of Christian ministry equips people for Kingdom building around the world. Students develop ministry skills to be pastors, Christian education ministers, youth ministers, children’s ministers, other staff positions or missionaries, as well as for lay ministry. Theology courses teach an understanding of and appreciation for the Bible and Christian intellectual tradition. The division offers the following degree options:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Church Ministry
  • Bachelor of Arts in Missions
  • Bachelor of Arts in Student Ministry
  • Church Ministry Minor
  • Missions Minor
  • Student Ministry Minor
  • Theology Minor

Christian Studies

Are you planning to major in something else but want to have a foundation of theology and ministry knowledge? The Christian Studies major is a secondary degree that can be added to any academic plan, other than another Theology and Ministry major. This is great for students considering bi-vocational ministry, going on to seminary or who are just interested in expanding their understanding of the Bible and the Christian intellectual tradition.

Master of Arts in Christian Ministry

Southwest Baptist University now offers a unique master of arts in Christian ministry degree, designed to equip those in various ministry roles with innovative approaches to ministry.

  • Biblical Languages Concentration
  • Biblical Studies Concentration
  • Business Administration Concentration
  • Family Ministry Concentration
  • General Studies Concentration
  • Missions Concentrations
  • Pastoral Ministry Concentration

Division of Humanities

The division of Humanities offers equip students to write effectively, communicate clearly, comprehend the nature of language and to think critically about literature. The degrees offered prioritize fostering an awareness of the history and political systems of both the United States and diverse other parts of the world. There are three areas within the the division of Humanities:

  • History and Political Science
  • Language and Literature
  • Communication Arts

Area of History and Political Science

The area of history and political science prepares students in the broadly defined academic disciplines of history and politics. The faculty approach this with special regard to the dynamics of the cultural heritage of both this nation and the world, from a worldview integrating both the Christian faith and Biblical values. Three majors are available in this area:

This area also coordinates pre-law advisement.

Area of Language And Literature

The language and literature program at SBU creates a Christian atmosphere in which students are taught to write effectively, comprehend the nature of language, understand literary traditions, think critically about literature and language, and foster an awareness of humankind. Four majors are available in this area:

  • Bachelor of Arts in English - Literature Concentration
  • Bachelor of Arts in English - Writing Concentration
  • Bachelor of Science in English Education
  • English Minor
  • Spanish Minor
  • Writing and Editing Minor

The English and English Education BA programs at SBU prepare students for a variety of career paths including working as an author, editor, freelance writer, librarian, media writer, and educator. SBU’s BA in Spanish instructs students on how to be leaders in the global community. This degree program also prepares students for a future in teaching. Finally, the writing degree focuses on teaching a wide variety of written communication types from academic writing to technical and creative writing.

Area of Communication Arts

The Bob R. Derryberry School of Communication Arts will help you discover and maximize your God-given voice through rigorous study, engaging performances, and the thoughtful application of the dynamic arts of human communication. Five majors are available within this area:

Each program is unique in their instruction and focus areas. SBU’s general BA in communication focuses on teaching students good written and oral communication. Many students in this program go on to pursue a masters degree in their chosen discipline. The journalism and mass communication degree prepares students for work in all facets of media communications from traditional print journalism to digital and social media professions.

The BA in organizational and strategic communication degree focuses on teaching skills in a variety of disciplines including public relations, nonprofit work, hospitality, and digital communication. 

Speaking Bearcats

SBU is home to a nationally-acclaimed, award-winning forensics speech and debate team, with 12 Pi Kappa Delta national championships.

Speaking Bearcats Team Information

SCOP Journal

The SCOP Journal is the official literary journal of SBU's Division of Language and Communication and features the originals works of SBU students and faculty.

Download Most Recent Edition of SCOP

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