students working on laptops

Online Education Through SBU

Whether you are a prospective student seeking online degree programs, a current student looking for flexible coursework options, a working professional hoping to return to school, or a high school student interested in dual-credit college-level classes, Southwest Baptist University offers a variety of online course options to make SBU academics convenient and available to you, no matter your location or schedule.

Online Course Options

As an SBU student at one of our campuses throughout Missouri, you can incorporate online courses into your schedule to help you meet graduation requirements, alleviate a packed semester, or study material at your own pace. Online classes are also open to high school students interested in beginning college coursework through Online Dual Credit.

Online Learning

These online courses are perfect for you if you are an undergraduate student trying to meet graduation requirements but are having difficulty fitting certain courses into a packed class schedule. These courses are available during semesters and summer or winter terms and bring you into community with other online learners.

Online Learning is open to current SBU students. Your academic advisor will directly enroll you in online courses. 

Online Independent Study

Online Independent Study (OLIS) is ideal if you want to take SBU courses, but would like to learn at your own pace outside of a conventional classroom environment. You may start these open-enrollment courses anytime and have four months to complete the material (you may request a two-month extension if needed).

To enroll in Online Independent Study, fill out the enrollment form online. If you are a current SBU student pursuing Online Independent Study, you will need your academic advisor’s approval to enroll. Current SBU students are allowed to take up to two online independent study courses at a time. Call (417) 328-1599 for more information.

Please note that there are specific academic requirements for students enrolling in OLIS courses. OLIS courses are not included in a semester's billing. The tuition charges for courses taken through OLIS will be in addition to payment made for a semester. Refer to the OLIS Academic Requirements sheet for details.

OLIS Academic Requirements

OLIS Course Schedule

Enroll in OLIS courses

Online Dual Credit

High-school students interested in taking dual credit courses may do so online through SBU. For more information about how to apply and enroll in Online Dual Credit, call (417) 328-1599.

Learn more about Online Dual Credit

Courses, Resources and Information

Available online courses, Online Independent Study and Online Dual Credit courses are listed on the SBU Class Schedules page.

Complaint resolution

Higher education institutions delivering courses by distance education are required to provide the contact information for official entities or agencies within each state designed to handle complaint resolution. States are required by the U.S. Department of Education (34 CFR 668.43(b)) to have a complaint process available to any enrolled or prospective student.

Southwest Baptist University students enrolled in online and distance courses, as well as on-campus courses, should attempt to resolve complaints by following the Procedures for Formal Complaints and Grievances in the SBU Student Handbook. If you wish to file a complaint about the University with its regional accreditor regarding issues of institutional quality, you may do so by following the instructions on the Higher Learning Commission website. Distance education students may contact Amy Werner at MDHE, if a concern is not resolved through the SBU Formal Complaint and Grievance process. Contact information is listed below.

Amy Werner, SARA State Portal Entity Contact
Missouri Department of Higher Education
205 Jefferson Street
P.O. Box 1469
Jefferson City, MO 65102-1469
(573) 522-1377 

State authorization

SBU is an approved member of NC-SARASouthwest Baptist University has been approved by Missouri to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education.

"The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. It is intended to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by four regional education compacts." (