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Southwest Baptist University named a 2022-2023 College of Distinction

official badges declaring S-B-U a 2022-23 College of Distinction, Christian College of Distinction, and Missouri College of DistinctionBOLIVAR, Mo. — Southwest Baptist University has been named a 2022-2023 College of Distinction, recognized for its honorable commitment to helping undergraduate students learn, grow and succeed. 

“At Southwest Baptist University, we are committed to providing opportunities for students to deepen their faith and equip them as servant leaders to make an impact in the world for Christ in their respective callings and careers,” said Dr. Rick Melson, SBU President. “It is an honor to be named a 2022-2023 College of Distinction. Thank you to the SBU faculty and staff who have made this distinction possible – our employees are outstanding Christian scholars and professionals, devoted to providing excellent academic and spiritual examples for our students.”

SBU also is on the Christian Colleges of Distinction list and one of nine institutions on the Missouri Colleges of Distinction list.

Colleges of Distinction believes that a thorough selection process requires more than an overview of institutional data, statistics, and endowment size. Instead, the Colleges of Distinction selection process comprises a sequence of in-depth research and detailed interviews with the schools, accepting only those that adhere to the Four Distinctions: Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Community, and Successful Outcomes. These principles are all informed by the High-Impact Practices to prioritize ways institutions enable students to have a fulfilling, individualized college experience both in and out of the classroom. To earn the recognition, Southwest Baptist University demonstrated the following programs and experiences: 

  • Engaged Students – SBU students have the opportunity to take an active part in their own learning through undergraduate research opportunities, cultural immersion and short-term service projects, and experiential learning activities.
  • Great Teaching – SBU students have meaningful interactions with faculty through one-on-one academic advising, collaborative learning methods, and academic transition assistance provided through Welcome Week and the University Success Center.
  • Vibrant Community – Creating connections with peers outside of the classroom is an important part of a well-rounded college experience. SBU offers service-learning opportunities, spiritual growth programs, student activity and leadership opportunities, and varsity athletics to help students find a sense of belonging and meaning throughout their campus experience.
  • Successful Outcomes – The undergraduate experience works cohesively to prepare students not only for graduation, but for life after graduation. Some of these experiences at SBU include internship and field experience placements, and career services including the Handshake platform.

“When we focus all of our attention on how schools stack up against one another, we lose track of what really matters: the students themselves,” said Wes Creel, Founder of Colleges of Distinction. “Every student has individual needs and their own environment in which they’re most likely to thrive. We want to extend our praise to the schools that prioritize and cater to students’ goals.” 

SBU’s inclusion is informed by the unique ways it commits to achieving success. The effective strategies for student satisfaction and outcomes were the kinds of engaging experiences found at SBU.

Creel continued, “We’re inspired by the ways in which SBU immerses students in their fields, all while fostering a welcoming community that will support them through and beyond their college years.”

Additional recognitions

official badges awarding distinction to S-B-U business, education and nursing programs


SBU also received specialized recognition in Business, Education and Nursing. These additional accolades were developed out of a need for college curricula that are comprehensive not only in course material, but also in practical- and soft-skills development. SBU has met these needs with a blend of liberal arts education, program-specific training and abundant opportunities for real-world application.

“We complete a thorough review of the programs in question before giving the awards,” said Tyson Schritter, Chief Operating Officer for Colleges of Distinction. “We’re looking for such qualities as accreditation, breadth of program, advising and mentoring, integration of career services, and successful outcomes for students. It’s wonderful to see how SBU really exemplifies these qualities.”

To view SBU’s profile or to find more information about the innovative learning experiences it offers, visit or

About Colleges of Distinction

Since 2000, Colleges of Distinction has been committed to honoring schools throughout the U.S. for true excellence in higher education. The member schools within the Colleges of Distinction consortium distinguish themselves through their dedicated focus on the undergraduate experience. Its website provides dynamic college profiles, customized tools, and resources for students, parents, and high school counselors. For more information, and to learn how to become a College of Distinction, visit

*Published: 06-21-2022