Southwestern Adventist University was founded in 1893 as Keene Industrial Academy. Junior college level work was first offered in 1916 and the name was changed to Southwestern Junior College. In anticipation of offering baccalaureate work, the name was changed to Southwestern Union College in 1963. The first bachelor level classes were offered in 1967. In 1977, the college was renamed Southwestern Adventist College, reflecting its denominational affiliation. Graduate level work was begun in 1987; nine years later the institution changed its name to Southwestern Adventist University. The University has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools since 1958; first as a Level I institution (associate degrees), then in 1970 as a Level II institution (baccalaureate degrees), and since 1989 as a Level III institution (graduate degrees).