About SWAU

Mission Statement

Inspiring knowledge, faith, and service through Christ-centered education.


Southwestern Adventist University seeks to be a community that supports academic, spiritual, physical, and emotional wholeness encouraging all members to find their purpose and lead lives of service.

University Values

University Values




Brief History

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).

Geographical Region, Type of Students and Faculty

The University serves primarily the needs of the Seventh-day Adventist membership in the five states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The University welcomes students from all religions and geographical areas, as well as from diverse ethnic, social, and cultural backgrounds.

To achieve its purpose effectively, the University recruits and retains well-qualified teachers, who are dedicated to teaching and advising and who are willing to spend time with students both in and out of the classroom. The University encourages research and scholarly endeavors on the part of its faculty.

Major Institutional Functions

The University provides a challenging environment conducive to the total development of the student, thus contributing to the realization of each individual's potential. The administrative departments of the University provide the infrastructure needed for the institution to fulfill its educational purposes.

The University's undergraduate curriculum consists of programs in the liberal arts and sciences, with a number of professional and preprofessional curricula. The general education component brings balance to the academic and professional programs, enriching the intellectual and cultural experiences of the student beyond the limits set by the specific major. The graduate curriculum includes master's degrees in education and psychology.

Student Learning Outcomes

The University graduate will:

  1. Have knowledge in the humanities/fine arts, social/behavioral sciences, natural sciences and mathematics.
  2. Be able to communicate effectively through the spoken word, the written word, and the use of other abstract symbol systems.
  3. Be able to think critically and solve problems.
  4. Possess the attributes of growth: ability, tolerance, self-reliance, compassion, and a love of learning.
  5. Have a commitment to high moral and ethical standards.
  6. Have knowledge of Seventh-day Adventist values and beliefs.
  7. Possess leadership skills and a commitment to service.
  8. Possess the knowledge, skills, and personal attributes to function effectively in the workplace.
  9. Possess cultural sensitivity and a global perspective.

Accreditation and Non-Discrimination Policy

Southwestern Adventist University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, telephone number 404-679-4501) to award: Associate, Bachelor, and Master degrees.

In addition, the University is currently accredited by the following accrediting bodies:

  1. Adventist Accrediting Association of SDA Schools, Colleges, and Universities
  2. International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education
  3. Texas Education Agency
  4. The baccalaureate degree program in nursing at Southwestern Adventist University is fully approved by the Board of Nursing for the State of Texas, 333 Guadalupe #3-460, Austin, TX 87801, 512-305-7400.
  5. The baccalaureate degree program in nursing at Southwestern Adventist University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791


The University is a member of the following:

  1. Council of Independent Colleges
  2. Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas
  3. Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities

Southwestern Adventist University does not discriminate on the basis of gender, religion, disability, race or ethnic origin. The University President is responsible for compliance. The University believes the interpretation and implementation of all government laws and regulations are subject to constitutional guarantees against unreasonable entanglement with or infringement on the religious teachings and practices of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Any regulation or change in regulation adopted by the Board of Trustees or the faculty at any time shall have equal authority as the regulations printed in this bulletin or the student handbook. Each student is responsible for knowing and observing the regulations of the University and is responsible for fulfilling the requirements for his or her degree as defined by the University Bulletin.