Founded in 1878, Southwest Baptist University (SBU) is a Christian led higher learning institution with a main campus in Bolivar, a 180 acre facility 25 miles north of Springfield, one of the largest cities in Missouri. SBU also has regional campuses based in Mountain View, Salem, and Springfield itself.
Undergraduate studies are split into six colleges; Education & Social Science, Science & Mathematics, Theology & Ministry, Music & Arts, Nursing, and Business & Computer Science. At the Casebolt department of Music at Bolivar campus all course applicants must take an entrance exam in piano and the instrument of their specialism. The most famous alumni of the course is Buddy Baker, a composer whose work with the Disney company would earn him an Academy Award nomination.
There are a variety of clubs and academic organisations on campuses at SBU, including eight Greek letter societies. The Centre for Global Connections organises opportunities for students to experience ministry programmes in the US and internationally, and examples of previous projects are at reservations on the Cheyenne river and poverty relief programmes in Peru.
SBU also offers an extensive study abroad programme, in the past students have attended locations varying from Australia to Spain and London to Costa Rica.
Athletics teams are known as the Bearcats, and compete in the NCAA Division II. There are eighteen sports programmes offered at SBU, including baseball, tennis, and women’s volleyball. In 2016 SBU was among the first fifteen colleges in the nation to offer an eSports programme.