Southwest Baptist University named College of Distinction 2022-2023


BOLIVAR, 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 students with opportunities 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 the Dr. Rick Melson, President of the SBU. “It is an honor to be named the 2022-2023 College of Distinction. Thank you to the faculty and staff of SBU who made this distinction possible – our employees are outstanding Christian scholars and professionals, dedicated to providing excellent academic and spiritual examples to our students.

SBU is also on the list of Christian Colleges of Distinction 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 selection process for Honors Colleges includes a sequence of extensive research and detailed interviews with schools, accepting only those who adhere to the four Honors: Engaged Students, Excellent Teaching, Vibrant Community, and Successful Outcomes. . These principles are all informed by high-impact practices to prioritize ways in which institutions enable students to have a fulfilling and individualized college experience both in and out of the classroom. To earn this recognition, Southwest Baptist University has presented the following programs and experiences:

  • Committed students – SBU students have the opportunity to actively participate 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 counseling, collaborative learning methods, and academic transition support provided through Welcome Week and the Academic Success Center.
  • Vibrant community – Building 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 activities and leadership opportunities, and varsity sports to help students find a sense of belonging and meaning throughout their on-campus experience.
  • Successful results – The undergraduate experience works consistently to prepare students not just for graduation, but for life after graduation. Some of these experiences at SBU include internships and on-the-job training, as well as career services, including the Handshake platform.

“When we focus all of our attention on how schools compare to each other, we lose sight of what really matters: the students themselves,” said Wes Creel, founder of Colleges of Distinction. “Each student has individual needs and their own environment in which they are most likely to thrive. We want to extend our praise to schools that prioritize and meet student goals. »

SBU’s inclusion is informed by the unique ways in which it is committed to success. Effective strategies for student satisfaction and outcomes were the types of engaging experiences found at SBU.

Creel continued, “We are inspired by how SBU immerses students in their fields, while fostering a welcoming community that will support them throughout their college years.”

Additional recognitions

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

“We conduct a thorough review of the programs in question before awarding the awards,” said Tyson Schritter, COO of Colleges of Distinction. “We look for qualities such as accreditation, program breadth, counseling and mentoring, integration of career services and student success. It’s wonderful to see how SBU truly embodies these qualities.

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


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