Southwest Baptist University


Founded in 1878, Southwest Baptist University is a private Christian college with campuses in Bolivar, Springfield, Salem and Mountain View, Missouri.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Southwest Baptist University
1600 University Ave
Bolvar, MO 65613-2578


Phone: 800-526-5859


Organization details

EIN: 440567385

CEO/President: Dr. Eric A. Turner

Chairman: Ryan Palmer

Board size: 24

Founder: Abner S. Ingman and James R. Maupin

Year founded: 1947

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 05/31

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


Southwest Baptist University will be the exemplar Christian university, providing a transformative and holistic educational experience. The mission statement of the University implies there will be a fusing of the liberal arts with career preparation and the Christian faith with learning. Recognition is also given to the enduring values of the liberal arts as the foundation of critical thinking, decision making, and the high literacy required for responsible careers in the contemporary world.

Mission statement

Southwest Baptist University is a Christ-centered, caring academic community preparing students to be servant leaders in a global society.

Statement of faith

The Board of Trustees adopts the following Statement of Faith and Belief:

It is hereby expressly declared that Southwest Baptist University is, and must forever remain, distinctively a Baptist institution. It must conserve, defend, and promote the fundamentals of the Baptist Faith, and in all its teachings and policies conform to and be in harmony with the established and acknowledged principles and policies of Baptist churches affiliated with the Missouri Baptist Convention and with the Southern Baptist Convention.

We hold the following as fundamental Baptist Doctrine:

Belief in the inspiration and all sufficient authority of the Bible in all matters of Christian faith and practice.

The absolute Deity, the Virgin birth, the vicarious death, the bodily resurrection, the visible second coming, and the supreme Lordship of Jesus Christ.

That salvation is only and wholly by grace through faith.

That the human conditions of salvation are-Repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

That the individual soul is competent to deal directly with God through Christ.

That all members are entitled to equal privileges in the church.

That the true ideal of the relations between church and state is "a free church and a free state."

That a church is a body of baptized believers associated together in solemn covenant, with Christ as its head and the scriptures as its Law, to worship God, conserve and administer the ordinances of His house, and to preach the Gospel to the world.

The ordinances of the church are two, viz: Baptism and the Lord's Supper.

That baptism is immersion in water, by a scripturally authorized administrator, of a believer in Christ; that its purpose is to symbolize the death of the subject to sin and his resurrection to a newness of life.

That the Lord's Supper is memorial in nature and that the terms of admission to the supper are regeneration, baptism, and church membership.

Transparency grade

This ministry has not been assigned a transparency grade.

To understand our transparency grade, click here.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Colleges/Universities

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating292 of 61830 of 85
Fund acquisition rating330 of 61863 of 85
Resource allocation rating132 of 61825 of 85
Asset utilization rating461 of 61832 of 85

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$4,178,214$4,434,943$4,341,347$4,427,249$3,659,627
Short-term investments$27,704,263$24,624,937$24,081,339$26,572,307$25,252,312
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$33,818,752$32,835,237$31,664,392$33,498,883$30,610,088
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$43,169,233$44,727,589$43,245,274$40,453,875$40,019,824
Other long-term assets$8,015,692$8,410,202$8,638,103$8,888,728$8,935,272
Total long-term assets$51,184,925$53,137,791$51,883,377$49,342,603$48,955,096
Total assets$85,003,677$85,973,028$83,547,769$82,841,486$79,565,184
Payables and accrued expenses$12,484,472$13,606,757$13,556,117$13,219,023$12,784,818
Other current liabilities$467,540$486,599$544,850$620,116$728,518
Total current liabilities$12,952,012$14,093,356$14,100,967$13,839,139$13,513,336
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$1,253,943$1,172,478$1,107,190$1,285,531$1,380,332
Total long-term liabilities$17,891,981$19,488,046$18,647,729$18,971,139$17,789,651
Total liabilities$30,843,993$33,581,402$32,748,696$32,810,278$31,302,987
Net assets20182017201620152014
Temporarily restricted$8,612,990$6,625,831$10,099,014$10,028,170$8,242,219
Permanently restricted$16,018,545$15,240,818$14,184,502$13,886,283$13,314,186
Net assets$54,159,684$52,391,626$50,799,073$50,031,208$48,262,197
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$5,745,634$4,613,678$6,217,890$5,485,620$5,014,256
Program service revenue$38,918,564$36,958,681$36,376,262$36,304,453$35,839,978
Membership dues$6,200$5,975$7,760$8,540$9,040
Investment income$1,212,257$1,317,813$1,271,113$1,251,500$1,517,075
Other revenue$52,191$152,769($150,411)($14,696)$44,554
Total other revenue$40,189,212$38,435,238$37,504,724$37,549,797$37,410,647
Total revenue$45,934,846$43,048,916$43,722,614$43,035,417$42,424,903
Program services$39,773,003$36,893,230$35,956,648$35,696,985$34,686,806
Management and general$4,482,395$5,302,076$4,917,932$4,870,938$4,955,954
Total expenses$45,330,978$43,314,543$41,943,148$41,575,140$40,640,539
Change in net assets20182017201620152014
Surplus (deficit)$603,868($265,627)$1,779,466$1,460,277$1,784,364
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$603,868($265,627)$1,779,466$1,460,277$1,784,364

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.


Southwest Baptist University first opened its doors in 1878 in Lebanon, MO, as Southwest Baptist College. In 1879 the college was chartered by the state of Missouri and moved to Bolivar. Early writings recount a legacy of sacrificial giving and extraordinary efforts by Baptists in southwest Missouri to establish and maintain the college. The founders, Abner S. Ingman and James R. Maupin, faced many difficulties as they rode horseback seeking funds, students and an ideal college site. Each spring semester, SBU celebrates Founders Day. It is a time to reflect upon our rich heritage and to remember that in 1878, our founding fathers, Ingman and Maupin, established Southwest Baptist College. Founders Day is an important time when we are challenged to reflect on our past and to thank God for the people who have made the success of today possible. The college faced many hardships in its early years and actually closed from 1910-13 to regain financial solvency and to recover from a devastating fire that destroyed the college's only building. The efforts and prayers of area supporters and Missouri Baptists brought results, and the college reopened in 1913 as a two-year junior college. The University has maintained its strong Baptist heritage through its affiliation with the Missouri Baptist Convention, which provides financial support for the University and elects the 25-member board of trustees which governs the institution. The Missouri Baptist Convention approved plans in 1964 for the college to become a senior liberal arts college. The first baccalaureate degrees were awarded in 1967. Bolivar citizens donated a 102-acre farm on the southern edge of the city that allowed the college to expand beyond the small 10-acre campus located near downtown. Another milestone occurred in 1981 when the college name was changed to Southwest Baptist University. In 1995 the University entered a joint nursing education agreement with St. John's Regional Medical Center in Springfield, MO, to form St. John's School of Nursing of SBU. The school became the St. John's College of Nursing and Health Sciences in 2005. St. John's changed its name in 2012, making the name of the college Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences of SBU. Today, SBU is a thriving higher education institution with more than 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled annually. The 152-acre main campus is located in the southern portion of Bolivar, a community of about 10,300 residents that serves as the county seat of Polk County. Bolivar is located about 25 miles north of Springfield, which is the third-largest city in the state of Missouri after St. Louis and Kansas City. The University also operates campuses in Mountain View, Salem and Springfield, MO. An online campus was added in 2019.

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