Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Southwestern Assemblies of
God University
Former names
Southwestern Bible Institute
   Southwestern Bible School
   Shield of Faith Bible School
   Southern Bible Institute
Motto Higher Education for a Higher Purpose
Type Private
Established 1927 (1927)
Religious affiliation
Assemblies of God
President Kermit Bridges
Provost Paul Brooks
Academic staff
Students 2,012
Undergraduates 1,700
Postgraduates 312
Location Waxahachie, Texas, U.S.
32°24′14″N 96°51′11″W / 32.4038°N 96.8530°W / 32.4038; -96.8530Coordinates: 32°24′14″N 96°51′11″W / 32.4038°N 96.8530°W / 32.4038; -96.8530
Campus Suburban, 70 acres (0.28 km2)
Colors Purple and Gold[1]
Nickname Lions
Mascot Judah the Lion
Sporting affiliations
   Sooner Athletic Conference
   Central States Football League

Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) is a private Christian university located in Waxahachie, Texas in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, United States. SAGU is regionally accredited with the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools[2] and officially endorsed by the Assemblies of God USA.[3] It is the only Assemblies of God university located in Texas. The university offers associates, bachelor's and master's degrees in liberal arts and Bible and church ministries.


The Merger

Southwestern Assemblies of God University began life as three separate Bible schools. The first, known as Southwestern Bible School, was established in 1927 in Enid, Oklahoma, under the leadership of the Reverend P. C. Nelson. The second, Shield of Faith Bible Institute, was founded in Amarillo Texas, in 1931 under the direction of the Reverend Guy Shields. It included not only a Bible school, but also a grade school and a high school. The third, which was operated as Southern Bible College in connection with the Richey Evangelistic Temple, began in 1931 at Goose Creek, Texas (now Baytown), in 1931. It was started by Reverend J. T. Little in Trinity Tabernacle and moved to Houston in 1933. The school's name was then changed to Southern Bible Institute.[4]

The Bible school division of Shield of Faith Bible Institute was moved to Fort Worth in 1935. The high school division was transferred the following year. In 1940, a merger resulted in Southern Bible Institute, moving to Fort Worth. The combined school, operating as South Central Bible Institute, came under the ownership and direction of the Texas District Council of the Assemblies of God.

The school in Enid merged with South Central in 1941, at which time the name was changed to Southwestern Bible Institute. In 1943, the institute was moved to its present facilities in Waxahachie, Texas. During the 1944–45 term, a junior college curriculum was added to the school's program. The Junior College Division soon accounted for about half of the enrollment in the College.

Becoming Southwestern Bible College

Southwestern Bible Institute became a regional school in 1954. At that time seven districts of the Assemblies of God—Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Texas, Oklahoma, South Texas and West Texas—owned and operated the school. In 1969, the Rocky Mountain District, composed of Colorado and Utah, was admitted to the Region. The Mississippi District was then added to the Region in 1979. In 1980, the Rocky Mountain District voted to withdraw from the Southwestern Region and to remain neutral.

The proposal to change the name of Southwestern was ratified by all seven Districts, and the name became Southwestern Assemblies of God College. In 1963, the upper two years of the College were renamed Southwestern College of the Bible. In 1968, the separation of the divisions of the College was made more complete, and the Junior College was designated Southwestern Junior College of the Assemblies of God. In 1988 the two divisions were reunited.

Becoming Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Sheaffer Center at SAGU

Beginning in the early nineties, Southwestern experienced phenomenal enrollment increases. From 596 students in the fall of 1991, enrollment grew to 1492 students in 1997. Along with the enrollment increase, opportunities to expand the curriculum and programs developed. In December 1994, the Board of Regents unanimously approved the name change to Southwestern Assemblies of God University to more accurately reflect its purpose and mission as a Bible university of theological and professional studies.

Harrison Graduate School

In 1996, SAGU expanded to include a graduate school. Approximately nineteen graduate programs are available through SAGU’s Harrison School of Graduate Studies.

Academic programs

In 2004, the academic divisions of the university realigned into two colleges, the College of Bible & Church Ministries and the College of Arts & Professions. Both colleges maintain Bible-based curriculum and strive to fulfill the mission of SAGU.

Since 2000, SAGU has added 24 new academic programs, bringing the total to more than 60 programs. Additionally, under the direction of President Kermit Bridges, the campus has continued to grow. In 2006–2007, Teeter and Bridges Halls were added. They were followed by the new Alton Garrison Student Wellness Center in 2009.

Amidst the physical expansion, SAGU experienced consecutive record enrollments in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, and Fall 2010 reaching a milestone of 2,064.[5]


Southwestern Assemblies of God University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Southwestern Assemblies of God University.

Southwestern's Teacher Education Program is approved by the Texas Education Agency.


SAGU teams, nicknamed athletically as the Lions, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Sooner Athletic Conference, while its football team competes in the Central States Football League (CSFL). The Lions also compete as a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) and holds their home games at Lumpkins Stadium a local high school football stadium of Waxahachie High School. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, football and soccer; while women's sports include basketball, soccer, softball and volleyball.

In September 2012, SAGU announced they would move from the RRAC to the Sooner Athletic Conference in the 2013–14 season.[6]

There is a cheerleading squad. The school colors are purple and gold.

The 2012-2013 season made 2013 a record-setting year for SAGU Lions Basketball, with the Lions achieving the NAIA second-place championship ranking[7][8]

SAGU shares a stadium with Waxahachie High School at Lumpkins Stadium for football.
SAGU Athletic Teams
Men's Women's
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Cheerleading
Cross Country Cross Country
Football Soccer
Soccer Softball
Track and Field Track and Field

Judah the Lion

Influenced by Vice President George Brazell's acquisition of a four-month-old lion cub named Judah, Southwestern adopted the "Lion of Judah" as its mascot in 1963.[9][10]

Notable alumni


Best Online Masters in Counseling Program

Southwestern Assemblies of God University was awarded Best Online Masters in Counseling Program in 2015. This award is given based on public data ranking, student-faculty ratio, admissions and retention rates, estimated cost, accreditation, and percentage of faculty holding terminal degrees in their field.[13][14]

Most Beautiful Campus

A paradise for students, SAGU was named among the most beautiful Christian college campuses. Among many building the administration building is known for beautiful construction and style that dates for the early 1900s.[15][16]

Top 100 Workplaces in DFW

Southwestern Assemblies God University (SAGU) ranked 7th in midsize companies in The Dallas Morning News’ Top 100 Workplaces in DFW on Sunday, November 10, 2013. Winners were selected based upon survey results. Dallas Morning News ranks winners by small (less than 150 employees), midsize (150-499 employees) and large (500 employees or more) companies. This year, 276 companies were surveyed, and WorkplaceDynamics analyzed the answers from 72,285 workers to determine the Top 100.[17][18]


  1. University Branding & Communication: Style & Policy Guide (PDF). SAGU Marketing and Public Relations. 2014-10-01. Retrieved 2015-09-21.
  2. SACS COC listing. Retrieved on 2012-03-22.
  3. AG Colleges. Retrieved on 2012-03-22.
  4. About SAGU Retrieved on 2012-05-29.
  5. SAGU Sees 8th Consecutive Semester Increase. Retrieved on 2012-05-29.
  6. SAGU To Join Sooner Athletic Conference. Retrieved on 2012-03-22.
  7. SAGU in NAIA Semifinal Game. Retrieved on 2012-03-22.
  8. SAGU Setback in National Championship. Retrieved on 2012-03-22.
  9. For the Whole World: A History of Southwestern Assemblies of God University, p.134
  10. Mascot – Judah the Lion. Retrieved on 2012-05-29.
  11. "State Rep. Gary W. Elkins District 135 (R-Houston)". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  12. "About Dr. Mike Evans". Jerusalem Prayer Team. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  13. "SAGU Ranked 24th in top online graduate counseling programs". Retrieved 2015-09-23.
  14. "Best Online Master's in Counseling Programs 2015". Retrieved 2015-09-23.
  15. "50 Most Beautiful Christian Colleges in the U.S.". Retrieved 2015-09-23.
  16. "SAGU named in Online Christian Colleges "50 Most Beautiful Christian Colleges"". Retrieved 2015-09-23.
  17. "Top 100 Places to Work in D-FW 2014".
  18. "SAGU makes Top 100 Places to Work for 2nd consecutive year". Retrieved 2015-09-23.
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