Coordinates: 32°23′49.44″N 97°19′38.52″W / 32.3970667°N 97.3273667°W / 32.3970667; -97.3273667
Southwestern Adventist University (SWAU) is one of 13 colleges and universities in the United States affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It was founded in 1893 as Keene Industrial Academy. It adopted its current name in 1996.
In 1892, the purchase of property for the school was financed by Seventh-day Adventists in the Dallas area. The first school building was completed in 1894 which was also used as a church. School opened with 56 students.
SWAU has received full accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools through 2016. It is religiously accredited by the Adventist Accrediting Association. The nursing program is approved by the Texas Board of Nurse Examiners.
Geography and the People
Southwestern Adventist University is located at the town of Keene, Texas, six miles northeast of Cleburne. The town is named after an Adventist leader. Keene has been described as an Adventist "company" town. On Saturdays, the Sabbath for Adventists, most stores in town are closed.
The Keene Seventh-day Adventist church has several thousand members. It is the Southwestern Adventist University church. Texas Adventists, mostly from smaller churches, consider the Keene church to be the most accurate example of what Seventh-day Adventist worship is like.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in America is divided into administrative units called unions, and most of these unions has a college. Most of these colleges were founded in the 1890s, a period of intense activity in Adventist history.
The university evolved through several stages from Keene Industrial Academy to its present university status. At its beginning, it sold acreage to Adventist families and industries, and is now the largest Adventist community in the Southwestern Union, which includes Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and New Mexico.
The college owns most of the businesses in town. It staffs them mostly with students. Eighty percent of SWAU students hold some job while attending school. It has been estimated that 90 percent of Keene's citizens are Adventists.
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Southwestern Adventist University
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