At the 1947 annual session of the Baptist Missionary Association of Mississippi, the messengers unanimously approved the establishment of a church-owned and operated college. At a special called mid-year meeting, a motion was adopted to appoint a subcommittee to draw up a workable resolution to be presented to the messengers at the next annual session.
The resolution of this committee to begin a junior college with a Bible department was adopted by the Baptist Missionary Association of Mississippi on October 19, 1948. Seven trustees were elected and empowered to select a faculty, devise a curriculum, and find appropriate facilities. The first classes began September 27, 1949, in the educational facilities of Parkview Baptist Church, Laurel, Mississippi, with the following officers and faculty: President, D. N. Jackson; Dean, L. T. Simmons; Instructors, O. F. Parker and J. B. Coats.
The first junior college program was offered in 1955. Ten acres of land, located just north of the Laurel city limits on Highway 15, was purchased the same year. The Administration Building, which contains several classrooms, was erected in time for the fall semester. Two dormitories were constructed in 1957 and 1958, respectively. An additional ten acres, adjoining the first ten, was purchased in 1967. Other buildings on campus include the gymnasium/auditorium, constructed in 1965; the campus faculty home (originally, the president’s home), relocated and renovated in 1968; the president’s home, constructed in 1972; and the A. M. Wilson Building, which houses the A. R. Reddin Memorial Library, completed in 1993.
On November 25, 1958, Southeastern Baptist College became a member of the Mississippi Association of Colleges and received provisional accreditation by the Mississippi Commission on Accreditation. The liberal arts junior college was converted to a four-year Bible college in 1974. After gaining applicant status for accreditation with the American Association of Bible Colleges in 1979 and candidate status in 1983, Southeastern was fully accredited in 1988 and reaffirmed in 1994, and again in 1999. In June 2004, the American Association of Bible Colleges changed names. The new name is Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). The ABHE Commission on Accreditation reaffirmed the accreditation of SBC in 2009. The accreditation review held in 2019 reaffirmed the accreditation standing for ten years to the year 2029.