The Associate Vice President for Institutional Research and Assessment oversees Southwestern’s comprehensive assessment program. The work of assessment includes evaluation at three key levels: institution-wide, degree program, and departmental assessment. Each degree program and department establishes a mission, goals, objectives and outcomes, and target achievements on an annual basis. Findings are evaluated at the end of each academic year and then action plans are developed for the subsequent year for areas of needed improvement. Southwestern also assesses its performance on an institution-wide level through the strategic planning process conducted by the president’s cabinet.

Southwestern assesses both the time to completion and the placement of graduates on an annual basis. During the 2017-2018 school year, 72 percent of M.Div. graduates completed the degree in less than five years, and 68 percent of all other master's graduates completed their programs in less than four years. Graduates from the 2016-2017 school year reported in fall 2018 that they had found placement as follows: 78 percent had secured a vocational ministry position, 16 percent were pursuing another degree, and 6 percent had been seeking but not yet found a vocational ministry position.

Southwestern developed the above comprehensive assessment program in the three years prior to its most recent 10-year accreditation review with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), which occurred in March 2011. The assessment program is now a fixture of Southwestern’s institutional life and will continue to aid in the achievement of its mission. ATS reaffirmed Southwestern’s accreditation in the summer of 2011 and SACSCOC in winter 2011.