It has long been known that B cells produce autoantibodies and, thereby, contribute to the pathogenesis of many autoimmune diseases. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a prototypic systemic autoimmune disorder, is characterized by high-circulating autoantibody titers and immune-complex deposition that can trigger inflammatory damage in multiple organs/organ systems. Although the interest in B cells in SLE has historically focused on their autoantibody production, we now appreciate that B cells have multiple autoantibody-independent roles in SLE as well. B cells can efficiently present antigen and activate T cells, they can augment T cell activation through co-stimulatory interactions, and they can produce numerous cytokines which affect inflammation, lymphogenesis, and immune regulation. Not surprisingly, B cells have become attractive therapeutic targets in SLE. With these points in mind, this review will focus on the autoantibody-dependent and autoantibody-independent roles for B cells in SLE and on therapeutic approaches that target B cells.