Southern Adventist University is a co-educational institution established by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, offering master’s, baccalaureate, and associate degrees, and one-year certificates.
Southern Adventist University as a learning community nurtures Christ-likeness and encourages the pursuit of truth, wholeness, and a life of service.
Southern Adventist University, responsive to its diverse constituencies, will provide high quality educational benefit, lead in the integration of faith and learning, and model academic and professional excellence. The institution will graduate servant leaders guided by faith and integrity, and committed to living balanced lives.
- A Christ-centered, Seventh-day Adventist campus
- Academic and professional excellence
- Hospitality and service
- Affordable education
- Balanced lifestyle
Rooted in its theological understanding of God and humanity, the educational philosophy of the Seventh-day Adventist church is summarized as follows:
- God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, is the Source of all knowledge.
- Created in the image of God for the purpose of communion with Him, humanity has sinned and has separated from Him.
- Through infinite love, God sent His Son to restore this relationship with us—a personal relationship that begins now and continues throughout eternity.
Within the context of this theological understanding, education is viewed as an essential element of redemption, and must focus on developing the whole person. Through harmonious development of the physical, mental, and spiritual, and social dimensions, the individual becomes better equipped to bring wholeness to a broken world.
Southern Adventist University will
- Learning Community
nurture campus learning communities that engage students with ideas that mark educated persons, global and multicultural perspectives, and advanced technology to develop both ethical principles and intellectual flexibility.
- Faculty and Staff
hire and develop a competent and diverse faculty and staff who model balanced ethical lives, integrate faith and learning, demonstrate scholarship through teaching, research, and other scholarly and creative activities, and celebrate and energize the student spirit as they respect and support the different ways students develop their minds, their persons, and their citizenship.
recruit, retain, and support a capable, diverse student body.
- Campus Environment
provide a safe, nurturing learning community of faith for students, faculty, and staff.
- Student Service
enable every student to participate in local service and/or mission service activities.
pursue and nurture partnerships with alumni, church, community, business and industry, civic organizations, and government in order to analyze, project, and respond to changing needs to help ensure that graduates are prepared for a life of service.
steward resources entrusted to the university through effective fiscal management to fulfill its mission, vision and goals.
Student Learning Goals
Undergraduate students of Southern Adventist University will
grow in a vibrant relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, while integrating into their lives Bible-based beliefs and values as understood by the Seventh-day Adventist church.
develop a commitment to life-long-learning and demonstrate a mastery of the cognitive skills of critical reasoning, independent thinking, reflective judgment, communication, and creativity needed to confront the issues, ideas, and values of historical and contemporary civilization.
exhibit excellence and moral leadership in their chosen field of study and/or profession.
develop socio-emotional maturity that will enable them to be effective leaders and contributing members of their churches, families, groups, and communities in a global society.
take responsibility for their own well-being through a health-promoting lifestyle.
In 1892 the educational venture that developed into Southern Adventist University had its beginning in the small village of Graysville, Tennessee. The school became known as Graysville Academy. In 1896 the name was changed to Southern Industrial School and five years later to Southern Training School.
In 1916 because of limited acreage available for further expansion of plant facilities, the school was moved to the Thatcher farm in Hamilton County, Tennessee. The name “Collegedale” was given to the anticipated community. At its new location, the school opened as Southern Junior College and continued as such until 1944 when it achieved senior college status and the name was changed to Southern Missionary College. In 1982 the name was changed to Southern College of Seventh-day Adventists.
In 1996 graduate studies were added to the curriculum and the name was changed again, this time to Southern Adventist University.
Southern Adventist University’s one-thousand-acre Collegedale campus is nestled in a valley 18 miles east of Chattanooga. The quietness and beauty of the surroundings are in keeping with the University’s educational philosophy.
Accreditation and Memberships
Southern Adventist University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award one-year certificates, associate degrees, baccalaureate degrees, and master’s 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 Southern Adventist University.
It is also accredited by the Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools, Colleges, and Universities. Additional information regarding the University may be obtained by contacting the State Board of Independent Colleges and Universities, Department of Education, Tallahassee, FL 32399 (850.488.8695).
Schools and departments of the University are also accredited by various organizations as follows:
- Southern Adventist University has received accreditation for its business and business-related programs through the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (ACBE), Olathe, Kansas. The following degree programs are accredited by the IACBE:
- Bachelor of Business Administration degree
- Bachelor of Science degrees in Business Administration, Computer Information Systems, Corporate Community Wellness Management, Long-Term Care Administration, and Sports Studies
- Master of Business Administration
- Master of Financial Management
- Master of Science in Administration
- The Long-Term Care Administration program is accredited by the National Association of Boards of Examiners of Long-Term Care Administrators.
- The School of Computing’s B.S. in Computer Science program (including both the Computer Science and Embedded Systems concentrations) is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012—telephone: 410.347.7700.
- The School of Education and Psychology teacher education program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The University is approved by the Tennessee State Board of Education for the preparation of secondary and elementary teachers.
- The School of Music is a fully-accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music.
- The Associate of Science, Bachelor of Science, and Master of Science degree programs in nursing are accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (3343 Peachtree Road, NE, Suite 500, Atlanta, GA 30326). The School of Nursing is an agency member of the Council of Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Programs and the Council of Associate Degree Programs of the National League for Nursing. The School of Nursing is approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing.
- The Social Work program is accredited by the Council of Social Work Education.
Southern Adventist University is also a member of the Association of American Colleges, the American Council on Education, the Tennessee College Association, and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.
Southern Adventist University offers 9 master’s degree programs with 27 emphases, 64 baccalaureate degree majors, 51 minors, 17 associate degree majors, and 2 one-year certificate. Additional preprofessional and terminal curricula are available to students seeking admission to professional schools. (See “Degrees and Curricula ”). Twelve departments/schools offer secondary teaching certification.
Online learning includes undergraduate and graduate programs located on national and international Seventh-day Adventist college and university campuses as well as online courses and degrees. The online learning program provides the same quality of educational experience as the main campus to those students who cannot attend classes in Collegedale.
Fifty-nine percent of the students of Southern Adventist University come from the eight states constituting the Southern Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. However, most of the additional states and 48 foreign countries are also represented. The ratio of men to women is 44% to 56%.
Former Southern Adventist University students are now serving in the ministerial, teaching, medical, and other services of the Seventh-day Adventist Church at home and abroad. Others are engaged in advanced study, business pursuits, government service, research activities, private and institutional medical services, and the teaching professions on all levels.
The following buildings house the academic and other activities of the University:
Brock Hall—Visual Art and Design, Business and Management, English, History, Journalism and Communication, WSMC FM90.5
Daniells Hall—Social Work and Family Studies
Florida Hospital Hall—Nursing
Hickman Science Center—Biology, Chemistry, Computing, Mathematics, Physics
Hulsey Wellness Center—Gymnastics Center, Physical Education, Health and Wellness
J. Mabel Wood Hall—Music
Lynn Wood Hall—Heritage Museum, Advancement, Alumni, Development, Learning Success Services/Counseling and Testing
Mazie Herin Hall—Nursing
McKee Library—Main Campus Library
Miller Hall—Modern Languages
Sanford & Martha Ulmer Student Center—Computer Center, Campus Ministries, Dining Hall, student activity rooms, K.R.’s Place
Summerour Hall—Education and Psychology, Teaching Material Centers, 21st Century Classroom
William Iles Physical Education Center— Gymnasium, Swimming Pool
Other facilities on or near campus that may serve student needs:
Charles Fleming Plaza—shopping center with businesses serving the University and community. Includes:
Adventist Book Center
Campus Kitchen—fast food
Campus Shop—student bookstore and gift shop
Collegedale Credit Union
United States Post Office
Village Market with grocery, deli, bakery
Collegedale Academy—secondary laboratory school
Collegedale Korean Church
Collegedale Seventh-day Adventist Church Recreational Area—tennis courts, track, playing field
Southern Village—student housing
Arthur W. Spalding Elementary School—laboratory school
Spanish-American Seventh-day Adventist Church
Talge Hall—men’s residence hall
Thatcher Hall—women’s residence hall
Thatcher South—women’s residence hall
University Health Center—health services