Southern Adventist University: Power for Mind and Soul
Southern Adventist University - The Knowledge Review

Southern Adventist University nurtures Christlikeness, traditional Seventh-day Adventist values, academic excellence, and a lifelong pursuit of truth, wholeness, and service.

Preparing Graduates to Change the World

Southern Adventist University traces its roots back to the establishment of Graysville Academy in Graysville, Tennessee, in 1892. In 1916, the school moved to its current location, Collegedale, Tennessee. Though privately funded at first, it later became an official institution of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Over the years, the school’s name changed to reflect its growth: Southern Industrial School, Southern Training School, Southern Junior College, Southern Missionary College, Southern Collage, and finally, in 1996 when the school began conferring master’s degrees, the trustees voted to adopt its current moniker.

The university is Christ-centered in every aspect of campus life, following the principles of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is rooted in its theological understanding of God and humanity and views education as an essential element of redemption that focuses on developing the whole person. Southern Adventist University nurtures a safe learning community of faith through competent and diverse faculty and enables students to participate in worship and service. The university pursues and nurtures partnerships with alumni, church, community, business and industry and many more. Students develop a commitment to life-long learning and demonstrate a mastery of cognitive skills while also growing in a vibrant relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

A Pioneer in Christian Higher Education within a Healthy Spiritual Environment

Southern Adventist University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award one-year certificates, associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. It is also accredited by the Adventist Accrediting Association. Each of its individual schools and departments have additional accreditations. It offers 86 baccalaureate majors and 15 associate majors in undergraduate fields of study. It has more than 2500 undergraduate students and more than 400 graduate students. The student-faculty ratio is 14:1 with 169 full-time faculties. We highlight some of the Schools and Departments that come under the purview of Southern Adventist University:  Allied Health, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Computing, Education & Psychology, English, History & Political Studies, Journalism & Communication, Mathematics, Modern Languages, Music, Nursing, Religion, Social Work and many more.

The McKee Library has approximately 165,000 volumes on the shelves, 25,000 electronic books, subscriptions to more than 880 print and electronic periodicals and access to more than 19,000 electronic journals. It also features the Thomas Memorial Collection, a major Civil War collection with more than 3,600 volumes concerning Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War along with authentic photos and newspapers.

The University has earned laurels for its distinct programs. The Christian service programs include opportunities like Westside for Jesus, Freshman Community Service Day, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Day. The student-led small groups for Bible Studies, called LifeGroups, are always heavily attended by the students. The university has also included a four-hour general education program on physical activity to increase cardiorespiratory fitness in students. It is termed as Living in Balance. A program called Southern Scholars awards scholarship to students for participating in an intellectually motivated life-enriching experience that encourages responsibility toward learning. Approximately 50 students take classes in other countries under the Study Abroad plan.

Through the Online Campus, a dedicated team works with professors to identify and implement best practices for the integration of technology and to enhance the learning experience with the goal of impacting teaching and learning both in the traditional classroom and online.

A Popular Magazine has identified Southern as a “Top Tier” institution for 16 consecutive years. Princeton Review has recognized it in its “Best in the Southeast” category; a designation earned by only 25 percent of the institutions studied.

A Veteran Educator and a Visionary Pastor

President David Smith began his service at Southern as an English professor in 1981. After 17 years, he transitioned to Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he served as president. He returned to the Collegedale area to serve as Senior Pastor for the Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists, before leaving that role to accept the position as 26th President of Southern Adventist University.

At Southern Adventist University, Dr. Smith’s primary goal is to find ways to make it possible for more young people to earn a quality, Christian education. This involves finding ways to make it affordable and subsequently reducing the student debt. He also wants to give students increased leadership opportunities, enhance the spiritual life for students and faculty, and further build Southern’s presence in the community. Dr. Smith holds a PhD in English from the University of Tennessee. He received his master’s degree in English and bachelor’s degree in History from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan.

Strengthening Biblical Principles through Life-Changing Opportunities

Soul-winning and Leadership Training (SALT) is founded on the words of Jesus that we are all called to be the SALT of the earth (Matthew 5:14). God has commissioned His people to spread the gospel and the news of His soon return to all of the world. At SALT, they desire to equip others to do just that. SALT, in partnership with the evangelistic ministry of It Is Written, is a fresh and dynamic evangelism training program that lasts for 16-weeks during a particular period of the year. Free online training is also conducted.

It provides college credits by involving the professors of Southern Adventist University for a majority of its curriculum. SALT also provides hands-on evangelism training by actively working in churches that are preparing for an evangelistic series.

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