Sep 16, 2021  
Graduate Catalog 2018-2019 
Graduate Catalog 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

This is Southern Adventist University

Southern Adventist University is a co-educational institution established by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, offering doctoral, master’s, baccalaureate, and associate degrees, and one-year certificates.

The Mission

Southern Adventist University nurtures Christ-likeness, traditional Seventh-day Adventist values, academic excellence, and a life-long pursuit of truth, wholeness, and service.

The Vision

Southern Adventist University will lead in providing a learning foundation built upon biblical principles, model academic and professional excellence, conscientiously steward university resources, and cost-effectively graduate successful servant leaders guided by faith, integrity, and balance.


We are:

  • Christ-centered: in every aspect of campus life
  • Seventh-day Adventist: in perspective and practice
  • Excellence driven: in academic and non-academic areas
  • Student focused: in their immediate and eternal wellbeing
  • Cost conscious: in stewardship and affordability
  • Balance: in all areas of life
  • Gracious: in service and hospitality to all

Educational Philosophy

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. 

Institutional Goals

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.
  • Students
    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.
  • Partnerships
    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.
  • Stewardship
    steward resources entrusted to the university through effective fiscal management to fulfill its mission, vision and goals.

Student Learning Goals

Students of Southern Adventist University will

  • Spiritual
    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.
  • Intellectual
    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.
  • Occupational
    exhibit excellence and moral leadership in their chosen field of study and/or profession.
  • Social
    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.
  • Physical
    take responsibility for their own well-being through a health-promoting lifestyle.

Guiding Principles for Graduate Programs

In keeping with the institutional mission statement, graduate education at Southern Adventist University provides an opportunity for motivated students to combine the acquisition of knowledge with refinement of their intellectual skills in the pursuit of truth. This experience extends beyond the transmission of information in the traditional disciplines. Rather, the learning environment consists of a community of scholars where students and professors jointly share dilemmas as well as discoveries and insights, resulting in a mutually fulfilling growth experience. Such opportunities motivate the student to engage in open dialogue, debate, critique, thoughtful query and independent thinking. Previous knowledge and understandings are examined, reconsidered, and synthesized in light of new learning; and accepted practices undergo the rigor of thoughtful analysis.

Students study and integrate theory, research, and practice in specialized areas of expertise. Considerable emphasis is placed upon independent and collaborative projects, which require a complexity of skills, including problem identification, inquiry, problem solving, analysis, and synthesis. Depending upon the particular graduate program; comprehensive examinations, capstone seminars, portfolio, and thesis afford additional demonstrations of scholarship and the potential for contributions to the field. Sound scholarship is expected, and these projects may lead to formal papers, professional presentations, or publishable manuscripts.

At Southern Adventist University, the quest for truth relates to matters of Christian faith. Because Biblical ideals lead to an appreciation of human dignity, participants in the community of scholars seek to apply theory in ways that preserve human worth. Christian education combines faith and learning, understanding and practice, erudition and service.


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, after which the name was changed to Southern Missionary College. In 1982 the name was changed to Southern College of Seventh-day Adventists. University status was achieved in 1996 when the name was changed to Southern Adventist University. In 2012, a doctor of nursing practice was added to the curriculum.


Southern Adventist University’s 1,100 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 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award one-year certificates, associate degrees, baccalaureate degrees, master’s and doctoral degrees. Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools 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). The Master of Science degree in School Counseling is approved by the Tennessee State Board of Education.

The Schools of the University are also accredited by various organizations as follows:

  • The School of Business is accredited through the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (Olathe, KS 66221, telephone number, 913.631.3009).
  • The School of Education and Psychology teacher education program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), This accreditation covers P-12 education at Southern Adventist University. However, the accreditation does not include individual education courses that the institution offers to P-12 educators for professional development, relicensure, or other purposes. The University is approved by the Tennessee State Board of Education for the preparation of secondary and elementary teachers.
  • The School of Education and Psychology teacher education program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of  Educator Preparation (CAEP), This accreditation covers P-12 education at Southern Adventist University. However, the accreditation does not include individual education courses that the institution offers to P-12 educators for professional development, relicensure, or other purposes. The University is approved by the Tennessee State Board of Education for the preparation of secondary and elementary teachers and has met endorsement requirements and standards prescribed by the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists Certification Officers.
  • The Associate of Science, Bachelor of Science, and Master of Science degree programs in nursing are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) (3343 Peachtree Road, NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326). The post-master’s DNP program (Acute Care NP, Acute Care Specialization and Lifestyle Medicine emphases) is fully accredited by ACEN.  BS to DNP emphases and other post-master’s DNP emphases are approved by ACEN with full accreditation pending ACEN site visit in fall 2018. 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 School of Social Work’s MSW program is fully accredited with the Council on Social Work Education (1701 Duke Street, Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314).


The following buildings house the academic and other activities of the University:

  • Brock Hall-Business and Management, English, History and Political Studies, Journalism and Communication, Visual Art and Design, WSMC FM90.5
  • Daniells Hall-Social Work
  • Hackman Hall-Religion
  • Hickman Science Center-Biology, Chemistry, Computing, Mathematics, Physics and Engineering
  • Hulsey Wellness Center-Physical Education, Health and Wellness
  • J. Mabel Wood Hall-Music
  • Ledford Hall-Technology
  • Lynn Wood Hall-Advancement, Alumni, Development, Heritage Museum, Student Success Center/Counseling and Testing
  • Florida Hospital Hall-Nursing
  • McKee Library-Main Campus Library
  • Miller Hall-Modern Languages
  • Summerour Hall-Education and Psychology, Teaching Materials Center, 21st Century Classroom
  • William Iles Physical Education Center-Physical Education, Swimming Pool
  • Wright Hall-Administration

Other facilities on or near campus that may serve student needs:

  • Campus Safety
  • Campus Shop-student bookstore and gift shop
  • Southern Village
  • Student Apartments
  • Talge Hall-men’s residence hall
  • Thatcher Hall-women’s residence hall
  • Thatcher Hall South-women’s residence hall
  • University Health Center-health services