Sep 22, 2020  
Undergraduate Catalog 2020-2021 
Undergraduate Catalog 2020-2021

This is Southern


Admissions Information
Undergraduate Studies

General Number: 423.236.2000
Fax: 423.236.1000
Nationwide: 1.800.SOUTHERN (768.8437)

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 370
Collegedale, TN 37315-0370



Southern Offers

Southern Adventist University is a co-educational institution established by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, offering doctoral, master’s, baccalaureate, associate degrees, and one-year certificates. Various delivery modalities (face-to-face, online, hybrid and other) are employed in order to effectively support learners enrolled in the university’s classes and programs.

The Mission

Grounded in Jesus Christ and dedicated to the beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, we equip students to embrace biblical truth, embody academic and professional excellence, and pursue Spirit-filled lives of service.

The Vision

Southern Adventist University’s vision is to:

  • Model the love of Jesus in every interaction.
  • Invite each student into a saving relationship with Jesus.
  • Inspire each student to engage with God’s Church and the world through service and witness.
  • Provide each student with an exceptional learning experience that equips them to thrive in a fluid, global job market.

Core Values

As Southern Adventist University employees, we:

  • Embrace the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Worldview and Fundamental Beliefs
  • Love Others as God Loves Them
  • Act with Integrity
  • Live Prayerfully
  • Serve Others Generously
  • Follow God’s Calling
  • Pursue Excellence
  • Exercise Responsible Stewardship
  • Offer an Exceptional, Wholistic Learning Experience

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 a learning community that engages 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

Undergraduate students of Southern Adventist University will

  • Spiritual Development
    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 Development
    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.
  • Individual and Social Development
    develop socio-emotional maturity that enables them to be effective leaders and contributing members of their churches, families, groups, and communities in a global society.
  • Physical Development
    take responsibility for their own well-being through a healthy 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. In 2012, a doctor of nursing practice was added to the curriculum.


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 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award one-year certificates, associate, baccalaureate, 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).

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 Accreditation for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), Olathe, Kansas. The following degree programs are accredited by the IACBE:
    • Bachelor of Business Administration degree
    • Bachelor of Science degrees in Business Administration, Corporate Community Wellness Management, Health Services and Senior Living, and Sports Studies
    • Master of Business Administration
  • The Health Services and Senior Living 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,
  • The School of Education and Psychology is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), Washington, D.C. (phone 202.223.0077) for Initial Preparation (ITP). 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 clinical mental health counseling program and school counseling program are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP), (Alexandria, VA 22314, telephone number, 703.535.5990).
  • 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 Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3343 Peachtree Road, NE, Suite 850, 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 Bachelor of Science in Physical Education is NCATE accredited through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The bachelor degrees in Corporate/Community/Wellness Management and Sport Studies, offered in conjunction with the School of Business, are accredited by the International Accreditation for Collegiate Business Education. The Bachelor of Science in Corporate/Community Wellness Management as an accredited academic program by the National Wellness Institute. All of these graduates are Certified Wellness Practitioners.
  • The Social Work program is accredited by the Council on 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. 

Academic Program

Southern Adventist University offers 1 doctor of nursing practice with 8 emphases, 9 master’s degree programs with 39 emphases, 71 baccalaureate degree majors, 20 associate degree majors, 60 minors, and 2 one-year certificates. Additional preprofessional and terminal curricula are available to students seeking admission to professional schools. (See Degrees and Curricula ). Eleven departments/schools offer secondary teaching certification.

Online Learning

Online courses are designed to be dynamic, with frequent student and professor interaction; for example, live class meetings are held online and students interact with both the instructor and one another in discussion forums. Class resources are available on eClass, Southern Adventist University’s course management system.

A number of graduate degree programs are available entirely online, and some undergraduate courses also are available, including dual enrollment courses for high-school students. Certification courses are offered for teachers in North American Division K-8 schools.


Fifty-four 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 8 foreign unions are also represented. The ratio of men to women is 43% to 57%.

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-Business, English, History and Political Studies, Journalism and Communication, Visual Art and Design
Daniells Hall-Social Work
Florida Hospital Hall-Nursing
Hackman Hall-Religion
Hickman Science Center-Biology, Chemistry, Computing, Mathematics, Physics and Engineering
Hulsey Wellness Center-Gymnastics Center, Physical Education, Health and Wellness
J. Mabel Wood Hall-Music
Ledford Hall-Technology
Lynn Wood Hall-Heritage Museum, Advancement, Alumni, Development, Learning Success Services/Counseling and Testing
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 Center
William Iles Physical Education Center- Gymnasium, Swimming Pool
Wright Hall-Administration

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

Campus Services-Security
Charles Fleming Plaza-shopping center with businesses serving the University and community. Includes: 

Adventist Book Center
Campus Shop-student bookstore and gift shop
Collegedale Credit Union
Quick Print
United States Post Office
Village Market with grocery, deli, bakery 

Collegedale Academy-secondary laboratory school
Collegedale Adventist Middle 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
Spalding Cove Apartments-married student housing
Spanish-American Seventh-day Adventist Church
Student Apartments
Student Park
Talge Hall-men’s residence hall
Thatcher Hall-women’s residence hall
Thatcher South-women’s residence hall
University Health Center-health services
Winding Creek Apartments-married student housing

Something to keep in mind -

Although this CATALOG is not a textbook, you will refer to it often during your university career. It describes the academic program you select and the requirements you must fulfill to graduate. Before you enroll at Southern or register for any succeeding semester, you should satisfy yourself that you are familiar with this Catalog.

Two important parts of your academic life are General Education and your field of concentration. You will find it especially valuable to read carefully the sections of the Catalog that explain these programs.

Every attempt has been made to prepare this Catalog so everyone may understand it, but some of the information may still be confusing to you. Also, because changes may occur in your program requirements, you may encounter contradictions between this Catalog and advice that you later receive. Talk to someone about the sections of this Catalog that are not clear.

The first person to talk to is your academic adviser. You may also find help from the chair/dean of your department/school. It may be necessary to visit with the Director or Assistant Director of Records and Advisement. The Vice President and Associate Vice President for Academic Administration are also available to assist you. If you need explanations about financial questions, talk with the Vice President of Enrollment Management or the Director of Student Finance.

Remember that you are the one who selects your program of study and it is your responsibility to know the graduation requirements and meet them.

In publishing this catalog, every reasonable effort has been made to be factually accurate. The publisher assumes no responsibility for editorial, clerical, or printing errors. The information presented is, at the time of printing, an accurate description of course offerings, policies, and requirements of Southern Adventist University. The provisions of this catalog, however, are not to  be regarded as an irrevocable contract between the university and the student. The university reserves the right to change any  provision or requirement at any time, without prior notice.