The Long Term Care Administration program offered at Southern Adventist University originated in 1978. Apparently two persons were instrumental in generating the initial ideas that evolved into the program. Forrest L. Preston, president and board chairman of Life Care Centers of America (LCCA) headquartered in Cleveland, TN, founded LCCA in 1976. Mr. Preston recognized Life Care's need for educated and well-trained nursing home administrators. He suggested that Southern's goals and mission would be enhanced if Southern offered a program to prepare administrators for Long Term Care facilities. In the same year Dan Rozell came to Southern from Texas where he had been responsible for a Long Term Care program. Acting on the suggestions of these two persons, Southern's administration and business faculty began the process which formed the Long Term Care Administration Program.

Life Care Centers of America provided their Director of Operations, Phil Brooks, to work closely with Southern's administration to develop the program. Life Care personnel provided teachers, scholarships, hands-on internships, and knowledge and expertise from the firm for Southern's students. Southern's Business Department worked in cooperation with Life Care administrators to determine the requirements for general education, management, and specifically the four Long Term Care courses that are still offered only in the summers. The curriculum was designed to provide learning experiences that prepare a person to pass the NAB and State board examinations and to be a successful nursing home administrator.

Mr. Rozell was the program director from 1980 through 1996. In 1996 Jim Segar assumed the directorship of the Long Term Care Program in addition to teaching a three-semester hour Business Strategy class and functioning as Dean of the School of Business. From 1997-2004 Mr. Segar carried a full teaching load in addition to directing the LTCA program. When Mr. Segar retired in July, 2004, Robert Montague assumed responsibility for the program. Dr. Montague directed the program from 2004-2009 while teaching graduate and undergraduate courses. In 2009 Dr. Montage transitioned to another responsibility and Verlyne Starr assumed the directorship. Ms. Starr has been teaching classes in management and marketing areas at SAU since 2001. Her passion for the success of the program comes from five years of personal experience with her parents in their declining years.