Skip to main content
Home > About Southern > Frequently Asked Questions


Southern Adventist University is an accredited four-year co-educational institution operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

The student body consists of about 3000 students, more than 60 percent of whom live in campus housing. The ratio of male students to female students is about 45 to 55, and although students come from a variety of religious backgrounds and denominations, the majority are Seventh-day Adventist.

Southern Adventist University is located in Collegedale, Tennessee. We are a few miles from Interstate 75, just seven miles from Chattanooga, and within two hours of Knoxville, Nashville, and Atlanta. Click here for directions.

Call us at 1.800.SOUTHERN. We'd love to send you an information packet. You can also read our Admissions pages, and arrange for a campus visit.

Visiting our campus is easy. Simply register online or call our Admissions office at 1.800. SOUTHERN to arrange a tour, informational sessions with professors, lodging, meals, or anything else you may have in mind. If you aren't able to visit our campus in person, you can take our virtual tour.

Our main number is 1.800.SOUTHERN, or for mailing addresses and email click "contact" in the top menu.

In 1892, Professor George Colcord and his wife rented a room over the General Store in the Graysville, Tennessee, and established Graysville Academy. Academic expansion came with increased enrollment and changing student needs along with a move. Over the years, the school has been renamed Southern Industrial School (1897), Southern Training School (1901), Southern Junior College (1916), Southern Missionary College (1944), Southern College of Seventh-Day Adventists (1982), and Southern Adventist University (1996) to reflect this expansion.

Southern has an excellent record of safety. Our Campus Safety Department operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and offers services such as on-campus escorts after dark, assistance with vehicle jump starts and lockouts, and a central dispatch station to monitor fire, card entry, and intrusion alarms. The residence halls are fully equipped with sprinklers for fire safety. To view the last three years' crimes that were reported to Campus Safety and occurred on campus, click here.

Counseling and Testing Services is prepared to help and invites students to discuss career options, self-assessment, skills, interests, goals, resume preparation, interview techniques, and job seeking strategies with a counselor.

A sampling of activities includes musical groups, the Gym-Masters acrobatics team, student publications, and enriching Campus Ministries programs. For more information about student clubs, click here.

The Collegedale Church is right on campus and it offers three services, one of which is lead by students. Other worship services on campus include: Connect, a young adults service located in Collegedale Academy Auditorium, and the Spanish American Church. There are many places to worship in the Chattanooga community.

The Campus Shop offers a variety of sweatshirts, T-shirts, and athletic wear so you can show your Southern pride.

There are many hotels in the area. Fairfield Inn, Hampton Inn, Microtel Inn, and Comfort Inn (call 1.800.SOUTHERN for a discount code) have arrangements with Southern for special discount rates if you tell them you are in town to visit Southern Adventist University.

Whether you visit the historic Chattanooga Choo-Choo, climb Lookout Mountain, or take a glass-bottom boat ride on the Lost Sea, you'll find the Chattanooga area to be full of interesting things to do. Other attractions of interest include:

Yes! In 1956, the school's largest industry for working students, a furniture factory, burned to the ground. A new plant was built in its place and leased to the McKee Baking Company. Today McKee Foods Corporation is the manufacturer of Little Debbie snack cakes. Approximately 3,200 employees, including Southern students, work at four Collegedale plants.