Quick Facts About Southern

Location: Collegedale, Tennessee (pop. 11,659)

Campus: 1,300 acres with 26 major buildings, plus nearly 40 miles of hiking and biking trails

Motto: Power for Mind and Soul

Mission Statement: 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.

President: David Smith, PhD

Religious Affiliation: Seventh-day Adventist. Southern welcomes individuals of other faiths.student body


Undergraduate Students: 2,450
Graduate Students: 384
States Represented: 50
Countries Represented: 33
Percentage of Undergrads Living on Campus: 67%

2019-20 First-Year Class:
Average ACT: 24
Average SAT: 1,104
Average GPA: 3.6
Female: 53%
Male: 47%


Student/Faculty Ratio: 13:1classroom

Undergraduate Fields of Study: 64 baccalaureate majors, 17 associate majors, plus numerous emphases, minors, and certificate programs

Graduate Degrees:
Doctor of Nursing Practice, DNP
Master of Arts in Religion, MA
Master of Business Administration, MBA
Master of Ministry, MMin
Master of Science in Computer Science, MS
Master of Science in Counseling, MS
Master of Science in Education, MSEd
Master of Science in Nursing, MSN
Master of Social Work, MSW

Classes with Fewer than 30 Students: 80%

Full-time Faculty: 168

Accreditation: SACSCOC, AAA (with additional accreditations for individual schools and departments)

More about Student Achievement 


U.S. News & World Report has identified Southern as a “Top Tier” institution for 18 consecutive years. It also ranked Southern as the most diverse regional university in the South in 2019.


Christian Service Program: More than 1,400 students, employees, and alumni participated in community service activities last year through campus programs such as Breakfast Ministry, iWitness, Patton Towers, Shine His Light, SonRise, SWAG Camp, Westside 4 Jesus, and our 26th annual MLK Service Day. This outreach is made possible through nearly 60 active community partners providing nonprofit opportunities, including working with refugees and the homeless, fighting pediatric cancer, coaching soccer, mentoring and tutoring children, and many more.

musicLifeGroups: More than 1,200 students participate in LifeGroups (student-led small group Bible studies).

Living in Balance Quality Enhancement Plan: To strengthen the pursuit of wholeness, the university chose to focus on increasing cardiorespiratory fitness in students. The two-hour general education physical activity requirement was increased to four, meaning students will take one physical activity course per year.

Southern Scholars: Highly motivated students are awarded a scholarship for participating in this interdisciplinary academic program. The program focuses on developing students' strong critical thinking skills that are relevant to both personal and academic life, while the depth and breadth of Scholars learning occurs within a community of more than 50 peers and with the mentorship of faculty from diverse fields.  

Study AbroadApproximately 50 students each year take classes in another country.

Missions: Students have the opportunity to spend a year as full-time missionaries or participate in short-term trips through the uQuest Missions office and Evangelistic Resource Center.


Tuition: $21,650 (2019-2020 academic year)

Room and Board: $7,240

Books and Fees: $1,100 (estimate)

Average Package of Scholarships, Grants, and Loans: $19,158

Full-time Students Receiving Financial Aid: 95% 

Cost Comparison: Tuition and fees at Southern cost 38% less than the national average for private colleges and universities and 13% less than public out-of-state colleges and universities. 

Return on Investment: Southern ranked #12 in Tennessee for 2019.

campus lifeCAMPUS LIFE

Clubs and Organizations: 45+ different ways to connect

Music: Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, Southern Ringtones, Jazz Ensemble, I Cantori, Bel Canto, Die Meistersinger, other musical groups

Cultural Clubs: African Student Union, Asian Club, Black Christian Union, French Club, Latin American Club, Oceania Islander Club, Peruvian Club

Faith Opportunities: Residence hall worships, vespers, LifeGroups, four on-campus churches (Collegedale, Spanish American, Connect, Merge), more than 25 nearby Seventh-day Adventist churches, more than 20 student-led ministries

Intramural Sports: More than half of Southern students participate in intramurals.