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Location: Collegedale, Tennessee (pop. 12,458)

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: Ken Shaw, EdD

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


Undergraduate Students: 2,827
Graduate Students: 328
States Represented: 48
Countries Represented: 33
Students Living On Campus: 96%

2023 Fall Freshman Class:
Average ACT: 23
Average SAT: 1126
Average GPA: 3.6
Female: 54%
Male: 46%


Student/Faculty Ratio: 13:1

Undergraduate Fields of Study: 75 baccalaureate majors, 20 associate majors, plus numerous emphases, minors, and certificate programs

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

Classes and Labs with Fewer than 30 Students: 78%

Full-time Faculty: 170

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

More about Student Achievement 


U.S. News & World Report has identified Southern in "Best Colleges" rankings for 22 consecutive years. It also ranks Southern #2 as the most diverse regional university in the South.


Christian Service Program: More than 1,000 students, employees, and alumni participate in community service activities annually through campus programs, including the university's annual MLK Service Day. This outreach is made possible by dozens of active community partners providing nonprofit opportunities to minister to refugees and the homeless, fight pediatric cancer and human trafficking, coach soccer, and mentor and tutor children, among others. The program's core focus is to address the needs of vulnerable groups identified in Matthew 25 by feeding the hungry and thirsty, welcoming strangers, attending to the sick and grieving, and caring for those imprisoned physically and mentally.

LifeGroups: More than 1,200 students participate in 90+ LifeGroups (student-led small groups).

Mental Health Quality Enhancement Plan: Committed to the well-being of the whole person and recognizing the challenges that many face, the university created a campus-wide initiative focused on mental health. Pointed to on-campus resources and special events, students also will interact with mental health content delivered in select general education courses and have opportunities to build healthy coping skills.

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 campus community and with the mentorship of faculty from diverse fields.  

Study Abroad: Each year, dozens of students take classes in other countries.

Missions: Students have opportunities to spend a semester or year as full-time missionaries or to participate in short-term trips through the Student Missions and Humanitarian Engagement offices as well as the Evangelistic Resource Center.


Tuition and General Fee: $25,590 (2023-2024 academic year)

Room and Board: $8,460

Books: $1,100 (estimate)

Average Package of Scholarships, Grants, and Loans for Full-time Students: nearly $19,000 per year

Full-time Undergraduate Students Receiving Financial Aid: 98% 

Aid from Southern: More than $21 million in university-based funds are awarded to undergraduate students each year.

Cost Comparison: Tuition and fees at Southern cost 32% less than the national average for private colleges and universities and 14% less than public out-of-state colleges and universities. 

Return on Investment: Southern ranks #7 in Tennessee for 20-year net.


Clubs and Organizations: More than 40 different ways to connect

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

Cultural Clubs: Asian Club, Black Christian Union, Korean Club, Latin American Club, and Middle Eastern Club

Faith Opportunities: Residence hall worships, vespers, LifeGroups, multiple on-campus churches and services (such as 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.