Graduate Assistant Positions

Southern Adventist University’s MSED Outdoor Education is seeking applicants for the Adventure Program graduate assistant position. This is a 12-month position and may be renewed for a second year. Graduate Assistantship in Adventure Programing involves assisting the Adventure Programing Director. 

Working as a graduate assistant is an excellent opportunity to pay for your master’s education while getting real-world leadership experience.

Southern Adventist University is a private Christian liberal arts university. Successful candidates will demonstrate commitment to Christian ideals and academic excellence in teaching, mentoring, leadership, and program development.

Primary Responsibilities »

  • Coordinating adventure and challenge course programs, including facilitation and staff training
  • Leading and directing outdoor school experiences, grades K-12
  • Planning and leading adventure trips during the semester and some holiday breaks
  • Taking responsibility for equipment maintenance and inventory
  • Promoting and marketing the Outdoor Leadership program to the Southern Adventist University community 

Secondary Responsibilities »

  • Assisting professors in teaching undergraduate outdoor leadership courses and mentoring undergraduate students
  • Mentoring undergraduate students in learning leadership

Required Qualifications »

  • Passion for the outdoors, Christ-following, and mentoring others within the outdoor/adventure environment
  • Commitment to support the teachings and mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
  • Four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
  • Enrollment as a current full-time student in the MSEd Outdoor Education program
  • Self-motivation, ability to initiate and work independently
  • Demonstration of strong leadership and organizational skills as well as a strong work ethic
  • Commitment to outdoor industry standards of excellence and professional ethics and morals
  • Flexibility with work schedules (evenings and weekends as needed)
  • Desire to learn and work in a fast-growing outdoor leadership program
  • Residence within commuting distance of the university
  • Possession of a valid U.S. or international driver's license and a motor vehicle record free of reckless/excessive speed/felony or DUI/DWI citations
  • Ability to pass a background check

Preferred Qualifications »

  • Current Wilderness First Aid or higher medical certification
  • Instructor or technician level certification in one or more professional rescue fields or outdoor activities
  • Skills in at least three of the following areas: whitewater rafting/kayaking, rock climbing, backpacking, caving, canoeing, teambuilding dynamics and facilitation, mountain biking, orienteering, nature photography
  • Teaching experience using nature as a classroom
  • Strong background in natural sciences
  • Previous experience leading multiday wilderness trips
  • Graphic design experience

Terms of Position »

The graduate assistant position includes a partial tuition waiver of 7 credits per semester and a biweekly stipend for 12 months. Yearly contract is renewable for the duration of the degree. The applicant is responsible for food, housing, and transportation when not involved with official activities. The applicant is also responsible for class materials and lab fees. 

Program Information

For more information on the undergraduate program, visit the outdoor leadership website.

Geographic Area 

For information on outdoor activities in the surrounding area, go to

Southern Adventist University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.

Application Procedure

Applicants must submit:

1. Letter of application specifically addressing the following:
   A. Required Qualifications (listed above)
   B. Preferred Qualifications (listed above)
   C. How you heard about our program
2. Current resumé
3. Statement of philosophy of outdoor education incorporating your outdoor experiences
4. Copies of all certifications
5. Three (3) current letters of recommendation
6. Outdoor experience portfolio or other detailed description of all outdoor experiences
7. Completed materials are to be sent to:
    Robert C. Benge, PhD
    Southern Adventist University
    Dean, School of Physical Education, Health and Wellness
    PO Box 370
    Collegedale, TN 37315
8. Complete a Southern Adventist University graduate application (all candidates must receive regular admission before being considered for a position)