Majors and Minors

School ofPhysical Education, Health, and Wellness

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Why Physical Education, Health, and Wellness?

The School of Physical Education, Health, and Wellness prepares students for success in their careers and to be fit for eternity.

  • Southern’s program offers opportunities for students who are serious about a career that promotes the total well-being of others.
  • The physical education degree fosters enthusiasm, knowledge, and skills in many recreational activities, enabling students to become the best possible teachers.
  • The health science degree is an appropriate track for pre-med, pre-dental, pre-physical therapy, or other pre-professional careers. Graduates are ready to pursue advanced or professional degrees as well as medical careers.
  • Corporate/community wellness management majors are prepared for graduate school and provides opportunities for helping people create an active, balanced, healthy lifestyle.
  • The bachelor’s degree in sports studies has components that are accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.
  • Outdoor leadership majors develop competencies and skills to serve as camp managers, first responders, park rangers, and more.
  • The new culinary arts kitchen is 3,000 square feet with space dedicated exclusively for labs and classes.
  • Gym-Masters, an anti-drug acrobatics team, gives students that are gifted in gymnastics an opportunity to develop their skills and promote positive lifestyle choices. Gym-Masters practice in their own facility on campus.

Interesting Facts

Students in Action

  • Gym-Masters travel and promote good health principles at many educational institutions, as well as perform halftime shows at NBA games.
  • Special certifications can be earned in personal training,  group aerobics, lifeguarding, water safety instruction, CPR,  and first aid.
  • Students may work as a reader, personal trainer, swimming  instructor, lifeguard, game referee/umpire, climbing supervisor, facility monitor, or gymnastics instructor.
  • ProAct classes focus on development of professional skills, including performance and teaching techniques for a single sport such as volleyball or basketball. These specialized classes are unique to Southern’s program, and are only open to physical education and sports studies majors and minors.
  • Student clubs include: Cycling Club, Health Science Club, Kayak Club, P.E. and Sports Studies Club, Southern Striders, and Wellness Club.

Marks of Distinction

  • The corporate/community wellness management degree is fully accredited by the National Wellness Institute. Southern’s program was the 10th to be accredited out of 300- plus universities with wellness degrees. Wellness graduates automatically earn the certified wellness practitioner designation.
  • The pass rate for the Praxis I exam taken by physical education majors for teacher certification is 100 percent. 
  • The School of Physical Education, Health, and Wellness maintains relationships with many potential employers for  graduates.
  • The Wellness Institute helps individuals and families in the community pursue better health, balance, well-being, and joy.
  • The Human Performance Lab employs students to help  measure resting metabolic rate, aerobic capacity, anaerobic threshold, lactate threshold, and body composition using  hydrostatic weighing, bioelectrical impedance, or skin fold method.
  • Professors are regularly asked to lead out and speak locally , nationally, and internationally.
  • Southern is the only Adventist school in North America to offer culinary arts and is one of only a few colleges or universities in the country providing training focused on preparation of vegetarian and vegan foods. 


  • Robert Benge, PhDRobert Benge, PhDProfessor and Dean
  • Harold Mayer, PhDHarold Mayer, PhDProfessor
  • Judy Sloan, PhDJudy Sloan, PhDProfessor
  • Mike Boyd, MSSMike Boyd, MSSAssociate Professor
  • Richard Schwarz, MSSRichard Schwarz, MSSAssociate Professor
  • Rodney Bussey, PhDRodney Bussey, PhDAssociate Professor
  • Troy Walker, MSTroy Walker, MSAssistant Professor
  • Doug Brown, MDivDoug Brown, MDivAssociate Professor
  • Mike Harris, MSMike Harris, MSAdventure Programming Director
  • Bonny Musgrave, MABonny Musgrave, MAAssistant Professor

My professors practice
what they preach.
They live an active,
physically fit, and
holistic lifestyle Sophie Anderson, ’13Health science major

Students prepare to exercise


Classrooms and Labs

In addition to classrooms, the Hulsey Wellness Center features a fitness center, aerobics area, therapeutic pool, gymnastics center, indoor walking track, climbing wall, child care, smoothie bar, whirlpools, saunas, library, lab, and massage therapy rooms. The Iles Physical Education Center houses basketball, badminton, volleyball, racquetball courts, and an indoor lap pool. Students also have access to an outdoor track, tennis courts, disc golf course, ball fields, and an all-weather putting green. 

  • Available adventure courses include: backpacking, fly fishing, basic kayaking, mountain biking, scuba diving, snow skiing/boarding, and wall climbing.
  • Students can participate in intramural sports including: basketball, flag football, floor hockey, futsal (indoor soccer), softball, and volleyball.
  • Sporting events held throughout the year include: All Night Softball, Sunbelt/Cohutta Springs Triathlon, and Rees Basketball Series as well as badminton, racquetball, volleyball, and basketball tournaments.
  • Southern Outdoor Adventure Program (SOAP) provides recreation opportunities such as backpacking, camping, canoeing, caving, horseback riding, and more.  


  • Activity specialist/coordinator
  • Coach
  • Corporate wellness employee
  • Health instructor
  • Medical career professional
  • Physical education teacher
  • Recreation director
  • Youth ministry specialist
  • Chef
  • Camp manager
  • Adventure therapist
  • Sports official
  • Missionary
  • First responder


Darin Bissell