In 2011, Southern launched an evangelism training program in partnership with It Is Written called SALT (Soul-Winning and Leadership Training). Since then, SALT has graduated 161 students from its four-month Bible worker course, trained 410 during summer intensives, and participated in church and video instruction that has reached untold others.

SALTAs a direct result of SALT, more than 1,000 Bible studies have been shared by students in the greater Chattanooga area!

3ABN recently invited two SALT faculty and four graduates from the program to its set for an hour-long interview about the value of such an intentional and hands-on approach to evangelism training. For more information about SALT, including registration information for this fall’s classes, visit southern.edu/salt or call 423.236.2036.

-Staff Report


It’s easy to imagine Southern’s campus always looking as beautiful and peaceful as it does today, but that’s not the case. Students and employees are forever in debt to the visionary leadership of those who champion efforts to maintain and improve the university’s rich natural resources.

Greening of CampusFor example, Ambrose Suhrie, a retired professor and educational consultant with Southern, encouraged the college to cancel classes for Arbor Day in 1949 to allow hundreds of students plant 10,000 pine seedlings, 300 dogwoods, and 200 azaleas on White Oak Mountain. A similar process repeated itself again and again in the early 1950s.

This enthusiasm and respect for nature remains an important part of Southern’s ethos and can be seen in the ongoing generosity of donors whose gifts support valuable campus projects such as creation of a new arboretum, expansion of hiking and mountain bike trails, and maintenance for the Garden of Prayer. A new video from Southern highlights these projects, part of the Campus Life impact area in Southern’s Campaign for Excellence in Faith and Learning.

-Staff Report

campus life
As concrete and steel give shape to an idea years in the making, buzz surrounding construction of the Bietz Center for Student Life is at an all-time high. The 40,000-square-foot structure— a centerpiece of Southern’s $50 million Campaign for Excellence in Faith and Learning—is scheduled for a fall 2020 grand opening, and has already become a focal point for those walking the promenade between McKee Library and Hickman Science Center.

Bietz Center for Student Life“There is real excitement on campus now that we see the building going up,” said President David Smith, PhD. “It’s even of great interest to prospective students as we conduct our campus tours!”

In the coming months, students, employees, and alumni will have opportunities to participate during milestone construction moments, such as a topping-off ceremony when the last structural beam is placed. Southern will also host a contest to name a new campus eatery planned for the Bietz Center’s second floor. Alumni and friends of the university living outside the Chattanooga area can watch the building’s progress in real time by visiting southern.edu/webcams.

Bietz Center DrawingAlumni gifts will shape additional items and spaces via personal or corporate naming opportunities beginning at the $500 level. Some families are combining their gifts to honor the shared impact of a former professor or classmate, as is the case with the forthcoming Jack Blanco Chapel on the Bietz Center’s third floor.

For more information about the Campaign for Excellence in Faith and Learning, or to make a gift to the Bietz Center for Student Life, visit southern.edu/webelieve. For more information about naming opportunities within the Bietz Center, call 423.236.2468.

-Staff Report


Southern’s English Department recently co-hosted the Adventist English Association (AEA) conference with Oakwood University. The theme of this year’s gathering, held June 20-23, was “Diversity in Adventist English Education.”

Formed in 1968, the AEA is an organization that seeks to connect and develop professional interaction among secondary and post-secondary Adventist English teachers, holding conferences every three years.

“It’s by teachers, for teachers,” said Linda Tym, PhD, associate professor of English at Southern and president of the AEA. “It’s by lovers of literature, for lovers of literature who care about the church and Christian education.”

AEAThe 45 attendees represented 14 public and private institutions and included six faculty from South American universities. Events included academic sessions, tours of the Oakwood and Southern communities, Sabbath worship together, and an AEA business meeting.

Tym has been AEA president for the past three years. She and her fellow board members—vice president Kem Roper, PhD, formerly of Oakwood, and communications representative Clarice Nixon, assistant professor of English at Southern—organized diversity into every level of the conference. This meant not only seeking papers concerning issues of diversity in Adventist education, but also encouraging Adventist educators who work at non-Adventist institutions to attend.

“I had such a fantastic time at AEA,” said Sari Fordham, ’98, MFA, associate professor of English at La Sierra University. “The theme—diversity—was so well chosen. I’m always looking to bring in new voices in the texts I teach, and I got some helpful ideas from the presentations. And as a Southern alum, it was fun to be back on campus!”

-by Emma Winegardner, ’19

Community Connections
Southern's Biology Department recently partnered with Altius, a Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) prep business, to provide students and the community with more local options to prepare for medical school.

The company, based out of Utah, decided to work with Southern after seeing that many of the university’s students enrolled in their programs across the country during the summer. Southern is home to one of eight Altius sites for MCAT preparation; a sampling of other locations includes Portland, Oregon; Brownsville, Texas; and Salt Lake City, Utah.

“They contacted us and said ‘you know you’ve got an awful lot of people coming to us, what if we just came to you and opened a spot on campus for your students?’” said Keith Snyder, PhD, chair of the Biology Department.

MCAP Prep CourseThe school also aligns with many health and conduct ideals important to Altius, a company with strong Mormon roots, and helped foster this mutually beneficial partnership. The company hired students from Southern who have already completed the MCAT process to help with tutoring and other instruction during its 10-week intensive. Altius also agreed to alter its usual Monday-Saturday schedule to Sunday-Friday to accommodate observance of the Sabbath.

Southern is supporting Altius by allowing the company to have space on campus to teach classes, as well as offering housing options and access to dining hall services. Its instructional programs offer students 42 hours of instruction six days per week. Fees for the MCAT prep course range from $2,500 to $10,000, with the volume of one-on-one instruction time being a primary variable. Altius reports that students who go through its curriculum score, on average, between the 88th and 95th percentile nationally.

“We’re providing the opportunity, but the cost is all the students’ responsibility,” Snyder said. “It’s an investment on their part.”

-by Tierra Hayes, senior mass communications major


Film students on campus had a unique opportunity this summer, helping create a new eight-part video series called “Smoky Mountain Rescue,” co-produced by the North American Division’s Stewardship Ministries and Southern’s School of Visual Art and Design. The first episode of the series will be screened at the Oshkosh International Pathfinder Camporee in August.

The series is adapted from Jan and John Mathews’ book Smoky Mountain Rescue and tells the story of Emily, a city girl who moves to live with her grandparents in the country, finds a lost dog named Jack, and goes on adventures in an attempt to return Jack to his owners. Each episode teaches her more about what it means to be a good steward.

Members of the production crew had a broad range of experience levels. In addition to the eight current Southern students who worked on the project, several alumni and additional professional crew members made up the team.

Stewardship Videos“One of the cool things about this project is you have people who graduated 15 years ago, and then you have current students,” said Theo Brown, ’10, director of the series.

The project was particularly valuable for students. Besides putting their classroom knowledge to work in the field, they were able to participate in more technical aspects of production, such as working with live animals and filming a car crash.

“It was great for our students,” said Nathan DeWild, ’11, manager of Southern’s production company and producer for the series. “By helping us with projects like this, they already have real-world experience with professionals in the field before they graduate!”

The production team plans to release the episodes this fall and hopes to make “Smoky Mountain Rescue” available on major streaming platforms.

-by Emma Winegardner, ’19

alumni highlights

Alumni and friends of Southern explored northern and central Italy during the fourth Alumni Association international tour hosted May 26-June 7. Led by Bill Wohlers, PhD, vice president emeritus for Student Services, the group of 16 enjoyed sightseeing in ancient cities such as Venice, Florence, Rome, and Milan, as well touring scenic, rural locales such as the Dolomite Mountains, Tuscany, Lake Garda, San Marino, and Lake Maggiore.

Alumni Association Italy TourParticipants from California, Washington, Arizona, Missouri, Florida, Tennessee, and even Alberta, Canada, converged in Atlanta for the overnight flight to Milan. Several were repeat travelers from past Southern tours, while others experienced their first international trip outside of North America.

Traveling with experienced guides and being part of a delightful group of fellow adventurers provides opportunities for creating new friendships, appreciating diverse cultures, savoring regional foods, and treasuring memories for a lifetime.

If you would be interested in learning more about future Alumni Association tours to Europe, please email alumni@southern.edu to request information.

-Staff Report


In recognition of his contributions to society, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and Southern, the university conferred a Doctor of Laws degree upon E. Edward Zinke during its May commencement ceremony for his distinguished leadership in both education and theology.

“Zinke’s work has directly impacted students’ lives at Southern by contributing to scholarships and support of archaeology research, faith-science initiatives, and the Biblical Foundations of Faith and Learning initiatives,” said Robert Young, PhD, senior vice president for Academic Administration.

Zinke has been involved in biblical scholarship and in the promotion of Adventist Christian education for more than five decades. He is the son of missionaries who were active in raising churches in both the United States and Mexico, where they resided for four years. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Loma Linda University (theology) and two master’s degrees from Andrews University (divinity and Old Testament studies).

Zinke Awarded DegreeAfter a brief time in pastoral ministry, Zinke joined the Biblical Research Institute (BRI) at the General Conference in the early 1970s under the direction of Elder Gordon Hyde, where he served for 15 years as associate secretary. While there, Zinke was the catalyst and organizer of the 1974 Bible Conference in the North American Division and subsequent Bible Conferences in France, Germany, East Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, and Australia. From the BRI, Zinke transitioned into corporate leadership, joining his wife, Ann, and serving as president of Ann’s House of Nuts. The company grew to employ more than 1,000 employees and became the largest provider of quality snack nuts and nut/fruit mixes worldwide. The Zinkes sold the company in 2008.

Even while leading Ann’s House of Nuts, Zinke made time to continue his involvement in theologically-based endeavors. He co-founded the Adventist Theological Society and served as treasurer, a role he still holds today. Zinke organized the first International Bible Conference, which was held at Montemorelos University in Mexico in 1996. He was also instrumental in founding Perspective Digest and worked to find partners for the creation of a new international Adventist Bible Commentary, the first volume of which was recently published by Pacific Press.

Zinke has helped develop and sponsor numerous faith-science conferences around the world and worked to develop an approach to the biblical foundations of the academic disciplines. He serves on several boards, teaches a Sabbath School class at the Spencerville Seventh-day Adventist Church in Maryland, and is senior adviser to Adventist Review Ministries.

Zinke and his wife have two sons: David, ’93, and Doug, ’95.

-Staff Report

Upcoming Events
WELLkids in the Wild Day Camps. July 15-19 on campus. The weeklong session offers outdoor adventures facilitated by graduate students in the Outdoor Leadership program. Activities include rock climbing, hiking, canoeing, ropes course, caving, rafting, and more. Available for ages 10-16. For more information and to register, visit southern.edu/wellkids.

JumpStart Session Begins. July 22. JumpStart is specifically designed to equip first year students on conditional standing with the tools needed to be successful at our university. Course materials focus on enhancing academic skills such as effective note-taking, test-taking strategies, and study skills in order to maximize learning. For more information, call 423.236.2546 or email cheridurst@southern.edu.

SmartStart Session Begins. July 29. Southern offer a free 3-credit-hour class in the summer for undergraduates enrolling at Southern for the first time. Just pay for books, food, and rent, and the tuition is on us. SmartStart is a great opportunity to get a head start on your classes and take advantage of a great discount.

Fall Classes Begins. August 26 on campus and online. Explore one of Southern’s numerous undergraduate or graduate studies programs.

Homecoming Weekend. October 24-27. This year’s theme is Foundations for the Future. Honor classes: 1939, '49, '59, '69, '74, '79, '89, '94, '99, and '09. Special features include a Die Meistersinger reunion and concert, Evangelistic Resource Center (ERC) and Soul-Winning And Leadership Training (SALT) reunions, a Golden Anniversary Class of 1969 reunion, and a McKee Foods employees reunion. The worship services speaker is Eric Bates, '99, DMin. More information will be posted as details are confirmed. Guest Lodging information is available online or by calling 423.236.7000. 

gfh Like us on Facebook

gh Join us on LinkedIn

amazon smile
Support The Southern Fund through AmazonSmile—it's the same as Amazon, but for all eligible purchases, Amazon will make a donation to Southern Adventist University!