Master of Science in Education

All graduate degrees

The MSEd program is up to date with current trends in learning, so educators have the best tools for their students. Graduates are well equipped for administrative roles. They are positioned for increased marketability and for recognition of expertise by peers and employers.

Southern advantages

  • Christian perspective:  The program is grounded in time-tested Adventist education principles and is designed to train professionals for work in any setting.
  • Faith and learning:  All education courses not only incorporate a biblical foundation, but also provide ways for Christian educators to nurture faith throughout the educational system.
  • Experienced practitioners:  Our professors teach from a broad range of professional experience in both private and public school settings. The latest technology is integrated throughout the program.
  • Designed for convenience:  On-campus intensives are offered in the summer. Online classes and hybrid classes (with online and on-campus components) provide even more convenience for the working educator’s schedule.

How the programs work

Instructional Leadership:  This is an online program with one on-campus, two-week intensive. This emphasis prepares leaders for roles as school principals and superintendents. Courses meeting the requirements for the NAD Principal Endorsement are also offered online.

Literacy Education:  This program is offered in four-week summer intensive sessions on campus in June and July, with additional assignments due after the session. Part-time enrollment is also an option.

Eligibility and prerequisites

  • Bachelor's degree:  A bachelor’s degree (in any area) from an accredited program
  • GPA requirement:  A minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.25
  • Education courses:  Nine hours in undergraduate education courses
  • Instructional Leadership emphasis:  Applicants must have two years of teaching experience.

Admission process

  1. Graduate application:  Submit a graduate application (with non-refundable fee of $40). Apply now
  2. Transcripts:  Submit official college and university transcripts. Many institutions subscribe to the convenient transcript-request service at National Student Clearinghouse, or you may also contact your institution directly. Have transcripts sent to Melodie Lopez in the Graduate Studies office ( If you earned your prerequisite degree at Southern, you do not need to complete this step.
  3. Recommendations: Submit two recommendation forms (completed by work supervisors or professors). This should be done as part of the online application process, or Download form
  4. Statement:  Submit a statement of purpose. View guidelines 
  5. Resumé:  Submit your current resumé through your Application Status Page.
  6. Background check:  Successfully complete an approved background check. (Alternatively, verification may be submitted by your current employer.) Download form
  7. Criminal/sex-offender statement:  Submit the Criminal-Record Statement. Your signature on this form gives the School of Education and Psychology permission to retain your criminal-history record and affirms that you are not a registered sex-offender.  Download form

Application deadlines

Term U.S. Residents International
Fall July 1 May 1 (Instructional Leadership emphasis only)
Winter October 1 September 1 (Instructional Leadership emphasis only)
Summer April 1 Not applicable

Adventist Teacher Certification

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Dormitory housing is available at a rate of $18 per night.  Payment must be made upon arrival, and any arrangements for reimbursement must be made directly with your Conference Education Office. Reservations are required and may be made by contacting Mrs. Lisa Patterson at 423.236.2990. Married student housing also available upon request.

International students

Applicants who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States are considered international students and must meet additional requirements for admission.

  • View international-student admission requirements »

    1. Applicants from non-English institutions must submit certified English translations and evaluations of official university records, including demonstration of the equivalency of a bachelor's degree.
      Transcript evaluations must be submitted directly to Southern from one of the following agencies:
    2. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries must demonstrate English proficiency.
      Unless an applicant is a native English speaker or received the college/university degree from an English-medium institution, s/he must have a minimum TOEFL score of 100. TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the test date. Learn more at »

    3. Submit Declaration of Finances.
      International students must have financial resources sufficient to support themselves for the calendar year, in addition to an international-student deposit of $3,000 (USD). Download Form
      • To be issued an I-20 Form, students must also provide a letter from financial sponsors (including their name and address), as well as copies of bank statements for the last three months showing the balance history for the student's account or the financial sponsor's account.

International students who will be coming to Southern's campus need some additional information about travel documents and living on campus.

More Information

Note for international applicants

  • Since the Literacy Education emphasis is offered in four-week intensives, the part-time schedule does not meet student-visa requirements for international students.
  • The Instructional Leadership emphasis is offered online, except for a mandatory two-week on-campus intensive in the summer (usually in the second year). Courses are offered year-round with 3-6 credit hours available each term.

Course guide

Select an emphasis:

Instructional Leadership: Administration

The Instructional Leadership emphasis equips teachers with a wide repertoire of research-based teaching strategies and with the knowledge and skills to design and deliver instruction to meet the needs of diverse student populations.

Courses are scheduled on a two-year rotation and are offered online unless otherwise noted.

The Literacy Education emphasis is designed to empower classroom teachers to keep learners at the heart of all literacy instruction, while responding to the demands of research-based pedagogical practice mandated by federal initiatives such as Common Core Standards. Because most courses contain a significant application component, teachers are given ample opportunities to translate theory into practice.

Courses are scheduled on a two-year rotation and are offered in four-week summer intensive sessions on campus in June and July, with additional assignments due after the session.

  EDAD 520 Foundations of Instructional Leadership 3
  EDIL 547 Curriculum Development 3
  EDIL 562 Instructional Design 3
  EDUC 588 Statistics 3
  EDUC 591 Methods of Educational Research 3
  EDIL 594 Clinical Practice 3
or EDAD 594 Clinical Practice 3

Select 15 hours from EDAD courses
To pursue a course of study in administration (e.g. school principal or superintendent), students complete 15 hours online at Southern in courses with the EDAD prefix as well as EDAD Clinical Practice. (A content-area emphasis is available for those who wish to pursue advanced study in an area of existing certification. It allows the transfer of up to 15 graduate credits in a specific content area from an accredited institution. Candidates must present a rationale for the inclusion of these courses in the program of study, and they are to take EDIL Clinical Practice.)

Instructional Leadership: Administration Emphasis Total   33
  EDLE 527 Implementing Reading Workshop 3
  EDLE 537 Implementing Writing Workshop 3
  EDLE 565 Critical Thinking in Content Literacy 3
  EDLE 567 Literacy Instruction in Primary Classrooms 3
  EDLE 573 The Art of Teaching Writing 3
  EDLE 586 Professional Applications in Literacy 3
  EDLE 594 Clinical Practice 3
  EDUC 577 Reading Assessment and Remediation 3
  EDUC 588 Statistics 3
  EDUC 593 Educational Action Research 3
  Elective: Educational Administration, Instructional Leadership, Literacy Education, Outdoor Education, or EDUC 531—Technology and the Educator 3
Literacy Education Total   33



Krystal Bishop
Krystal Bishop


Gary Bradley
Gary Bradley

Associate Professor

Faith Laughlin
Faith Laughlin


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Hello from Southern! I am looking forward to working with you as you achieve your academic and professional goals. Whether you are a recent graduate or nontraditional student, I want you to feel welcome, so please feel free to contact me by phone or email with any questions you may have. I am here to help!

Mikhaile Spence

Graduate Program Manager