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 is an online program with one on-campus, two-week intensive. This emphasis prepares teachers to engage and empower students to be strong communicators and critical thinkers.

Outdoor Education: More information about Outdoor Education »
Offered during Summer Field Schools or Fall/Winter Intensives, teachers, youth leaders, camp directors and others learn how to meet a variety of educational and emotional needs through God's book of nature.

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 3.00
  • Certification:  Current NAD Basic certification or state initial certification, or proof of past NAD Basic or state initial certification.
  • 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 the Graduate and Professional 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.
  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-Record Release and Declaration:  Submit the Criminal-Record Release and Declaration. 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

Get information and register for online teacher-certification classes »


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 provide a Certification of English proficiency.
      Unless an applicant is a native English speaker, s/he must have a minimum TOEFL score of 100, or the TOEFL equivalent Duolingo english test score. 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 online with one on-campus, two-week intensive, 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 online, with one required two-week, on-campus intensive.

Outdoor Education courses are offered during Summer Field Schools or Fall/Winter intensives.

More information about Outdoor Education»

View the calendar of courses for Outdoor Education »

Instructional Leadership Core Courses Credits
  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
  EDAD 594 Clinical Practice 3
or EDIL 594 Clinical Practice 3
Instructional Leadership Core Subtotal   18
Concentration Courses (Select Option 1 or 2) Credits
  Option 1. Administration Concentration Subtotal
  EDAD 546 Supervision & Personnel Administration 3  
  EDAD 573 Educational Facilities Planning 3  
  EDAD 574 Legal Aspects of Education 3  
  EDAD 577 School Public Relations 3  
  EDAD 579 School Finance 3  
  Administration Concentration Subtotal   15
or Option 2. Content Area Concentration Subtotal
  A content-area concentration is available for advanced study in an existing area of certification. The transfer of up to 15 graduate credits is allowed in a specific content area from an accredited institution. Candidates must receive pre-approval for inclusion of these courses in the program of study, and they must take EDIL Clinical Practice.  
  Content Area Concentration Subtotal   15
Literacy Education Courses Credits
  EDUC 588 Statistics 3
  EDIL 562 Instructional Design 3
  EDLE 515 Child and Young Adult Literature 3
  EDLE 516 Examining Reading Instruction 3
  EDLE 517 Examining Writing Instruction 3
  EDLE 518 Literacy & Leadership in a Digital World 3
  EDLE 519 Content Literacy K-4 3
or EDLE 520 Content Literacy 5-12 3
  EDLE 521 Cultural Aspects of Literacy 3
  EDLE 594 Clinical Practice 3
  EDUC 577 Reading Assessment & Remediation 3
  EDUC 591 Methods of Educational Research 3
Literacy Education Total   33
Outdoor education core courses Credits
  EDOE 503 Principles and Concepts of Outdoor Education 2
  EDOE 504 Field Experience in Principles and Concepts of Outdoor Education 1
  EDOE 515 Nature Study Skills 3
  EDOE 516 Field Experience in Nature Study (offered in 1-hour increments) 2
  EDOE 543 Environmental Ministries 2
  EDOE 593 Adventure-Based Counseling 2
  EDUC 591 Methods of Educational Research 3
  EDOE 576 Outdoor Intensive Lab—Fall 0
or EDOE 577 Outdoor Intensive Lab—Winter 0
or EDOE 578 Outdoor Intensive Lab—Summer 0
Outdoor Education Core Total   15
courses Credits
  Six hours from the following:  
  EDOE 523 Leadership in Outdoor Education 2
  EDOE 524 Field Experience in Leadership in Outdoor Education  1
  EDOE 533 Developing Outdoor Teaching Sites 2
  EDOE 534 Field Experience in Developing Outdoor Teaching Sites 1
  EDOE 535 Outdoor Therapy: Design and Procedures 2
  EDOE 536 Field Experience in Outdoor Therapy  1
  EDOE 570 Non-Profit Environmental Organization Dev. & Management 3
Course Total   6
  Six hours from the following:    6
  EDOE 528 Interpretation of Natural and Historical Resources 2  
  EDOE 530 History & Philosophy of Forest Kindergarten 3  
  EDOE 531 Developing Forest Kindergarten Curriculum 3  
  EDOE 537 Lab Experience: Technology in Outdoor Education 1  
  EDOE 538 Technology in Outdoor Education 2  
  EDOE 552 Ecology Education  1-3  
  EDOE 562 Wilderness Stewardship 1-3  
  EDOE 564 Special Topics 1-4  
  EDOE 565 Nature Journaling 1-2  
  EDOE 568 Nature Photography 1-2  
  EDOE 573 Outdoor Curriculum and Methods, Grades 1–6
Areas of emphasis include Art, Music, Language Arts, Mathematics. Social Studies, Science, Technology, Health, Physical Education, Bible
  EDOE 574 Outdoor Curriculum and Methods, Grades 7–12
Areas of emphasis include Art, Music, Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, Technology, Health, Physical Education, Bible
  EDOE 575 Internship in Outdoor Education 1-6  
  EDOE 585 Workshop in Outdoor Education 1-4  
  EDOE 595 Independent Study in Outdoor Education 1-3  

Six hours from the following:
Any graduate course in business, counseling, or education with approval of Outdoor Education adviser.

Course Total   12
  Total   33



Krystal Bishop
Krystal Bishop


Gary Bradley
Gary Bradley

Associate Professor

Bonnie Eder
Bonnie Eder


Faith Laughlin
Faith Laughlin


Learn More


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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