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Equipping students to discover and develop their divine design to serve Christ and the world through Spirit-empowered life, learning, and leadership.
From its inception in 1935 as a Bible institute to train pastors and missionaries, Southeastern has rested on a solid foundation of vision and faith. That foundation has held firmly as our school evolved and relocated through the years, gradually expanding its mission and degree offerings along with its student population, and moving in 1952 to our permanent suburban campus in Lakeland, Florida.
Today, vision and faith still underlie Southeastern University. A liberal arts university of the Assemblies of God—coeducational and primarily residential—Southeastern enrolls about 3000 students, both traditional and nontraditional, who represent a variety of denominations, personal interests, backgrounds, states, and countries.
We offer a vital, Christ-centered education that, through a wide range of academic majors leading to the bachelor’s and master’s degrees, prepares our students for a life of world-changing leadership in church-related positions and in other professional fields. Arriving at Southeastern as people committed to following Jesus Christ, these students graduate ready either to enter graduate study, doctoral studies, or to serve throughout the world as ministers, teachers/educators, social service and mental health professionals, and businessmen and women.
Our programs of study span the following academic areas: behavioral and social sciences, business, education, language and communication arts, music, natural sciences and mathematics, and religion.
Along with academic preparation, Southeastern provides many opportunities for voluntary service in ministry in our local community and abroad. Frequent chapel services, a thriving music program, a variety of clubs and associations, and intercollegiate and intramural sports add to our students’ full and busy lives.
Ideally, a student educated within Southeastern’s Christian academic community displays these abilities and experiences:
- communicates with assessed competence and clarity orally and in writing;
- demonstrates the knowledge, skills, and maturity necessary for the profession he or she has chosen;
- has acquired scholarly habits and can perform skilled research;
- has rendered, to the campus and the community, service appropriate to a Christian citizen;
- and demonstrates a broad cultural perspective informed by a Christian worldview.
Saying “yes” to Christ, we believe, implies not only a zeal to serve, but a commitment to excellence in every activity. Southeastern University seeks to graduate men and women who combine faith, compassion, and humility with self-discipline and careful thinking; who take seriously the Biblically-based obligation and privilege of being “the salt of the earth;” and who consequently approach every task — class assignment, volunteer project, internship experience, career - as an opportunity both to do well and to do good.
Southeastern University subscribes to the Statement of Fundamental Truths of the Assemblies of God. The university believes the Bible is the inspired and only infallible and authoritative written word of God; there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious atoning death, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, in His personal future return to this earth in power and glory to rule a thousand years; in the Blessed Hope — the rapture of the Church at Christ’s coming; the only means of being cleansed from sin is through repentance and faith in the precious blood of Christ; regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential for personal salvation; the redemptive work of Christ on the cross provides healing of the human body in answer to believing prayer; the baptism in the Holy Spirit, according to Acts 2:4, is given to believers who ask for it; in the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a holy life; in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost, the one to everlasting life and the other to everlasting damnation.
In the depression year of 1935, men of vision and faith determined that the southeastern region of the United States needed a quality school for preparing pastors, missionaries and other servants of God to meet the needs of the church. Originally named Southeastern Bible Institute, the school was housed in an abandoned high school building in New Brockton, Alabama, until it moved to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1940. The move to Atlanta was critical for the young school. It was made with the thought that the struggling school would consolidate with Beulah Heights Bible School. However, after two years the officials of the two schools came to realize that differences greatly hindered the schools from operating as one entity. South-Eastern had no campus. Two stalwart faculty members, Miss Myrtle Eason and Mrs. Helen Stewart, persuaded Rev. Ralph Byrd and his congregation to allow the school to be housed in their church in Atlanta. Rev. Byrd served the school without remuneration as principal and business manager for the years the school remained in Georgia. Although the university purchased the Atlanta site, the property did not allow for expansion. A search began throughout the southeast for a site that would provide the aesthetics and land needed for the growing Bible school. In 1946 the Board of Directors voted to secure a permanent location in Lakeland, Florida. While development of the new campus proceeded, classes were held in buildings used by the Lodwick School of Aeronautics during World War II. During Thanksgiving vacation in 1952, the institute made its final move to its present campus location on Longfellow Boulevard. Southeastern made an historic transition from college to university offering its first master’s programs in the fall of 2005. The campus has expanded to over twenty buildings, and the university currently enrolls about 3000 students. Approximately 30,000 alumni call Southeastern their alma mater.
Southeastern University is located in the city of Lakeland in Polk County, Florida the heart of citrus country. Surrounded by the beautiful lakes that characterize Central Florida, the 60-acre campus presents an attractive and picturesque scene for the students’ pleasure and academic environment. The natural beauty of the lakes and citrus groves, combined with a semi-tropical atmosphere and lifestyle, makes Lakeland a delightful place to attend college and enjoy Florida winters. The average annual temperature is 72 degrees. With a population of 200,000, the greater Lakeland area is less than one hour from Florida’s world renowned tourist attractions—Sea World, Busch Gardens, Epcot Center, Universal Studios and Walt Disney World. In addition, the Gulf of Mexico can be reached in an hour and the Atlantic Ocean in less than two hours.
Lakeland is centrally located between Tampa and Orlando and is easily accessible via the international airports of each city. Three major highways serve the Lakeland area: US 92, US 98, and Interstate 4.
In addition to the major tourist attractions, Central Florida’s numerous lakes, parks, and miles of seashore provide many opportunities for outdoor activities. Lakeland is the winter home of the Detroit Tigers American League baseball team. With many other major league teams spending the winter in nearby cities, the baseball season gets underway earlier for local residents.
The cities of Tampa and Orlando offer excitement in professional sports in the football, baseball, basketball, and hockey arenas.
Lakeland’s many lakes provide excellent water skiing and fresh water fishing. Southeastern’s two lakes are Lake Bonny and Lake Holloway.
With a student population of approximately 3,000, a sense of community is evident among students, faculty, and staff. Students and faculty can know each other on a personal level which lends to the development of life-long friendships. A student is more than a number; he or she is known by name. Southeastern’s caring community gives personal support to individuals.
Southeastern University educational facilities consist of modern and Tuscan architecture. Classrooms were designed in line with pedagogical best practices, including the integration of adequate classroom technology. Academic buildings and classrooms are maintained on a daily, recurring, schedule. Presently, Southeastern University classroom space consists of 65 traditional classrooms, 16 labs, 5 non-traditional classroom spaces, and 24 classroom buildings campus-wide that supports our academic programs.
Southeastern University, in its strategic planning for increased enrollment and academic programs, recently constructed a new state-of-the-art health and science facility. This building supports the General Biology, Biology Pre-Med, BSN Nursing, and Mathematics programs. In addition to supporting our science programs, this new academic building also provides 14,369 sqft. of additional classroom space for use with other academic programs. The College of Natural & Health Science Center opened Fall of 2015.
Our most recently completed facility (Fall 2016), Buena Vida complex, is a four-story, 125,000-square-foot live/learn facility that houses the following:
Music practice rooms
Choral rehearsal hall
Fine arts program
Graphic design and computer labs
Food court area with national brands (added to Chick-fil-A Express, which was brought on campus in September 2014)
Faculty offices (50+)
Student residences (the third and fourth floors of the facility will house 400 students)
Steelman Library is named in honor of William Claud Steelman, a consecrated layman from Mississippi. The Mary Stribling Collection, named in honor of Mary M. Stribling, a former librarian and teacher of the university, is housed in the library. The library provides over 300,000 items, including ebooks, print books, journals, sound recordings, and videos.
The curriculum lab is a reference center for future educators. This lab is housed in the library and contains more than 5,000 volumes of children’s literature, public and private school textbooks, and instructional material to aid education majors in preparing lesson plans and teaching units. Students and faculty are able to access many of the library’s holdings from their residences and offices.
The Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE) is located in Buena Vida East Wing, second floor, and provides one-on-one services to enrich our students’ academic learning experiences. In addition to offering individual tutoring services in every discipline area, ACE also offers subject-area workshops in math, science, accounting, music, history, and other content areas as requested by faculty or students. These workshops are conducted in the modular buildings adjacent to Mod 5.
In addition to offering individual tutoring services in every discipline area, ACE also offers subject-area workshops in math, science, accounting, music, history, and other content areas as requested by faculty or students. In addition, ACE works cooperatively with the ADA program providing facilitators trained to help those who need accommodations. The Center is also equipped with a Kurzweil Reader/Scanner, reader assistant technology.
While ACE welcomes walk-in clients, we suggest that students make an appointment in advance as session slots are quickly filled during the semester. Tutoring sessions last about 25 minutes per session, but multiple sessions can be scheduled when needed. For more information concerning ACE hours, location, and appointments, please call 863-667- 3157 or 863-669-4262, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jerome E. Bolin Center, named in honor of Jerome E. Bolin, a benefactor of the university, provides a home for the Barnett College of Ministry and Theology, the Department Communication, the Office of the Vice President for Ministries Development, the television and radio studios, several classrooms, and the Bolin Library for Pentecostal Research.
The Bolin Library for Pentecostal Research in the Bolin Center is dedicated to the study of the Pentecostal movement and houses the Center for the Study of Global Pentecostalism. The Bolin Library provides a comfortable and convenient setting for students and visiting scholars to research various aspects of Pentecostalism. Research and archival materials related to Pentecostalism are kept in the Steelman Library.
The College of Education Building was dedicated September 18, 2008. The building’s classrooms include the latest in education technology, and the building also houses a 130 seat lecture hall.