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Southern Adventist University Names New President

FaithSearch Partners, the leading executive search firm focused on faith-based hospitals, healthcare systems, colleges/universities, churches and ministries, is pleased to announce its client, Southern Adventist University, has selected David Smith as its new President.

“Dr. David Smith is an exceptional candidate with substantial leadership experience in Seventh-day Adventist higher education,” said Ed Reifsnyder, Senior Vice President at FaithSearch Partners. “With his expertise, he will lead Southern Adventist University to greater heights, emphasizing academic excellence, spiritual growth, and the refining of strategic direction to meet the challenges in the rapidly changing field of higher education.”

Smith will follow the successful 18-year tenure of Gordon Bietz, D.Min., who will retire at the end of the 2015-16 school year.

Smith most recently served for five years as Senior Pastor of Collegedale Seventh-day Adventist Church in Collegedale, Tennessee. Prior to that, he served as the President of Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, for 13 years. He holds a doctorate degree in English from the University of Tennessee, a master’s degree in English from Andrews University, and a bachelor’s degree in history from Andrews University.

Southern Adventist University, in Collegedale, Tennessee, is a liberal arts university, with more than 3,000 students, providing Christian higher education at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  Southern has a 122-year history of serving students from the Southern Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, the nation, and around the globe.

For more information about Southern Adventist University, visit their website at

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