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History

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Southeastern University has been training servant leaders since our founding in 1935 as Alabama Shield of Faith Institute. Through the 20th and into the 21st century, we have changed locations, expanded programs and buildings and graduated some of the most talented, dedicated servant leaders in the world, who have engaged the culture and made an influence for Jesus Christ. This brief timeline highlights some of the milestones of our university, and we expect many more to come in the future.

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  • 1935 – Founded in New Brockton, Alabama, as Alabama Shield of Faith Institute
  • 1936 – Name changed to South-Eastern Bible Institute
  • 1937 – First graduating class
  • 1940 – Campus moved to Atlanta and renamed Beulah Heights Southeastern Bible Institute
  • 1942 – Relocated to Capitol Avenue in Atlanta and renamed South-Eastern Bible Institute
  • 1946 – Campus moved to Lakeland, Florida, at the former site of Lodwick School of Aeronautics, located at the current Tiger Town/Joker Marchant Stadium facility
  • 1952 – Relocated to the current campus site on Longfellow Boulevard between Lake Bonny and Lake Holloway in Lakeland
  • 1956 – Renamed South-Eastern Bible College
  • 1973 – Bush Chapel dedicated and opened for worship
  • 1977 – Renamed Southeastern College of the Assemblies of God
  • 1986 – Received regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
  • 1999 – Joined the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU)
  • 2001 – Construction began on new residence halls, beginning with Aventura and followed by Esperanza and Destino
  • 2003 – Construction completed on Sportsplex and Pansler Alumni-Student Union
  • 2005 – Renamed Southeastern University
  • 2007 – Tuscana Ristorante (on-campus restaurant) opened
  • 2009 – Fire Athletics joined The Sun Conference of the NAIA
  • 2010 – Longfellow Boulevard entrance renovation completed
  • 2012 – Announced addition of new degree programs and multiple sports, including football, to begin play in 2014
  • 2013 – Construction began on our new football stadium (later named Victory Field) and the College of Natural & Health Sciences building
  • 2014 – Mi Casa Café renovated to accommodate Chick-fil-A Express; construction began on the choral rehearsal hall
  • 2014 – Football kicked off at Victory Field, earning the Fire a 31-7 win at our inaugural home game
  • 2014 – Plans approved for another major campus expansion, including new residence halls, classroom space and athletic venues
  • 2015 – Construction began on Buena Vida 125,000-square-foot live/learn facility and the Student Activities Center expansion
  • 2015 – Construction completed on the College of Natural & Health Sciences building, including a state-of-the-art nursing simulation lab, patient exam rooms, and laboratory classrooms
  • 2016 – Student Activities Center expansion completed,  enabling SEU to add wrestling to our available athletics
  • 2016 – Construction of dormitories, classrooms and offices of Buena Vida completed
  • 2016 – Pathways School of Excellence, a school dedicated to middle and high school students with disabilities, opened in the College of Education building
  • 2016 – SEU’s second doctoral degree, the Doctor of Ministry, launched with our first cohort
  • 2016 – The first SEU student to earn a doctoral degree, Dr. Candi Ring, graduated with an EdD
  • 2017 – The Buena Vida Food Court opened, featuring Back Yard Burgers, Einstein Bros. Bagels and Papa Johns Pizza