The Tom and Vi School of Business develops leaders who create value and make a difference and enlarges human understanding of business and society.

To fulfill this mission, the School:

  • delivers a curriculum that stimulates creativity; reflects La Sierra's Seventh-day Adventist Christian mission; and encourages moral responsibility, spiritual growth, collaboration, and economic and social entrepreneurship;
  • challenges students to redefine business and raise global living standards by building innovative products, markets, and organizations;
  • supports a co-curricular program that offers students distinctive opportunities to grow as leaders, develop business skills, and engage in global service; and
  • encourages faculty members and students to engage in wide-ranging, creative, intellectual inquiry validated through professional practice and publication in scholarly books and journals.

Our Students

Our students come from all over the world to learn how to create value and make a difference in the world around them. A La Sierra University education means that our students not only gain knowledge, skill, and ability highly relevant to the real world today, but apply them in purposeful ways. Students do so through the following:

  • Service-Learning - This teaching strategy integrates classroom experience with community engagement, providing students with an opportunity to put their newfound knowledge, skills, and abilities into purposeful practice.

  • Enactus (SIFE) - This student-led organization develops creative, high-impact projects in the local and global community to produce sustainable, positive change. And with six National Championship and two SIFE World Cup wins, La Sierra Enactus stands as a defining example of a La Sierra University education. Learn more about this incredible team of students and how to support their work at

  • Business Club - In the Zapara School of Business, we are all family, and this sense of community is much due to the work of the Business Club. The club is responsible for a number of events and activities throughout the year, working towards making our students not only the smartest students on campus, but also the happiest and best-fed.

  • Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) - Our La Sierra University SHRM Chapter is actively engaged with Inland Empire SHRM. With frequent meetings, seminars, and other opportunities, this is a wonderful resource to all of our business students and a must for our HR students.

Our Dean

Business education at La Sierra University has entered a new era. We are transforming and revitalizing teaching, scholarship, and service in the Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business. Our goal: to help students to create value so they can make a difference.

Our program gives students the skills they need to create value in the new millennium by building on our strengths in the core areas of business. We offer an MBA with majors in accounting, finance, general management, human resource management, and marketing. Our MBA curriculum is the only one in the world that requires core coursework in business ethics, social entrepreneurship, and workplace spirituality. We also offer a BS with majors in accounting, finance, political economy, business and society, and marketing and a BA in management. A customized major program lets a student design a tailor-made curriculum building on our offerings and, where appropriate, those of other schools on campus.

Our Executive Education program offers the La Sierra MBA to students throughout the region—either at or near their workplaces. And it also delivers the Integrated MBA program, which allows a student with only an associate degree or the equivalent to earn a BA and an MBA in only four years.

The School of Business is home to a newly opened Center for Philanthropy, the only one of its kind in the Inland Empire. The Center, headed by nationally recognized philanthropic fundraiser James L. Erickson, is already equipping area non-profits to respond effectively to economic challenges by building lasting relationships with supporters.

We are proud of a student-friendly culture marked by responsiveness and flexibility: faculty members, administrators, and staff members try to meet student needs quickly, fairly, and sensitively. The School of Business faculty is made up of capable professionals, frequently with significant outside-the-classroom experience as consultants, researchers, or both. And the entire School of Business team is committed to providing students with educational experiences that challenge them to make a tangible difference in the world, that stimulate their minds and hearts, enlarge their imaginations, and help them to build lasting friendships. By organizing social entrepreneurial ventures, helping people in need, and conducting community education programs, our students can develop empathy and deepen their understanding of the real-world significance of their studies. We promise our students an extraordinary preparation for responsible servant- leadership in business, government, and the nonprofit sector.

The Zapara School of Business is home to La Sierra University’s award-winning Enactus (formerly SIFE) team. La Sierra’s Enactus students have won an unprecedented two World Cup and four international championships in Enactus' demanding annual competition, in which team performance is judged by top executives from major national and global corporations.

To house our growing programs, the Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business entered the 2013 academic year in its new home at the front of the La Sierra University campus. With room for 750 full-time students and thirty faculty members, as well as a 400-seat conference center that to serve the entire Inland region, the new building is a showcase of our exciting vision and provide a stimulating environment in which teaching and scholarship can take place.

Expressing our commitment to service by emphasizing social entrepreneurship, workplace spirituality, and ethics, we can make a real difference in the world. We hope you'll join us.

Dr. John Thomas, Dean


La Sierra University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Zapara School of Business programs are thus subject to careful review by WASC visiting teams and by campus evaluators preparing WASC accreditation self-study reports.

La Sierra University is accredited by:

Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC )
985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100
Alameda, CA 94501

Adventist Accrediting Association (AAA)
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904

Contact US
Phone: (951) 785-2064
Fax: (951) 785-2700

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