Aims for La Sierra University
As a community of learning that is also a community of faith, La Sierra University fulfills its mission by engaging in three kinds of activity. It educates undergraduate and graduate students; it promotes research in the areas in which it offers instruction; and it contributes to the good of the larger society.
The University educates its students through a broad offering of studies in the liberal arts and sciences and in selected professional areas. It promotes research through encouraging and facilitating original investigation, critical reflection, and scholarly publication. It serves its various communities through adult education, resource centers, cultural events, nontechnical publications, and professional consultation. Among these varied activities, the University maintains as a vital concern the education of its undergraduate students.
Thus this University does the things most other universities do. But it does these things as the fruition of its Adventist heritage and commitment, even as it welcomes students from all religious and cultural backgrounds. The University’s religious orientation provides a perspective for its educational programs and projects, a motivation for its intellectual vitality and rigor, a framework for its moral values and lifestyle, and a basis for its social consciousness and public service. Convinced that God is the author of all truth, the University maintains an atmosphere of freedom and openness for intellectual exploration and expression.
As La Sierra University does its work of teaching, research, and service, it strives to exemplify its ideals of educational comprehensiveness, community interaction, and intellectual excellence.
The University intends to address the needs of a wide range of students who are both academically qualified for and genuinely interested in the kind of education it offers. It serves Adventist and other high school graduates and transfer students from all parts of the world.
It serves graduate and professional students within the areas of business, education, religion, and the liberal arts and sciences. It serves adult students whose education has been interrupted and who desire to complete the requirements for a university degree or credential. Meeting the needs of this wide diversity of students requires a corresponding diversity of educational programs and strategies.
The University intends, furthermore, to respond to the needs of students and teachers as whole persons. Accordingly it seeks to challenge the intellect to acquire the knowledge and skills essential to an effective, productive, and satisfying life in the coming decades. It seeks to engage the spirit in establishing fundamental values and attitudes of moral integrity, intellectual curiosity, religious commitment, and social concern. It seeks to nurture a mature sense of personhood through the development of appropriate self-esteem and self-direction as well as significant interpersonal relationships. And it seeks to enhance the body by encouraging and facilitating lifelong physical well-being.
Believing that all humanity is created in the image of God, the University celebrates the diversity of its students, faculty, and staff with regard to race, national origin, gender, and age. The University recognizes this diversity as a valuable asset in the preparation of all its students for positions of service and leadership in the professions, in business, in government, in the civic community, in the church.
The University intends to interact vigorously with its multidimensional world—including its founding and sponsoring church, its growing urban community in California’s Inland Empire, its neighboring educational institutions, and its wider intellectual and cultural environment in the world of the and twenty-first century.
The University intends to teach its students how to make the world a better place in the future by involving them in making it a better place now. It intends to be, for both its religious and its secular publics, a significant influence—a reasoned and relevant, critical and constructive voice; a light on the way to the future; and a source of knowledge and energy for responding to a wide spectrum of human needs.
The University intends to promote intellectual excellence in four complementary ways. It seeks to encourage and enable each student to learn as much as he or she can. It seeks to draw individual students into the ongoing scholarly conversation in their own academic and professional disciplines. It seeks to prepare students both for further education in graduate and professional schools, and for employment in the world they will inhabit in the future. And it seeks to initiate students into a responsible life that is intelligent and informed, unselfish and involved, open and growing.
In its drive toward recognized excellence, the University intends to recruit, support, and nurture teacher-scholars who are distinguished for their intellectual competence and vigor; for the breadth and depth of their educational background; for their continuing involvement in research, reflection, and publication; for their personal integrity and religious commitment; and for their enthusiasm for teaching.
Besides promoting research and publication by both faculty and students, the University intends to develop courses and curricula that will anticipate the future opportunities and needs of its graduates. Although there is room for growth in student enrollment and educational programs, the University intends to maintain among its students, faculty, and staff a quality of personal relationship that energizes and enriches all of its activities of teaching, research and learning, and service.