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La Sierra University President Wisbey announces plans to step down

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – (http://www.lasierra.edu) Randal R. Wisbey, president of La Sierra University since 2007, announced today that he will step down from the presidency on June 30 of this year.

In a letter to the university community, President Wisbey shared that the decision was a difficult one. “However,” he said, “due to the continuing challenges with my eyes following four eye surgeries within the last 18 months, and after much reflection, prayer, and counsel with my family, I have come to the conviction that this is the appropriate decision for me personally, as well as for the university.”


Ricardo Graham, chair of the university Board of Trustees, said, “During the years that Randal Wisbey has served as president of La Sierra University, his leadership has been outstanding. He has led the university in difficult times, providing stability and focus as the leader of this world- class institution of higher learning. His courage, compassion, and educational leadership experience has been a blessing to La Sierra and the Seventh-day Adventist denomination. We wish him all the best.”


Faculty Senate Chair Leslie Martin noted that President Wisbey “has led our campus through some challenging waters, always tenaciously advocating for La Sierra University–and always with grace and diplomacy. He leaves us at a time of relative peace and stability, and although he will be sorely missed, we are grateful to have had him as a true partner in shared governance here at La Sierra. We wish many good things for him as he moves into this new phase of life.”


During Dr. Wisbey’s tenure as La Sierra University’s third president, the institution has grown and developed in significant ways:


  • Total enrollment has expanded from 1,675 in 2007-08 to 2,356 in 2018-19.
  • The financial health of the university grew, as did its endowment, which rose 63%, from $56.77 million in 2007 to $92.6 million in 2018. Net assets also increased by 49%.
  • The 60,000-square-foot Tom & Vi Zapara School of Business building opened in 2013, not only increasing classroom and office space, but adding much-needed event space in the Troesh Conference Center. In addition, facilities across campus have undergone major renovation, including Gladwyn Hall, Humanities Hall, South Hall, Hole Memorial Auditorium, and the Center for Near Eastern Archaeology.
  • The university was recognized by the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education as number one in the nation for diversity. And, recognized by the federal government as a Hispanic-serving institution, La Sierra in 2015 received a $2.6 million Title V grant to support innovative learning programs.
  • Among the new academic programs launched was criminal justice, now the university’s largest major. Other new programs included film and television, neuroscience, archaeology, and the Ph.D. in Leadership, housed in the School of Education. It is La Sierra’s first doctoral program.
  • The School of Religion became the HMS Richards Divinity School and achieved accreditation from the Association of Theological Schools, one of only two Adventist theological programs to attain this recognition.
  • The School of Business became the Tom & Vi Zapara School of Business. It is the largest business school in the Adventist system of higher education. Its Enactus team won the World Cup in 2007 and the national championship in 2007 and 2016.
  • University governance, both through the Board of Trustees and the Faculty Senate, were strengthened through careful stewardship and cooperative leadership.


Before entering university administration, President Wisbey spent most of his career in Adventist higher education, first as a campus chaplain at Washington Adventist University and later as an associate professor of youth ministry and the creator of the Center for Youth Evangelism at Andrews University. Thus, he was especially proud of the university’s first Spiritual Master Plan, developed and implemented during his tenure. He also oversaw the strengthening of the university chaplain’s office as a critical resource that helps inspire the spiritual care and development of La Sierra students.


Dr. Wisbey served in a presidential role for 21 years, first at Burman University in Alberta, Canada, and then at Washington Adventist University in Maryland, before coming to La Sierra University. “I have loved my work here,” he said. “Without a doubt, I could not have asked for a more invigorating place to conclude my 34 years in Adventist higher education.”


“La Sierra has not only been good to me professionally—it has been good to my family,” he added. President Wisbey and his wife, Deanna Clay Wisbey, were delighted that their son and daughter-in-law, Alexander and Leslie, both graduated from the La Sierra University Honors program in 2011.


As he looks toward his conclusion of service, President Wisbey says he has assured the board chair “that I will do whatever I can to be of assistance as the search for the next president begins.” President and Mrs. Wisbey plan to move to their home in the state of Washington in early July.


Letters from Dr. Wisbey to La Sierra University employees and students are available at this link, at the bottom of the news article: https://lasierra.edu/article/la-sierra-university-president-wisbey-announces-plans-to-step-down/





About La Sierra University

La Sierra University, a Seventh-day Adventist institution nationally acclaimed for its diverse campus and its service to others, offers a transformational experience that lasts a lifetime.


U.S. News & World Report for six years named La Sierra University the most racially diverse university in the western United States. In addition, in September 2016 and 2017, the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education top colleges ranking named La Sierra University the most diverse campus in the nation. Additionally, U.S. News and World Report’s 2017 Best Colleges guide listed La Sierra ninth in the 15-state western region for best value. This follows the July 2015, Money magazine list which ranked La Sierra University eighth in the nation for providing value-added education that helps students surpass expectations. Each year, from 2008 to 2014 the Corporation for National and Community Service included La Sierra in the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll awards. These awards include La Sierra’s receipt of the prestigious 2013 Presidential Award, the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement. The corporation’s awards recognize La Sierra’s students for providing thousands of hours of service including international economic development projects by La Sierra’s world cup-winning Enactus team, and community projects through La Sierra’s campus-wide, Service-Learning program.


In December 2008, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching included La Sierra on its 2008 Community Engagement Classification lists consisting of 119 colleges and universities around the United States. La Sierra University achieved re-classification status in 2015.


The Seventh-day Adventist denomination established La Sierra University in 1922 on acreage formerly part of the Rancho La Sierra Mexican land grant. Today the 150-acre campus provides more than 120 bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees for about 2,300 students. Programs are offered in the Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business, the School of Education, the H.M.S. Richards Divinity School, the College of Arts and Sciences and in the Evening Adult Degree Program.


“To Seek, To Know, and To Serve” is the key to the mission that drives La Sierra University, with all areas of campus encouraging students to develop a deeper relationship with God.




2019-01-09T11:39:26-08:00January 9th, 2019|Blog, News|

Pacific Union “All God’s People,” December 21, 2018 Episode 230

In this episode of All God’s People, special guest Pete McLeod shares a Christmas poem that asks the question, “What is our gift for Jesus?”

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This week’s episode wraps up our season for 2018. Thank you for joining us each week! We’ll be back on January 11 with a whole new set of programs for All God’s People. Until then, have a joyous Christmas and a blessed New Year.

2018-12-18T15:38:36-08:00December 18th, 2018|All Gods People|

Pacific Union “All God’s People,” December 14, 2018 Episode 229

This week, see what’s new from our denominational publishers and listen to “Silent Night”—the Hawaiian version.


Inspiration for 2019

Each year our denominational publishers bring us great daily devotional books, and this year is no exception. Read an overview of each of these new books available on the Adventist Book Center website: https://www.adventistbookcenter.com/

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Impact Pacific

Missions right here at home! The Impact Pacific offerings are used to respond to opportunities for mission unique to the Pacific Union. Collected in churches throughout the Pacific Union on Sabbath, Dec. 29. Visit our website (link below) to learn more, or see pg. 16 & 17 of the December Recorder.

2018-12-10T17:36:22-08:00December 10th, 2018|All Gods People|

Pacific Union “All God’s People,” December 6, 2018 Episode 228

In this episode, reminisce on the tradition of the “Dinner Roast,” and take a look inside the December issue of the Recorder magazine—and listen in on another rendition of “Silent Night.”


December Recorder Updates

Have you seen the December issue of the Recorder? This month’s magazine includes news and happenings from around the Pacific Union, plus a full section on the meaning of Christmas. Download your copy via the link below.

Download your copy at:

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Paradise Adventist Academy Students Sing Silent Night

This week in All God’s People, a remarkable group of kids gathered around a piano in the Chico Adventist church to sing us Silent Night. These students are members of the honors choir from Paradise Adventist Academy, which was completely destroyed in the Camp Fire. Eight of the young people that you’ll see in the video come from families who lost their homes in the fire. The teacher at the piano lost her home, too.

Support the Fire Victims at:

2018-12-05T18:52:29-08:00December 5th, 2018|All Gods People|

Pacific Union “All God’s People,” November 30, 2018 Episode 227

This week, a conversation with the Northern California Conference President Marc Woodson, an invitation to San Gabriel Academy’s Journey to Bethlehem, and a song from Greg Evans for the holidays.

Learn more about All God’s People at: https://adventistfaith.com/all-gods-people/

2018-11-29T16:47:03-08:00November 29th, 2018|All Gods People|

Pacific Union “All God’s People,” November 15, 2018 Episode 225


Pacific Union “All God’s People”
November 15, 2018
Episode 225

This week, an update on Paradise, California and the damage caused by the Camp Fire, as well as the damage caused by the Woolsey and Hill fires in Southern California. Learn about how local conferences and Adventist Health are responding to the needs, and how you can help.

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Nurse Shares Harrowing Escape from Paradise Fire

When evacuation orders were issued for Adventist Health Feather River Hospital in Paradise, California, physicians and staff worked quickly to get all their patients out. After making sure patients were taken care of, one nurse experienced a harrowing escape from the hospital. Nichole Jolly’s narrow escape was made possible by firemen who appeared in the nick of time.

Watch the interview and read more of her story here:

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Paradise Adventist Church Destroyed in Wildfire

The Paradise church sits in ruin. Not only did the Camp Fire destroy the church, but the fire also consumed the homes of many of the pastors in the area.

The Paradise church congregation plans to meet with the Chico church congregation for the near future. It is unknown at this time how many church members lost their homes in the fire. At the time this program was recorded, we have not heard of any confirmed deaths of church members.

The Pacific Union released a statement inviting people to help those impacted by the fires through donations to the Northern California Conference disaster response fund, and Adventist Health’s ongoing response for the fire victims.

Read the Pacific Union statement at:

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Paradise Adventist Academy Campus Damaged by Fire

The Camp Fire in Paradise destroyed the Kindergarten through 4th-grade area of Paradise Adventist Academy. It was reported that the rest of the school is still standing, but the extent of the damage remains unknown.

In an indication of how a community comes together, Paradise Adventist Academy plans to host classes for their 169 students in the Chico church and Chico Oaks Adventist School after Thanksgiving vacation.

Follow PAA on Facebook for updates:

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Christian School Raises Over $16,000, Supplies and Clothing for Victims of the Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif.

Many helping hands recently reached out to encourage the Paradise Adventist family.

At a scheduled Volleyball game with Forest Lake Christian, the Paradise Adventist Academy team was surprised by an outpouring of love and support. In less than 24 hours, the Forest Lake Christian community raised $16,000 in cash and gift cards, as well as providing the team with brand new custom jerseys, shorts, knee pads and socks, and an abundance of donated clothes.

Following the game, Coach Jason Eyer from Paradise Adventist Academy addressed attendees of the volleyball game. Hear his heartfelt response in a video posted on Youtube.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqMl13_XNJY&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3s3zSCywV12wf33ehdFXb0ZvqOipWNrDcjUusVIeRMYq9XDGOXXPUZXwM

Read the full story:

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Conferences and Adventist Health Support Victims of the Fires

All three impacted organizations, including the Northern California Conference, Adventist Health, and the Southern California Conference, have released reports on the impact of the fires in their areas and the efforts being taken to support those who have lost everything. Click below to download these bulletins or directly support the fire victims through an online donation.

Adventist Health helps fire victims:

Help Victims of the Woolsey Fire:

Help Victims of the Camp Fire: https://nccsda.com/

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Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

2018-11-15T19:50:08-08:00November 15th, 2018|All Gods People|

Pacific Union “All God’s People,” November 9, 2018 Episode 224

Southern California Conference Hosts Communication Workshop

Recently more than 45 Southern California communication leaders gathered to learn how to be digital disciples – both personally and corporately. The 2018 SCC Communication Workshop was fun, informative, and useful in providing communication tools and resources to share the stories of our members, churches and schools, and how God is leading our church. Congratulations to Communication Director Lauren Armstrong for a terrific workshop.

Resources from the Event: https://scc.adventist.org/departments/communication/resources

Watch a Video from SCC: https://www.facebook.com/SCCAdventists/videos/339389530143926/

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La Sierra University Center for Near Eastern Archaeology to Celebrate the 10th Annual Archaeology Discovery Weekend

This weekend at La Sierra University – the Center for Near Eastern Archaeology is celebrating the 10th Annual Archaeology Discovery Weekend where they will share the results of 50 years of excavating in Central Jordan. If you’re in the area, you will want to check it out: Nov. 10 and 11. Find out more at Lasierra.edu/archaeology.

Learn More: https://lasierra.edu/cnea/discovery-weekend/

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NAD Hosts Year-end Meetings

The North American Division Year-end Meeting took place in Columbia, Maryland. Leaders from around our division came together to hear reports and take up the business of the church. This year was an especially important Year-end Meeting, as our North American leaders discussed how we respond to the events of the recent GC Annual Council. Our special report is available online for a more in-depth look. Links to the report and the live stream of the meetings below.

Special Pacific Union Report: https://vimeo.com/295863750

Watch the Live-Streamed Video: https://www.youtube.com/user/nadadventist

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100th Anniversary of Veteran’s Day

Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, is the 100th Anniversary of Veteran’s Day. It was on Nov. 11, 1918, that fighting in World War I came to an end following the signing of an armistice between the Allies and Germany. Many local churches across our Union will be commemorating this milestone anniversary on Sabbath, Nov. 10.

Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13

2018-11-08T15:20:07-08:00November 8th, 2018|All Gods People|

Pacific Union “All God’s People,” November 2, 2018 Episode 223

Glendale Adventist Academy Welcomes Dr. Israel Olaore as New Principal

Just 5 years ago, Nigerian native Dr. Olaore was associate vice president and associate professor of education at Babcock University, a 20,000-plus student school, in Nigeria. When his 3 adult children asked him to come to the United States to be closer to them, their request brought him to Glendale Adventist Academy as the 22nd principal.

The new leader of the elementary and high school that has served this southern Californian community since 1907 hopes to raise enrollment, expand engagement with alumni, explore ways to make the school more affordable and connect more fully with the surrounding community.

You can read more about Dr. Olaore and what he seeks to do in a wonderful article published in the L.A. Times: http://www.latimes.com/socal/glendale-news-press/news/tn-gnp-me-gaa-new-principal-20181019-story.html

Follow Glendale Adventist Academy on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Glendale-Adventist-Academy-180656732083199/?__tn__=kC-R&eid=ARBGLQYwyhafYLqBJ4wJ_30F15OsNV8kKEscZF7-MCUtknEurwj8ISQ6oLrgd4d9MLrcGCzKF4Yuc7wo&hc_ref=ARTxFcUMfBkxHqU4KDnBTKwhvvVSkxLMUHM2nbGeeSuJOhWQb47oEfz0yHyJFR6zeCU&fref=nf&__xts__%5B0%5D=68.ARCk0Ucz7ScR8fyLic_zDV9Qd8UpnMYwnjHLzxz-3SUFH4EgJ3Oiit_9hctxh_drwCGGznDJb9AwY0O64D65IBr_PGk0L1rgga1dkRIIOJpOR7KoyBW5-PP8Z2JcSBorhX7kedJeicK5z5OOFohTuMBS1_09iUuTho0OLe4DI_LfjlCqM6dXA-WJ5xFg6VlC-27u0NqCZapjHm18QyJjYiN8xYk

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Beverly Benson Retires from the Pacific Union Office of Education

After 45 years of service, Beverly Benson is retiring from her role as Certification Registrar for the Office of Education of the Pacific Union. Because she manages teacher certification, Bev is well known to literally all of our teachers throughout the Union—and with more than four decades of experience, she knows and can discuss the history of our educational system and the schools. Many of Bev’s friends from across the Union celebrated her life and unprecedented career at a retirement dinner last week. Bev has been an extraordinary part of the Pacific Union, and she will be very much missed.

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November Recorder Declares “God is So Good”

The November Recorder should be arriving in your homes this week. It’s Thanksgiving, and this issue proclaims “God is So Good” on the cover. Goodness is one of the Fruits of the Spirit, and there are articles that explore what it means. The Recorder also has the Pacific Union Officers response to the recent vote at the Annual Council of the General Conference.

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The Struggle for the Prophetic Heritage — New from Oak & Acorn Publishing

Dr. Valentine knows his church history—and he makes it come alive in his classroom, his writing, and in the conversation we had a few weeks back about his book, “The Struggle for theProphetic Heritage.”

This new book from Oak & Acorn Publishing is available on Amazon and AdventSource: https://www.adventsource.org/store/pastors-resources/leadership/the-struggle-for-the-prophetic-heritage-39420

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Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27 NKJV)

2018-11-02T04:56:38-08:00November 2nd, 2018|All Gods People|