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So Cal Vision
A Vision for a New
SDA Self-Supporting Institution
In Southern California

In a nutshell, the concept is as follows:
   l A new, free-standing, self-supporting institution located in Southern California
   l One institution but two campuses
   l A rural campus in Oak Glen
   l An urban campus next to the 10 freeway within two miles of LLU.

   l Provide facilities where local supportive Adventists can work together to further health, evangelistic, and educational work.
   l Provide clinical settings whereby LLU students can see intensive lifestyle medicine done in a strong spiritual environment.
   l Conduct "business-ministries" in a way that draws people to Christ & helps them understand how to prepare for His soon return. (see MM p24)
   l Demonstrate a financially viable model of self-supporting work by having an urban campus which generates significant income. If successful, replicate the model so that such work becomes a realistic option for Adventists with families.
   l Train Bible workers and medical missionaries. *
   l Provide self-supporting educational options to the SDA students and parents in the Inland Empire.

Despite a large SDA population in Southern California, there is no self-supporting institution. Consequently the following ventures do not exist there:
   l A residential lifestyle intervention program (i.e. NEWSTART)
   l An SDA vegetarian restaurant for the general public
   l A Bible worker training program
   l A self-supporting college or academy

There is considerable need and interest for these ventures within the Adventist population in the Loma Linda area. Also, it was the local populated area to be reached that determined the original selection of the Loma Linda property. Today, two million people live within a 30-minute drive of Loma Linda.* One third of first year medical students have indicated an interested in doing a lifestyle medicine summer rotation. There are already three business-ministries functioning in the area (medical massage and lifestyle medicine clinic). However they don’t operate on one campus and therefore synergy is lost. A number of SDAs already reside in the Loma Linda area who would willingly work in the new institution (full-time and part-time) if only such an organization existed nearby. Obviously this includes large numbers of SDA health care professionals who could work and/or volunteer their time. Numerous LLU students could conduct lifestyle medicine and natural remedy research using the programs of the new institution.

It is not likely that many if any of the proposed ventures will be developed any time soon by the major SDA institutions currently in Southern California such as LLU, LLUMC, the Conference, academies, or local churches. Hence, there is a need for a new self-supporting institution.

There is also a need to focus intensely and continuously on helping the Adventist Church rediscover the calling for a united medical missionary work which combines the medical and ministerial lines in the context of preparing a people for the Lord’s return.* Currently LLU graduates over a thousand students each year. One can only imagine the impact that would be made if many of these students had elective experience in medical missionary work at a nearby self-supporting institution. This is the rationale for why the new self-supporting institution would be located within easy driving distance from the LLU campus.

Our Adventist self-supporting institutions have a reputation as being in a chronically, financially tenuous state. It is perceived that either the institution must have a large endowment or that workers must be paid very low salaries and not receive benefits such as health insurance and savings for retirement. By including an urban campus in the new So. Cal. self-supporting institution, it is believed that this dynamic will be avoided.

About 115,000 cars would pass by and view the beautifully landscaped urban campus each day. A changing highway sign would advertise the urban campus’ many offerings. As the community visits one of the business-ministries they would become aware of the others on campus as well as the NEWSTART program on the nearby rural campus. Also, being located near such a large Adventist population, the new institution would benefit from donated service such as clinical care provided by retired MD specialists. No other self-supporting institution has this context and so it is believed that the financial prospects of the new institution would be far better than that of other such institutions. Should the urban campus portion of the new self-supporting institution prosper, it could serve as a model for others.


Rural campus
Urban campus

Residential NEWSTART program
Bible worker training program

Vegetarian restaurant
Lifestyle Medicine clinic*
Outpatient, evening NEWSTART program (e.g. Guam)
Natural remedies clinic*
Facilities for lectures, cooking classes, & vegan chef training
Nursery – plants*


Rural campus
Urban campus

Ropes program
Medical Missionary Training
Organic gardening
Retirement center*
Natural remedy research program

Medical massage clinic & school*
Health food store
Primary care clinic
Specialty care clinic
Vegetarian fast food restaurant
Fitness center (e.g. Better Way of Life Fitness & Nutrition)

* Already exist independently in Southern California.

Obviously not all of these programs can be started at once. Through prayer, study, & counsel it will be decided how best to proceed.* Options would include seeking large donations (i.e. millions to tens of millions) and start multiple programs at the same time. This approach is what was done with the large Adventist self-supporting campuses. A second approach would be to bring the existing So. Cal. programs in proximity to each other* (e.g. renting offices to start a Lifestyle Medicine strip mall) and begin to add additional business ministries (such as a vegetarian restaurant) to build up a location in preparation to move these businesses to the urban and rural campuses when they are purchased and buildings built.

Both the rural NEWSTART program and the business-ministries of the urban campus would be designed in such a way as to maximize the possibility of leading people to Christ and helping them to understand how to live according to God’s physical and moral laws. *

Since the urban campus would daily serve a local non-Adventist population, there would be numerous opportunities for the staff to meet and influence them. The urban campus would have the following themes: 1) natural, 2) the Creation, 3) health, and 4) Christian. In Medical Ministry p. 9 it describes how Christ “directs attention first to nature, then up through nature to nature’s God”. The landscape, how customers are greeted and treated, the use of natural remedies, the comments made, the food served, the lectures, the offering of further services, all these would be employed to try and draw people to the true Source of life. Since the people served would be local, there could be ongoing opportunities to contact them and invite them to future activities such as health talks, cooking classes, and evangelistic meetings.

This Vision has been shared with a number of local SDAs and leading SDAs at our self-supporting campuses. The rationale and components of the Vision have been received with near unanimous support. The Vision has also been shared with a number of administrators and board members at Weimar. This discussion will continue with Weimar / Amazing Facts leadership. In the meanwhile, the Southern California Institute has obtained non-profit status under the local Health Ministries Foundation. As of yet, no property has been secured nor has a business-ministry been started.

Urban Campus - There are five undeveloped parcels near the I-10 freeway which could accommodate the urban campus. Work needs to be done to investigate the availability. Also fundraising of $1,250,000 to $2,250,000 would need to be done or at least find an SDA who is supportive of the vision who could secure the property and we would purchase it from them as funds are raised.

Rural Campus - Regarding property in Oak Glen, the general location is known and property owner records have been obtained from the County but further investigation as to specific property and owners needs to be done.

Finances - For the full vision, tens of million of dollars would be needed. As with previous campuses, the Lord opened doors for the purchasing of land and buildings and fairly large work was started from the beginning.* Alternately, a single business-ministry could be started and the other components established as the work grew.

At this early stage we need to explore multiple different directions and see which doors the Lord opens. These directions include raising awareness, exploring various opportunities (including property) as they arise, discussing the Vision with those of experience, means, and connections, and establishing an initial business-ministry. Last but not least is continually praying that the Lord would kindly open the way for this work.

If you have any questions or would like to help advance this vision please contact:
Doug Plata, MD, MPH at dougplata[at]gmail.com.

Oak Glen: General location for the rural campus.

A simple diagram illustrating an urban campus layout.