Business Administration (MBA)

The MBA is a 36-credit hour program that allows you to earn your degree in approximately 18 months. In your first semester of the program, you will learn the business basics. In the second semester, you will focus on management and decision making. There is an International Business Summit with a 4-day trip to New York City embedded in the International Business course. The university covers the cost of your accommodations (i.e., hotel and food) to participate. You are responsible for your travel expenses to the IB Summit. The focus of your third semester is on the concentration of your choice. You choose from finance, management, or organizational development. Your final semester is your MBA research project that has traditionally been referred to as the Living Case Study.

IMG_7942“Conceptually, SAU introduced me to areas of study that now provide the underpinning for how I approach my career. Servant leadership, participative leadership and authentic leadership are the three that influenced me the most. These concepts are congruent with the teachings of Jesus Christ. Prior to SAU, I had no knowledge of these concepts—they were game-changing for me.”

Troy Trahan
MBA ’13


The MBA program is delivered in a cohort model, and you can choose to attend classes in a hybrid or entirely online format. The hybrid approach is designed for professionals interested in connecting face-to-face with peers and professors one night a week for the duration of the program. Face-to-face meetings are augmented by a web-based learning system to intentionally create a community of learners utilizing the latest instructional technology. The online approach is designed for busy professionals comfortable with the online environment and motivated to learn in an entirely online community.

The Gainey School of Business programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.


Our expertise in graduate-level management education coupled with your unique desire to strengthen your business acumen within an ethical and Judeo-Christian learning community represents the distinctive advantage of the Gainey School of Business MBA program.

Practical, Flexible, Relevant

You live and work in a fast-paced environment. You spend much of your time multi-tasking. Taking a “time out” for graduate-level education and development isn’t an option. On Day 1 of the MBA program you will begin building and applying your comprehensive knowledge of business.

The MBA program begins with the MBA601 Leadership and Business Ethics course. On Day 1 of the MBA Orientation course, you will begin your interactions with the course content, your peers, and professors through a web-enhanced content management system. Whether you enroll in one of the hybrid cohorts or entirely online cohorts, you will engage in computer-mediated communication and learning. You have the opportunity to learn anytime and anywhere.

6 Tailored concentrations

The finance concentration

Best suited for individuals who are currently working in the financial industry or working in a financial position in an organization and are interested in building on existing financial management and analysis skills. The person will be comfortable working with numbers and have already developed a proficiency in working with spreadsheets.

The healthcare administration concentration

The healthcare administration concentration is designed for individuals working in healthcare organizations such as a hospital, clinic, community health, home care, or other healthcare related services organization. The healthcare administration concentration focuses on the development of knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary for leadership positions that require the management and direction of a work unit or workforce, and proficiency in administrative management functions such as financial reporting, budgets, policies, and continual improvement in processes within the organization.

The human resource management concentration

The human resource management concentration is designed for individuals working with people in an organization. Students will study principles of organizational behavior to understand individual differences, group and team dynamics, strategy and culture of a firm. Students will develop skills in designing, planning, and implementing workplace learning and development initiatives in order to help employees improve individual performance, and help organizations enhance their organizational effectiveness through people. Students who are interested in improving their people management skills and believe people are the key to an organizational success will benefit from the courses in this concentration.

The management concentration

Best suited for individuals who are interested in obtaining a traditional MBA degree. They will also see profit maximization, competitive strategy, evidence-based management, and organizational efficiency as important dimensions in the success of a firm. The person will be comfortable working in a business environment and will likely have earned a bachelor degree in a business related field.

The organizational development concentration

Best suited for individuals who are interested in a specialized MBA that focuses on organizational development and change, and in helping to develop individuals, groups, and organizational performance. The person will be comfortable working with people and will see human resources and intellectual capital as important organizational assets.

The strategic leadership concentration

The strategic leadership concentration is designed for those students who are already working in mid-level management positions and already possess the requisite skills for general management. Students will focus their study and skill development on issues related to the strategic management, planning, and leadership of an organization. Principles are founded on organizational behaviors principles as well as strategic leadership using the balanced scorecard approach. Students in this concentration will be those individuals interested in advancing to corporate or executive levels of leadership within organizations.

The students should indicate their choice of concentration on the application form. This will help us in deciding how many sections should be offered for each of the concentration courses. Students will have the opportunity to change their concentration sometime during the second semester. Once they have started their third semester, it will be more difficult for them to change without lengthening the program.


Our 36-credit MBA program is an accelerated program, and our multidisciplinary approach to computer-mediated experiential learning allows you to earn your MBA in approximately 18 months.

Hybrid or Entirely Online Options

For professionals interested in connecting with peers and professors, MBA hybrid cohorts meet one night per week throughout the duration of the program. Other professionals prefer the entirely online MBA program.

Locations and Start Dates

The Master of Business Administration is offered at several extension sites across Michigan and online. Click on the location nearest you to see when the next cohort is scheduled to begin.

No Pre-Requisites to Begin

There are no pre-requisites to begin the MBA Program. Students will need to meet the admission standard to begin courses.

Admission Requirements

The following are requirements for admission into the MBA program. Admission must be approved prior to being considered for financial aid. Admission requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • An overall 3.0 GPA for all undergraduate coursework
  • An official transcript from the institution granting the bachelor’s degree
  • At least two recommendations from professional/academic individuals
  • A completed application. (Application deadline for spring starts is February 20, 2015.)
  • Resume
  • Approval by the MBA Admission Committee

Application materials that are not provided online or by email may be sent to:

Spring Arbor University
106 E. Main St.
Station 4
Spring Arbor, MI 49283

Transfer Credit

The MBA Program does not accept any transfer credit toward the 36 credit hours for the degree.

International Students

International students have other application criteria that must be met. Learn more about application requirements for international students.

Tuition and Fees

Fees for special materials may be required for some courses. Payment of tuition and fees is due three weeks before classes start. All fees are non-refundable.

2015-16 rates

  • MBA Courses, 36 credits: $633 per credit (campus-based and online)
  • Application Fee: $30
  • Registration Fee (per semester): $40
  • Technology Fee (per semester): $105 (Full-time), $53 (Part-time)

SAU Concept: Life Changing

Spring Arbor University has distinguished itself for 140 years as a community of lifelong learning with a purpose. Our purpose has been articulated in the SAU Concept:

Spring Arbor University is a community of learners distinguished by our lifelong involvement in the study and application of the liberal arts, total commitment to Jesus Christ as the perspective for learning, and critical participation in the contemporary world.

The SAU Concept is the lens through which our Gainey School of Business and MBA community approaches service and stewardship. While set apart by our total commitment to Jesus Christ as our perspective for learning, we are simultaneously immersed in the contemporary world. Our visionary approach and entrepreneurial spirit allows us to engage in educational experiences in an environment where we, students and faculty together, explore our purpose – the reason God has placed us on this earth and how our unique participation in the contemporary world is life changing.

The Gainey School of Business MBA program invites you to join our community of learners and together restore dignity to the business profession. Let us embark on the challenging journey toward the greatest of all goods, Ad Majorem Dei Glorium (for the greater glory of God). Nimbly Residing on the Cutting Edge The global economy, technological advances, and the rapid rate of change in the world today requires a new set of competencies for business professionals. The challenges you face are more complex and require novel solutions. We not only recognize this trend, but we thrive in it. The Gainey School of Business MBA program nimbly resides on the cutting edge in order to provide you with the opportunity to develop the competencies and character that is needed for success in
the global marketplace.

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