University Information

The Concordia University Board of Regents operates Concordia University as an institution of higher education.

All information in this Academic Catalog was current at the time of publication. However, the information in this catalog does not constitute a contract between Concordia University and the student. The material contained in this catalog is for information only. The university reserves the right to make changes in curricula, admissions policies and processes, tuition and financial aid, academic standards and guidelines, student services and any other regulations or policies set forth in this catalog without giving prior notice. All questions may be referred to the Office of Academic Affairs. Concordia University, Saint Paul, is registered with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education pursuant to sections 136A.61 to 136A.71. Registration is not an endorsement of the institution. Credits earned at the institution may not transfer to all other institutions. This school is a business unit of a corporation and is authorized by the State of Oregon to offer and confer the academic degrees and certificates described herein, following a determination that state academic standards will be satisfied under OAR 583-030.  Inquiries concerning the standards or school compliance may be directed to the Office of Degree Authorization, 255 Capitol St. NE, Salem, Oregon, 97310.

Copyright 2016, Concordia University, Saint Paul



The Concordia University, Saint Paul logo is in the form of a window symbolizing Christian higher education as a window on life. Framed within the window, a cross emerges, which identifies Christ as the center of life. The asymmetrical window and cross reflect that life is not always logical or consistent, but Christ holds all things together. The four complementary colors represent harmony in diversity and harmony in Christ.

  • Cross: The cross portrays our mission to educate students in the context of the Christian Gospel. The Good News of Jesus Christ forms the basis of life and education at Concordia.
  • Quill: The quill is taken from our academic seal and represents our tradition and commitment to academic excellence and the love of learning.
  • Individual: The individual represents our serving the individual student while encouraging their personal development and responsibility the education process. The outstretched arms imply reaching out to others, openness to community.
  • Globe: The globe reminds us of our world community and Christ’s command to teach all nations. It also reflects our concern for enlightened care of God’s creation, which is part of our mission statement.

The Concordia Seal


The Concordia University seal was originally designed by Dr. Theodore Buenger for Concordia College in 1895. The Lamp of Learning symbolizes the light of the knowledge of God’s Word illuminating the minds of the students as well as the darkness of the world. The Crossed Quills symbolize the writings of the student and the writings of the great individuals throughout history form which the student learns. The Moccasin Flower symbolizes the State of Minnesota and the beauty of God’s creation. The inscription places learning in the context of the Christian Gospel. Dr. Buenger used the Latin language in keeping with the classical ideals characteristic of our school: In litteris proficere vole, malo diligere Jesum. This may be translated, “I wish to be proficient in academics, but even more I wish to know Jesus.” It is based on Ephesians 3:19: “And to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge.”

Mission Statement

The mission of Concordia University, a university of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, is to prepare students for thoughtful and informed living, for dedicated service to God and humanity, and for the enlightened care of God’s creation, all within the context of the Christian Gospel.

This mission is achieved when students pursue programs grounded in the liberal arts and focused on education for vocation in home, workplace, community, and congregation.

Therefore, the university pursues the following purposes:

  • To relate human learning and experience to the Christian faith as this faith is confessed within its Lutheran heritage;
  • To provide education within the context of a global perspective;
  • To structure personalized and integrated learning experiences in which students share with faculty the responsibility for their own intellectual, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual growth;
  • To offer a variety of experiences in and out of the classroom designed to assist students in acquiring greater self-understanding, in achieving a growing realization of their abilities and interests, and in investigating options for service in home, workplace, community, and congregation.

Vision Statement

The vision of Concordia University, St. Paul is to be a Christ-centered, nationally prominent Lutheran university known for excellence and innovation that fosters success for all students.

The Concordia Promise

Concordia University, St. Paul empowers you to discover and engage your purpose for life, career and service in a dynamic, multicultural, urban environment where Christ is honored, all are welcome, and Lutheran convictions inform intellectual inquiry and academic pursuits.

What does the Promise Statement Mean?

Concordia University, St. Paul empowers you to:

discover and engage your purpose for life, career, and service

  • We believe that a purpose for living is greater than just a job, but is built upon a sense of calling that contributes to a deep level of personal fulfillment in all aspects of life.
  • We affirm the notion of vocation, in which God calls and guides individuals throughout their lifetimes.
  • We believe that one’s purpose necessarily includes a passion for life-long learning beyond the attainment of an academic degree.
  • We provide resources both within and outside the classroom to help students discover and begin to pursue their purpose.

in a dynamic, multicultural, urban environment

  • We embrace our urban location, and celebrate the ever-changing, or dynamic, quality of our location, which has long been a place for new immigrants to become established in the United States.
  • We rejoice that God has created human beings of all races and ethnicities in his image.
  • We confess the brokenness that has often occurred among people because of race, creed, color, and ethnicity, and our part in it.
  • We foster opportunities for all of us in this academic community to learn from and appreciate each other.

where Christ is honored, all are welcome,

  • We honor Jesus as the Christ, whose atoning sacrifice on the cross allowed salvation to occur for all who believe and are baptized.
  • We strive to live together in peace, love, and harmony as brothers and sisters in the human family.
  • We love all our students regardless of age, race, color, disability, gender, familial status, sexual orientation, religion, national and ethnic origin.
  • We conduct worship on our campus in the Christian context, shaped and informed by Lutheran traditions of music and the arts.
  • We affirm the biblical teaching of God’s love for all people in Christ, even when we do not live out his perfect intent for any and every part of our lives.

and Lutheran convictions inform intellectual inquiry and academic pursuits.

  • We affirm the central biblical teaching that God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
  • We affirm the Bible as the Word of God and the sole rule and norm of all doctrine.
  • We affirm the biblical teaching that God’s creative intent is for sexuality to be expressed between one man and one woman in a marriage relationship.
  • We aspire for all our students to learn from each other’s religious traditions.
  • We regard the academic disciplines as good gifts for understanding how God’s creation works; as such, we pursue them, within the context of the Christian Gospel, through critical thought, lively discussion, and informed action.


In litteris proficere volo malo diligere Jesum
“I wish to be proficient in academics, but even more I wish to know Jesus.”

College Profile

Type Private not-for-profit
Comprehensive, Coeducational
Affiliation The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod
Level Four-year or above
Undergraduate Instructional Program Professions focus, some graduate coexistence
Graduate Instruction Program Post-baccalaureate professional (education dominant)
Enrollment Profile Majority undergraduate
Undergraduate Profile Full-time four-year, selective lower transfer-in
Student Population (headcount) 5,502 (Fall 2022)
Student Population (full-time equivalent) 4,883 (Fall 2022)
Size and Setting Small four-year, primarily residential; urban
Basic Master’s Colleges and Universities (larger programs)

History of the University

Concordia University was founded in 1893 to provide a Christian learning environment for high school students preparing to enter the professional ministries of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. In the ensuing decade, Concordia continued to grow, adding a fourth year of high school and by 1921 had added the freshman and sophomore college years. The change made it possible for Concordia High School students to remain at their high school alma mater to complete their first two years of college work before transferring to a Concordia Senior College where they would finish their studies in the church professions or teaching.

Concordia College admitted its first class of female students in fall 1950 – much to the delight of the young men on campus and to the dismay of coeducational opponents who predicted a significant drop in academic achievement. Despite this new “distraction,” students continued to excel in their studies. Concordia College entered a decade of intense expansion and growth. The college began granting Associate in Arts degrees in 1951 and earned accreditation as a two-year college in 1959.

Concordia College expanded its curriculum in 1962 to include a four-year college degree and awarded its first Bachelor of Arts degrees two years later. By 1967, Concordia had earned accreditation for its four-year liberal arts program, which allowed the college to join the Minnesota Private College Council. At this time, Concordia High School officially separated itself from the college, moved to its suburban location and adopted its new name, Concordia Academy.

Concordia College responded to a growing need for minority teachers in the public schools by forming Metropolitan Teacher Education Program Selection (MTEPS), which enrolled African-American and other under-represented students in a program designed to supplement the curriculum with scholarship support, personal counseling, tutoring as needed, academic planning and similar services. The program was reformed in 1983 as the Southeast Asian Teacher (SEAT) Licensure Program, which serves Hmong and other minority populations in a similar fashion.

A major curricular development in 1985 changed the Minnesota education landscape with the formation of a pioneering program that allowed students to complete their B.A. degree in an accelerated, one course at a time, format. In 1990, an accelerated M.A. program was added. 

As Concordia moved into the new millennium, the institution implemented a number of important changes that would reflect the changing needs of the students, the church and the community. Foremost among these was restructuring that enabled Concordia to become a university. In 1997, Concordia College became Concordia University, Saint Paul, and adopted the semester system. CSP became the first private university in Minnesota to compete  at the NCAA Division II level, bidding farewell to the Concordia Comets nickname and introduced a new athletics identity, the Golden Bears.

Concordia University continues to grow to meet the needs of students, the church and the community, while at the same time holding steadfast its historical values and mission.

University Contact Information

This catalog is designed to provide information about Concordia University, its curriculum, its academic policies and procedures, and other matters of interest to students, faculty and staff. Further inquiries may be addressed to the appropriate office at Concordia. Contact information for specific offices, departments, or individual faculty or staff are available on the university website at

Concordia College and University Presidents

Theodore Henry Carl Buenger 1893-1927
Martin A. H. Graebner 1927-1946
Willy August Poehler 1946-1970
Harvey A. Stegemoeller 1971-1975
Gerhardt Wilfred Hyatt 1976-1983
Alan Frederick Harre 1984-1988
John Franklin Johnson 1989-1990
Robert Arthur Holst 1991-2011
Thomas K. Ries 2011-2019
Brian Friedrich 2020 -present

Academic Affiliates

American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE)
Concordia University System (CUS)
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
Council of Graduate Schools (CGS)
Council of Independent Colleges (CIC)
Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS)
Minnesota Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (MACTE)
Minnesota Department of Education (MDE)
Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE)
Minnesota Private College Council (MPCC)
National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
National Council for Family Relations (NCFR)