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Concordia's History


Concordia opened its doors for the first time at its current location in 1905. The school began as a four-year academy to meet the needs of the region for pastors and school teachers for the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. The campus has evolved into a university that offers a solid liberal arts education, pre-professional programs, professional church work programs, and undergraduate and graduate degrees in education and business. The campus’  2,000 students come from all over the United States and the world, but primarily from the Pacific Northwest.

Concordia University is a Christian university preparing leaders for the transformation of society. Located on 24 acres in a residential neighborhood of Portland, Concordia’s mission drives all planning in academics and future directions. The campus builds on its strengths, pursuing programs that will assist students to prepare for work or to enhance their pursuit of life-long learning. The Concordia community strives to encourage, support, and equip for service and fulfillment.

Concordia History Chronology

1905  The school began as a four-year academy to meet the needs of the area for pastors and parochial school teachers for the Lutheran Church.

1950  The junior college department for men was introduced.

1954  The coeducational program was added.

1962  Accreditation was achieved with the NW Assoc. of Schools & Colleges.

1971  Concordia converted to Quarter calendar.

1977  Concordia became a four-year college. This decision was made at the Dallas Convention of the Lutheran of Church - Missouri Synod.

1980  The first four-year students graduated with baccalaureate degrees.

1982  The international student programs were initiated.

1985  The region's first Healthcare administration & international executive program was added.

1989  Accelerated degree programs in management, communications, and leadership were established for working adults.

1991  Secondary Education was added.

1992  Concordia exceeded enrollment of 1000 and the Luther Hall expansion is completed.

1994  Environmental management degree program launched.

1995  Concordia converted to semester calendar. Concordia College became Concordia University, Portland, a member of the Concordia University System.

1996  Distance learning classes and CUS visiting student program begin.

1996  Master’s degree programs in teacher education offered.

1997  Healthcare administration program is approved for associate membership to the Association of University Programs in healthcare administration; Director of Christian education program is expanded with calling of full-time director.

1998  New 245-bed residence complex opens, doubling resident student population.

2001  Master of Business Administration offered by the School of Management.

2002  The first fully online program, the M.Ed.,is offered.

2004  Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (NASC) becomes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

2005  Bachelor of Science in Nursing program receives approval from the Oregon State Board of Nursing. Centennial anniversary celebrated with service projects and a reunion weekend.

2006  Concordia Teacher Corps established.

2007  University reorganizes academic programs into four colleges: School of Management, College of Education, College of Theology, Arts and Sciences, and College of Health & Human Services.

2008  Groundbreaking for the George R. White Library & Learning Center. Dedication of the Concordia University Throw Center.

2009  The George R. White Library & Learning Center is opened on August 10. The new Concordia Place Apartments on 27th Avenue are opened for occupancy.

2010  Social Work program received national accrediation by the Council of Social Work Education. Groundbreaking on the Concordia University School of Law on June 22.

2011  University breaks ground on the athletic complex for baseball and soccer.

2012  Concordia opens the Hilken Community Stadium and the School of Law in Boise, Idaho.