Concordia University (Oregon)

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Concordia University
Concordia University Portland Logo.gif
Concordia University Portland logo
Motto Christi Crux Est Mihi Lux
Motto in English
The Cross of Christ is Light to Me
Established 1905
Type Private
Affiliation Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
Endowment $7.2 million (2009)[1]
Chairman George Thurston, Jr.[2]
President Charles Schlimpert[2]
Students 1,300 undergraduate
500 graduate
5,200 online & off-site (2014)[3]
Location Portland, Oregon, USA
45°34.097′N 122°38.218′W / 45.568283°N 122.636967°W / 45.568283; -122.636967Coordinates: 45°34.097′N 122°38.218′W / 45.568283°N 122.636967°W / 45.568283; -122.636967
Campus Urban, 13 acres (5.3 ha)
Athletics NCAA Division ll
Nickname Cavaliers
Concordia University Portland logo.png

Concordia University is a private nonprofit, Lutheran liberal arts university in Portland, Oregon in the United States. Opened in 1905 as a University-preparatory school, the institution added college classes in 1950 and the high school formally split in 1977. The school of approximately 5,400 undergraduate and graduate students is affiliated with the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod and the Concordia University System. Located in Northeast Portland, the school also has branch campuses across Oregon and operates the Concordia University School of Law in Boise, Idaho. The university has four colleges and eighteen majors. Athletic teams, known as the Cavaliers, are members of the Cascade Collegiate Conference and compete at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) level.


Concordia Academy was founded in 1905 by a growing Lutheran community in the Pacific Northwest to meet the need for pastors and parochial school teachers.[1][4] The school added a junior college by 1950 and in 1968 women were first admitted to then Concordia High School.[4] In 1962, Concordia became accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges.[4]

In 1977, an association of local Lutheran churches, the Portland Lutheran Association for Christian Education, assumed ownership and management of the high school.[5] At this time, Concordia separated from the high school and became a four-year institution, graduating its first baccalaureate students in 1980.[4] Concordia College became Concordia University in 1995 and converted to the semester calendar.[4] The next year the school added master's degrees in teaching and education, followed by a Master of Business Administration program in 2001.[1] In 2002, the master's degree in education became Concordia's first program to also be fully online.[4]

The university added a bachelor's degree in nursing in 2005 and then started the College of Health and Human Services in 2007.[1] The nursing program was the first new program in the state in 40 years.[1] In 2009, Concordia started a program for conferring a bachelor's degree in music.[1] As of 2012, enrollment at the private school was about 3,100, almost doubling its enrollment over the past five years.[1]

The Concordia University School of Law is located in Boise, Idaho, and graduated its first class of students in August 2015.[6] Former Idaho Supreme Court Justice, Cathy Silak, is the dean of the law school.[7]

The school announced plans to move its athletic teams up to Division II of the NCAA and join the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in 2015.[8]


East residence hall

Located in Northeast Portland in the Concordia neighborhood, the university sits on a 13-acre (5.3 ha) campus near U.S. Route 30 Bypass (Lombard Street).[4] A new $15 million library, the George R. White Library & Learning Center, with 75,000 square feet (7,000 m2) opened across from the campus green in 2009.[1][9] Other amenities on the campus include a 60-foot (18 m) tall bell tower and the 50,000-square-foot (4,600 m2) Concordia Place Apartments, a residence hall.[1][9]


Concordia University contains four colleges of study: the College of Education, the School of Management, the College of Health and Human Services, and the College of Theology, Arts and Sciences. Through these colleges the university offers undergraduate degrees in biology, history, education, English, theology, social work, a nursing program and many other subjects for a total of 18 majors and 20 concentrations.[9] Additionally, the university offers graduate degrees in education and business administration and is developing a law school, the Concordia University School of Law, in Boise, Idaho.[10][9] Concordia has a dual enrollment agreement with Portland Community College.[11]

In 2013, U.S. News & World Report ranked Concordia as 80th best amongst the regional universities in the west.[12] Concordia University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.[13]


Official athletics logo.

Concordia–Oregon teams, nicknamed athletically as the Cavaliers, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA),[9] primarily competing in the Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC).[14] Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer and track & field;[9] while women's sports include basketball, soccer, cross country, golf, softball, track & field and volleyball.[9]

The official school colors are navy and white.[14] In 2012, they opened a new athletic complex, the Hilken Community Stadium that was built at a cost of $7.5 million.[15]

Concordia–Oregon has been noted for the consistent success of its men's and women's soccer programs over the last decades. The men's program is headed by Dan Birkey, and the women by Grant Landy. The Cavaliers have dominated their conference with the men winning 10 of 13 conference titles since its inception in 1997, and are frequently ranked among the nation's top 25 for NAIA small colleges.[16] The women's team won the 2013 NAIA National Championship.[17] Additionally, the track and field program includes throwing (discus, hammer throw, javelin, and shot put) coach Mac Wilkins, an Olympic gold medalist in 1976 at the Montreal games, who runs their Throw Center.[9]

The school has begun the transition to the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) Division II and the Great Northwest Athletic Conference and will become eligible for the 2015-16 academic year.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bucks, Olivia (April 23, 2009). "Northeast Portland's Concordia expands for future". The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon). Retrieved January 17, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Concordia University Board of Directors". Concordia University Portland. Retrieved January 29, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Concordia University in a Nutshell - 2014 – 2015 Quick Facts" (PDF). Concordia University. Retrieved February 17, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Our History". About CU. Concordia University. Retrieved January 19, 2010. 
  5. ^ "PLS History". Portland Lutheran School. Retrieved January 29, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Concordia Law Celebrates Inaugural Commencement". Concordia University. Retrieved 2015-10-21. 
  7. ^ "History". Concordia University. Retrieved 2015-10-21. 
  8. ^ Brandon, Steve (October 24, 2013). "Concordia moving to NCAA D-II, will join GNAC in 2015-16". Portland Tribune. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h "Concordia in a Nutshell" (PDF). Concordia University. January 12, 2010. Retrieved January 19, 2010. 
  10. ^ Roberts, Bill (January 16, 2010). "Concordia law school to move into Downtown Boise". Idaho Statesman (Boise, Idaho). Retrieved January 18, 2010. 
  11. ^ "PCC, PSU renew co-admission agreement". Portland Business Journal. January 23, 2012. Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  12. ^ Siemers, Erik (September 14, 2011). "UofO 101st, OSU 138th in U.S. News rankings". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  13. ^ "About Concordia University". About CU. Concordia University. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b "Concordia University". Quick Facts & Directory. Cascade Collegiate Conference. Retrieved January 19, 2010. 
  15. ^ Kish, Matthew (February 3, 2012). "Concordia gets $1.5 million for stadium". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Men's Soccer News". Concordia University. Retrieved January 23, 2010. 
  17. ^ "National Championships; Concordia Wins First Soccer Title". Concordia University Athletics. Retrieved February 17, 2015. 

External links[edit]