Concordia University Irvine

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Concordia University Irvine
Concordia University Irvine seal.svg
Former names
Christ College Irvine
MottoDeveloping Wise, Honorable, and Cultivated Citizens.
Religious affiliation
Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod
Endowment$46 million
PresidentDr. Michael Thomas
ProvostRev. Dr. Scott Ashmon
Location, ,
United States
Colors   Green and Gold
AthleticsNCAA Division II; PacWest Conference
Concordia University Irvine logo.svg

Concordia University Irvine is a private Lutheran university in Irvine, California.[2] It was established in 1976 to provide a Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod college to serve the Pacific Southwest[3] and provide training for pastors, religious education teachers, and Christian school administrators.[4] Concordia University Irvine has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,592[1] and its campus size is 70 acres (28 ha).[5] It is one of nine colleges and universities in the Concordia University System.[6]


Sign for Christ College Irvine, now known as Concordia University Irvine

In 1955, Dr. Victor Behnken, then president of the Pacific Southwest District of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS), proposed the creation of a preparatory college for the Pacific Southwest. In 1962, the LCMS agreed to build the school. A search committee commissioned by the district considered 87 sites before commercial and residential real estate developer The Irvine Company offered the present location in Irvine. In 1973, Rev. Dr. Charles Manske accepted the call from the district to be the founding president of the school, which was originally named Christ College Irvine.[7][8]

In February 1993, the Board of Regents of Christ College Irvine voted to change the school's name to Concordia University Irvine.[4] At that time, the university became the tenth campus in the national Concordia University System (CUS).[4] In addition to the Concordia University System, the LCMS and its congregations also operate two seminaries, 130 high schools, and more than 900 elementary schools, making it the second largest church-operated school system in the United States.[9]


The university currently includes five schools: Christ College (School of Theology), School of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Education, and School of Professional Studies; and offers 20 undergraduate majors and 50 specializations, nine graduate programs, four adult bachelor's degree completion programs, and three nursing programs.[10] In 2014, Concordia University Irvine added its first doctoral program, Educational Leadership.[3]


The campus at Concordia University Irvine

The campus is located 50 miles (80 km) south of Los Angeles, 80 miles (130 km) north of San Diego, and 6 miles (9.7 km) inland from the Pacific Ocean in the city of Irvine. Irvine is a planned community which is rated one of the safest cities of its size in the United States.[11] The campus rests on a 70-acre (28 ha) plateau overlooking Orange County in a private residential community surrounded by wildlife and hiking trails.[12] The offices of the School of Professional Studies - Adult Degree Programs, M.A. International Studies, and the Masters in Coaching and Athletic Administration (MCAA) teams moved to an offsite location in Irvine.[13]


Concordia University Irvine athletics teams are members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Primarily competing in the NCAA Division II Pacific West Conference (PAC West), men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball, water polo, and lacrosse; women's teams include softball, basketball, cross country, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball, water polo, lacrosse, and cheer.[14]

The university was previously a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) from 1981 to 2015. During that time, Concordia University Irvine earned 7 NAIA Team National Championships and 25 NAIA Individual National Championships. In addition to the NAIA championships, Concordia University Irvine won 26 Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) Regular-Season Championships and 13 GSAC Tournament Championships.[15]


In U.S. News & World Report's 2013 rankings of the best colleges in America, Concordia University Irvine is listed as 63rd in the Western region.[16] In 2016, the university earned a ranking of 55 among regional universities in the Western U.S.

In 2015, The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked Concordia University Irvine as one of the fastest-growing private nonprofit master's universities in its 2015-2016 edition of Almanac of Higher Education, noting that the university grew over a 10-year period (2003–2013).[17]

Also in 2015, Money magazine included Concordia University Irvine in a list of schools "that provide the best value for your tuition dollar."[18]

Notable alumni and faculty[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "About CUI". Concordia University Irvine. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  2. ^ "Concordia University Irvine". Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  3. ^ a b "Our History". Concordia University Irvine. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  4. ^ a b c McQueeney, T. O. M. (1993-02-09). "Irvine: Christ College to Be Concordia University". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  5. ^ "Concordia University | Concordia University (California) | Best College". US News. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  6. ^ "Concordia University System". The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  7. ^ "Our History". Concordia University Irvine.
  8. ^ Crescenzo, Sarah de. "Charles Manske, founder of Concordia University Irvine, dies at 82". Orange County Register. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  9. ^ "Concordia University System". Concordia University Irvine.
  10. ^ "Academic Programs". Concordia University Irvine.
  11. ^ "Location and Maps". Concordia University Irvine.
  12. ^ "Location". Concordia University Irvine.
  13. ^ "Growth at Concordia University Irvine Leads to Expansion to New Location". Concordia University Irvine.
  14. ^ "Home of Your Concordia Eagles". Concordia University Irvine Athletics.
  15. ^ "Concordia Irvine Championships". Concordia University Irvine Athletics. Archived from the original on 2014-07-22. Retrieved 2014-07-09.
  16. ^ "Education Colleges". US News.
  17. ^ "Almanac of Higher Education 2015". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  18. ^ "MONEY's Best Colleges". Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  19. ^ "Famous Olympian Misty May-Treanor Touts Concordia's MCAA Program". Concordia Eagles. 6 August 2012. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.

External links[edit]