Concordia University Chicago

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Concordia University Chicago
Cuchicago logo.png
Type Private
Established 1864
Affiliation Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod
President Rev. Dr. Daniel L. Gard
Students 5,286[1]
Undergraduates 1,604
Postgraduates 3,682
Location River Forest, Illinois, United States
Campus Suburban, 40 acres (16.19 ha)
Colors Maroon and Gold          
Nickname CUC, ConChi
Affiliations Concordia University System, Northern Athletics Conference
Mascot Charlie T. Cougar

Concordia University Chicago is an American private, Lutheran liberal arts university located in the village of River Forest, Illinois, 10 miles (16 km) west of Chicago.


Concordia serves over one thousand undergraduates and three thousand graduate students through its four colleges: The College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education, and College of Business, and College of Graduate and Innovative Programs. Many of these attend classes at sites around the Chicago metropolitan area, rather than on its River Forest campus. Concordia is a member of the Concordia University System, a network of ten American colleges and universities affiliated with the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.


In 1855, Lutheran ministers Friedrich Johann Carl Lochner and Philipp Fleischmann established a private "teachers' seminary" in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to train teachers for Lutheran day schools. In 1857, responsibility for the operation of the school was taken over by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. The Synod moved the school to Fort Wayne, Indiana, uniting it with a theological seminary that had been founded there by followers of Johann Konrad Wilhelm Löhe. In 1861 the theological seminary was moved to St. Louis, and later to Springfield, Illinois, then back to Fort Wayne. In 1864 the teachers' seminary was moved to Addison, Illinois.

Concordia University marks its foundation with the 1864 move to Addison. Originally called Concordia Teachers' Seminary, and then Concordia Teachers College, the institution is the oldest in the Concordia University System. The original building is gone, but a monument still stands on the site of the seminary in Addison.[2] In 1913 the college moved to its present campus in River Forest. In 1979, the institution expanded its education-centered program to become a full liberal arts institution and changed its name to Concordia College. In 1990, having experienced tremendous growth in its graduate offerings, the school reorganized and changed its name to Concordia University. The university was unofficially known as Concordia University River Forest (CURF) until 2006, when the current name was adopted.

CU Chicago is ranked 75th on the Midwest Colleges by US News And World Report in the Regional Midwest Colleges List. CURF has never achieved a ranking in the U.S. News & World Report's National Best ranked US University List.

Education is still Concordia's largest academic program. Others include business, communications, music, theology, and many other undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Many students plan to become professional church workers.


Concordia Chicago teams participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III. The Cougars are a member of the Northern Athletics Conference (NAC). Concordia Chicago was also a member of the Northern Illinois-Iowa Conference until the spring of 2006. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, lacrosse, soccer, tennis and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball. The school colors are maroon and gold.


Concordia University Chicago has a music department, the current chair is Dr. Steven Wente. Dr. Richard Fischer is Director of Bands, where he conducts the Wind Symphony and University Band and teaches conducting and music education. The Wind Symphony, Concordia's premiere instrumental ensemble, has performed in 43 states, Europe, and Asia. The group has released eleven recordings of sacred wind music. The ensemble has given many premiere performances, recently including Dr. Bradley Genevero's transcription of "Bogoroditse Devo" from Rachmaninoff's "All-Night Vigil," Concordia alumnus Nicholas Stark's "Reformation Fanfare" based on the hymn tune "A Mighty Fortress," and Jacob Bancks' setting of "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing." The Wind Symphony performed at Carnegie Hall on March 4, 2014. Under the direction of Dr. Charles Brown, Kapelle, the university's premiere choral ensemble, has performed around the U.S., Europe, and South America. The ensemble also has four recordings to its credit. Other groups include Schola Cantorum (Chapel Choir, conducted by Jonathan Kohrs), Chamber Orchestra (Maurice Boyer), Mannerchor (Men's Chamber Choir with Charles Brown), Laudate (Women's Chamber Choir with Maurice Boyer), Jazz Band (Kirk Garrison), University Handbells (Maurice Boyer), Cougar Band (student-led pep band), and other ensembles.

Alma mater[edit]

"Hail to thee our Alma Mater; Hail to thee maroon and gold! Here we stand thy sons and daughters, thinking back to days of old. Days of joy and happy meetings, days of friendship and of love. As we stand before thy pillars, hail Concordia hail!" -- Paul Manz

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Undergraduate Fast Facts". Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Lutheran Teachers' Seminary Monument. Addison Historical Museum Web site. Accessed 28 May 2009.
  3. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°53′59″N 87°48′34″W / 41.89967°N 87.80954°W / 41.89967; -87.80954