Concordia's History

Concordia’s Rich 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, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees in education and business. The campus’ 1,900 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 twenty 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 lifelong learning. Students, staff, and faculty — the Concordia community — are valued as the most important components of this campus, as all strive to encourage, support, and equip for service and fulfillment.

Concordia History Chronology

1905   Concordia opens as a four-year academy for boys to meet the needs of the area for pastors and parochial school teachers for the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
1950    Junior College is established for men
1954    Concordia becomes co-educational
1962    Accreditation is achieved with the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges
1977    Concordia becomes a four-year college
1980    The first students graduate with bachelor’s degrees
1982    International Student Programs are initiated
1985    Health Care Administration and International Executive Program are added
1989    Accelerated Degree Program is added
1991    Secondary Education is added
1992    Concordia exceeds enrollment of 1,000
1995    Concordia College becomes Concordia University – Portland, a member of the Concordia University System
1996    Distance learning classes and Concordia University System visiting Student program begin
1996    Master’s degree programs in teacher education offered by the College of Education
1997   Health Care Administration program is approved for associate membership to The Association of University Programs in Health Care Administration; Director of Christian Education program is expanded with calling of first 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
2006   School of Management opens an MBA program in Bend, Oregon
2007   Concordia reorganizes into four colleges, adding the College of Health & Human Services
2008   Concordia breaks ground on the George R. White Library and Learning Center, dedicates the Throw Center, and begins construction of a new residence hall
2009   Concordia opens the doors to the George R. White Library & Learning Center and Concordia Place Apartments and dedicates the Geraldine L. White Campanile
2010   Obtains National Social Work accreditation through the Council on Social Work Education 
2012   Inaugural Law class begins in Boise, Idaho; Masters of Arts in International Development & Services (MA-IDS) offered by the College of Theology, Arts &  Sciences 
2013  Bachelor of Science in Nursing program receives clinical site placement approval from the Washington State Nursing Quality Assurance Commission; Doctor of Education offered by the College of Education
2014  Master of Arts in Community Psychology offered by the College of Theology, Arts & Sciences