Short-Term Trends in the Concordia University System

I recently received extensive data on the Concordia University System (CUS), which supplements a previous report that relied on publicly available information. The new data provides a great deal of insight on the CUS, and suggests where the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) needs to start accelerating its planning for the long-term future of its universities.

Rankings

The new data allowed a more refined scoring system to better rank the Concordias. Selma has an abysmal ranking by virtually any measure. Seward is notable for offering great value although it lags its urban cousins in peer-group rankings. St. Paul is the converse.

Rankings

Tuition

CUS total tuition costs have been pacing national trends, and both are rapidly outpacing consumer price inflation. Without a large reduction in fees at St. Paul, it’s likely that CUS would have outpaced national private 4-year colleges.
Chart1
A CUS student can expect to pay about $8,000 per year less than the national average for a private four-year college.
Chart2
Selma boasts the lowest costs in the CUS, but students suffered a massive increase in fees for the 2014-15 academic year. For the rest of the Concordias, it is remarkable how tightly clustered the tuition, room & board costs are – despite the very different markets the institutions operate in. Given above-inflation trends for the whole system, there is a strong indication that fees are rising based on cost-plus budgeting rather than actual costs.
Chart3
I estimated the total real cost to earn a diploma – excluding scholarships and awards – for an average student based on retention and graduation rates at each Concordia. The median CUS total cost of education is around $158,000 and it takes about 5.2 years for students to graduate. Most students should be able to accumulate $50,000-60,000 in grants of some sort over the course of reading for their degree, so the net total cost media is probably closer to $100,000 in the CUS.

Chart4

Enrollment

Mequon has, by a large margin, the largest full-time equivalent undergraduate enrollment. Selma, Ann Arbor, and Bronxville are very small, which raises some questions about their long-term viability.

Chart5
Total CUS enrollment has steadily increased since the peak of the credit crisis that hit in the 2009-2010 academic year. Most of the gains have come in post-graduate enrollment, with undergraduate enrollment stable for the last three years.

Chart6

Vocation and Affiliation

The CUS is suffering a steady attrition of students enrolled for church-worker education. At the same time, LCMS affiliation continues to decline whilst the percentage of unchurched and undeclared students has risen dramatically. These trends are contrary to the purpose of the CUS. They also threaten the LCMS’s ability to steward its institutions, and maintain a Confessional Lutheran identity that is also reflected in course content.

Chart7
Students affiliated with the LCMS are tiny minorities in nearly every university and college. Only Seward can claim a solid bloc of Missourians, followed by Ann Arbor. A majority of institutions no longer exist to serve the needs of LCMS members. (Note: a previous version of this chart was incorrectly labeled as a percentage of FTE equivalents instead of total enrollment. We apologize for the error).

CUS_Data_redux

Weighted by enrollment, the number of LCMS affiliated students in the CUS is declining by a little less than 1% a year. At current trends, LCMS students will be barely measurable after another decade. Church worker education also continues to decline, and is now a tiny fraction of overall enrollment.

Chart9
Many of the institutions have pluralities of unchurched and undeclared students. This is the most urgent non-economic driver for rationalization because of its inevitable impact on the doctrine and practice of faculty and students.

Chart10
None of the institutions is except from the trend of graduating fewer church workers, with dramatic declines over a short duration at many campuses. This is likely the most fruitful area for rationalization – the LCMS needs to subsidize and concentrate church worker education at fewer campuses, and ensure a pipeline of employment throughout the Synod.

Chart11
A rapid decline in pre-seminary enrollments was reversed in 2014-2015, but appears to have resumed in the last academic year. Preliminary data suggests that the certification of alternative ministry track graduates is negatively correlated with pre-sem enrollment; i.e. the more alt-track pastors, the fewer pre-sem students.

Chart15
Mequon, Seward, and River Forest account for nearly three-quarters of the total pre-seminary students. That raises questions about the depth of the theological departments in schools with tiny pre-sem enrollments.

Chart16

Mequon and Seward are, relative to their enrollment and in absolute terms, powerhouses for graduating church-workers. Those universities also have the highest percentage of LCMS affiliated students, thereby confirming their CUS mandate and value to the Synod.

Chart12

Debt Default

CUS student loan debt default rates are consistently about 1% higher than national averages for private 4-year colleges, and continue to trend upwards.

Chart13
Selma’s default rate is shocking by comparison with its peers and colleges outside the CUS where the Stafford Loan default rate is about 27%. Seward has the lowest rate of default by a considerable margin, which also underscores its ranking as the best value school in the system. Even so, Seward’s default rate has doubled over three years, albeit off a very low base.

Chart14

Conclusion

These CUS short-term statistics should act as clarifying agents for the regents of the institutions, as well as members of the LCMS who ultimately stand surety for them. An aggressive rationalization of the CUS is necessary and inevitable, and should not be delayed any further because of the risk of impairing assets.


Comments

Short-Term Trends in the Concordia University System — 34 Comments

  1. “Selma’s default rate is shocking by comparison.”

    It’s the same kind of moral corruption as during the administration of Monica’s ex-boyfriend when huge home loans were made to people who would never be able to pay it off, especially when the housing bubble burst (of course, the taxpayers picked up the tab, or it was just added to the national debt, which will never be paid).

  2. Looking at the data, it appears that Selma, Portland and Bronxville are the least LCMS Lutheran and have virtually no pre- sem or church work students. It does call into question the quality or lack thereof of the theological departments of these three school. Logic would dictate that these three school should be the first on the chopping block. But Selma is a sacred cow and won’t be touched. It would make sense to support a couple of universities who have a high number of pre-sem and church work students and abandon the remaining schools. The money saved by shutting down the other schools could be channeled into those couple of colleges and the two seminaries.

  3. Resolution 7-04, To Study and Recommend Improvements to the Process to Consolidate Relocate, Separate, or Divest a College or University (TB, Issue 1, Ver.3, p. 105) resolves:

    “That the LCMS Board of Directors with the concurrence of the President of the Synod appoint a task force, to review and, where appropriate, propose changes to the process “to consolidate, relocate, separate, or divest a college or university”

    The Task Force proposed changes would be due nine months prior to the 2019 synod convention and published in the 2019 CW.

    Bronxville, Portland, and Selma (despite any tossed-out race cards) would be obvious candidates for divesting. Two other schools (Austin and Ann Arbor) should be evaluated to see if their academic ranking/value score can be improved or not.

  4. Thank you for charts etc… When I attended Ann Arbor from 80 – 84 room board and tuition basically doubled and I came out of college and Seminary in 1989 with 20,000 in debt. I tremble to think what it would be if I graduated today?
    This was also the time when Synodical support for the colleges was dropping. My first two years at Ann Arbor it was required to complete “synod hours.” Offer some labor as thanks for the support from synod. After my second year this ended due to declining synodical support.
    Thus this issue is not new, as a church we need to come to grips with the issue of enrollment, costs, number and purposes of our colleges. We need to drop the idea that even though the colleges have less church workers, “we are providing a Christian education!” I would like to see data on the content and effectiveness of this “Christian Education.”

  5. Ann Arbor has been made part of CUW in an attempt to save it.

    I think it’s short sighted to look at the Concordias as only “church-work” schools. While training pastors and teachers is certaining an important priority. It is also important to educate students for other non-church vocations in a Lutheran manner. I wonder if an extreme focus on church-workers could at times discourage Lutheran students pursuing other fields from considering Concordias.

  6. Joya,
    Educating other students for a non-church work vocations is a luxury we cannot afford any more. It would be one thing if these colleges were great evangelism tools but I have seen little evidence that they have been.

  7. I’m also curious what you mean by FTE in reference to the percentage of students who are LCMS? I would be more interested to know the actual percentage of students who are LCMS and to have that information separated between the graduate and undergraduate students. I would think that the actual undergraduate students on campus have much more of an effect on the culture of the institution than the graduate or adult education students, some of whom are at satellite locations or online.

  8. I’m referring to educating our own Lutheran students in a Lutheran environment for non-church vocations, not evangelism not non-Lutherans. You don’t think it’s important that our own Lutheran young adults are educated in a Lutheran manner for their vocations in the world?

  9. @Carl Vehse #3

    Bronxville, Portland, and Selma (despite any tossed-out race cards) would be obvious candidates for divesting. Two other schools (Austin and Ann Arbor) should be evaluated to see if their academic ranking/value score can be improved or not.

    Aside from the non-traditional students (older;working) if Austin’s undergrads had better grades they’d apply to UT or A&M systems. I would guess that many of them do transfer.
    Check the graduation rates.

  10. @GaiusKurios #6

    Educating other students for a non-church work vocations is a luxury we cannot afford any more.

    I’m glad they hadn’t decided that when I went to college! [But kids today wouldn’t think of trying to live on my college budget. Neither would colleges run so economically!]
    Student loans were the destruction of education.

    We send our students to non-denom, or secular environments, (or Valpo, where I understand church workers’ kids can be indoctrinated free).
    And then we wonder at the lack of denominational loyalty and rank ignorance in the pews!

  11. When we talk about not being able to afford something, just how much are “we” spending? Other than Selma and payments for church worker students, how much does Synod spend on the Synodical schools?

  12. While I think that training church workers is a critical part of what the Concordia University System should be doing, I strongly believe it’s a mistake to make that their sole emphasis. In today’s world we desperately need institutions that will train our Lutheran students for service to Christ both in the church and in the world.

    I’m on the faculty at Concordia University Wisconsin (I teach Computer Science) and I’ve been connected to the institution ever since my father took a job teaching there thirty years ago (I completed my undergraduate and masters’ degrees there). I did my undergraduate degree in computer science, and even though that’s not a church work vocation, I was tremendously blessed by being able to study at an institution with a strong commitment to the integration of faith and learning. (Full disclosure… I was a member of the LCMS for the first 30+ years of my life, but I am currently a member of WELS and somewhat conflicted about it.) I could have studied computer science at a state school, but then I would have had to endure 4 years of my faith being assaulted and torn down every day. State institutions of higher learning are by and large incredibly hostile to Christianity (the University of Wisconsin system is one of the foremost bastions of left-wing, anti-Christian thought in the country). I could have taken a chance with some other private institution, but I’m not sure I’d have fared much better.

    This is absolutely not the time to withdraw and drop all programs besides church work. The world needs Christians in business, technology, medical professions, and other occupations more than ever. This is the whole idea behind vocation! (Can you imagine a world where the founders of Facebook, Google, and other places had a Lutheran worldview instead of a humanist one?) We need our Lutheran primary and secondary school students to be able to continue their education in places that will encourage their faith, not try to destroy it. I can’t fathom sending any of my children to a secular university where their professors will have free reign for years to ruin their faith. I teach 6th-8th grade Sunday School in my church… I try to counter in one hour a week what my students hear in the public schools every day, and it only gets harder at the college level.

    Are there problems in the CUS? Absolutely… but there will be problems in any human institution. Do we have too many faculty who are non-Lutheran? Maybe. Do we have to make sure that we don’t compromise our confessional Lutheran identity in the pursuit of academic prestige or high enrollment numbers? Definitely. Do we need to remain vigilant to address problems that arise? Yes. Dropping non-church work programs is not the answer, however. Making sure that our institutions are faithful to Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions is.

  13. There are some interesting comments above, which have caused me to ponder anew an idea I had some years ago. What if we did not equate “church workers” just with those who become rostered after graduation? What I am talking about is have non-rostered CUS trained grauates that have an AA or BS degree in business and office management who would be the Director of Administration (pick your own title if you don’t like that one) in a congregation or work in a synod office. The purpose of such an arrangement would be to get pastors out of the business of being tied up with administrative tasks and get them concentrating on the three primary reasons for their call as well as the teaching of the laity so we have well catechized laity in our congregations. The pastor would closely supervise the training and materials used by any lay teachers, including VBS. When you think about it there becomes the possibility that the future Associate pastor might not need to be called. The second reason is to have Lutherans who have would have some higher theology and Lutheran history training than the average lay person, working in the church.

    They would be designated as non-rostered church workers on a national list and would work under contract with the individual congregations, multi-congregations in a geographical area or a Synod office. Just saying.

  14. @Joya #7 Thank you for taking the time to read and for your questions, Joya. FTE = Full-Time Equivalent. This is a standard unit of measurement used across the U.S. and represents your core full-time students. It’s not useful to factor in part time students and so on because it can skew the data so much. College budgets and staffing are built around the FTE count – everything else is essentially a marginal activity (in the economic sense).

    @Joya #5 Educating non-Lutherans and non-church vocations. We need to ask several questions before we can answer this question. 1) Is there any obligation of the LCMS to bear the risk of educating non-LCMS students? 2) What percentage of the LCMS treasury should be set aside to reserve against potential default at the schools? 3) Is there genuine evidence that LCMS doctrine and practice is being “absorbed” by non-LCMS students? 4) Is there evidence that non-church vocations are built with content that affirms a Confessional Lutheran identity?

    I have perceptual answers to those questions, but am not confident to state them without more data.

  15. @Richard Lewer #11 Great question, Richard. The universities (apart from Selma) are more or less back on reasonable footing after amassing a lot of debt and placing themselves in peril. The Synod was on the hook for their liabilities, and remains so for the future. We must consider the full risk picture not just to the universities, but the Synod itself should a sudden ruling come down that drives most of the paying students away (e.g loss of sports recognition; withdrawal of student loans for not complying with Federal diktat etc). There are no significant endowments that could allow a quick switch to private funding, and the operating and asset costs would rapidly mount and crowd out all other Synod funding.

    So the question to ask is not whether we can afford the day-to-day running costs, but can we afford to lose the Synod’s offerings in the event of a shock incident? The Synod task force will no doubt be looking at ways to insulate the Synod from these scenarios.

  16. @Gene White #13 It’s a great idea, Gene. My initial thoughts are
    * Sell 5-7 Concordias – some as going concerns, others for land and asset value.
    * Take the balance and plow it into a CUS Endowment Fund that supports the remaining universities.
    * Fund 800-1000 church worker scholarships per year (adjusted to Synod demographics every 3 years) that are equal to 85% of tuition, board and lodging. These scholarships would be contingent: must graduate in 4 years, must serve the LCMS (paid positions) for 5 years. Those failing the standard would see a pro-rated portion of the scholarship converted to a loan for repayment.
    * Select 2 institutions to be focused on church worker education (not less than 75% of enrollment, not less than 80% LCMS affiliated, not less than 90% LCMS affiliated faculty.).
    * Select 1-2 institutions to provide broad vocational training, but with strong Lutheran identity and aligned to LCMS doctrine and practice.

    Something similar needs to happen at the two seminaries where the Synod should be funding most of the cost of pastoral formation and training, and being highly selective as a result.

  17. The CUW website claims that half of their full time students are Lutheran. Your chart indicates that only 15% of their students are LCMS. I find it hard to believe that of the Lutherans attending CUW less than half are LCMS. Therefore, the FTE seems to drastically skew the data in such a way as to make it less useful than using the real numbers.

    Also, as I stated several times, the reason the Concordias should have non-church-work degrees is not primarily for outreach but for our own children to have the opportunity to study in a Lutheran environment regardless of their professional vocation.

  18. @Josh Locklair #12

    Thank you, Josh,for expressing so well what is in my heart. My son was a math/comp sci major at River Forest,and a member of Kapelle. I’m so thankful he had Concordia and not a secular environment for those crucial years.

  19. If we want more LCMS professors at our universities, perhaps we need a designated scholarship fund to help selected persons get their higher degrees.

    Also, Synod does help the universities indirectly through the many individual members of LCMS churches who donate to their favorite LCMS universities. Many of these donations are for church worker scholarships. Readers here should consider this in their personal stewardship plans if hey are not already doing so.

  20. @Joya #17 Joya, I have the raw data from the original source. I have not manipulated it. FTE is the standard of measurement. If you really want to include all non-FTE UG and PG students, then the percentage of LCMS affiliations is even more diluted.

    I cannot answer why CUS advertises 50% LCMS enrollment, but it is simply not reflected in the data.

  21. Dear Tim,

    Thanks for this excellent and useful report. I have printed it out and filed it with my other CUS assessments.

    Just a few comments from me. Your index graphs might be difficult to read for those unfamiliar with what I call “delta index graphing” (i.e., graphing change based on a 100 point index). I don’t know the technical name for it. I don’t think our American high schools teach how to read such things, unless they take calculus–though maybe the newer math does. MBAs will of course know how to read it, as will those who have had statistics and understood it. It is probably better for our audience to use real number stats and graphs, not deltas.

    Some of the graphs are a bit vague as to what is measured. E.g., the first one measures “value.” Is that a strict dollar value or something else? I couldn’t tell from your description.

    Anyway, I appreciate your work here. Keep it up!

    Dear BJS Bloggers,

    Here is my present opinion on these schools:

    I. I have no problem with them using the LC-MS brand-name and being flooded with non-Christian students, so long as: 1) a Lutheran-Christian moral code is upheld for all resident students; 2) all theology courses are taught by LC-MS clergy with advanced degrees (S.T.M., D.Min. are fine); 3)all courses agree with LC-MS doctrinal standards and Scriptures; 4) no courses are taught by clergy of other denominations, unless they are in fellowship with us; 5) daily campus chapel is offered, supervised by LC-MS clergy; 6) two core courses, in OT and NT, are required of all undergraduate students prior to graduation; and 7) LC-MS clergy offer an ongoing, optional, non-credit course of catechization on campus, leading to confirmation and communicant membership in a local congregation.

    II. The synod should not be holding the bag of debt for these schools. The “historic CUS debt” is an embarrassment. Those schools should be self-sustaining, and not take away capital assets that could be used in real missions and evangelism, whether here in the US or overseas.

    III. Synod has to ask the hard question whether it is pricing higher education for church-workers out of their socio-economic status. Historically most of our church-workers came from church-worker families, which are typically compensated poorly compared to their secular-vocation peers with college degrees. This is not just LC-MS, it is the standard fare for most full-time church-workers in the US. Also if you do studies on the average income level of most LC-MS parishioners, you will see that they are typically on the upper end of the lower class (blue-collar workers) or the lower end of the middle-class (low-level management). If LCMS members cannot afford to send their sons and daughters to a CUS school now, they will most likely never enter the LCMS work force as pastors, deaconesses, or teachers.

    Affordability for most of our potential church-workers is the key issue. Don’t believe all the verbiage you hear from CUS boosters and supporters. Ask to to see real action and policies.

    I predict that if the synod doesn’t do anything about this particular problem of church-worker affordability, that in the future the LCMS will have eight to ten wonderful institutions of higher learning, but our parochial schools will be staffed mostly by teachers who took a public college degree (i.e., not CUS), and our parish churches will be staffed mostly by Alternate Route pastors with little or no higher education in their background (and no CUS). That would be a true embarrassment for Lutherans!!

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  22. @helen #9

    Helen sees that this is the main point. LCMS students will not choose an LCMS school that is not considered good academically. Students make the school. If you don’t have the good students, you will not have a good school. Period. The Concordia system can only improve by increasing academic standards and competing for the good students. It is as simple as that.

    Why would any student pay high high tuition to go to a much lower performing Concordia university rather than pay much much less to go to a much higher rated school? Well, that higher rated, less expensive public university won’t take them because their grades and test scores are too low.

  23. Concordia Mequon tuition $27,910

    Brigham Young tuition $5,300

    Obviously tuition can be lower.

  24. @Tim Wood #20

    Tim, at the beginning you stated, “I recently received extensive data on the Concordia University System (CUS), which supplements a previous report that relied on publicly available information.” and now you also noted, “I have the raw data from the original source.”

    Would you identify the source of the extensive data on the CUS? Is it also publicly available?

  25. @Carl Vehse #24 The information was sent to me anonymously via USPS in a printed form, so I’m afraid I don’t know the exact source. However, cross-checking the data against the public sources confirmed a good provenance.

  26. https://www.cuw.edu/about/numbers/_assets/Facts%20From%20Figures.pdf

    ^Again, The numbers for CUW, which are easily accessible with a simple google search, do not agree with your charts. Either your numbers are wrong or the data analysis performed skews the results in an unhelpful manner. Even taking into account graduate and non traditional students, CUW still reports at over 30% Lutheran. This is more than twice the 15% on your chart. Taking only the traditional undergraduates, it is 50% Lutheran. The way the data is presented on your charts serves to further the claim that the universities are barely Lutheran but the data I have found does not support this view.

    I have no problem with many of your suggestions, such as, closing the lowest performing colleges and making sure the universities are not in debt. However, I fundamentally disagree that the sole purpose of our universities is to train pastors and teachers. We need Lutheran people in vocations throughout our society.

  27. @Martin R. Noland #21

    our parish churches will be staffed mostly by Alternate Route pastors with little or no higher education in their background (and no CUS). That would be a true embarrassment for Lutherans

    If it came to that, it wouldn’t be embarrassment because they would have forgotten they were Lutheran. (Some never knew.)

    But there is a difference between “Alternate Route” men and Seminary Graduates with undergraduate degrees from public schools!
    Hebrew and Greek are still required and more course work, at Seminary, from Lutheran professors, than “Alt. Route” men take.

    There is not much difference, given the paltry religious course requirements, between a public and a “Lutheran” undergraduate education these days. Except $$$!

    Perhaps the best thing would be to let CUS go the way of Edmonton, (it’s well on the way) and support our seminaries 100%, so that the future pastors can study instead of worrying about finances and part time jobs.

    Our lower school students should be getting some serious Lutheran education before and beyond confirmation, in their congregations, to counteract the public schools’ indoctrination that they are getting now from Kindergarten. It’s time to put the “school” back in Sunday School.

  28. @Joya #27 Joya, I went back to review the data and find that the chart was mislabeled. It should have been percentage of total enrollment not just FTE. Correction has been made and noted.

    The CUs do not provide LCMS affiliation at the FTE level, but the percentage will not change materially except for the schools with large PG online enrollment.

    For Fall 2015, CUW / Mequon reported 8268 total students, of whom 1302 declared as LCMS affiliated. That is 16%. You have used the generic “Lutheran” count which is misleading because there are so many ELCA and other non-LCMS denominations included. Total “Lutheran” count for Fall 2015 at CUW was 2351, or 28% of the total. However, you must rely on the LCMS specific affiliation for the true picture.

    I have not said that the sole purpose of our universities should be to train pastors and teachers, but it should be the primary reason. That is why they were established, and it is their continuing mandate.

    Lastly, I disagree that we need LCMS universities for general vocational training. It is a nice to have, but being a Lutheran and an electrical engineer does not need a Concordia.

  29. @helen #28 Helen, the one key difference from Edmonton is that the LCMS owns the assets and liabilities of the CUS. If there is rationalization, full value must be realized to avoid an Edmonton-like unilateral declaration of independence.

  30. I guess, I’m being unclear since each time I think I’m asking several questions, I only receive answers to some of them.

    How many of the students are traditional undergraduates? Of the traditional undergraduates, how many are LCMS? Of the students who are Lutheran but not LCMS, how many areWELS or ELS (which I don’t think we can claim dilute the Lutheran identity), how many are ELCA, and how many just say they are Lutheran without specifying (and therefore could be any of the above or something else)? I think it is more important to look at the traditional undergraduate population (if presumably we are concerned with Lutheran identity). The traditional students are obviously having a much stronger impact on the culture of the university than non-traditional students, some of whom “attend” completely online.

    If it is completely unimportant to teach anyone in a Lutheran environment who isn’t going to be a pastor or teacher, why do we have Luthersn grade schools and high schools? Most of those kids aren’t going to be church workers. I really can’t fathom how anyone can’t see how hostile secular colleges are to students faith and, therefore, the strong advantage of encouraging Lutherans to attend Lutheran colleges, regardless of their field.

  31. @Joya #31How many of the students are traditional undergraduates? Of the traditional undergraduates, how many are LCMS? That information is not available, but perhaps someone can provide it to me.

    how many are LCMS? Of the students who are Lutheran but not LCMS, how many areWELS or ELS Information not available.

    WELS or ELS (which I don’t think we can claim dilute the Lutheran identity) We are not in A&PF and so students cannot commune with “other Lutherans”.

    why do we have Lutheran grade schools and high schools? Schools are not the same as universities. It’s a different issue.

    I really can’t fathom how anyone can’t see how hostile secular colleges are to students faith I see it and know it well. Yes, it would be a blessing to have a Lutheran university that provides high quality education in all areas. That is not realistic though, because the Concordias cannot compete in all fields.

  32. “Yes, it would be a blessing to have a Lutheran university that provides high quality education in all areas. That is not realistic though, because the Concordias cannot compete in all fields.”

    Okay. Fair enough. How about just starting with one department and make it really really good. From there build a stronger reputation and start working on another department.

  33. @helen #28

    “There is not much difference, given the paltry religious course requirements, between a public and a “Lutheran” undergraduate education these days. Except $$$!”

    Currently all Concordia Irvine students are required to take 3 courses in theology. These classes break down into: Theology (taken by nearly all freshman), Old Testament, and New Testament. These courses are taught by professors who have been to the seminary, served on the CTCR, and are publishing some of our synod’s finest commentaries and other books on theology. ALL new and current Concordia Irvine faculty are REQUIRED to take a course overseen by the theology department that goes over Lutheran theology and what the Lutheran perspective is on the 2 kingdoms and the idea of vocation (when I took it, one text was simply The Book of Concord). I teach theatre. Our theatre department is made up of 3 called Lutheran professors and one WELS professor. Believe me, my students are crystal clear on where I, and most of my peers at that university, stand on theology.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.