Concordia University is a private, Christian university located in Portland in the U.S. state of Oregon. Opened in 1905 as a University-preparatory school, the institution added college classes in 1950 and the high school was split-off in 1977. The school of approximately 3,100 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 is in the process of opening a law school in 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. The school added a junior college by 1950 and in 1968 women were first admitted to then Concordia High School. In 1962, Concordia became accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges.
In 1977, an association of local Lutheran churches, the Portland Lutheran Association for Christian Education, assumed ownership and management of the high school. At this time, Concordia separated from the high school and became a four-year institution, graduating its first baccalaureate students in 1980. Concordia College became Concordia University in 1995 and converted to the semester calendar. The next year the school added masters degrees in teaching and education, followed by a Master of Business Administration program in 2001. In 2002, the masters degree in education became Concordia's first program to also be fully online.
The university added a bachelor's degree in nursing in 2005 and then started the College of Health and Human Services in 2007. The nursing program was the first new program in the state in 40 years. In 2009, Concordia started a program for conferring a bachelor's degree in music. As of 2012, enrollment at the private school was about 3,100, almost doubling its enrollment over the past five years.
Concordia announced plans in 2010 to open a law school in Boise, Idaho, that was planned to grow to 250 students. Former Idaho Supreme Court justice Cathy Silak was chosen as the first dean of Concordia University School of Law, which opened in August 2012 at a cost of $8.5 million.
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). The school also operates branch campuses around Oregon in Aloha, Ashland, Bend, Gresham, and Medford. 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. 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.
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. 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. Concordia has a dual enrollment agreement with Portland Community College.
The university was rated as a Tier 4 school by U.S. News & World Report in its 2010 Best Colleges edition. In 2011, the same magazine ranked Concordia as 88th best amongst the regional universities in the west. Concordia University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Concordia–Oregon teams, nicknamed athletically as the Cavaliers, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, softball, track & field and volleyball.
The official school colors are navy and white. In 2012, they opened a new athletic athletic complex, the Hilken Community Stadium that was built at a cost of $7.5 million.
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. 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.