Concordia University Texas – A Demonstration of its Lutheran Identity

As an institution of Lutheran higher education, Concordia University Texas (CTX) is committed to its Christian roots, its alignment with the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, and its calling to be a part of the mission of the church at large.  This document provides a framework by which CTX will live out and demonstrate faithfulness to its Lutheran identity.

The mission of the institution states that

Concordia University Texas empowers students of all backgrounds to lead lives of critical thought, compassionate action, and courageous leadership.    As a liberal arts university rooted in the Lutheran tradition and aligned with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Concordia develops the mind, heart, soul, and body, preparing leaders for lives of service.

The school’s Bylaws state that

Concordia University Texas is and shall operate as an educational institution that is aligned with the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod and subscribes to the Confession of the LCMS as currently outlined in Article II of the LCMS Constitution, namely that it accepts without reservation:

1. The Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament as the written Word of God and the only rule and norm of faith and of practice;

2. All the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church as a true and unadulterated statement and exposition of the Word of God, to wit: the three Ecumenical Creeds (the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed), the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles, the Large Catechism of Luther, the Small Catechism of Luther, and the Formula of Concord.

This confession is the foundation by which the university does its work and lives out its calling, and is evidenced in these five areas:

  1. Leadership of the University: the leadership of the university both represents and is committed to the above bylaw, ensuring and monitoring how it is lived out on a regular basis
  2. Faith and Learning: the faculty and staff commits itself to the Lutheran Learning Model,  particular restraints within academic freedom, and the mission of the University
  3. Christian Community: the community and its ethos reflects the mission of the church, proclaims the Gospel message of the Scriptures, and serves one another in love and fellowship
  4. Church Worker Preparation: programs are developed and maintained that prepare graduates for professional service in the mission of the Christian church, including those aligned with the LCMS
  5. External Engagement: as a school of and for the church, CTX purposefully engages with fellow believers outside of itself to serve as a catalyst for the church’s mission
Each of the above areas, representing the fullness of the University’s vocation, is further delineated by the following means:

1. Leadership of the University

  1. Board of Regents
  2. Administrative Leadership
  3. Campus Ministry Leadership

2. Faith and Learning

  1. Core Lutheran Faculty
  2. Training and Development
  3. Concordia Distinctive Course Requirements
  4. Ongoing Assessment

3. Christian Community

  1. Student Life
  2. Campus Ministry
  3. Employee Development and Engagement

4. Church Worker Preparation

  1. Program Development and Growth
  2. Alignment with Ministry Partners

5. External Engagement

  1. LCMS churches, schools, and organizations
  2. The Texas District of the LCMS and its mission
  3. Austin region Christian churches, schools, and organizations
  4. National/International ministry opportunities

These means are understood and assessed in the following ways:

  • 1. Leadership of the University
    1. Board of Regents: BOR members are all members of LCMS congregations, are oriented to the confession of the church, and align decisions with the confession of the church
      1. Membership requirements (see Bylaws)
      2. Training, development, and assessment
    2. Administrative Leadership: The President is a member of an LCMS congregation and assures that executive positions are staffed by those who are supportive of and trained in the confession of the church
      1. Presidential requirements (see Bylaws)
      2. Selection and development of cabinet-level positions
    3. Campus Ministry Leadership: Campus ministry is led by an ordained member of the LCMS, is staffed with those who are trained in and/or aligned with the confession of the church, and builds its strategies around the mission of the church
      1. Leadership requirements (LCMS ordained)
      2. Team member requirements
      3. Strategic plan aligned with the University’s mission
  • 2. Faith and Learning
    1. Core Lutheran Faculty: There is a sufficient number of faculty who deeply understand the ethos of Lutheran higher education (through multiple pathways) and hold up to and for the institution the tenants of this document
      1. Trained in tradition of Lutheran Higher Education
      2. Identified roles staffed by LCMS trained and/or rostered
      3. Provides leadership and training for entire faculty
    2. Training and Development: Faculty, both full and part time, receive appropriate training that best support their engagement with and application of faith and learning in the classroom
      1. Understanding and application of the Lutheran Learning Model
      2. Knowledge of LCMS Confession (Article II)
      3. Development of personal faith identity and witness
    3. Concordia Distinctive Course Requirements: All undergraduate students will engage with the confession of the church through appropriate required courses
      1. Required theology courses
      2. Faculty credentialing for above courses
      3. Outcomes that meet the mission of the university
    4. Ongoing Assessment: The institution engages in ongoing assessment and improvement to ensure that students engage with the mission of the university
      1. Outcomes written and assessed that reflect Faith and Learning description
  • 3. Christian Community
    1. Student Life: The multiple aspects of student life reflect the mission and support the confession of the church
      1. Residential living
      2. Co-Curricular activities
      3. Student resource support
    2. Campus Ministry: Campus Ministry is an avenue by which students come to hear about and know Jesus and live out their faith in service to others
      1. Student leadership development
      2. Discipleship opportunities
      3. Devotion and worship opportunities
      4. Missional opportunities
      5. Service opportunities
      6. Personal care opportunities
    3. Employee Development and Engagement: All employees learn about the confession of the church and have opportunities to deepen their personal faith life through ongoing opportunities
      1. Understanding and acting on mission and values
      2. Engagement with campus ministry opportunities
      3. Development of personal faith identity and witness
  • 4. Church Worker Preparation
    1. Program Development and Growth: the university provides high quality programs that serve the mission of the church, including those that prepare graduates for service in schools and churches of the LCMS
      1. Continuation of church work preparation programs
      2. Addition of new programs
      3. Sustainable enrollment for formation
    2. Alignment with Ministry Partners: the university develops and sustains partnerships that add value to the mission of the church
      1. Connection with LCMS universities and seminaries
      2. Connection with school and church partners (both LCMS and broader community)
      3. Growing number of partnerships that attract and enroll students
  • 5. External Engagement
    1. LCMS churches, schools, and organizations: the university regularly engages with LCMS entities in ways that further their missions
      1. Creating programs for learning and development
      2. Resourcing institutions as needed
      3. Partnering to drive mission of both entities
    2. Texas District of the LCMS: as a valued partner, the university is aligned with and supports the mission of the District
      1. Partnering to meet mission and ministry needs
      2. Resourcing institutions as needed
      3. Creating shared opportunities and resources
    3. Austin region Christian churches, schools, and organizations: The greater Austin Christian community sees Concordia University Texas as a partner in the work of the church’s mission across the region
      1. Resourcing regional initiatives
      2. Partnering to bring expertise and resources
      3. Providing creative thinking to meet critical needs
    4. National/International opportunities: Concordia meets the needs of Christian organizations, outside of its local context, that seek it out for Kingdom work
      1. Partnering to meet shared missions
      2. Resourcing needs of communities and organizations