Dr. Donald Christian is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Concordia University Texas. He became Concordia's ninth executive leader on August 1, 2014, following selection by the Board of Regents. Today, he serves as the academic, spiritual and business head of Concordia, a role for which he is well prepared following a life of service to the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod in various roles.
Dr. Christian earned a doctorate in management and organizational leadership from the University of Phoenix (2007), where his research focused on the correlation of interagency collaboration efforts and leadership skills among school leaders. He was called to Concordia University Texas in August of 2005 to serve as the dean of the College of Business, a position he held for nine years.
During those years, the College of Business grew from 100 students to just over 800 students, added the Concordia MBA to its list of programs, successfully incorporated the state-wide Accelerated Degree Programs into the college, and oversaw the creation of the Speaker Series, which brought well-known community leaders to campus each month. In addition to his work in the college, Christian also built and oversaw a university-wide required leadership course and became known for his fundraising abilities to support innovative programs within the college.
Over the past five years, Dr. Christian has overseen the creation and execution of the current strategic plan entitled “Building a Strong Foundation,” expanded Concordia’s athletic facilities by adding a state-of-the-art softball field, created strong ties with the West Austin community through both formal and informal partnerships, and launched IncubatorCTX, which serves both Concordia students and community members.
Prior to his time at Concordia, Dr. Christian served as the headmaster for the Houston private school Lutheran High North (2001-2005) and as the minister of young adults at a large urban Lutheran church in downtown Houston (1990-1997). His early career was in the area of conducting, having been a high school band director and earning a Master of Music in wind conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 1986. His undergraduate work was done at Concordia University Chicago where he received a Bachelor of Music Education in 1981.
Committed to serving the community and the church, Dr. Christian is a member of the Austin Area Research Organization (AARO) and serves as a board member for both the Lutheran Summer Music (LSM) program and the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas (ICUT). Dr. Christian’s focus on leadership has him speaking in multiple locations, most recently working with the Texas Health and Human Services Leadership Development Program, the Missouri Lutheran Educator’s Conference and the Best Practices in Ministry Conference. From 2008-2018, he wrote a weekly blog entitled Thinking About Leadership, which gained an international following. He continues to be a student of leadership through reading, writing and speaking on the topic.
Don and his wife, Deborah, have been married for 37 years, spending nearly all of those years together in service to the church and Lutheran education. They enjoy reading, spending time with friends and traveling each summer to Maine.