CTX Blog

The History of Concordia University Texas

March 08, 2019
History of Concordia University Texas


As we gather together to celebrate this wonderful university, we want to share with you the fascinating history of Concordia. Learn how a high school in downtown Austin was transformed into a growing university on a beautiful nature preserve.

1926 — Lutheran Concordia College of Texas

A 20-acre site along East Avenue, north of downtown Austin, was selected for the site of the new Concordia high school. The school was in open countryside and East Avenue would eventually be replaced by I-35.

Cruciform in front of Kilian Hall(Cruciform in front of Kilian Hall, which was named after Wend John Kilian, founder of the first Texas Lutheran church associated with the LCMS)

This new site became the home of Lutheran Concordia College of Texas, a four-year high school to prepare young men for careers in ministry and teaching.

College Central(College Central, built in 1929)

1951 — Junior College

In 1951, Concordia grew into a junior college, expanding curriculum beyond high school.

Birkmann Chapel(Birkmann Chapel, built in 1952)

1955 — Concordia Lutheran College

The school became Concordia Lutheran College and admitted women as students for the first time.

1980 — Four-year College

Concordia Lutheran College stopped the four-year high school program and received permission to award BA degrees. The school extended the curriculum to four years.

1993 — Concordia University System

Concordia Lutheran College officially joins the Concordia University System, run by the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod (LCMS).

1995 — Concordia University at Austin

As a provider of higher education, Concordia Lutheran College became Concordia University at Austin. Throughout this time, the Accelerated Degree Program (ADP) and the first graduate program were developed and offered.

Old Concordia University Texas


2005 to 2007 — Relocation

By God’s grace, Concordia was growing beyond its capacity. Downtown and I-35 had swallowed up any land needed for expansion. The Concordia Board of Regents took a visionary step of faith, guided by the mission of developing Christian leaders. They decided to relocate the main campus.

In 2007, Concordia purchased the Austin Hill Country Reserve, taking over the site of Schlumberger, a global oilfield services company. Buildings A — F were built by Schlumberger, while Concordia added the library, field house, residence halls, and baseball and softball fields.

The very same year, Concordia University at Austin became Concordia University Texas.

Old and New Concordia University Texas(Left: Original downtown campus, 1958. Right: Current northwest campus, 2007)

2008 — Concordia University Texas

To the glory of God, the current main campus was opened on October 26, 2008, with room to expand and improve facilities.

Concordia University Texas Campus

Through Concordia’s beautiful 389-acre campus, God has equipped the university with the resources to provide more opportunities for students to develop as Christian leaders and take the world by storm.

View original campus pictures to see how this university has developed.

As we celebrate Concordia this weekend, may we keep in mind the many blessings God has bestowed on this university and the responsibility we share in stewarding His gifts.