Concordia University of Edmonton



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About this university

Concordia University of Edmonton was founded in 1921 as Concordia College by the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod to prepare young men for preaching and teaching in the Christian church. It was essentially a high school for many decades. It introduced co-education in 1939, offering general study courses, and an accredited high school program. In 1967, Concordia began offering first-year university courses in affiliation with the University of Alberta. Affiliation for second-year courses began in 1975. The university graduated its first cohort of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science three-year degrees in 1988, gradually expanding to other disciplines and four-year programs. A formal separation between the high school and college (degree granting) was initiated in 1994.

The affiliation with the University of Alberta officially ended in 1991 by mutual agreement. Concordia College operated as a denominational college affiliated with the public sector until 1987, when the Province of Alberta allowed Concordia to start operating as a private degree-granting university college. Concordia changed its name from Concordia College to Concordia University College of Alberta in 1995. The high school program that had run within Concordia since 1939 separated into an independent institution called Concordia High School in 2000. Both institutions shared the same campus until July 2011. In 2014 the Alberta government announced that Concordia would be allowed to change its name, dropping the word “college” and allowing Concordia to call itself a university. On May 1, 2015, Concordia University College of Alberta was renamed Concordia University of Edmonton.

Although the university had indicated its intention to continue relationships with Lutheran organizations and alumni, in November 2015 Concordia removed references to Christianity from its mission statement, effectively self-identifying as a secular institution. Concordia’s religious constituency had not fully funded the school since 1978 and in 2015, with religious financial support at 0.1 per cent of the school’s $30 million budget, the board decided to secularize. The secularization was formally announced in April 2016.

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