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> Concordia College
1804 Green Street
Selma, Alabama 36701
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Concordia College, one of ten postsecondary institutions in the Concordia University System of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, is a historically black, four-year, coeducational college, where the Christian faith as taught from the Holy Scriptures and subscribed to by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, is the foundation and guide for all programs, activities, and relationships. Concordia's student body represents a diversity of geographic, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Concordia, therefore, provides a faculty and administration that are sensitive and responsive to the needs of its entire student body.
Concordia is committed to the premise that a Christian education is essential for the total development of the potential of each individual and that instruction must begin at the students level of skills and ability. Therefore, the Christian faith is reflected in its academic programs and services, both developmental and regular college level, as well as in its student life services and activities.
All disciplines in the traditional liberal arts curriculum provide the conceptual framework necessary for analysis and problem solving in society while the fine arts enlighten and enrich the human spirit. Its academic programs are supported by the latest technology and learning resources. Concordia's faculty is sensitive and responsive to the academic needs of each student and the college is committed to educating students for responsible and effective service to God and fellowman.
Concordia fosters a community in which the Christian values of group living are emphasized. The college provides special activities and programs that promote the development of social concern and sensitivity toward the dignity and worth of each individual. These activities and programs help students acquire attitudes and skills essential for self-understanding, leadership, and cooperation with others. Its Christian campus atmosphere is also supported by such activities as chapel worship, Bible study, dormitory devotions, intercollegiate and intramural athletics, and participation in various organizations and clubs.
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Concordia College, formerly known as Alabama Lutheran Academy and Junior College, is the direct result of the pioneer Lutheran missionaries in Alabama. In 1916 Miss Rosa Young, supremely concerned about the spiritual and educational welfare of the Black people in her native area, directed a plea for help to the Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America. The conference responded favorably and sent the Rev. Nils Jules Bakke, who on Palm Sunday in 1916 performed 58 Baptisms and 70 confirmations in Rosebud, Alabama. Within a few years, more than 20 congregations were founded.
In 1919 at a conference held in Midway, near Miller's Ferry, a resolution was adopted to petition the Synodical Conference for funds to build a school for the special purpose of training professional church workers.
The location selected for the new school was Selma. The first classes were conducted in a rented cottage at 521 First Avenue, November 13, 1922. The Rev. R. O. Lynn was the first president. The first buildings on the present campus were dedicated by the Director of Missions, C. F. Drewes on September 20, 1925. One year later four females made up the school's first graduating class. God continued to bless this new Alabama school with capable leaders like Pres. Edward Wescott, who, in a long period of dedicated service to the school, made survival possible during the Great Depression.
In 1945 the Rev. W. H. Ellwanger became president. For many years he served also as superintendent of the Alabama Mission Field. Throughout the period of this dual role, he constantly aligned the activities of the school with the needs of the field. In 1962 the Synodical Conference transferred the entire ownership, control, and maintenance of the school to the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Thereafter, President Ellwanger directed the school in an active program of modernization.
Following President Ellwanger's resignation in 1964, Prof. Varnes J. Stringer became acting president and served in that capacity until February 1, 1966. when Prof. Paul G. Elbrecht assumed the presidency. In March 1970 President Elbrecht tendered his resignation from the presidency, and Dr. Peter R. Hunt assumed the duties of acting president until the fall of 1971.
Dr Willis L. Wright became president in 1971 and served in that capacity until 1980. During his tenure as president, the school experienced remarkable progress.
On August 1, 1980, Dr. Julius Jenkins, a graduate of the institution, assumed the presidency. On July 1, 1981, the name of the institution was changed from Alabama Lutheran Academy and College to Concordia College.
In December 1983 the school received full accreditation as a Junior College from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In December 1994, the school received accreditation as a baccalaureate-degree granting institution.
On November 13, 2009, the Reverend Dr. Tilahun M. Mendedo was elected as the seventh president of Concordia College. He was officially installed on May 6, 2010.
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