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Our Story

About CUI

Established in 1976 as Christ College Irvine with only 36 students, five faculty members, and one building, Concordia University Irvine (CUI) today is one of the region’s leading private nonprofit Christian liberal arts universities. Preparing students for their vocations—their callings in life—Concordia offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs through its six schools—Arts & Sciences, Business & Economics, Christ College, Education, Health & Human Sciences and the Townsend Institute. And its Lutheran heritage provides a thoughtful and caring Christian community that lives out the theology of “Grace alone. Faith alone.” Concordia  ranked nationally among the “Top Performers on Social Mobility” universities by U.S. News & World Report. The only NCAA DII university in Orange County, Concordia enrolls about 5,000 students annually and is an emerging Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI). Located in scenic Southern California, CUI is tucked away in natural open spaces in the City of Irvine, just minutes from beaches, bike trails, and retail centers.

Our Mission

Concordia University Irvine, guided by the Great Commission of Christ Jesus and the Lutheran Confessions, empowers students through the liberal arts and professional studies for lives of learning, service, and leadership.

Hispanic Conference Leadership Alums

Concordia University Irvine alumni, as well as community members, who have participated as keynotes, speakers, or panelists in Concordia’s Hispanic Leadership Conference through the years are referred to as “conference alums.” This family of high-profile first-generation college-grad professionals pour into future first-gen college students, by sharing their journeys, remembering where they came from, and the sacrifices that their parents made for them. Here are some of their stories.

First-Generation Student Program

You're the first in your family to go to college. We're here to journey with you. #CUIFirstGen

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About Christian Colleges and Universities

Christian colleges and universities play an essential role in our nation by filling the gap with doctors, nurses, teachers, and social workers, to being affordable. The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU)—a group of US Christian colleges and universities—published these statistics to illustrate the impact that Christian higher education and CCCU-member institutions, like Concordia University Irvine, are having in our country.


  • Christian colleges and universities provide affordable, high-quality education for students.
  • The majority of CCCU students do not pay the published sticker price at their university and are more likely to receive institutional aid.

Institutional Aid

  • 95% of CCCU students
  • 78% of students at private institutions.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, IPEDS, 2017-18

Social Impact

  • Christian colleges and universities are vital in educating first-generation and low-income college students.
  • 1 in 3 CCCU students are first-generation college students.

Source: Econsult Solutions, “The National Impact of Higher Education,” 2018


CCCU students are overrepresented in fields that deliver social benefits, like human services (which includes counseling, mental health, and family services.)

Human Services

  • 12.7 % CCCU institutions
  • 4.2 % all (public and private) 4-year universities

Community Impact*

CCCU students are more likely to participate in community service.

Community Service

  • 35.2 % of CCCU students
  • 25.7 % of all college students

*Source: Econsult Solutions, “The National Impact of Christian Higher Education,” 2018

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