Concordia University Irvine Announces New President

Dr. Michael A. Thomas named fifth president of Concordia University Irvine

Dr. Michael A. Thomas

Dr. Michael A. Thomas

IRVINE, Calif. (November 4, 2019)—The Concordia University Irvine Board of Regents has selected Dr. Michael A. Thomas as the fifth president of Concordia University Irvine. Thomas will lead the private Lutheran university, now in its 44th year, effective January 1, 2020. He succeeds Kurt Krueger who served as President for 10 years before retiring.

“Dr. Thomas brings extensive higher education experience from Concordia University Portland,” said Ron Levesque, chair of the Board of Regents. “He is highly relational and possesses a strong commitment to Lutheran theology that, when combined with his passion for higher education, makes him the ideal person to lead Concordia Irvine into the future.”

The nationwide search for a president was conducted by a search committee led by the Board of Regents. An inauguration is planned for February.

Prior to being named President, Dr. Michael Thomas served as the Executive Director of the Lutheran Institute for Theology and Culture and a Professor of Religion at Concordia University Portland. At the Institute, Thomas was responsible for the academic and administrative oversight of academic disciplines, campus ministry, and external church relations. Prior to this role, Thomas served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, after serving as Director of the Honors Program. Thomas has worked across multiple disciplines, including curriculum, faculty and staff development, governance, enrollment, and student life.

Under his leadership as President, Dr. Thomas plans to build upon one of Concordia’s core values—to prepare students for lives of service, learning and leadership—while adapting and innovating to meet the needs of students and the community. “Faith-based institutions today play a vital role in our nation as they train nurses, doctors, teachers and others who serve with conviction in the public sector,” said Thomas. “That’s why I’m thrilled to serve alongside such a dedicated group of faculty and staff who put students and their families at the very center of what we do.”

Dr. Michael Thomas earned his Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts from Concordia University Portland before earning his Master of Arts in International Studies from the University of Washington’s Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. Thomas also holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies: Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity from the University of Virginia.

About Concordia University Irvine

Concordia University Irvine (CUI) is a non-profit Lutheran Christian liberal arts four-year university that prepares students for their vocations—their calling in life. Concordia offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in education, nursing, theology, business, and athletics administration. CUI’s undergraduate program is distinctive because of its nationally recognized core curriculum, Enduring Questions & Ideas, and its Lutheran heritage that provides a thoughtful and caring Christian community that lives out the theology of "Grace Alone. Faith Alone." Concordia is a U.S. News Top Tier Regional University and has been named by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the fastest growing private nonprofit master's institutions. The university is part of the Concordia University System, the second largest education ministry system in the United States behind the Catholic Church. The NCAA DII private university, which enrolls nearly 4,000 students annually, is a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI).

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