Two new on-campus centers now have directors. Jonathan Ruehs was named director of the Center for Church Leadership, and David Loy was named director of the FaithWorks Center. Both centers were made possible by grants from the Kern Family Foundation.
For Ruehs '95, MA '15, the position is a culmination of his past experience as a pastor, university program director and most recently as head of abbey west, CUI’s campus student ministry.
"I get to mentor and coach students to be good pastors and church leaders. That to me is exciting."
“Part of what captured my excitement for this position was they want the director to be mentoring and guiding students,” he says. “So the nurturing I did as a pastor I get to do on a different level. I get to mentor and coach students to be good pastors and church leaders. That to me is exciting.”
The Center for Church Leadership will provide accelerated pathways into ministry for the broader Christian church. Rather than taking seven years in undergraduate and seminary programs, students in the Center can enter local church ministry after five years of classwork because of the way the program is structured. The first cohort launches in fall 2019. The Center is housed in Christ College, and mostly Christ College faculty will be teaching the Center’s courses.
“This Center expands our university’s vision and puts Concordia Irvine on the map with the larger Christian church,” says Ruehs. “We want people from all kinds of churches to say Concordia is a great place to get trained up for ministry.”
A second, smaller Kern grant led to the creation of the new FaithWorks Center at CUI, whose director David Loy was named this summer. The FaithWorks Center will promote the concept that work and business are important spiritual activities which contribute to human well-being. The Center builds on existing work Loy has done in the realm of vocation and ethics, including ethics courses now offered in CUI’s MS in Nursing and MA in Healthcare Administration programs.
“I’m excited to have additional funds and support from administrators for this venture of weaving faith, work and economics into our graduate professional master’s degrees,” says Loy. “It’s something you don’t see in a lot of universities. It’s exciting to be at the leading edge of that.”
The FaithWorks Center will offer seminars to businesses to discuss the relationship between faith, work, economics and human flourishing. The idea is to encourage managers to help people find greater meaning in their work, Loy says.
The Center also will produce a book with multiple authors on the subject of vocation from a Lutheran point of view. Material from the seminars and book will be used in CUI’s curriculum. Loy’s work at the FaithWorks Center is part-time and he retains his post as associate dean and faculty member.
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 just behind the Catholic Church. The NCAA DII private university enrolls over 4,000 students annually.