Skip to Main Content

A Message from Dr. Michael Thomas

June 29, 2023 - 2 minute read

We hope and pray that you enjoyed perusing the last issue of the Concordia Magazine. As you’ll recall, that issue featured several stories that highlighted Concordia University Irvine’s university-wide rebranding effort. However, that was one part of a two-part act. And now for part two!

With the market research data from the rebrand effort in hand, the Regents, Trustees, and key leaders on campus initiated a deep analysis of Concordia’s language around our mission and purpose, our convictions and values, and our distinctive role as a Lutheran Christian university that is founded on Christ’s Great Commission. The result? We honed new ways of speaking to diverse audiences about the unchangeable truths that have animated Concordia since its founding.

Our new mission statement expresses our raison d’etre: Concordia University Irvine, a comprehensive Lutheran Christian university guided by Christ’s Great Commission, develops wise, honorable, and cultivated citizens to serve society and the church.

This statement unites both our faith commitment and our educational purpose, and the phrase “wise, honorable, and cultivated citizens” is quoted directly from Luther’s letter that established the true purpose of formal education: to serve the society and the church. The mission statement however only rings true if it’s built on deeply shared values and convictions. We serve our students, colleagues, and community by being:

  • Gospel-Centered
  • Courageously Loving
  • Faithfully Relevant
  • Relentlessly Hopeful
  • Sustainably Excellent

Once we had sharpened this language about our purpose, values, and identity, we recognized that Concordia fulfills a distinctive role among higher education institutions based in Southern California. Rooted in the 500-year-old Lutheran intellectual tradition, the university pursues a middle-way between secularism and sectarianism, as the Christian faculty and staff commit to living out our Lutheran-Christian confession while remaining open and hospitable to educate all qualified students who are willing to engage with our mission.

Aided by extensive brand research and a clear articulation of who we are, Concordia embarked on creating a new strategic plan that would propel the university forward in the next eight years. Titled “Developing Wise, Honorable, and Cultivated Citizens” 2023 - 2030, Concordia commits to pursuing and adequately funding ten strategic initiatives as priorities that will drive our mission forward. These initiatives are not comprehensive, but represent targeted areas that if achieved will change the trajectory of Concordia, including employees, academic quality, student life, enrollment, athletics, finances, campus amenities, philanthropy, and partnerships with the LCMS and local partners.

And just as we were putting the final touches on this new strategic plan, the Lord opened up what can only be described as a major, strategic decision! Concordia University Irvine closed on the purchase of the Concordia - Spectrum Campus™ in March 2023. I invite you to read about this nearly miraculous answer to our needs in the cover feature!

These last few months have been an exciting time for Concordia University Irvine. The values that animated and propelled the founders of the university in 1976 are the same today, nearly 50 years into the future. And like them, we push forward into the future with confidence rooted in hope that we are carrying out the Lord’s work each and every day. And He continues to bless us beyond all measure! 

For His Students,

Michael A. Thomas, Ph.D.


IRVINE SPECTRUM® and SPECTRUM™ are trademarks of Irvine Management Company used with permission.

Back to top