Concordia Chicago to undergo future changes


Cassidy Stephenson

Concordia University Chicago published a YouTube video titled “The Importance of Institutional Identity” on October 20th. This video was a message from President Dawn about how the identity of CUC has changed over the years. 

Dawn states, “When Concordia Chicago fell into serious financial difficulties in 2003, its route to recovery was driven mainly by increasing revenues without much thought about identity.” This is in regards to the addition of new programs to Concordia’s curriculum. Dawn believes that in order for Concordia, or any institution, to fully thrive, it must have a strong sense of identity. 

Dawn then reads out the Mission and Vision Statement of Concordia Chicago and defines secularism. “Secularism is a worldview that includes understandings of a variety of fundamentally important matters like human nature, the purpose of human life, the nature of concepts like justice and truth, the nature of the universe and the existence of God, or lack thereof.” 

Dawn goes on and explains how secularism has invaded many institutions. “Many faith-based colleges have become like a plate of donuts where secularism is baked in and saturating the batter. Maybe there is a little bit of Jesus and passages of scripture sprinkled on top, maybe there are a couple of odd non-secularist donuts over in this department or that one, but no more than that.” 

Dawn believes that this does not describe Concordia Chicago but that there is “more secularism than we as an institution ever intended.”  Dawn later says, “I firmly believe that secularism has been poison to the academic enterprise, killing the academy intellectually as much as spiritually.” 

Dawn encourages people who share the enthusiasm to see the future direction of Concordia to partner with the institution. 

But, what exactly is that direction and when would it be happening? 

There will be some changes in regards to the academic course catalog and the programs being offered. If students are enrolled in a major that is being cut in December, they will still be able to graduate with that major in May, according to Dean Kathy Gebhardt. Gebhardt states, “The necessary courses will continue to be offered and/or alternate options will be provided.  We won’t be recruiting new students into those programs because they will be in the process of being phased out.”

Students will also be able to keep any scholarships they have received in that major. Gebhardt states that the Board of Regents will be meeting in a couple of weeks to make formal decisions on what is being cut from Concordia’s course catalog. There will also be an open forum for students to attend in the middle of December if they have any questions about the matter.