Faith and Learning at Concordia: The Role of Faculty
Concordia University is a member university of the Concordia University System (CUS) and an institution of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS). Colleges and universities of the LCMS confess the faith of the Church and uphold faithful witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the teachings of sacred Scripture as articulated in the Lutheran Confessions.
The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod accepts the Scriptures as the inspired and inerrant Word of God, and the Lutheran Confessions as articulated in the Book of Concord of 1580 as a true and binding exposition of Holy Scripture.
The mission of Concordia University is to be a Lutheran higher education community committed to helping students develop in mind, body, and spirit for service to Christ in the church and the world. This mission engages faculty in creating environments for learning rich in biblical truth within the context of each discipline being taught. Faculty members strive to faithfully bring Lutheran theology into interaction with their disciplines while respecting those disciplines’ integrity. Faculty members develop in their understanding of how to connect faith and learning in their teaching through both new faculty orientation and ongoing faculty development.
Ideally, all faculty members are active members of LCMS congregations. When academically qualified LCMS members are not available, faculty members will be Christians who affirm, at minimum, the content of the Ecumenical Creeds and are members of Christian congregations. The Ecumenical Creeds are the three creeds which originated in the ancient church: the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed.
All faculty, both full-time and part-time, promise to perform their duties in harmony with the truths of Holy Scripture, the Lutheran Confessions, and the doctrinal statements of the LCMS. All faculty members recognize that they function within a community with multiple dimensions and agree to the CUS Statement of Academic Freedom and Responsibilities.
Faculty foster student development through the biblical worldview on current social concerns, such as
- Jesus Christ—true God and true man—is the sole way to God's mercy and grace;
- At the beginning of time the Triune God created all things as Genesis explains;
- Respect for the sacredness of human life from conception to natural death;
- Respect for traditional marriage and a biblical view of sexuality.
Within the limits of their disciplines, faculty may teach some of these Lutheran themes:
- Sin (rebelling against God in thought, word, or deed)
Scripture describes sin as an objective truth, affecting all humankind, and as a subjective experience for which all are responsible.
- Grace (God’s free gift of salvation to all)
God reveals his great love for fallen humanity by reconciling sinners to himself by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone (justification).
- Paradox (a situation where two seemingly contradictory truths are both correct)
Human beings are created in the image of God and yet at the same time have lost the image of God through sin, Christians are at the same time saint and sinner, the law condemns sinners to eternal death but at the same time the gospel saves sinners and gives eternal life, Christians are perfectly free yet at the same time servants of all, etc.
- Two Kingdoms (church and civil government)
God actively works in our world through two kingdoms. In the right-hand kingdom (the church) he works through the gospel to provide for spiritual needs (salvation by grace through faith, on account of Christ). In the left-hand kingdom (for example, governments, institutions, or secular vocations) he works through the law to provide for bodily needs (restraining evil, preserving order, enforcing the common good).
- Stewardship (responsible management of resources belonging to someone else)
God exercises his ownership of the universe through human beings as his stewards, and calls them to manage all resources according to His will.
- Vocation (a calling from God)
God works in the world (in both kingdoms) through those he calls to all God-pleasing offices. Christians function as the hands of God to serve their neighbors through their vocations.