Institutional Review Board

Human Subject Research at Concordia University Wisconsin

As an institution of higher learning established by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW) is especially cognizant of its moral obligation to those individuals who volunteer for human subjects research studies.  Consequently, CUW has established and empowered an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to review all research investigations, externally funded or not, conducted by its students, faculty, and staff involving human beings as research subjects. CUW, through its IRB, meets its secular and, more importantly, its sacred responsibility for insuring that the safety, welfare, and privacy of all subjects are adequately protected.

Jesus summarized the appropriate relationship between Church and State when He said, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's." (Matthew 22:21b NIV) Accordingly, the policies and practices of the CUW IRB comply with the ethical research principles set forth by the federal government [Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Rights (45 CF 46) and The Belmont Report: Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research] insofar as they protect the individual.  However, human beings, albeit fallen, are created in God's image and endowed with certain inalienable rights by the Creator.  Accordingly, human subjects research is a privilege which should only be undertaken faithfully by protecting the sanctity of God's creation.  Therefore, the CUW IRB not only recognizes human-generated guidelines for research but also supplements its deliberations by appeal to the higher authority of the Triune God. Jesus concisely and simply expressed this principle, "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 7:12)  In other words, CUW human subjects are not only protected because it is the Law (both sacred and secular), but also, and more importantly, because it is how our Savior would have investigators interact with human research subjects.  In addition to its charge to safeguard the rights of human subjects, CUW has asked its IRB to review research protocols to insure that they, and the results generated from them, fulfill the trust placed in CUW by the LCMS and the church.

Please visit all of the links listed below as a guide for preparing your application:

The Application Process


IRB Protocol Submission Checklist

Please make sure to include the following items when submitting
your IRB protocol to the IRB Chairperson via IRBNet

IRB Protocol Submission Document and all supporting information as needed:

  • Required Proof of Completion of IRB Training Tutorial/Certificate
  • Letter of Permission for off-campus research
  • Copies of recruitment advertisements, letters or notices
  • Copies of measurement tools (surveys/questionnaires, observation check lists, interview outlines)
  • Informed Consent Form