Post-Traditional Students

The Core Curriculum

The Core Curriculum of Concordia University takes the four following concerns as central to a student's education.  The ultimate goal is to form a distinctive identity in our graduates that they may carry the university's mission out into their families, communities, workplaces, and the world at large.


As 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," the development of "mature Christian students" forms the raison d'etre for Concordia.  The Core Curriculum functions as a primary means of fulfilling this mission.  A Liberal Arts education at Concordia represents a broad course of study directed at educating the whole person by developing skills necessary for future careers and providing insights that shape Christian citizens for global society.

Liberal Arts

The Liberal Arts are the foundation and hallmark of Lutheran education.  At its heart, an education in the liberal arts was designed to prepare citizens for an active life of Christian public service, an invaluable goal in modern democratic society.  The founders of Lutheran education urged learning in the redesigned Protestant university to cover a broad range of disciplines so that students could gain a full understanding of the world that is "genuine and useful for humankind."

Programs and Majors

The Core curriculum has dual purpose as a constituent part of a student's college career: it is both preparatory for, and complementary to, the education students receive in major programs and areas of study.  In its preparatory function, it serves to provide foundational skills, knowledge, and background on which programs can build.  As complementary it gives students cultural context, modes of inquiry, and opportunities for spiritual growth that enhance the many vocations they will fill in life.

Development of the Individual

Luther said, "Every occupation has its own honor before God as well as its own requirement and duties."  As part of our commitment to this ideal, the Core Curriculum's design provides a framework for continued learning, development, and growth in a lifelong pursuit of Vocation.  This reflects our understanding that all of us are called by God to labor for the common good of society and for the welfare of our neighbor as a means to accomplish His will.  The Core also provides students, through a study of the liberal arts, a broad understanding of their place in the world and a substantial augmentation to major programs of study.  Thus, the Core Curriculum provides a meaningful, unifying influence for all Concordia graduates.

Core Themes

The model of the Core outlined here is learning-centered in its structure and Christ-centered in its philosophy and approach. These six areas represent key ideas, skills, and attitudes that comprise a Liberal Arts education at Concordia. The ultimate goal is to foundationally prepare students with the skills necessary for their future careers and the insights that will shape them for vocations as Christian citizens in the global community.

Faith and Life--Students will explain and analyze the basic tenets of the Christian faith and will apply the Christian worldview to consider the paradox of humans as eternal souls in a mortal world. Students are encouraged to use this understanding to shape engagement with historical and contemporary issues in the world around them. 

Natural World—Students study the laws, language, and patterns of the natural world in order to take on the responsibility of its stewardship.  Students will utilize the epistemologies of science and math, that is: knowledge about the natural world can be obtained through careful observations of the natural world; the natural world operates in a way that can be understood by the development of theories that are often mathematical in nature; and appropriate manipulation of numbers is essential to gather data, frame questions, and solve logical, algorithmic, empirical, and statistical problems.

Society and Culture—Students study the human interactions that form the basis of daily life, in order to develop a sense of citizenship in a global society.  This should provide context for leading impactful lives in the church and the world through individual vocation.  Society and Culture focuses on structures and systems devised by humans to maintain and provide for the common good, institutions that can be governmental or non-governmental in nature, that bring people together in social, horizontal relationships.

Human Beings and Being Human—Students study the interactions among the various aspects of being human. The understanding of human health & wellness, the workings of the human body, human thought, and psychology serves as the foundation for a joyful life of service.  Human Beings and Being Human focuses on what is means to be an individual, how humans interact with systems not made by humans, such as nature, geography, and stewardship, and how humans interact with God’s creation.  Students here grapple with the roll of humans in the physical world and the question of what it means to be human.

Human Creativity and Expression—Students explore the expression of complex aspects of human experience through a variety of media and learn to comprehend the aesthetic expression of others across time and space.

Communication and Language—Students develop skills in oral, written, multimedia, and multimodal communication. This includes knowledge of different communication systems, varied rhetorical situations/strategies and foreign languages. Courses in this area train and require students to employ cogent, coherent, and effective language for a broad range of audiences, as well as to analyze how others have communicated effectively through language and its presentation. 

Students entering Concordia University without an Associates Degree, and not transferring in at least 45 credits will be required to fulfill the Core Curriculum.

Students entering Concordia University without an Associates Degree, and transferring in 45 to 59 credits will be required to fulfill the Intermediate Core Curriculum.

Students entering Concordia University with an Associates Degree, or transferring in at least 60 credits will be required to fulfill the Transfer Core.