Christ College Irvine will become Concordia University in July as it joins nine sister colleges around the United States in creating a new university system, college officials said Monday.
Christ College's board of regents agreed last week to change the college's name to become a part of the new Concordia University system, college President D. Ray Halm said. Halm announced the decision to students during a chapel service on Friday.
The idea for a national system of Concordia University campuses sprang from a desire by member colleges to share resources and attract more students, Halm said. About 1,400 students attend Christ College. The 10-campus Concordia University system will have about 17,000 students.
The 10 colleges scattered around the nation are each owned and operated by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
Under the plan, each of the colleges will retain its independence but will cooperate in promoting the college system and in offering specialized academic programs, Halm said. Christ College will create schools of education and arts and science. The school of education will offer three master's degrees, he said, in curriculum and instruction, religious education and administration.
Christ College's original mission was to prepare pastors, religious-education teachers and Christian school administrators, Halm said. Those programs will continue under the new school of education.