Rev. Patrick T. Ferry, PhD

This story first appeared in the fall 2019 issue of the Arbor Light, the official magazine of Concordia University Ann Arbor.

Concordia recently celebrated its sixth anniversary. On July 1, 2013, Concordia University Wisconsin and Concordia University Ann Arbor officially joined to become one university with two residential campuses sharing a wide array of post-traditional academic programs. These days we do not talk so much about our merger. The day-to-day reality of what it means for us to be Concordia University is our focus.

CUAA students Elizabeth Trent (’22), Courtney Evans (’20), and Mandi Ressler (’19) greet incoming Cardinals at Admitted Student Day.

One measure of that reality was the recent comprehensive accreditation visit of the Higher Learning Commission. A particular aim of the visiting team was to assess and report on how well our new university model is working. The result of the visit, I am delighted to report, could not have been more positive. Our peers in higher education have endorsed our “one-university-two campus” Concordia with high praise.

Obviously, we are quite pleased to have such positive affirmation, and we will always strive to offer a first-rate life and learning experience for all Concordians. In the pages that follow, you will see several sterling examples of Concordia in action.

Of course, there are many colleges and universities that do all kinds of commendable things. The Concordia distinction, I believe, is something that I draw from our two campus themes for this academic year. In Mequon, based on 2 Corinthians 12:9, the theme is“Sufficient Grace in God’s Perfect Plan.” In Ann Arbor, based on the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15, the theme is “Embrace(d).” In honor of our sixth anniversary, I marry these themes to underscore the foundation and frame for what we desire for every Concordian—the “Grace Embrace!” God’s “Grace Embrace” in Christ Jesus defines who we are. Ultimately, what sets Concordia apart is the prevalence of the promise of God’s grace given to us as a gift in the saving work of Jesus Christ.

As another academic year launches, and new and returning students arrive on campus, or come to one of our Centers, or meet us online,“the Grace Embrace” of Jesus reminds them that Concordia is a very special place to be. Indeed, God’s “Grace Embrace” is the day-to-day reality of what it means for us to be Concordia.

To God be the glory,

Rev. Patrick T. Ferry, PHD


The fall 2019 Arbor Light hit mailboxes the beginning of October. View a PDF version of the magazine here. If you are not on our mailing list, but are interested in receiving a free copy, call 734-995-7317 or send us an email.

If this story has inspired you, why not explore how you can help further Concordia's mission through giving.