Concordia College Alabama

Coordinates: 32°25′34″N 87°01′05″W / 32.426°N 87.018°W / 32.426; -87.018
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Concordia College Alabama
Former names
Alabama Luther College
Alabama Lutheran Academy and College
TypePrivate historically black college
Parent institution
Concordia University System
Religious affiliation
Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod
Campus57 acres (23 ha)
Colors  Green
Bakke Hall and the Dormitory
Concordia College Alabama is located in Alabama
Concordia College Alabama
Location of Bakke Hall and the Dormitory in Alabama
LocationSelma, Alabama
Coordinates32°25′34″N 87°01′05″W / 32.426°N 87.018°W / 32.426; -87.018
Governing bodyLutheran Church—Missouri Synod
Official nameBakke Hall and the Dormitory
DesignatedJune 19, 1997[1]

Concordia College Alabama was a Private historically black college associated with the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod and located in Selma, Alabama. It was the only historically black college among the ten colleges and universities in the Concordia University System. The college ceased operations at the completion of the spring 2018 semester,[2] citing years of financial distress and declining enrollment.[3]


In 1919, African-American Lutheran congregations in Alabama petitioned the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America for funds to open a high school and college to train church workers. The school opened in 1922 in a rented cottage, and the Synodical Conference soon purchased 13 acres (5.3 ha) in northeast Selma, Alabama, as the site of the Alabama Luther College.[4] A recitation hall (now named Bakke Hall) and a dormitory were erected at a cost of $36,000 and opened in 1925.[5]

The college was forced to close during the Great Depression and the remaining high school was renamed the Alabama Lutheran Academy. Eventually the college was reopened, resulting in the name Alabama Lutheran Academy and College. In 1981, the name was changed to Concordia College Alabama, and in 1994, it gained accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as a bachelor's degree-granting institution.[4]

In February 2018, the college announced that it would close at the conclusion of its academic year due to enduring financial problems.[6] The 147 members of the final graduating class received their diplomas on April 28, 2018.[2]

On January 3, 2019, Dr. Paul J. Kim, a Korean minister, signed paperwork to purchase the campus. He plans to open a "mission retreat center", similar to Yoido Full Gospel Church's Prayer Mountain Korea. He also intends to establish a "contemporary music university" over the next two years.[7]


Concordia College's Bakke Hall and the Dormitory, completed in 1928, were both added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage on June 19, 1997.[1]

In 2010, Concordia increased the size of its campus from 22 acres (8.9 ha) to 57 acres (23 ha) by acquiring the grounds and buildings of the adjacent United Methodist Children's Home.[4]

Academic profile[edit]

The college had 445 students during the fall 2017 term.[8]

Student life[edit]


At the time of the school's closing, Concordia–Selma athletic teams were called the Hornets. The college was a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA), primarily competing as an Independent.

Concordia–Selma competed in seven intercollegiate varsity sports: Men's sports included baseball, basketball, and soccer; while women's sports included basketball, softball, track & field, and volleyball.


The college fielded a football team from 2005 until it was cancelled at the end of the 2015 season due to costs.[9]


Concordia College Army ROTC, a satellite program of Marion Military Institute, featured more than 25 cadets.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Properties on the Alabama Register of Landmarks & Heritage". Alabama Historical Commission. Archived from the original on September 4, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Concordia College Alabama closes: 'Nevertheless,' Dr. Rosa J. Young's legacy continues". Reporter. May 16, 2018. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  3. ^ Jaschik, Scott (March 2018), "Small Black College Will Close", Inside Higher Education
  4. ^ a b c "About us | History". Concordia College Alabama. Archived from the original on December 21, 2018. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  5. ^ Drewes, Christopher F. (1927). Half a century of Lutheranism among our colored people, a jubilee book. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House. pp. 90–93. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
  6. ^ Deshazo, Blake (February 21, 2018). "Concordia College Alabama to close at the end of spring semester". Selma Times-Journal.
  7. ^ Powell, Adam (January 3, 2019). "New Concordia owner has 'big plans' for campus". The Selma Times-Journal. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
  8. ^ "Concordia University System enrollment dips amid 'challenging culture'". LCMS Reporter. November 15, 2017.
  9. ^ Daniel Evans, "Concordia football program cost over $500,000 a year". The Selma Times‑Journal. December 23, 2015. Retrieved December 28, 2015.

Further reading[edit]

  • Dickinson, Richard C. Roses and Thorns: The Centennial Edition of Black Lutheran Mission and Ministry in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1977.

External links[edit]