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How CUE supports our heritage

Posted on: Jun 1, 2017

Concordia University of Edmonton is a community of learning grounded in scholarship and academic freedom, preparing students to be independent thinkers, ethical leaders and citizens for the common good[i]. We aim to be recognized nationally and internationally for our graduates’ knowledge, skill, integrity, and wisdom[ii]. We also value our history and traditions, knowing that they provide a solid foundation to all of our students for the future[iii]. Our history and tradition are acknowledged in the following ways:

  • Concordia’s official crest remains the maple leaf, bible, and crucifix, with the motto “Initium Sapientiae Timor Domini” (The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom).
  • The ceremonial mace has Concordia’s traditional crest embedded on all 4 sides and on the stand.
  • We retain the name ‘Concordia’, which remains with us since 1921.
  • We sing the ‘Alma Mater’ at each convocation.
  • Various campus buildings are named after prominent figures and groups (such as the Concordia College Guild) from our history.
  • Concordia’s iconic symbol is the door of our original heritage building, Schwermann Hall, and the North Saskatchewan River. This door is apparently modeled on the Luther church door in Wittenberg.
  • Renovation of a multi-faith prayer room has taken place, recognizing the ongoing importance of religion on campus and our commitment to inclusivity. This is a safe space for all to explore their spiritual and existential existence.
  • Our library has recently launched a curated digital archive of important historical artifacts from Concordia’s past. This archive can be freely accessed by the general public and ensures preservation of important documents and photographs. In addition, we retain and preserve a physical archive.
  • We retain a chaplaincy list in our Student Life and Learning Office. On request chaplains of a broad range of religions and denominations can be quickly made available to students.
  • Our Lutheran heritage is prominently referenced on our institutional website, in the president’s speeches, and in promotional materials.
  • Concordia’s Concert Choir has its roots in our Lutheran heritage and, by tradition, includes meaningful Christian pieces in each performance.
  • Faculty, students, staff, and alumni are free to engage in faith activities on campus. In order to be inclusive we ask that these not take place in public areas. To accommodate we waive our normal rental fee for private rooms on campus for these activities.
  • Concordia supports the academic endeavors of both the Institute for Christian Studies and Society and the Canadian Centre for Scholarship of the Christian Faith.
  • Plans are underway to construct display cabinets in a prominent area of campus that trace our history and heritage from 1921 to the present day.
  • Concordia engages in a program of alumni relations, and these are located in the Office of the President. Alumni activities link us in very real ways to our past.
  • One of the characteristics of an inclusive university is an appreciation for dates and events that are important to a wide range of cultures and religions. These are recognized at Concordia via social media and other means.
  • The CSA supports the Concordia Christian Union club that engages in an annual mission trip.
  • Staff are retained and are hired, in part, on the basis of personal values, and these are exemplified in their work.

It is important to remember that we are foremost an academic institution. Therefore, being inclusive and honouring our heritage no longer involves some activities that were commonplace in the past, such as:

  • Promoting any single faith or denomination using institutional resources.
  • Institutional hosting of chapel activities on campus (see the above point).
  • Promoting religious ceremonies in public spaces (with the exception of Treaty 6 Indigenous recognitions).

[i] Concordia’s Mission statement.

[ii] Concordia’s Vision statement.

[iii] Taken from the CUE website.