A History of the Campus
Fifty years of Saarinen’s Scandinavian Village
historic decision to establish a senior college to close the gap
between the synodical junior college and the beginning of professional
study in the theological seminary was made by the Centennial Convention
of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in Chicago in 1947. Plans to
proceed with the construction of the college at Fort Wayne were
approved at the Synodical convention in Houston, Texas in 1953.
Senior College—the first of its kind in American Protestant ministerial
training—offered the junior and senior college years of pretheological
study for men who wished to enter the Lutheran ministry. Graduates of
the Synod’s nine junior colleges completed the requirements for the
B.A. degree at Fort Wayne and then transferred to Concordia Seminary in
St. Louis for three years of professional study and one year of
supervised internship under the direction of the seminary.
entire campus, consisting of a total of 25 college buildings plus
faculty housing, was designed by the internationally famous architect
Eero Saarinen and his associates. The design has been the subject of
articles in leading architectural publications and received the top
award for design of college buildings in the United States in that
year’s annual design award program of Progressive Architecture.
college officially opened its first academic year on September 10,
1957, with an enrollment of 193 students in the first class, and with a
faculty of 21. The senior college operated on the Fort Wayne campus for
the next 20 years. At its 1975 convention, the Synod combined Concordia
Senior College, Fort Wayne, with its Junior College in Ann Arbor,
Michigan. Seminary operations were transferred from the aging campus in
Springfield to the architecturally stunning Saarinen campus in Fort
Wayne. With an enrollment of 419 seminarians, Concordia Theological
Seminary shared the Fort Wayne facilities with the Senior College in
For over 30 years, Concordia Theological Seminary has
continued to flourish in Fort Wayne. The seminary helps pastors,
missionaries, deaconesses, and other church workers grow in knowledge
and in the skills necessary to minister in a changing world. Concordia
Theological Seminary continues to bring the gospel into all the world
by forming servants in Jesus Christ who will teach the faithful, reach
the lost, and care for all.
View images of Concordia Theological Seminary and Senior College throughout the years.