New faculty installed at Concordia.

An Opening Service marking the official beginning of Concordia University Wisconsin's 140th academic year will be held outdoors at Kapco Park on Sunday, August 23rd at 10 a.m.

In case of inclement weather, the event will be held in the R. John Buuck Field House.

“Opening Service is one of our great traditions that highlights who we are as an academic, Christian community,” said Rev. Steven Smith, campus pastor since 2002. “Gathering together for worship is the hallmark of Christians.”

While this year’s service will not be held in The Chapel Of The Christ Triumphant, the traditional location since the university’s move to the Mequon campus in 1983, prerecorded music from Concordia voice and instrumental ensembles will still occur.

On August 27, 2005, which commemorated the beginning of CUW’s 125th year, Opening Service was celebrated at Trinity Lutheran Church in downtown Milwaukee. It was in 1881 that the basement of that iconic church was transformed into classrooms for 13 young men studying to become pastors, marking Concordia’s initial year as a school.

On Sunday, President Dr. Patrick T. Ferry will deliver a sermon based on the 2020-2021 academic theme selected by student Campus Ministry leaders last spring, “God’s Peace in a Troubled World,” John 16:33. “This year, more than ever, we will step into a new year with God’s love and grace guiding us,” said Smith. “Our tradition of having a specific Scripture passage and a theme provides us a chance to focus as a group on what lies ahead, and it always ends up being a time to realize that our trust is in God who will guide us throughout the year.”

Thirteen new professors, associate professors or assistant professors will be inducted during the 45-minute, live-streamed service, while 27 new faculty and staff members will be introduced. One long-standing tradition is the omission of the benediction that would customarily close a service until the last chapel of the year in May, as the whole academic year is lived under the invocation of God.

Everyone attending can enjoy a boxed picnic lunch afterwards.

Concordia University Wisconsin has six academic schools and offers more than 70 undergraduate and 40 graduate degree programs.

For further information on Concordia University Wisconsin, visit


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