Presidential Search

Concordia University, Nebraska (CUNE) is currently engaged in the search process for its 11th president. After fifteen years as Concordia’s president, Brian Friedrich accepted a call to serve as president of Concordia University, St. Paul and began work there on January 1, 2020.

Presidential Search Update

July 30, 2020

The search for Concordia University’s next president is nearing completion. The final two candidates – Dr. Bernard Bull and Rev. Dr. Lee Hagan – will have an opportunity to meet with the Concordia community and learn more about Concordia, Nebraska.

Rev. Dr. Hagan will visit Seward August 10-11 for a series of meetings with administrators, staff, members of the Concordia Foundation, and the Seward community. He will give a presentation for faculty, staff, students, and others on Monday, Aug. 10 at 3:45 p.m. in the Walz arena.

Due to scheduling concerns and travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Bull will be unable to visit Seward personally at this time. However, he will have a similar “virtual visit” via online streaming video with the same groups. Dr. Bull will present to the Concordia community Monday, Aug. 17 at 3:45 p.m. via Blackboard Collaborate.

More details will be given to the Concordia community via email as they become available. The search committee hopes that everyone is able to meet these outstanding candidates, learn about their vision for Concordia, and show them the meaning of the “Concordia Experience”!

June 25, 2020

Through pandemics and quarantines, the search for Concordia, Nebraska’s next president has been progressing steadily. Over fifty names were submitted for nomination, and over twenty agreed to stand for nomination. Those names were sent to the LCMS Review Panel for approval, who approved nine candidates to continue in the process. Two of those approved candidates decided to remove their names from consideration, so the search committee has been working with seven candidates.

Each of the candidates had submitted background information about their qualifications, and each was interviewed (virtually, through ZOOM) by the committee. The committee used the background information to evaluate the candidates’ qualifications, experience, ability to meet qualities brought out in the community listening sessions and described in the job description, and other qualifications the candidates chose to bring forth. The interviews allowed the search committee to assess the candidates’ ability to articulate their vision, their understanding of the role of the president, the way they would fit into that role, their leadership style, and the community-building style they projected and described. 

After these initial assessments, the committee selected a smaller group of candidates to continue in the search process. The committee solicited information from the candidates’ references, and from Concordia faculty and staff regarding the remaining candidates’ qualifications. These candidates submitted written responses to questions about their vision for the future of Concordia and how they would achieve it. From this information, the committee has narrowed the candidate field to two individuals – Dr. Bernard Bull (President of Goddard College) and Rev. Lee Hagan (President of the Missouri District of the LCMS). 

The committee will continue to gather information about the candidates and continue communicating with them about the position. Later in the summer, the committee hopes to bring final candidates to campus for in-person meetings and a chance for them to see Concordia, meet the Board, the administration, faculty, staff, and students, and see what great things are happening here.

May 25, 2020

Concordia’s presidential search committee received more than 50 nominees to be considered as the University’s next president. Of those nominations, more than 20 agreed to stand for nomination. That list of names was then sent to the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s review panel.

From that list of the LCMS review panel approved nine candidates, seven have agreed to continue in the search process.

Dr. Robert Hermann, chair of the natural and computer sciences department and chair of the presidential search committee, said the goal is to have the first round of interviews completed in June. The second round of interviews may take place over the summer on campus, where candidates can meet with faculty, staff and students, as public health guidelines allow.

Candidate Current Position
Rev. Dr. Phillip Brandt Director of Academics, Lutheran Institute for Theology and Culture; Professor of Religion, CU-P
Rev. Dr. Jon Bruss Sr. Pastor, St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Topeka, KS
Dr. Bernard Bull President, Goddard College, Plainfield VT
Rev. Dr. Lee Hagan President, Missouri District LCMS
Rev. Dr. David Loy Associate Dean and Professor, CUI
Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Pulse Associate Professor, Ft. Wayne Seminary
Rev. Dr. K. Detlev Schulz Dean of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor, Ft. Wayne Seminary

April 3, 2020

Through the obvious changes and challenges facing us today, the Presidential Search Committee is continuing its work.

The Search Committee received nominations identifying over 50 individuals as possible presidential candidates. Each of those individuals has been personally contacted to see if they will stand for the nomination. At the present time Concordia is extremely blessed that in excess of 20 individuals have agreed to stand for nomination and have submitted curriculum vitae and other information about themselves. This is a remarkably large and talented pool of individuals who have demonstrated a willingness to serve Concordia, Nebraska.

The list of candidates and their information has been forwarded to the LCMS Review Panel. The panel consists of the President of the LCMS, Rev. Dr. Harrison, the Chair of the Concordia University System Dr. Mundinger, and the President of the Nebraska District of the LCMS Rev. Snow. The Review Panel will discuss the candidates and their qualifications, and may choose to remove names from the list.

The Review Panel has up to 60 days to conduct its review and return a list of approved candidates to the Search Committee. After that time the Search Committee will begin more intensive assessment of the candidates.

God has richly blessed Concordia through the search process so far, and we ask for your prayers that He will continue to bless the candidates, everyone involved in the search, and Concordia University as He leads us to our next President.

February 12, 2020

The nomination period for candidates for President of Concordia University closed on January 31, 2020. Concordia has been blessed to receive nominations from the Concordia University System Board of Directors, the CUNE Board of Regents, the CUNE faculty, and LCMS congregations across the country. God is certainly using His people to bless Concordia!

All nominees have been contacted, and approximately two-thirds of them have agreed to stand for nomination. The whole Concordia community and especially the Search Committee offer its sincere thanks to all those nominated, for the careful and prayerful consideration given to the nomination, and for the service they provide in their current positions.

The nominees for CUNE President possess an outstanding level of leadership, intellect, and devotion to service. The Search Committee is excited to learn more about these individuals.

In the next steps of the search, the nominees’ names and information will be submitted to the Concordia University System and an LCMS Review Panel (consisting of the President of the LCMS, the Chair of the Board of Directors of the CUS, and the President of the Nebraska District of the LCMS) will determine a list of approved candidates. The Search Committee will then begin the process of interviewing and assessing candidates in order to make a recommendation to the Board of Regents.

January 16, 2020

CUNE is presently accepting nominations for the position of President. Synodical bylaws allow LCMS congregations, the Concordia University System, the CUNE Board of Regents, and CUNE faculty to submit nominations. As of January 15th, 2020 each of these channels had supplied candidates, totaling 40 nominations of 35 individuals.

Nominations will continue to be accepted through January 31st, 2020. Nominations can be made through the online form available on this page, or by downloading the form on this page and submitting it to Stuart Bartruff, Board of Regents Chair, 800 N Columbia Ave, Seward NE 68434-1500, or email to Nominations must be received by January 31, 2020.

The official functions of the President are described in the 2016 LCMS Handbook (May 2017 edition), section  Required qualifications for this position:

  • Active member in good standing of a congregation of the LCMS
  • Preferably an ordained or commissioned minister *
  • Preferably an earned doctorate in an academic discipline
  • Broad leadership and administrative experience, preferably in a higher education academic institution
  • Faithful to the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions and supportive of the LCMS constitution, bylaws, practices and policies
  • Fulfill the role as the Christ-centered ministry leader of the University

Desired qualifications for this position should include demonstrated expertise and skills in the following critical success factors:

  • Exhibits a capacity for executing the vision, mission, and values of the institution as well as the strategic planning initiatives
  • Active involvement and engagement in campus and the community
  • Ability to empower and engage the University leadership team
  • Capability to know and engage the student community
  • Ability to understand and enhance the financial integrity of the University
  • Demonstrates good communication and interpersonal skills within and outside the campus
  • Capable of generating institutional advancement resources

According to the LCMS Handbook, nominations may only be accepted from LCMS congregations, CUNE faculty, the CUNE Board of Regents and the Concordia University System Board of Directors.

Nominees should satisfy the required and desired qualifications. Nominations submitted for consideration will include information about the nominee and the nominator, including a description of how the individual satisfies the qualifications.

Nominations must be received by January 31, 2020 to Stuart Bartruff, Board of Regents Chair, 800 N Columbia Ave, Seward NE 68434-1500 or by email to

*In 2007, the LCMS Commission on Constitutional Matters (07-2489) stated “…the Commission concludes that it continues to be necessary for a university president to be male.”



Search for the 11th President of Concordia University, Nebraska

President Brian Friedrich, the 10th president of Concordia University, Nebraska, announced in the summer of 2019 that he was taking a call to serve as president of Concordia University, St. Paul beginning January 1, 2020. President Friedrich served as president of Concordia University, Nebraska for fifteen years.

Upon receiving President Friedrich’s decision, the Board of Regents for Concordia University, Nebraska began the process to select the next president. Much of this process is defined in the LCMS bylaws.

The overall process can be roughly divided into three phases: preparing the searchreceiving nominations, and evaluating nominees to select a final candidate. In the first phase, preparing the search, a search committee is formed, an institutional analysis is performed which includes listening sessions and feedback from a wide variety of institutional stakeholders, and the search committee prepares an institutional self-study and criteria for evaluating nominees. In the second phase, the search committee calls for nominees (which can come from four entities – the Concordia University System (CUS), the Concordia Board of Regents, the Concordia faculty, and LCMS congregations), sends the list of nominees to the LCMS Prior Review Panel (made up of the President of the LCMS, the Chair of the Board of Directors of the CUS, and the President of the Nebraska District of the LCMS), and receives approved candidates. In the final phase, evaluating nominees to select a final candidate, the search committee gathers information and interviews approved candidates in order to finally send a recommendation to the Board of Regents, who elect a new president.

As of mid-November, the search is near the end of the first phase, preparing the search. The progress through this phase includes so far:

  • The Board of Regents has selected a search committee consisting of two members of the Board, two faculty members, and two staff members, with the Chair of the Board of Regents and the President of the Student Body as ex officio members.
  • The CUS has waived the requirement for an on-site transition review, due to the recent visit to campus by members of the CUS and the satisfactory review from that visit.
  • The search committee has conducted listening sessions with faculty, staff, students, community members, the Concordia Foundation and the Board of Regents to gain insights into the challenges and opportunities facing Concordia, and the characteristics that the next president should have.
  • Follow-up surveys have gone out to those same groups for additional feedback. Based on that information, the search committee has developed an institutional self-study describing the current status of the institution and its needs and vision for the future, to be shared with candidates later in the process.
  • The search committee has also met with the Board of Regents and leadership from the LCMS (including the President of the LCMS, the Chair of the Board of Directors of the CUS, the President of the CUS, and the President of the Nebraska District) to discuss the search process.

The next steps for the search committee will be to publicly request nominations, and to develop criteria to evaluate the nominees. The committee hopes to publish the request before Thanksgiving, and to develop criteria as it awaits the nominations.

The search committee invites your prayers of support on behalf of Concordia University as it enters this period of transition, and on behalf of the committee itself as seeks to find God’s will and the person He intends to send to Concordia as its 11th president.

Robert Hermann

Presidential Search Committee Chair

Stuart Bartruff

Concordia University Board of Regents Chair