Concordia College Alabama

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  1. Divesture/Independence
  2. Closure
  3. Campus sale
  4. 2019 LCMS Convention
  5. Footnotes


In August 2015, the Concordia College Alabama board of regents received a request from the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod board of directors to “divest Concordia College Alabama from the Synod.”[1] CCA’s board of regents proposed terms for divesture at the LCMS convention in 2016, but rather than receive a vote, the matter was reassigned to the LCMS board of directors for further study.[2] In the intervening months, the LCMS board of directors appear to have made other plans for CCA.

At a meeting in February of 2016, the LCMS board of directors gave itself “sole discretion” over the distribution of $2.3 million to CCA, which hinged on CCA developing “a detailed Closure and Teach-Out Contingency Plan” and meeting other financial reporting benchmarks.[3] Four months later, on June 30, the LCMS added 14 requirements for CCA to qualify for the July 15 $1.5 million disbursement, and finally determined on July 28 that CCA was not eligible to receive the promised funding.[4]

Despite the financial crunch that ensued, LCMS legal counsel prohibited CCA from soliciting outside help.[5]

relevant clip runs 10:48-11:43

According to its last president, CCA was looking for potential investors up until days before it decided to close, but a deal never materialized.[6]


On February 21, 2018, Concordia College Alabama announced that it would close at the end of the spring semester.[7] Officially, CCA’s board of regents made the decision to close, which made the closure compliant with LCMS bylaws in effect at the time (before they were modified at the 2019 LCMS Convention).[8, 9] However, members of the CCA board of regents denied that they voted to close the college.[10, 11]

relevant clip runs 2:42:02-3:04:24
relevant clip runs 8:35-9:25

Less than six years earlier, LCMS and Concordia University System officials helped broker an agreement that kept Concordia University Ann Arbor from closing.[12, 13] LCMS president Matthew Harrison spoke about this event and CCA in a speech in 2018[14]:

relevant clip runs 1:15:46-1:19:46

Campus sale

The sale of CCA’s assets began on November 30, 2018.[15] On January 3, 2019, the campus was sold to Dr. Paul J. Kim, a minister who has hosted revival assemblies in Korea, the United States, and other countries around the world since at least 1997.[16, 17]

CCA’s campus is now the site of International Mission Jesus, an Alabama nonprofit corporation Dr. Kim founded in December 2018.[18, 19]

2019 LCMS Convention

At the 2019 LCMS Convention, the Committee on University Education proposed a resolution “To Recognize and Give Thanks for Work at Selma”.[20, 21] In the ensuing debate, representatives of CCA and delegates to the convention challenged the assertions in the resolution, drawing responses and rebuke from CUS president Dean Wenthe and LCMS president Matthew Harrison.[10, 22]

relevant clip runs 3:04:35-3:25:20

A final vote on Resolution 7-05A passed on second attempt after Committee 7 removed most of its assertions and president Matthew Harrison rushed through another round of debate.[23, 24]

relevant clip runs 3:40:47-3:48:10


1] LCMS. “2016 Convention Workbook.” Ov. 7-18. p. 372
2] LCMS. “2016 Convention Proceedings.” Omnibus Resolution A. p. 268
3] LCMS Board of Directors. “Minutes.” February 19-20, 2016. p. 151
4] Congregations Matter. “The Fix Was In – Selma Never Had a Chance.”
5] Dr. Betty Hubbard. “Stories from Selma.” 10:48-11:43
6] Selma Times-Journal. “Concordia College in need of investors to remain open.” Blake Deshazo. February 6, 2018.
7] Selma Times-Journal. “Concordia College Alabama to close at end of spring semester.” Blake Deshazo. February 21, 2018.
8] LCMS Board of Directors. “Executive Session Telephonic Board Meeting Minutes (released to the public as authorized June 7, 2018).” December 19, 2017. p. 146
9] LCMS. “2016 Handbook: Constitution, Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation.” May 2017 edition. Bylaw p. 128
10] Janice McDaniels. “July 24 2019 – Afternoon Session Part 1.” TheLCMS (YouTube channel). 2:42:02-3:04:24
11] Rev. Dr. McNair Ramsay. “Stories from Selma.” 8:35-9:25
12] Reporter. “Parties pose ‘creative solution’ to save Concordia, Ann Arbor.” Paula Schlueter Ross. May 25, 2012.
13] Congregations Matter. “A Tale of Two Concordias: Selma and Ann Arbor.”
14] Matthew Harrison. “LCMS Synod Report: June 14, 2018.” Indiana District-LCMS (Vimeo channel). 1:15:46-1:19:46
15] Selma Times-Journal. “Concordia College set to sell off inventory.” Adam Powell. November 27, 2018.
16] Selma Times-Journal. “New Concordia owner has ‘big plans’ for campus.” Adam Powell. January 3, 2019.
17] “Dr Paul J Kim History.” International Mission Jesus (Youtube channel).
18] Alabama Secretary of State. “International Mission Jesus, Inc.” Business Entity Records.
19] “Dr. Paul J Kim – Revival in Selma.” International Mission Jesus.
20] 2019 LCMS Convention. “2019 Today’s Business.” 1st Edition–Proposed Resolutions. p. 112
21] 2019 LCMS Convention. “July 24 2019 – Afternoon Session Part 1.” 2:33:35
22] 2019 LCMS Convention. “July 24 2019 – Afternoon Report Part 1.” 3:04:35-3:25:20
23] 2019 LCMS Convention. “2019 Today’s Business.” 6th Edition. p 407

Compare to original, unamended version of Resolution 7-05.[20]

24] 2019 LCMS Convention. “July 25 2019 – Morning Session.” 3:40:47-3:48:10