Since Concordia was founded, it has articulated a Christian and global curriculum. Students are required to take courses in health, communication, religion, and culture. The university maintains athletic teams in 22 sports and carries 19 music ensembles, including The Concordia Choir, The Concordia Orchestra, and The Concordia Band.
Concordia College was dedicated as a private academy on Oct. 31, 1891, by a group of approximately one dozen Norwegian pastors and laymen who had recently settled in the Red River Valley. The school was founded on the property of the former Episcopalian Bishop Whipple School, which closed in 1887. English Professor I.F. Grose of St. Olaf College was asked to preside over the academy, which then offered mixed-sex education in English literature, natural sciences, mathematics, piano, and organ. The school opened with three faculty and twelve students.
In 1892, Rasmus Bogstad, a Norwegian pastor, raised funds to build a male dormitory on campus grounds. His efforts lead to the construction of Academy Hall. In 1893, Grose resigned and recently hired business professor Hans Aaker took his place. Aaker became mayor of Moorhead in 1900 and left two years later when that job compromised his dedication to the school. Bogstad was appointed Concordia's next president and established its liberal tradition. Under Bogstad, Concordia constructed a new academic building, now called Old Main.
Rev. Henry O. Shurson held the presidency after Bogstad resigned in 1910, until Rev. Johan A. Aasgaard was appointed in 1911. Under Aasgaard, the nearby Park Region College and Bruflat Academy were merged with Concordia, and a new library was built in what is now called Grose Hall. In 1925, Rev. John N. Brown became president and oversaw Concordia's accreditation by the North Central Association in 1927. Eleven years later, a female dormitory was built, named Fjelstad Hall, and in 1947, a male dormitory was built, later called Brown Hall.
Rev. Joseph "Prexy Joe" Knutson became president in 1951, and presided over the construction of 16 buildings and the increased enrollment of 1592 students. Under his leadership, the Concordia Annual Fund was established to raise money for the college's interests, which still continues today. Dr. Paul J. Dovre took the presidency in 1975, and oversaw new college programs and articulated Concordia's Lutheran mission. Since 1999, the college has been presided by Rev. Thomas W. Thomsen, who implemented the design for a new campus center, and Dr. Pamela M. Jolicoeur, who established plans for the college's Offutt School of Business. Construction on the Offutt School of Business was completed in late 2012, and hosted students in the fall semester of 2013. Today, the school is led by Dr. William J. Craft.