Concordia’s beginning has its roots in the desire Rosa Young, a woman who wanted to provide good a Christian education to the rural African-Americans of central Alabama. In desperation to find financial help, Young wrote to the famed founder of the Tuskegee Institute (Tuskegee University), Booker T. Washington. He advised her to write to the Board of Colored Missions of the Lutheran Church. By the end of 1915, Young had followed Washington’s advice and wrote to the Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America for help. In 1919 African-American Lutheran congregations in Alabama petitioned the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America for funds to open a high school and college to train church workers. The necessity of bringing a college education to African-Americans was realized, and a program of modernization was initiated, which resulted in the formation of Alabama Lutheran Academy and College. Concordia College is now one of 26 U.S. colleges and universities associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and holds the distinctive status as the nation’s only Historically Black Lutheran College or University. Being associated with the Lutheran church means that students receive a college education where faith and intellect are active partners. In 1981 the name was changed to Concordia College Alabama, and in 1994 it gained accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as a bachelor’s degree-granting institution. Concordia College has created a safe learning environment where personal religious beliefs are examined and nurtured, and religious differences are embraced and explored. Above all, Concordia students learn how to become responsibly engaged in the world with an emphasis on service to others.