The purpose of the Dovre Center for Faith and Learning is to promote dialogue on how the dynamic interplay of faith and learning shapes not only the identity of Concordia College but ultimately the sense of vocation experienced by students, faculty, staff and alumni.

The center is primarily dedicated to opportunities for faculty – who can continue these discussions in their classrooms – with plans to more directly reach students and staff.

Established by Concordia President Emeritus Dr. Paul Dovre and his wife, Mardeth, the Dovre Center was one of the first of its kind in Lutheran higher education, devoted exclusively to the interaction of faith and learning. The center continues to help faculty and students manifest their abilities to contribute to society through the expression of four specific goals: 

  1. To keep the questions and issues of faith and learning alive on campus
  2. To assist faculty in connecting matters of faith with their work and their contributions to the college's religious identity
  3. To assist in developing and sustaining faculty community
  4. To encourage new initiatives in relating faith and learning to students

Today, the director of the Dovre Center also serves as the administrative liaison to the college president for multiple faith expressions on campus including the Dovre Center for Faith and Learning, the Lorentzsen Center for Faith and Work, the Forum on Faith and Life, and the Office of Ministry.

About the Dovres

It's hard to imagine a Concordia without Dr. Paul and Mardeth Dovre who served here for 35 years, including more than 20 as president and first lady. Upon their retirement at the close of the 1998-99 academic year, the Board of Regents established the Paul J. and Mardeth L. Dovre Endowment for the Center for Faith and Learning. Funds designated in their name to the 21st Century Fund: Sustaining the Mission, underwrite in perpetuity the work of the Dovre Center for Faith and Learning.

Paul DovreDr. Paul J. Dovre

Paul graduated from Concordia in 1958 and earned his master’s and doctorate degrees from Northwestern University. He also attended Luther Seminary for one year. Paul joined the communication studies and theatre art faculty in 1963 and served as dean and academic vice president. 

In 1975, at age 39, he became the eighth president of Concordia. Paul was instrumental in the formation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, was named one of the nation’s top 100 college and university presidents, and received the Concordia Alumni Achievement Award. He has honorary degrees from Capital University, Concordia College, Wartburg College, St. Olaf College, and Luther College.

Mardeth (Bervig) Dovre

Mardeth graduated from Concordia in 1957 and was a business teacher for 20 years at Fargo South High School. She has been honored with the Concordia Alumni Achievement Award and most recently served in leadership roles with Hospice of the Red River Valley, Moorhead Healthy Community Initiative (now Metro Youth Partnership), and the Women’s Fund of Fargo-Moorhead.

Programs and Grants

Full-time faculty members with continuing appointment through the following academic year are eligible for Dovre Center programs and grants.

Contact

Dr. Larry A. Papenfuss

Gift Planner, Advancement Office; Director, Dovre Center for Faith and Learning Advancement, Dovre Center for Faith and Learning