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Concordia University, Nebraska announces Dr. Bernard Bull as president-elect

Concordia University, Nebraska announces Dr. Bernard Bull as president-elect
Courtesy/ Concordia University. Dr. Bernard Bull has been named president-elect of Concordia University, Nebraska, with his tenure starting in August 2021


SEWARD, NE (12/01/2020) The Concordia University, Nebraska Board of Regents is pleased to announce that Dr. Bernard D. Bull has accepted a Divine Call to serve as the University’s 11th president. Bull, currently serving as president of Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont, succeeds Rev. Dr. Brian Friedrich, who served as Concordia’s president 2004-19.

“Dr. Bull had the unanimous support of the Board of Regents,” said Stuart Bartruff, Board of Regents chair. “He expressed a strong desire to return to serving in a Christ-centered Lutheran institution of higher learning. He has a strong commitment to Lutheran theology, and he looks forward to faithfully fulfilling the Concordia University Promises of a Lutheran Education. Dr. Bull is known nationally for his innovative insights regarding Christian education at all levels. Concordia University will be well-served given Dr. Bull’s leadership attributes and experience. The Lord has blessed us by raising-up Dr. Bull, a faithful servant.”

Bull will fulfill his contractual obligations with Goddard College for the 2020-21 academic year, and then begin his Concordia tenure in August 2021. During this timeframe, Concordia will continue to be served by Interim President Rev. Russ Sommerfeld, who has competently and faithfully served in the role of president since Jan. 1, 2020.

“I’m humbled to heed God’s call to serve as the next president of Concordia University, Nebraska,” said Bull. “I’ve long admired Concordia’s legacy of cultivating a rich, academically challenging, vibrant and Christ-centered higher education community and its inspiring track-record of equipping men and women for lives of learning, service and leadership in the church and world.”

Under Bull’s leadership, which started in November 2018, Goddard College renewed its accreditation status from the New England Commission of Higher Education, after it was placed on a two-year probationary period. Bull is actively involved in the higher education landscape regarding educational innovation, futures in education, nurturing learner agency and ownership and the intersection of education and digital culture. He is a regularly featured presenter at national education conferences and has authored and edited several books and publications, many of which are used by Concordia instructors.

Prior to Goddard, Bull served Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW) from 2006 to 2018 in a variety of roles including vice provost for curriculum and academic innovation, chief innovation officer, assistant vice president of academics and associate professor of education. Prior to that, he served in Lutheran middle and high schools in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Bull earned a bachelor’s in education, theology and history from CUW in 1994, before earning a master’s in curriculum and instruction from Concordia University Chicago in 1997, a Master of Liberal Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2005 and a Doctor of Education in instructional technology from Northern Illinois University in 2007.

Bernard and Joyanna, his wife, have two children, Bethany and Nathaniel. In her past career, Dr. Joyanna Bull served as an adjunct instructor at CUW as well as a K-12 teacher in Lutheran and public schools.

Out of respect for his current employer, Dr. Bull will have media availability closer to his arrival to Concordia’s campus.


About Concordia University, Nebraska

Concordia University, Nebraska, founded in 1894, is a fully accredited, coeducational university located in Seward, Nebraska, which currently serves more than 2,500 students. Concordia offers more than 100 undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in an excellent academic and Christ-centered community that equips men and women for lives of learning, service and leadership in the church and world. For more information, visit




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