BRONXVILLE, N.Y. -- A diverse student body and programs like business leadership that focus on ethics drew the Rev. Dr. John A. Nunes to Concordia College, where he has been installed as the ninth president.
"No one I've met disagrees" with the concept, he began a recent conversation.
"Concordia is an inclusive community. We are grounded in the Lutheran faith base, though our student body is 95 percent non-Lutheran," Nunes continued.
It is among many reasons students are "attracted" to the suburban campus in Bronxville, close to New York City.
Nunes is an ordained Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod pastor and joins Concordia from Valparaiso University.
Before that, he was president and chief executive officer of Lutheran World Relief in Baltimore, from 2007-13.
Concordia has created new academic programs with undergraduate majors in history, international studies, music and psychology, and continues to expand its online program offerings.
The college will celebrate Presidential Inauguration Week and Homecoming 2016 beginning Oct. 20.
Nunes' career has taken him around the world. He traveled for Lutheran World Relief to its many global offices, including in Mali, West Africa, Indonesia, the Phillipines and Peru, to carry out the charity's mission to help local businesses and farmers work their way out of poverty.
"We worked with women cooperatives especially. When women get out of poverty they spend their money on their children and their community. Women are primarily the farmers of the world," he said.
Nunes worked as a pastor in inner-city settings in Detroit and Dallas. He is an English teacher, and his Ph.D. in theology was earned "later in life" like some of Concordia's students.
The primarily liberal arts college with an engineering school has a growing adult education program, said Nunes.
Nunes was born in Jamaica and raised in Canada. He came to the United States at 18.
"Education is the greatest anti-poverty program we have in the United States. It gives someone an opportunity to work their way toward greater opportunity. Our motto at Concordia is: 'Small school, big impact,'" said Nunes.
For a full schedule of events, including Nunes' inauguration and installation, visit concordia-ny.edu/celebrate .