Concordia University Chicago (CUC) invites nominations and applications for the position of Assistant Vice President, Campaign & Transformational Gifts. Concordia-Chicago seeks an experienced advancement professional who has a passion for Christian higher education and experience leading campaigns and major gift programs. Demonstrated experience in major gift cultivation, solicitation and stewardship is a primary expectation of this position. This position is an important addition to the Concordia University Chicago Foundation team, and will work closely with the Foundation President, members of the advancement team, and volunteers involved with campaigns and other advancement projects. The position is based at the River Forest campus. Regional and national travel will be required in relation to donor and prospective donor work.

About Concordia University Chicago

Founded in 1864, as a college for teachers, today Concordia-Chicago is a comprehensive university comprising the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, College of Education, College of Graduate Studies and College of Innovation and Professional Programs. CUC offers graduate and undergraduate programs, as well as doctoral degrees.

The University is affiliated with The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) and is a member of the Concordia University System, a nationwide network of universities. As a University of the LCMS, Concordia-Chicago is a private, liberal arts-based university that incorporates Christian values and is grounded in the Lutheran tradition.


The Rev. Dr. Daniel Lee Gard has served as the eleventh president of Concordia University Chicago since August 2014. Ordained by LCMS in 1984, Gard previously has served as pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Mishawaka, IN. He also has held several administrative positions at the Seminary including Dean of the Graduate School, and is an accomplished author and speaker.

Nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama in 2013, Gard served as Rear Admiral (Lower Half) and Deputy Chief of Chaplains for Reserve Matters in the U.S. Navy. In these roles, Gard was responsible for overseeing military chaplain operations in Navy, Marine and Coast Guard Reserve units around the world. He retired fully from military service in October 2016.

During his time in the military, Gard notably served during the 9/11 Pentagon recovery operations in Washington, DC during Operation Iraqi Freedom and most recently at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In addition to his various military awards, Gard received the St. Martin of Tours Award in 2008 from the former LCMS Board for Mission Services, for his exceptionally meritorious service.

Gard was awarded his B.A. in history from Carthage College, Kenosha, WI, and his Master of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary. He earned both his M.A. in Hebrew Bible and Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible/Judaica with minors in New Testament and Liturgics from the University of Notre Dame.

Mr. Jim Miller has served as the Foundation President and CEO since January 2014 after having served on the Board of Regents. He has guided the Foundation and University through numerous changes to insure they remain not only competitive but a leader in today’s crowded field of private, non-profit colleges.

As Chief Development Officer for Lutheran Hour Ministries, he designed, launched and completed $100M campaign. He was previously President of Children’s Hospital Foundations in Missouri and Wisconsin. Miller designed and led $130M campaign at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Miller is a life-long Lutheran and a product of LCMS education, having attended Lutheran grade school, high school and graduated with a B.Ed. from Concordia-Seward, Nebraska. He has also attained the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credential.


As a distinctive, comprehensive university of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and based in the liberal arts, Concordia University Chicago equips men and women to serve and lead with integrity, creativity, competence and compassion in a diverse, interconnected and increasingly urbanized church and world.

In the next five years, Concordia-Chicago’s focus, growing from and incorporating our Lutheran identity and liberal arts foundation, will be to strengthen and expand our work in: Health Sciences, Technology, Business, Classical Christian Education and Global Partnerships. It is within this broad context that faith, learning, leadership and opportunities are emphasized in an enriching, supportive environment.

Rooted in its Christian heritage of engaging knowledge and faith, Concordia University Chicago aspires to be the destination university for all who seek to develop their full individual potential through a distinctive, innovative and dynamic environment of exploration, creativity and discovery for leading lives of servant-minded leadership.


Concordia University Chicago is located on a 40-acre suburban campus in the upscale Village of River Forest and is only 10 miles west of downtown Chicago. This provides a wide variety of opportunities to explore the city’s landmarks, cultural and sports activities, as well as the many fine restaurants that it has to offer. In addition to Chicago, River Forest is closely tied to the larger neighboring community of historic Oak Park.


The Assistant Vice President, Campaign & Transformational Gifts will be responsible for conceptualizing, designing and implementing fundraising campaigns (capital and programmatic) on behalf of Concordia University Chicago Foundation. This includes solicitation and acquisition of major and deferred gifts. This candidate will be a strategic thinker with a proven track record of identifying potential donors, establishing strong and lasting relationships, and working with donors to invest philanthropically at significant levels in the mission, vision, and goals of the University. The candidate will also work closely with Foundation and advancement colleagues in a supportive and mentoring style.

This professional position works in concert with the Foundation President, the Senior Director of Grants/Planned Giving, Gift Officers, Senior Director Alumni and Annual Giving, the Senior Director of Operations, Donor Management and Research, Foundation personnel and others. The successful candidate will have demonstrated experience in developing campaigns, as well as nurturing relationships with individuals, foundations and businesses that have resulted in six and seven figure philanthropic investments.

A Bachelor’s degree is required and a Master’s degree or higher is preferred. Ten or more years of direct experience in an established higher education Foundation or advancement program is desired. Related non-profit or business related experience will also be considered but the candidate must have experience with major and transformational gifts. Possessing a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation is desirable. Other skill sets that the successful candidate will possess include being an effective communicator who has exceptional verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills and having excellent organizational skills and attention to detail, with proven experience developing, implementing and managing fundraising programs. Fundraising experience in higher education is preferred with experience in the faith-based (Lutheran) higher education sector strongly preferred.

For more information about this position and to read the full position description, please click on this link.


Compensation will be based upon the individual’s qualifications and educational background and how well she/he meets the requirements of the position. Salary, compensation and benefits for this position are competitive.


Nominations and applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Inquiries, nominations, and applications should be submitted electronically and directed to: Doug Mason, Partner, c/o Gonser Gerber LLP.

To apply, please submit a cover letter explaining why you are interested in this position and how you fit the position requirements, résumé, and five professional references. References will not be contacted until later in the search process when finalist candidates are identified.

For more information about the Concordia University Chicago, please visit their web site at .