Ralph C. Schultz was born in Dolton, Illinois (a Chicago suburb) on June 23, 1932. His music study began when he was five years old. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cosmopolitan School of Music in Chicago and a Bachelor of Science degree at Concordia University Chicago. Upon graduation he and his wife, Dorothy Ruth Nickel, began teaching careers in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1955 he enrolled at the University of Michigan to study organ with Robert Noehren and composition with Ross Lee Finney. He eventually transferred to the Cleveland Institute of Music where he received a Master of Music degree in theory and composition.
In 1961 he accepted the call to chair the music department at Concordia College, Bronxville, New York and soon began pursuing a doctorate in music education at the Teachers College of Columbia University, Given his desire to compose for the Church, he transferred to Union Theological Seminary earning his doctorate in 1967. He returned to Union as lecturer in conducting and his direction of the Concordia Choir received critical acclaim for performances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.
Schultz wrote sonatas of piano and oboe, pieces for strings, numerous pieces for organ and for choirs. Collaborating with his wife he wrote special music for the weddings of all six of their children and for the baptisms of their fourteen grandchildren.
Dr. Schultz retired from the presidency of Concordia College in June of 1998, having served in that capacity for twenty two years. He continues to composer and conduct.