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How long is the program?
The traditional undergraduate program requires five years to complete. The first two years typically focus on working on General Education requirements and the foundational Bible and theology courses.

The third year of the program includes volunteer service in a local congregation, acceptance into the program, and work on the core courses of the curriculum. The fourth year internship offers students the opportunity to put theory into practice. The final year of the program focuses on internship reflection and core curriculum completion.

Why a fourth-year internship?
Concordia University, St. Paul is the only University within the Concordia system with a fourth year internship. This allows the student to spend one year outside of the classroom to practice the skills they have learned and continue learning more about the ministry. The fifth year serves as a processing and reflecting period for the post-intern student.

Do students get paid my internship year?
Yes, students receive a monthly stipend during their internship year. The stipend varies from congregation to congregation. Congregations also provide/pay for housing during the internship experience.

What classes should I take in high school to prepare myself for the DCE program?
The core of the DCE program consists of religion, communication, and psychology classes. Taking classes in any or all of these areas of study would be beneficial to the student.

Can I double major?
Yes, students can work with their advisors to develop a plan for completing a double major.

What makes your program unique?
The Concordia University, St. Paul DCE program is the only program within the LCMS to offer a fourth year internship. This advantage helps the student process the internship experience and focus on further education plans during their fifth year.

An additional advantage of the program is the high number of LCMS congregations in the area that play an active role in the student's education. Students spend time in the local congregations observing and eventually taking an active role in the ministry. In addition, many DCEs take the time to come to Concordia to share their knowledge and experience.