While the program offers more than one route to earning certification as a DCE, the Concordia DCE program focuses on offering a rich mixture of classroom and ministry-based experience. Students learn from experience by serving in local congregations and participating in required yearlong ministry internships.
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. A distinctive advantage of the program is its fourth year internship. The yearlong internship offers students the opportunity to put theory into practice. The final year of the program focuses on internship reflection and core curriculum completion.
Three routes lead to earning certification as a Director of Christian Education. These routes vary depending upon the student's goals, educational background, and experience. The curriculum for all routes provides a broad understanding of ministry within the church, while allowing students to explore an area of ministry they choose in greater depth.
Students earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree with the DCE Certification. The course of study includes:
- General Education Requirements
- Minor in Confessional Lutheranism
- Parish Education and Administration Major
- Director of Christian Education Emphasis
- Program Requirements
The person completing this process would complete the DCE baccalaureate. In addition, the student would meet the requirements of the College of Education as a licensed Lutheran classroom teacher.
This program offers certification for those who have earned a baccalaureate degree, currently serve a Lutheran congregation, and seek certification as a Director of Christian Education through the colloquy process of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. A Master of Arts Degree with an emphasis in Parish Education and Administration is also an option for this program. Colloquy Information