Director of Christian Education (DCE) Program
There are few professions on earth that impact society as a whole. Educating young people in the Christian faith is one of those professions. You change lives, bring hope to the hopeless and reflect the light of Christ to the world. As a Director of Christian Education, you become an important tool in ministry. Concordia University, Irvine is here to equip you for that task. Join us in this exciting opportunity to become a Christian leader and make a difference!
What is a Director of Christian Education?
A Director of Christian Education (DCE) is a lifespan educational leader prepared for team ministry in a congregational setting and is certified, called and commissioned by The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). A DCE, empowered by the Holy Spirit, plans, administers and assesses ministry that nurtures and equips people in the Body of Christ for spiritual maturity, service and witness in home, job, congregation, community and the world.
The purpose of the Director of Christian Education Program is to equip leaders for ministry who are passionate about the Gospel, God’s people and Christ’s Church. Through four years of coursework and one year of internship, students will be prepared to serve effectively in a congregational setting in the following roles:
- Ministry Leader: Heart for full-time service in the church
- Christian Educator: Strong theological base to teach the Bible
- Care Minister: Dynamic character, willing to listen and care for the needs of others
- Life Span Minister: Compassion for people of all ages and backgrounds
Upon the successful completion of the Christian Education Leadership major and the DCE program requirements and upon recommendation of the faculty, students will:
- Receive certification as a DCE by the LCMS.
- Become eligible to receive a call into full-time service in the church.
Important Values of a DCE
- Exhibits Christian character
- Displays a spiritually-maturing faith grounded in the Scriptures and Lutheran Confessions
- Relates well with people of all ages
- Expresses passion for teaching and learning
- Possesses a servant heart
- Manages personal and professional life effectively
- Seeks to work in team relationships
- Strives for excellence
- Operates in a self-directed manner
- Encourages and equips future leaders
DCE Program Requirements
- General Education (54-55 units)
Major Requirements (46 units)
Christ College Certificate Requirements (21 units)
Additional DCE Program Requirements:
- Normally completed during the first two years of attendance.
Internship: Post-Baccalaureate (12 Units)
- CED 201: Introduction to DCE Ministry (3 units)
- CED 401: DCE Ministry Seminar/Field Work 1 (3 units)
- CED 402: DCE Ministry Seminar/Field Work 2 (3 units)
- CED 490: Internship: DCE Ministry (12 units)
- The final requirement for DCE certification is a year-long internship, normally following graduation, in a congregation, agency or mission site of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, that will enable students to experience as many aspects of the DCE ministry as possible. While interns register as students under the ultimate direction of the DCE Program director during internship, they are also paid by the participating congregation or agency and are under the direct supervision of a full-time person in the congregation or agency during this time.
Please read the following disclosure regarding Gainful Employment.
DCE Post-Baccalaureate Certification
DCE certification is designed for students who have obtained an undergraduate degree in a field unrelated to DCE ministry; have professional or volunteer experience in a Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) congregation; and desire to serve as a DCE in the LCMS. Concordia offers two means to DCE certification:
- Students may complete the DCE Post-Baccalaureate Certification Program. Students will take up to 55 units of undergraduate courses designed to prepare them for the DCE profession. For information regarding this program, contact the DCE Program office.
- Students may complete the Master of Arts in Theology with a Christian education emphasis. Contact Christ College for more information.
For more information regarding the DCE Program, please contact the Director, Dave Rueter.
Current students, please note: The requirements listed here may not reflect the most current courses for this program and may not be the requirements for the catalog year you are following to complete your program. Please refer to the Academic Catalog for official requirements you must meet to qualify for a degree.