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Dr. Jonathan Ruehs talking with two Concordia students

Developing Grace-filled Leaders for Gospel-focused Ministry

In every age and generation there is a need and calling for ministry leaders who are equipped for service in this ever-changing world, a world that is longing for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet, as ministry leaders in the church begin to retire, there is a noticeable shortfall of younger workers poised to take on the mantle of ministry leadership. There is an urgent need in the church for trained ministers to step up and fill this gap—leaders willing to receive the mantle passed onto them by those who have gone before them; leaders who understand the complexities of the world we live in; leaders who will continue to lead the church with boldness and conviction in the gospel.

The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.

— Luke 10:2

Concordia University Irvine has seen the need and in response has established the Center for Church Leadership. The Center will equip and form the next generation of pastors and ministry directors for ministry leadership. Through academic course work, spiritual formation, and hands-on ministry experience, students will be prepared to serve the church in our dynamic and uncertain world.

What We Do

The Center for Church Leadership will equip ministry leaders by:

  • Working with Christian churches to identify and form young Christians for pastor leadership
  • Forming students personally, spiritually, theologically, and ministerially
  • Equipping students with adaptive ministry skills for effective service in a changing context
  • Working collaboratively with a broad range of Christian churches to have a greater impact for the kingdom of God

How We Do It

The Center for Church Leadership provides three different routes where students can receive an education to prepare them for a future in ministry leadership or to enhance their current leadership in the local church. The three routes include a traditional four-year degree, an online bachelor's degree, and a traditional MA degree for those who have completed an undergraduate major. Each of these three routes will focus on developing the student to think theologically, engage ministerially, and lead wisely.

The Center for Church Leadership has given me the tools and resources for my future in ministry leadership, by expanding my borders and stretching my views of church work and life.

Jacob '23

Contact Us

Dr. Jonathan B. Ruehs has been in ministry for over twenty years working in cross-cultural contexts with children, youth, college students, and adults. He has an undergraduate degree from Concordia University Irvine in religious studies with a focus on Christian education leadership, an MA degree from Biola University in Christian apologetics, and a seminary degree from Concordia University Irvine in cross-cultural ministry. He is also in the Intercultural Studies PhD program at Columbia International University focusing on the topic of spiritual warfare in a North American context. Besides being a faculty member, Jonathan serves as an assisting pastor at his church in Irvine.

If you would like to support our work or have any other questions, please contact:

Professor Jonathan Ruehs

Dr. Jonathan Ruehs
Director, Center for Church Leadership
[email protected]

Made possible by a generous grant from:

The Kern Family Foundation Logo
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