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Make a Difference as a Leader in Christian Education

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 called and commissioned lifespan educational leader prepared for team ministry. A DCE 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. CUI’s Director of Christian Education Program equips leaders for ministry who are passionate about the Gospel, God’s people, and their calling. 

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 to and care for the needs of others
  • Life Span Minister: Compassion for people of all ages and backgrounds

Upon the successful completion of the Theological Studies: 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

Alumni Success

  • Brian Ho

    Director of Christian Education (DCE): Brian Ho ’24

    By Brian Ho '24

    I first heard about Concordia at my home church, Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit in San Francisco. My DCE is an alumnus, and the Christ-like love I received from him inspired me to go into full-time ministry. I also learned from church volunteers who attended Concordia before me and shared about their studies and future vocations. I began volunteering at my church in high school where I participated in worship, learned to be comfortable in front of a crowd, led summer camps, and served in a church community

  • Cindy Steinbeck ‘02 and Steve Schedler ‘84

    Life in God’s Vineyard

    By Magazine Editorial Team

    Cindy Steinbeck, MA ’02 and Steve Schedler ’84 both walked through seasons of great personal hardship. Now, as spouses and partners in the Voice in the Vineyard Ministry, they are supporting ministers with teaching, renewal retreats, and the healing power of relationship. 

  • Beth Agner

    When Light Shines in Darkness

    By Magazine Editorial Team

    Beth Agner ‘05 came to Concordia University Irvine with a love of numbers and accounting and has used that gift to start two financially profitable ministries within the church. But when her younger sister was murdered, it challenged her ability to forgive.

  • Director of Christian Education (DCE): Rachel Hoag ’20

    By Rachel Hoag '20

    When I came to Concordia University Irvine I wasn’t sure of my path. I wanted to be a church worker but was navigating what that looked like and how my gifts and talents would be best used. My fellow students really helped me find my purpose and kept me accountable to rely on God for everything, small and big. On group projects and mission trips we bonded outside of class hours and really became a family. Those people became my forever friends and colleagues in ministry.

  • Tom Going

    Teaching Christ in Japan

    Tom and Debi Going ’90 have spent 18 years in Japan teaching English in local schools. Today, Tom teaches at Urawa Lutheran School, which was founded by Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) missionaries in the 1950s.

  • Maddie working with kids

    DCE Student Profile: Maddie Upchurch

    I first heard of Concordia University Irvine through the Director of Christian Education at my home church in North Carolina. I admired her love for Jesus and her passion for teaching people about Him. Because I really wanted to follow in her footsteps, I decided to check out Concordia, too.

  • Madison Haase

    Madison Haase '19: Seeing Christ’s Light Shine Through Others

    By Magazine Editorial Team

    As a high-school student, Madison's DCE made an impression on her life and inspired her to pursue a calling in ministry. Her time at Concordia has been shaped by the connections she's made with faculty, staff, and fellow students, most notably through the Around-the-World Semester®.

  • Adam Dougherty

    Adam Dougherty ‘19: Theological Depth of Program Prepares Alum for Youth Director Calling

    By Magazine Editorial Team

    Adam Dougherty ‘19 felt an internal call to the Theological Studies: Christian Education Leadership and Director of Christian Education (DCE) program at  Concordia University Irvine, trusting in the academic rigor and the theological depth of the program to prepare him to be a well-educated student and minister in the LCMS.

  • Brenda Segovia

    Brenda Segovia ’15: In the Mud with Those in Need

    By Magazine Editorial Team

    I do a lot of work with Rio Grande Valley Mission Action Council (RioMAC), a collaboration of twelve Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod churches in the Rio Grande Valley which focuses on unity within our circuit, within our individual congregations and within our communities. We also engage in outreach, specifically to those who do not know how incredibly loved they are by Jesus. Our outreach efforts have placed us in some very unlikely places and situations, which make for interesting ministry stories

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Online Bachelor's Degree with DCE Certification

If you are already working in a relevant ministry position in a church or church-related context, and you already possess a bachelor's degree or fulfill the university's requirements to enter an online bachelor's degree program, our online Christian Education Leadership degree may be the best route for you. Upon completion of this degree and additional requirements, you will be eligible for certification as a DCE in the LCMS.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the DCE Program, please contact the Director, Prof. Rebecca Duport '98.

Rebecca Duport

Prof. Rebecca Duport
Program Director
(949) 214-3621
[email protected]

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