The Center for Church Leadership

The Center for Church Leadership will equip and form the next generation of pastors and ministry directors for entrepreneurial ministry leadership. Through academic course work, spiritual formation, and hands-on ministry experience, students are prepared to serve the church in our dynamic and uncertain world.

If you would like to support our work or have any other questions, please contact Director and Professor Jonathan Ruehs at 949-214-3114 or jonathan.ruehs@cui.edu.

Learn more about the Center for Church Leadership

Church Work Scholarships & Grants

Workers are needed for the harvest. Through quality church work programs, Concordia University Irvine supports the formation of pastors, DCEs, DPMs, deaconesses, and teachers in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). That support now includes a substantial increase in institutional aid.

Learn more about Church Work scholarships & grants


If I could give one piece of advice to prospective students, I would say if you really feel God is leading to you Concordia University Irvine, don’t stress about the money. Instead, pray about it a lot, talk to people you respect, get the opinions of people you love…and then go for it! God provides! He provided for me, and I’m certain He will for you, too!
Maddie Upchurch '17

Maddie Upchurch '17

Church Music Program

Concordia is proud to be one of the top schools in the nation for commissioning church musicians for the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod through our Director of Parish Music program. Our Faculty are leading experts in the diverse skill-sets needed as church musicians and provide students significant experience in all areas. This leads to graduates who are in demand for full-time church employment in many Christian denominations.

Learn more about our program

Performing Arts Outreach

Coordinate visits from Concordia's student music and theatre ministry teams to perform at your church.

View our current Performing Arts Outreach calendar

DCE student talking with kids

Mentorship Opportunities

In addition to quality academic preparation, Director of Christian Education (DCE) students are assigned to a local congregation for fieldwork as early as the spring semester of their freshman year. Churches with an interest in mentoring fieldwork students, please contact DCE Program Director, Prof. Rebecca Duport, at rebecca.duport@cui.edu or (949) 214-3621.

Learn more about mentorship opportunities

Centers & Institutes

The Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling

The Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling

Dr. John Townsend has assembled a world-class team of influencers, the Institute Fellows - author-teachers and practitioners with broad platforms who are widely recognized. The Townsend Institute at Concordia University Irvine offers a distinct advantage as you personally learn from John and these top thinkers and practitioners on how to transform your life and your work.

See the Townsend Institute


Crosswise Institute

Crosswise Institute

The Crosswise Institute of Concordia University Irvine endeavors to engage high school students in meaningful dialogue on contemporary cultural issues that challenge their worldview. Together, students are invited to develop their ideas, refine their thinking, and examine how the church community might respond to current and relevant topics as informed by Scripture.

See the Crosswise Institute


Center for Church Leadership

Center for Church Leadership

The Center for Church Leadership equips and forms the next generation of pastors and ministry directors for entrepreneurial ministry leadership. Through academic course work, spiritual formation, and hands-on ministry experience, students are prepared to serve the church in our dynamic and uncertain world.

See the Center for Church Leadership


Cross-cultural Ministry Center

Cross-cultural Ministry Center

The Cross-cultural Ministry Center (CMC) is committed to forming faithful missionary pastors to initiate and develop culture-crossing ministries. CMC students simultaneously serve as a vicar in a local congregation during all four years of their studies. Students graduate with a Master of Arts in Theology and receive full certification for ordination as a pastor in the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS).

See the Cross-cultural Ministry Center


Church Work Program

Church Work Program

Concordia’s Church Work program equips students for full-time ministry in the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. They learn from and with future pastors, teachers, Directors of Christian Education, Directors of Parish Music, and deaconesses.

See Church Work


Faithworks Center

Faithworks Center

The FaithWorks Center at Concordia University Irvine expands the Faith, Work, and Economics activities already being conducted by Christ College in partnership with Concordia’s other schools. The center helps pastors and professionals understand the economic, moral, and spiritual significance of work by showing how it contributes to the flourishing of other people and society as a whole.

See the Faithworks Center


Center for Public Policy

Center for Public Policy

Through the Center for Public Policy, Concordia University works with elected officials, labor, business groups, public sector managers and local residents to find solutions to difficult problems and serve as a forum for discussion and dialogue. A program of the School of Business, the Center brings together diverse points of view within Orange County to focus on critical issues confronting our future.

See the Center for Public Policy


Center for United States Missions

Center for United States Missions

The Center for U.S. Missions is a partnership between The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) World Mission, Concordia University Irvine, the North American Mission Executives of the LCMS, and People of the Book Lutheran Outreach (POBLO) International. We provide research and training for mission work among unevangelized people in the United States. Visit the CUSM website to make a donation and resource congregations for mission work.

See the Center for United States Missions


Support Centers & Institutes

Support Centers & Institutes

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