The online Director of Church Ministries Certificate is a non-degree certificate consisting of seventeen courses, all but two of which are taken online. Application to the certificate program involves steps in addition to application to the university. Courses are offered in a cohort model, with a new cohort beginning every June. Each course is eight weeks in length, allowing for students to take three consecutive courses each semester. The first course (REL 105 Church Leadership Seminar) and the twelfth course (REL 495 Director of Church Ministries Seminar) are taken through two three-day residencies on campus. In order to be certified students must have a Bachelor of Arts degree. Most students enter the online program already possessing the degree. Students can take additional courses through the online Adult learning Theology Major and gain a bachelor’s degree. Applicants for the online Director of Church Ministries Certificate should contact the Office of Continuing and Distance Education.

The online Director of Church Ministries Certificate is especially helpful for the person already working in a congregation who lacks the training and credential to be eligible for a call in The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. The online program is also available for lay persons desiring to dig deeper into theology at a collegiate level without necessarily seeking certification as a director of church ministries. Lay persons are welcome to take as much of the program as they desire. For that reason the sequence of courses are arranged as follows.

Certificate Program Requirements

Required Courses
Level 1 - Foundations for Service (Certificate in Theological Foundations)
REL 105Church Leadership Seminar (on campus)1
REL 201Old Testament3
REL 203New Testament3
REL 204Biblical Theology3
REL 310Religion in America Today3
REL 387Christ's People Thru the Ages3
Level 2- Practice in Service (Certificate in Practice of Lay Ministry)
REL 287Christian Care Giving3
REL 328Family and Youth Ministry3
REL 229Rel Educ-Youth & Adults3
REL 233Communicating Bible Messages3
REL 311Church in Mission3
Level 3 - Certification (Certification for Commissioned Minister of Religion - Lay Minister)
REL 495Director of Church Ministries Seminar (on campus)1
REL 312Office Professional Chrch Work3
REL 440Lutheran Worship Theol & Pract3
REL 383Gospel of Luke3
REL 404Lutheran Confessions3
REL 420Church Ministries Internship3
Total Hours47

Placement and Certification

The placement process for online certificate students is the same as for the four year graduates. Lay Ministry Bachelor of Arts students and Online Certificate students receive the same certification.