Family Life Ministry (A)

The theology department identifies its purpose in terms of Concordia’s statement of purpose, especially the following statements with spiritual focus:

“The total program is centered in the Christian philosophy with a confessional Lutheran emphasis…. Concordia University seeks to develop mature Christians in whom knowledge and understanding of the Holy Scriptures, the inspired, inerrant Word of God and the source and norm of Christian truth, are united with personal faith in Jesus as God and Savior. Concordia’s spiritual resources are directed to the development of Christian faith and practice of Christian virtues so that the student can form value judgments and arrive at ethical principles required for purposeful living. Concordia’s programs … nurture religious commitment, provide insights for Christian action in the world, and … provide an opportunity for intelligent selection of vocations for service to God, church and society…. Concordia … is interested in exerting a Christian influence on the community, nation, and world.” (Departmental Statement of Purpose, August 30, 2002)

Family Life Ministry prepares students for ministry in congregations to equip healthy families, marriages, and communities for building strong relationships, developing in faith, and teaching the Gospel. Family Life Ministry is an applied, inter-disciplinary field of study, in which students will study theology, psychology, communication, sociology, and economics with a focus on building-up families and the church. Family Life Ministry students will practice Christ-like love, integrity, and excellence as they develop and implement family programming in congregations, connect people across generations, equip families to grow in faith and love together, and reach out to the community through meaningful relationships. Successful graduation from this program grants a certification in Family Life Ministry from Concordia University for all graduates, which also makes Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) students eligible for the rostered, professional church-work position of Director of Family Life Ministries in the LCMS.

Director of Family Life Ministries (DFLM)—LCMS Certification

Although all successful graduates will receive a certification from Concordia, LCMS students who take Biblical Theology, Lutheran Confessions, and Survey of Christian Thought will be eligible for being rostered as a Director of Family Life Ministries in the LCMS. This position is a professional church-work position as a commissioned minister of the gospel in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. For those seeking placement as a DFLM in a congregation of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, placement staff of CUWAA and the Family Life Department will support each student through the various steps of the call process.

Practicum and Internship Placements

The Family Life Ministry major incorporates practical ministry experience in a variety of congregational settings. Beginning sophomore year, students are strongly encouraged to participate in the STEPS program. Additionally, a general practicum placement is required for all students in the Family Life Ministry major. The Practicum assignment is determined through a meeting between the student and the Family Life Ministry director in consultation with Family Life Ministry faculty.

For a culminating experience, students will take FAM 455 Family Life Ministry Internship. This required course is usually taken concurrently with other classes during the Fall of senior year. Students will work alongside the Family Ministry director and faculty to secure a placement that fits their learning goals. As requested by family life ministry faculty, students may be required to take FAM 450 Advanced Practicum in Family Life Ministry before certification.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Students will use the Bible for faith formation and teaching the Gospel.
  • Students will apply family dynamics of different societies and cultures to ministry practice.
  • Students will utilize six themes of Christian family life ministry, integrating theology, psychology, and sociology. 
  • Students will develop and implement family life ministry programming for Christian congregations. 
  • Students will be prepared to communicate effectively through interpersonal relationships, written communication, and oral presentations. 
  • Students will evaluate data as it impacts families and congregations.  

Curriculum

Core Requirements 145
Major Requirements39
Electives42
Minor: Recommended (minimum 18 credits)
Total Hours126
Required Core Courses
General Psychology
Interpersonal Communication
Old Testament
Biblical Theology (required for LCMS students)
Christian Faith
A Survey of Christian Thought (required for LCMS students)
OR for non-LCMS students, choose one of the following:
Religion in America Today
Church in Mission
A Survey of Christian Thought
Lutheran Confessions
World Religions
Required Courses
FAM 105Family Life Ministry Seminar2
FAM 210Practical Skills in Family Life Ministry3
FAM 311Family Dynamics and Resource Management3
FAM 390Family Life Ministry Practicum3
FAM 430Foundations of Family Life Ministry3
FAM 432Administration in Family Life Ministry3
FAM 455Family Life Ministry Internship3
EDU 408Teaching Christian Faith2
EDU 445Office of Christian Teacher2
PSY 230Life Span Development3
SOC 333Families in Society3
REL 203New Testament3
REL 233Communicating Bible Messages3
REL 404Lutheran Confessions3
OR for non-LCMS students, choose one of the following that has not yet been taken:
Religion in America Today
Church in Mission
A Survey of Christian Thought
Lutheran Confessions
World Religions
Total Hours39

Program Admission

Students can officially apply for admission to the Family Life Ministry program in their fourth semester, after successful completion of Family Life Ministry seminar and Old and New Testament. Students need to carry a 2.5 CGPA for admission into the program. (Probationary acceptance may be given to students with a CGPA of at least 2.0 if other requirements are met.) Students will also have an interview with the Family Life Ministry director for official entry into the program. Should a Family Life Ministry student earn less than a 2.0 GPA in any classes required for the major, students will be required to repeat the course and earn at least a 2.0 GPA before Concordia University will certify students for Family Life Ministry (or endorse students for rostering in the LCMS). If Family Life Ministry leadership believes the student needs further experience after the internship, the student will be required to complete FAM 450 Advanced Practicum in Family Life Ministry before being certified by Concordia University.