Director of Church Ministries - Online Certificate (M)

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)

The online Director of Church Ministries (DCM) Certificate is a 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. Some courses are offered in a cohort model, with cohort courses being offered every other year.  Students are welcome to join at any time.  Each course is eight weeks in length. The first course (REL 105 Church Leadership Seminar) and the twelfth course (REL 495 Director of Church Ministries Seminar) are taken virtually. 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 online adult learning theological studies and gain a bachelor’s degree. 

The online Director of Church Ministries (DCM) 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 (DCM). 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.

Certification and Placement

Upon full completion of all requirements, including a written and oral examination, students are eligible for certification through The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. Director of Church Ministries Bachelor of Arts students and Online Certificate students receive the same certification. Students may be solemnly called to positions in congregations or recognized service organizations of the church, and may be eligible to be rostered in The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod with the designation “Minister of Religion Commissioned – Director of Church Ministries (DCM).” The placement process for online certificate students is the same as for the four year graduates. Concordia University Wisconsin is the only synod school at which this program is offered. 


Required Courses
Level 1 - Foundations for Service
REL 105Church Leadership Seminar (virtually)1
REL 201Old Testament3
REL 203New Testament3
REL 204Biblical Theology3
REL 310Religion in America Today3
REL 387Christ's People Through the Ages3
Level 2- Practice in Service
REL 287Christian Care Giving3
REL 328Family and Youth Ministry3
REL 229Religious Education of Youth and Adults3
REL 233Communicating Bible Messages3
REL 311Church in Mission3
Level 3 - Certification as a Commissioned Minister of Religion - Director of Church Ministries (DCM)
REL 495Director of Church Ministries Seminar (virtually)1
REL 312Office of the Professional Church Worker3
REL 440Lutheran Worship: Theology and Practice3
REL 383Gospel of Luke3
REL 404Lutheran Confessions3
REL 420Church Ministries Internship3
Total Hours47