Director of Church Ministries (EC)

The online Director of Church Ministries (DCM) 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 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.

Certificate Program Requirements

Required Courses
Level 1 - Foundations for Service
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
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 as a Commissioned Minister of Religion - Director of Church Ministries (DCM)
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

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.