Director of Church Ministries – Online Certificate

Online Theology Certificate



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) and the twelfth course (REL 495) 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.

Placement and Certification

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


Area of Study Theology
Next Start Date June 1, 2018




Total Cost


Affiliated with the Concordia Bible Institute.
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Goals / Objectives

  • Students who complete all three levels are available for calls to congregations and agencies and are eligible to be rostered in The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod
  • Deep knowledge of Christian history from Pentecost to the present
  • Understanding of parent and child relationships, teen development, and the place of faith and the church in family life
  • Clear sense of the role of auxiliary ministries in the light of the New Testament and the Lutheran Confessions

Career Outlook

  • Congregation Educational Director
  • Director of Church Ministries
  • Lay Minister
  • Missionary
  • Parish Teacher

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Level 1: Foundations for Service

Level 1 provides a solid foundation in the study of the Bible and Lutheran theology. The rich, historical background of Christianity and its place among other belief systems is explored. The Theological Foundations Certificate is awarded upon completion.

Church Leadership (Residency Required) (REL 105) - Credits: 1

Course Description

Church Leadership introduces the students to the lay ministry program by seeking avenues for theological and spiritual formation to serve in the church. Residency is required for this course.
Old Testament (REL 201) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Old Testament is an overview of the Old Testament intended to acquaint the student with its background, content, and messages.
New Testament (REL 203) - Credits: 3

Course Description

New Testament is an overview of the New Testament intended to acquaint the student with its background, content, and messages.
Biblical Theology (REL 204) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Biblical Theology is a systematic study of major areas of Christian doctrine with an emphasis on what Scripture says, as well as how Lutheran doctrine reflects what Scripture teaches.
Religion in America (REL 310) - Credits: 3
No course description at this time.
Christ’s People Through the Ages (REL 387) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Christ’s People Through the Ages surveys Christian history from Pentecost to the present. Distinctive eras in Christian history will be discussed, with attention to their main contours and the principal dynamic forces at work within them.

Level 2: Practice in Service

Level 2 provides a theological toolbox for teaching, leading devotions, outreach, visitation, and family ministry.

Christian Care Giving (REL 287) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Christian Care Giving offers the student preparing for full-time church work opportunity to understand and apply the theology of the cross and the practice of the church in Christian care giving.
Family and Youth Ministry (REL 328) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Family and Youth Ministry explores congregation ministry with and for families by providing students with an understanding of parent and child relationships, teen development, and the place of faith and the church in family life. Special attention is paid to family life education, intergenerational ministry, and strategic planning, with the goal of building ministries that strengthen family relationships.
Religious Education of Youth & Adults (REL 229) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Religious Education of Youth & Adults equips the students with practical methods, skills, and resources to teach religion to youth and adults in a parish setting. Provides students with opportunities to strengthen their ability to communicate the Gospel effectively.
Communicating Bible Messages (REL 233) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Communicating Bible Messages helps the student acquire greater skill in communicating meaningful Bible messages, by learning the theory and practice of analyzing a text of Scripture, writing a message for a specific audience based on that text, and delivering the message. Topical and other creative approaches will also be examined.
Church in Mission (REL 311) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Church in Mission studies the mission of the Church with a vision toward contemporary ministry and outreach. Emphasis will be given to cross-generational and cross-cultural outreach methods.

Level 3: Church Ministries Certification

Level 3 provides in-depth study in Lutheran worship and the Lutheran Confessions. Synodical structure and congregational organization, planning and leadership are explored. Upon completion, the student receives certification by the CUW Faculty and is eligible for call in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

Director of Church Ministries Seminar (REL 495) - Credits: 1

Course Description

Lay Ministry Seminar brings into focus the students' vocation and the utilization of their spiritual gifts in the service of the church. The participants will present, in light of Lutheran Confessional theology, their personal vocational goals to serve in the church. Residency is required for this course.
Office of the Professional Church Worker (REL 312) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Office of the Professional Church Worker studies the role of auxiliary ministries in the light of the New Testament and the Lutheran Confessions. It pays particular attention to church administration and conflict resolution in congregations.
Lutheran Worship: Theology and Practice (REL 440) - Credits: 3
No course description at this time.
Gospel of Luke (REL 383) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Gospel of Luke surveys foundational principles and techniques in biblical interpretation using the Gospel of Luke.
Lutheran Confessions (REL 404) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Lutheran Confessions is an overview of the historical background and major teachings of the Lutheran Confessions. The major thrust of the course is a discussion of the doctrines of the Augsburg Confessions as these are also expounded in the other Confessions of the Lutheran Church.
Lay Ministry Internship (REL 420) - Credits: 3

Course Description

Lay Ministry Internship is a course which puts theory into practice in a specialized setting unique to the individual student need. The student intern is introduced to the congregational or institutional arena of professional church work. This presents the student intern the opportunity to experience the vocational option of service as a lay minister. Placement is made by arrangement.

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