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A Director of Christian Education, by The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod definition, is a synodically certified, called, and commissioned life-span educational leader prepared for team ministry in a congregational setting. In this setting, a DCE is:
In 1959, the LCMS in convention resolved, "that congregations be encouraged to analyze their parish program and, where needed, to establish the office of Director of Christian Education in order to provide additional leadership for the educational program of the congregation." In 1962 in convention, the LCMS encouraged "the field to grow with the passing of another resolution that teachers' colleges be encouraged, with approval of the Board of Higher Education, to intensify the program for training Directors of Christian Education in their curricula." Almost 50 years later, there are six Concordia Universities that certify DCEs. Concordia University Texas is the newest to add DCE certification to its list of majors. At present, it is the fastest growing program on campus -- increasing almost 500% since beginning in 2000. Concordia University Texas accepts and abides by the Synodical mission statement for all DCEs established at the 1999 DCE Summit:
Empowered by the Holy Spirit, the DCE plans, administers and assesses ministry that nurtures and equips people as the Body of Christ for spiritual maturity, service and witness in home, job, congregation, community and the world. (Ephesians 4:11-16, 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
What are the DCE Career Opportunities? Right now, there are fewer than 800 DCEs serving within the full-time ministry of the LC-MS. In Texas and elsewhere, DCE graduates are in great demand.
Four years of college work and one year of full-time internship are required to complete the Religious Education major with DCE Certification. Upon successful completion of the requirements, the student is awarded the DCE certification and is eligible for a Call into full-time ministry of the LC-MS as a Director of Christian Education. Scholarship assistance is available.
Formal Admission into the DCE Program
Once you are at Concordia University Texas, you will need to be admitted to the Program. Applications should be submitted during the student's sophomore year. Program admission forms are available in the DCE office and as a writable PDF form under the Requirements for Full Admission below.
Requirements for Full Admission (See the DCE Handbook for more details)
An applicant to the College of Education - DCE Ministry Church Certification program must:
The DCE Senior Capstone Practicum classes are designed to give participants on-site involvement with a practiced DCE in order to acquire experience and skills related to DCE ministry. This normally occurs during a student's senior year.
Practicum Information and Forms:
After graduation, the student performs and carries out the duties of a DCE in a directed and supervised, academic, one-year experience in a congregational setting. The paid, benefited internship is designed to enable the student to experience as many aspects of the educational and youth ministries in a parish as possible. The parish pastor or other church professional serves as on-site supervisor. The DCE Program Director or Associate Director serves as the University supervisor and campus contact.
Internship Information and Forms:
Complete DCE Internship Handbook 2012-13 (PDF)
Intern Time Log - p30 (PDF)
Intervention Plan - p51 (PDF)