Director of Christian Education (DCE)

What is a DCE?

A DCE is a lifespan ("cradle to grave") parish educator who typically works as part of a church's ministry team with pastors, other staff members, and volunteers. Depending upon a DCE's unique talents, skills, interests, and experience, he or she might lead a church's parish education program, children’s ministry, youth ministry, small group ministry, young adult ministry, family ministry, or music ministry. At Concordia University Chicago, you will have many opportunities to explore and discover how God is shaping you to serve in His Church.


The Chicago area is home to more than 200 Lutheran congregations. CUC's DCE program partners with some of these churches to provide our students with opportunities to explore and develop practical ministry skills through congregational fieldwork before they begin working in a church full-time.

CUC's DCE students also have opportunities to lead and participate in social and spiritual events including retreats, domestic and international mission trips, Bible studies, and fellowship opportunities. DCE students form a close-knit community that not only provides support and encouragement while you're in school, but they also form many deep friendships that remain strong even after graduation.

Leadership opportunities in the DCE program are also available for students who want to help plan and organize activities and events for their fellow DCE students.

Program Overview

Concordia Chicago's DCE program offers two degree options. Which track is best for you depends on your interests.

  1. DCE + Illinois/Lutheran Teacher Certification (Dual Certification)
  2. DCE Certification (Single Certification)

For complete details, read our specific course information in the Academic Catalog.

Faculty Within the Department