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Director of Christian Education (DCE) Certification with Online Bachelor's Degree in Christian Education Leadership

Online Bachelor's Degree

Study with us.

  • Online flexibility to fit your needs, our faculty and staff will be there to coach you every step of the way
  • Faculty have substantial ministry experience and excellent scholarly credentials, having written many of the textbooks used throughout the Concordia University System and the LCMS
  • Concordia University Irvine houses the largest theological faculty in the Concordia University System
  • Opportunity awaits you, with practical applications in education, leadership, and counseling
  • Open forum to connect with other students, church workers, and professors


Students completing the program earn a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Education Leadership. Getting started with a degree can sometimes seem complicated, but our staff will help make it easier. Whether it's support toward financial aid or application advice - we are here to help. Students without a prior bachelor's degree will need to complete general education and elective requirements to complete their degree. Students with an existing bachelor’s degree will receive a second BA in Christian Education Leadership (CEL) as part of this program.


Christ College offers the online Director of Christian Education certification for those who need to progress in their career as a DCE with the LCMS. After finishing the coursework for your CEL degree, you will complete an internship in an LCMS church to be eligible for a call as a DCE.

Study from anywhere

The CEL with DCE program gives you the option to study from wherever you live, and accommodate your schedule around extracurricular activities, such as family and work. Regularly scheduled classes will keep you connected to professors and course work. We provide schedules, virtual lectures, and a larger network to connect with other students.

Students will be required to complete a two-week residency on campus during the summer, one of which will be associated with CED 450 Counseling in Ministry. This is the perfect opportunity to experience the sunny shores of Orange County, network with like-minded students and meet your Professors.

Apply Now.

  1. Complete the Online Application or download the Paper Application.
  2. Send official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
  3. Complete the following forms:
  4. Two references are needed for application to this program. One will be from an LCMS Professional Church Worker, the other will be a Personal Reference. Please ask your references to complete the appropriate form and return it to the address below.
  5. Send all forms and requested items to:
    Graduate Studies in Theology
    Concordia University
    1530 Concordia West
    Irvine, CA 92612-3203
    Phone and Fax: (949) 214-3389

Admissions Eligibility

All applicants for the Online Bachelor of Arts in Christian Education Leadership with DCE Certification Program must:

  1. Already possess a bachelor’s degree or fulfill CUI’s requirements to enter an OBD program
  2. Be working in a relevant ministry position in a church or church-related context

If you do not already have a bachelor’s degree, there are three options of eligibility to enter Concordia University Irvine’s Online Bachelor’s Degree program:

  • Option 1: Associate Degree, IGETC, or CSU certification
  • Option 2: You have 45 transferable credits or more and are able to take general education classes concurrently with your major.
  • If you have 0-44 units, you are eligible for candidate status and can begin taking GE courses. Once 45 credits total are obtained, you can begin taking courses concurrently.
Apply Now

Get in Touch

For more information or any questions, we invite you to contact us directly.

Carrie Donohoe

Carrie Donohoe
Christ College Program Coordinator
[email protected]

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