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DCE Specialist Certification (Post-Bac)

The DCE Specialist Certification is a means by which graduates of non-LCMS colleges and universities may complete program certification requirements for the Director of Christian (DCE) ministry of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and be included on the roster of the Commissioned Ministry.

The DCE Specialist Certification Program requires a total of up to 70 hours of credit, depending on prior coursework and experience. A one-year internship in a LCMS parish will give 24 semester hours of credit. The internship is required to receive the DCE Certification.

Course work is typically taken over a three-year period, followed by a full-time internship. Seventy-five percent of our students have completed the program within the two to three year time frame. Our most recent certificate students in 2009 both finished their certification in two years.

Since 2002, 16 people have been certified through this specialist certification and 93% of these students received initial placement in a congregation.

DCE Certification Program information (PDF)


  • Completion of a Bachelor's degree or the equivalent at a regionally accredited institution
  • Overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or better
  • Three completed Reference Forms (PDF) or Reference Form (PDF form): Academic, Congregational Pastor, and Personal (Non-family, at least 21 years old)
  • Official copies of all college transcripts on file at Concordia University Texas
  • Completion of the Concordia application form
  • Active membership in a parish of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

Program Information

  • Tuition and fees: $785 per semester hour (for 1-11 hours) and $11,800 Full-time (for 12-18 hours). Full payment of all tuition and fees is due on or before registration for each semester. Additional fees and interest may be charged after posted deadlines. All charges must be paid prior to participation in graduation or release of credentials or certification.
  • Students in the DCE Certification program receive a 25% discount in tuition through the Student Financial Services DCE Certification Discount Grant. The rates above do not reflect that discount.
  • Deposit: A tuition deposit may be required to reserve classes. This deposit is non-refundable, but will be applied to tuition.
  • Occupations the program prepares the students to enter along with links to the occupational profiles may be found on O*NET.

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