Bachelor of Arts inChristian Ministries

Majoring in Christian Ministries involves studying Christian beliefs, teachings, history, practices, ethics, church organization and management, and outreach. You’ll explore your vocation as you reflect on and formalize your understanding of faith and learning in the context of your personal identity in Christ, the broader ministry of the Gospel and your vision of future ministry and personal growth. You’ll be equipped for exemplary service in Christian ministry (with an education or outreach emphasis) as you take 42 credit hours towards a Bachelor of Arts degree.

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Christian Ministries Curriculum Overview

The primary objective of the Christian Ministry major is to equip students for exemplary service in Christian ministry settings in the areas of education and/or outreach. It presupposes the minor in confessional Lutheranism, which represents the theological core of the program and is taken by most church work students. The following objectives, growing out of and informed by the Christian Gospel, help to determine the plan of study for the Major in
Christian Ministry:

For Certification in the LCMS as a Director of Christian Education (DCE), add 12 credits of internship and 8 credits of additional coursework (see below). For Certification in the LCMS as a Director of Christian Outreach (DCO), add 12 credits of internship. Both DCE and DCO certifications also require completion of the Lutheran Theology minor.

Prerequisites from General Education
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
THL - 215 Hist & Lit of the New Testamnt 4
THL - 431 Lutheran Doctrine I 3

An introduction to the historical context and literature of the New Testament. Students master the stories and teachings of early Christianity, practice the use of the tools of biblical interpretation, and grow in their ability to read texts of the Bible in their historical and literary contexts.

A study of the content and effective application of the Christian understanding of doctrine itself, God, creation, theological anthropology, and the person and work of Christ, with an exploration of the biblical basis, conceptual framework, and the contemporary significance of the historic doctrine of the Lutheran church. Particular attention will be given to the contributions of C.F.W. Walther to the Lutheran understanding of Law and Gospel. Prerequisites: THL201 and (THL206 or THL215)

Required Core: 26 Credits
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
CHM - 268 Intro. to Christian Ministry 2
THL - 371 Mission of God 4
ED - 201 Foundations & Intro to Edu 3
THL - 353 Varieties of Beliefs 4
CHM - 325 Strategic Ministry 4
CHM - 330 Cultural Context & Faith Devlp 4
ED - 454 Teaching the Faith 2
CHM - 490 Theory to Action: Capstone 2

Through an exploration of scriptural, theological, historical and social foundations of Christian ministry, students work to develop a personal philosophy of ministry. In addition, students study and utilize essential leadership skills for effective Christian ministry practice and service. As a major project throughout the course, students develop a professional Christian ministry portfolio.

This course traces the mission of God through the Old and New Testaments. It explores God's intent for his mission people in the past, present and future and discloses that intent in biblical narratives and texts and in Lutheran theology and Lutheran confessions. This course fulfills the intermediate general education requirement for Theology. (Prerequisite: THL100 or THL206 or THL215)

Concordia's teacher education program and its conceptual framework are introduced to students in this course. This course introduces students to the philosophical, historical, sociological, and legal foundations upon which current educational theory and practice is constructed. During the duration of the course students need to register for required MTLE Basic Skills Test (additional fee). A 15-hour field experience that satisfies a portion of the university's human relations requirement is included. Admission to Program is an outcome including development of efolio and admittance to program interview.

From a Christian perspective, this course explores the varieties of human religious beliefs. Major religions are surveyed in terms of artifacts, behaviors, emotions, beliefs, values, world views, and histories. The course will cover Animism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, with special attention in the latter case devoted to the Christian denominations of North America. Prerequisites: THL100 or THL206 or THL215

Christian ministry in diverse and fluid cultures calls for strategic and intentional leadership. Students explore and apply current strategic planning theories, methods and tools to help Christian ministry organizations fulfill their missions within ever-changing communities and cultural contexts. Through case study analysis and projects, students apply organizational change theory to congregations and ministry organizations.

Students study the practice of Christian ministry within different cultural contexts and across the lifespan, paying particular attention to applying principles of biblical interpretation and a Lutheran understanding of Law and Gospel to the design and implementation of ministry experiences. Through applied projects, students develop a commitment to a reflective practice that respects diverse voices and beliefs.

Theories of spiritual growth and development of children and adolescents, organization and distinctive characteristics of various religion curricula, theories and methods of effective teaching of the faith and materials for instruction at both elementary and secondary levels are studied. Classroom management and discipline from the Lutheran perspective is also considered. (Prerequisite: ED 336 Educational Psychology, upper level standing.)

Students reflect on and formalize their understanding of Christian ministry in the context of their personal identity in Christ, the broader ministry of the Gospel, and their vision of future ministry and personal growth. Students prepare and present a capstone Christian Ministry project.

Christian Education Track Prerequisites from General Education
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
PSY - 101 Introduction to Psychology 4

This course introduces the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Psychological, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, psychodynamic and social-cultural perspectives are explored. Topics such as scientific method, statistical reasoning, neuroscience, learning, cognitive processes, development, psychological adjustment, therapy, social psychology, diversity and community are studied.

Christian Education Track for major: 16 credits
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
CHM - 430 Child & Confirmation Ministry 4
CHM - 435 Teaching & Leading Adults 4
CHM - 421 Teaching to Lead and Equip 4
CHM - 425 Youth and Family Ministry 4

Current and emerging theories of childrenÕs ministry serve as the foundation for developing engaging childrenÕs ministry practices, experiences and programs. Additionally, students research and plan effective approaches to confirmation programming. There is a fieldwork component to this course.

Adult learning theory serves as a foundation for the development of adult education programs and experiences. Throughout this course students explore and apply theories of adult learning, spiritual formation, effective teaching methods and adult spiritual direction strategies. Participants utilize a planning process for initiating and leading adult education programs in ministry settings. There is a fieldwork component to this course.

Effective ministry requires teams of transformational leaders. Educators and other leaders in the church serve and lead in ways that equip and empower others to serve within their local congregations, communities and beyond. Reflective practice helps leaders shape educational experiences that equip learners to serve and volunteer within diverse and rich cultural settings. Through applied projects and research, students design volunteer ministry programs and leadership training experiences. There is a fieldwork component to this course.

Youth and family ministry is a partnership within congregation, home and community. Grounded in baptismal theology, this ministry is a tending of the faith journey throughout the lifespan. Students develop skills to lead a relational and Christ-centered ministry for and with youth in a congregation. There is a fieldwork component to this course.

Christian Outreach Track Prerequisites from General Education:
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
COM - 205 Small Group Communication 4

Students study and practice communication in small discussion and task groups. Topics include leadership and facilitation of groups as well as group dynamics. Group activities include problem solving discussions and task completion. Course units include goal setting, cohesion and norms, power, leadership, decision-making and problem solving, conflict and facilitating task and interpersonal relations in face-to-face and virtual groups. (Prerequisite: COM103 or COM212)

Christian Outreach Track for major: 16 credits
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
CHM - 440 Speaking the Gospel 4
CHM - 445 Pract of Missions 21st Century 4
CHM - 450 Great Commission Congregations 4
CHM - 455 Urban Outreach 4

Students explore the practical application of models of personal witness and Christian apologetics through the development of skills in nurturing relationships, recognizing barriers to and opportunities for faith-sharing, dealing with fears, listening actively, and effectively applying Law and Gospel to the needs of the hearer. There is a fieldwork component to this course.

Students explore the basic tenets of living a mission-focused lifestyle in various cultures and contexts in North America and around the world by becoming familiar with issues related to crossing cultural barriers. These include culture shock; spiritual, physical, and emotional health; learning language and culture; team development; and integrative vocational practices. There is a fieldwork component to this course.

Students explore a strategic, team-based approach to congregational outreach and discipleship. By means of classroom and field experiences a multi-phase model is explored, developed and applied to a chosen contextual setting. There is a fieldwork component to this course.

Students develop an understanding and appreciation for the distinct outreach opportunities available in 21st century urban centers. Through classroom experience and interaction with cooperative agencies, a theological perspective is developed that moves students to connect entrepreneurial practices and evangelistic ministry. There is a fieldwork component to this course.

Additional Requirements for DCE Certification: 20 credits
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
URB - 498 Urban Ministry Fall Internship 3
PSY - 215 Child & Ad Dev Psy for K-12 Ed 4
FAS - 400 Family Systems 4

Supervised experience in a non-profit/ministry in the urban, cross-cultural context. This course requires ministry involvement totaling 50 hours per credit in the area of the studentÕs emphasis. A weekly internship seminar will guide the student through the entire internship experience

This course will provide K through 12 educators an understanding of human growth and development from the prenatal stages through adolescence. Developmental processes are studied from both a biological and social-cultural perspective to understand physical and perceptual development, cognition and language, personality and social development. Child studies, examining various aspects of child and adolescent development, are required. (Prerequisite: PSY101)

This course is an analysis of the family. It investigates the family as a system of relationships which interacts across the family life cycle. It includes a survey of current developments in the study of the family and an analysis of changes in American society and their influence on family life. Also included is a focus on marriage and family therapy from a systems framework.

Additional Requirements for DCO Certification: 12 credits
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
URB - 498 Urban Ministry Fall Internship 3

Supervised experience in a non-profit/ministry in the urban, cross-cultural context. This course requires ministry involvement totaling 50 hours per credit in the area of the studentÕs emphasis. A weekly internship seminar will guide the student through the entire internship experience

Completion of Lutheran Theology minor: (24 credits)
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
THL - 201 Old Testament 3
THL - 206 New Testament 3
THL - 241 Church History 3
THL - 431 Lutheran Doctrine I 3
THL - 432 Lutheran Doctrine II 3
THL - 441 Lutheran Confessional Writings 3
THL - 460 Worship for Lutherans 3
THL - 219 Princ Biblical Interpretation 3

An introduction to the historical context and literature of the Old Testament. Special attention is paid to the concepts of promise, law, covenant, grace, and the presence of God in the narratives of the Pentateuch and the Former Prophets. The course also examines the nature of prophecy and the psalm and wisdom resources in the Prophets and Writings.

An introduction to the historical context and literature of the New Testament. Students master the stories and teachings of early Christianity, and grow in their ability to read texts of the Bible in their historical and literary contexts.

A panoramic survey of Christian history and thought from the apostolic age to the present. As such, the course traces the church's institutional history, its theology, its worship life, and the history of its missionary expansion against the larger political, intellectual, and socio-cultural back drop. This course is required for the minor in Confessional Lutheranism. It is not a general education course.

A study of the content and effective application of the Christian understanding of doctrine itself, God, creation, theological anthropology, and the person and work of Christ, with an exploration of the biblical basis, conceptual framework, and the contemporary significance of the historic doctrine of the Lutheran church. Particular attention will be given to the contributions of C.F.W. Walther to the Lutheran understanding of Law and Gospel. Prerequisites: THL201 and (THL206 or THL215)

A study of the content and effective application of the Christian understanding of the person and work of the Holy Spirit, sanctification, the means of grace, the Christian church, public ministry, and eschatology with an exploration of the biblical basis, conceptual framework, and the contemporary significance of the historic doctrine of the Lutheran church. Particular attention will be given to the contributions of C.F.W. Walther to the Lutheran understanding of church and ministry. Prerequisite: THL431

A survey and analysis of the gospel-centered doctrinal content of the Book of Concord in its 16th century historical and theological context. The eleven confessional documents are studied and interpreted as the church's normative exposition of Holy Scripture, to which exposition the evangelical Lutheran church is committed in terms of both theological method and doctrinal substance.

Exploring early church experience and Reformation teaching, the student uncovers the meaning of worship. Critical evaluation of contemporary practice and recent developments in worship make the student better able to provide leadership in congregational worship life.

As an introduction to principles and methods of Biblical interpretation as employed by Lutherans with a high view of the Scriptures, students will focus on learning and practicing methodological models for studying and interpreting Biblical literature. Special attention will be given to the study of the historical/cultural context and literary nature of the inspired text. Prerequisites: THL 201 and THL 206.

Bachelor of Arts degrees at Concordia University, St. Paul consists of a major of typically 32 to 44 credits or two minors, general education courses, and elective courses totaling a minimum of 128 credits.

Meet Your Professors

Rev. Dr. David Lumpp Th.D. Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, Professor of Theology and Ministry

Dr. Lumpp's areas of professional expertise are primarily in systematic and historical theology.

Dr. Rhoda Schuler Term Faculty in Religion

Dr. Schuler’s research passions are liturgical theology and ritual studies, which she views as more than academic disciplines.

Dr. Mark Schuler Department of Theology and Ministry Chairperson, Professor of Theology

Schuler passes on his passion for Biblical Greek and the New Testament to Concordia students in the classroom.

Dr. Suzanne Hequet Term Faculty of Theology

Dr. Hequet has a passion for Church History, in particular the 16th century Reformation.

Mark Koschmann Professor of Missiology

In addition to his teaching duties, Koschmann will spearhead the new mentoring program of the Hoffmann Institute in urban and cross-cultural outreach.

Career Potential

You’ll also have real opportunities to learn beyond the classroom with two semesters of fieldwork in a local congregation under the supervision of a parish professional. Because we design our Christian ministries program to be responsive to the exact needs of the marketplace, it will be a relevant major if you’re considering a church career, seminary studies or graduate school.

  • Pastor
  • Teacher
  • Deaconess
  • Director of Christian Education
  • Director of Christian Outreach
  • Director of Family Life Ministry
  • Director of Parish Music
  • Lay Minister
  • Missionary
  • Church Administration

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