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CertificationDirector of Christian Outreach (DCO)

The only program of its kind, the Director of Christian Outreach (DCO) program prepares you to lead, train, equip and encourage others in the various facets of outreach ministry throughout the world. You’ll earn a Bachelor of Arts degree with a Director of Christian Outreach certification by majoring in Christian Ministry, minoring in Lutheran Theology and completing a DCO internship.

4,500+ Enrollment (1,400 on-campus undergraduates)
1893 the year Concordia was founded
16 Fortune 500 Companies Headquartered in the Twin Cities
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Director of Christian Outreach (DCO) Curriculum Overview

The Director of Christian Outreach (DCO) program is designed to equip students for exemplary service in Christian ministry settings in the areas of education and/or outreach. You’ll study cultures, generations and rural/suburban/urban ministries as you learn to plan and facilitate meaningful strategies for the church to reach out to those without a saving faith in Jesus. Additionally, a DCO helps to assess outreach opportunities unique to a ministry setting and to equip each congregation to bring the Gospel to people in the most winsome and effective ways possible.

Certification as a Director of Christian Outreach requires the completion of a major in Christian Ministry, the 12-credits in Christian Outreach, and 12-credits of internship. The DCO certification also requires completion of the Lutheran Theology minor, which represents the theological core of the program and is taken by most church work students.

Prerequisites from General Education
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
THL - 206 New Testament 3
THL - 431 Lutheran Doctrine I 3
PSY - 101 Introduction to Psychology 4

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.

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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)

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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.

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Required Core: 42 Credits
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
CHM - 268 Intro. to Christian Ministry 2
CHM - 321 Found for Teaching & Learning 4
THL - 353 Varieties of Beliefs 4
CHM - 325 Strategic Ministry 3
CHM - 330 Cultural Context & Faith Devlp 3
CHM - 490 Theory to Action: Capstone 2
PSY - 215 Child & Ad Dev Psy for K-12 Ed 4
CHM - 440 Speaking the Gospel 4
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

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.

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Students explore the scriptural, theological and historical role of Christian education within the church. This exploration will equip students to teach the faith across the lifespan through an intentional implementation of Christian educational programs and experiences.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Christian Outreach Track for certification: 12 credits
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
CHM - 450 Great Commission Congregations 4
CHM - 455 Urban Outreach 4
THL - 371 Mission of God 4

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.

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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.

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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)

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Additional Requirements for DCE Certification: 20 credits
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
CHM - 498 Commissioned Ministry Intern I 6
CHM - 499 Commiss. Ministry Internshp II 6
PSY - 215 Child & Ad Dev Psy for K-12 Ed 4
FAS - 400 Family Systems 4

The internship provides DCE and DCO students a full-time supervised involvement in the educational or outreach ministries of a cooperating congregation or cross-cultural organization. Emphasis is placed on active leadership in a variety of professional tasks. Students register for CHM498 in the fall and CHM499 in the spring to complete the 12-month internship.

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The internship provides DCE and DCO students a full-time supervised involvement in the educational or outreach ministries of a cooperating congregation or cross-cultural organization. Emphasis is placed on active leadership in a variety of professional tasks. Students register for CHM498 in the fall and CHM499 in the spring to complete the 12-month internship.

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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)

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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.

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Additional Requirements for DCO Certification: 12 credits
Course ID Course Name Credit Hours
CHM - 498 Commissioned Ministry Intern I 6
CHM - 499 Commiss. Ministry Internshp II 6

The internship provides DCE and DCO students a full-time supervised involvement in the educational or outreach ministries of a cooperating congregation or cross-cultural organization. Emphasis is placed on active leadership in a variety of professional tasks. Students register for CHM498 in the fall and CHM499 in the spring to complete the 12-month internship.

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The internship provides DCE and DCO students a full-time supervised involvement in the educational or outreach ministries of a cooperating congregation or cross-cultural organization. Emphasis is placed on active leadership in a variety of professional tasks. Students register for CHM498 in the fall and CHM499 in the spring to complete the 12-month internship.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Requirements

Certification for Church work is the process by which the faculty approves candidates for placement in the public ministry of The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS); including teacher, Director of Christian Education, Director of Christian Outreach, and Director of Parish Music.

Meet Your Professors

Mark Koschmann Fiechtner Chair in Christian Outreach
Instructor in Theology & Missiology

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

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.

Heath Lewis, DCE Faculty, Theology & Ministry; Director of DCE Program

Heath Lewis will be involved in reinvigorating the historically strong Christian Education programs at Concordia University.

Career Potential

  • Director of Christian Outreach
  • Missionary
Student Success Stories Samantha Guthrie ’17 - Director of Christian Outreach

"The faculty at CSP show me what the body of Christ is all about - they have God-given gifts and passions, and have been called to particular roles of service at CSP."

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