High angle view of large group of elementary students having a class in the classroom. Teacher is assisting one student.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20.

Our loving Lord and Savior, Jesus, gave us the Great Commission in Matthew 28 as a call to reach all the world with the Gospel. Within the School of Education, we have always taken this call to Gospel action to heart. To continue our focus on the Great Commission, we are excited to be able to expand our reach. We have created five accelerated bachelor’s degree programs for Lutheran teacher preparation.  

Concordia’s teaching programs

In the Fall of 2021, we launched the first program of its kind in the state of Wisconsin. Our Elementary Education teacher preparation program is done in an online-only fashion. In the year since its inception, this program now has close to fifty students from all over Wisconsin and the nation.  

This year we added four more programs that are delivered completely online with fieldwork accomplished near where our students live. These innovative programs include Cross Categorical Special Education and Secondary Education (grades 4 to 12) in English and Language Arts, Mathematics, and Social Studies. All five of these online programs lead to a state of Wisconsin teaching license.  

Receiving a Lutheran Teacher Diploma

An added option embedded into each of these wonderfully-accessible programs is the ability to earn a Lutheran Teacher Diploma (LTD). What does this mean? Within the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, teachers are eligible to receive Calls as Commissioned Ministers of the Gospel, if they have received specific theological training.

We have built this training option into the online licensure programs at the CUW School of Education. In collaboration with the Theology department at CUW, we built the six courses necessary for the Lutheran Teacher Diploma including:

  • New Testament
  • Old Testament
  • Biblical Theology
  • Lutheran Confessions
  • The Gospel of Luke
  • Teaching the Faith

Moreover, our licensure programs can be experienced from anywhere in the United States. Currently, we have students in Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Minnesota. As we have an increased need for new teachers in our LCMS K-12 schools, our programs can serve a major need during our nationwide teacher shortage crisis.  

Hypothetical situations

Is this program for you? These three hypothetical student examples show the flexibility of CUW’s online and accelerated bachelor’s programs for teacher licensure. 

Kaitlyn, 18 years old, Florida

Kaitlyn just graduated from high school and has always been active in her Lutheran church. She wants to serve the church in a Lutheran school someday. She needs to stay near home to help support her family after graduating from high school. Kaitlyn will be enrolling in CUW’s accelerated Elementary Education (AEE) program. She likes the 3-year model of the program which will allow her to complete her degree faster than other licensure programs.

She also can complete her coursework on her own time (all of the AEE courses are asynchronous – you do not need to be present at a particular time for any of the coursework). Kaitlyn can work a full-time job during the day to help support her family. Upon completing the AEE, Kaitlyn hopes to receive a Call to Serve at her local K-8 Lutheran school to teach second-grade students. 

Stephanie, 26 years old, Washington

Stephanie got married shortly after high school and has two young children at home. She works as an educational assistant at the local Lutheran school. Her principal has repeatedly told Stephanie that she would be a great teacher. Stephanie enjoys reading to the students in her school but she notices that some of the students have very particular developmental delays and could use more support.

Stephanie is going to be enrolling in Concordia’s Cross Categorical Special Education (ASPED) program while also earning the Lutheran Teacher Diploma. She sees herself supporting students with special needs once she earns her license. Since Concordia’s online licensure program allows for credit based on lived experience, Stephanie will earn credit for her work as an educational assistant after completing a process called the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). 

Brian, 35 years old, New York

Brian earned his associate’s degree in Information Technology right out of high school. He worked for close to 15 years using his degree. However, once he started to volunteer at his daughter’s Lutheran school to help tutor middle schoolers in mathematics, he realized a love for teaching. Since he needs to keep working while going to school, he found Concordia’s program in accelerated and online Secondary Education – Mathematics (ASE-MATH).

The flexibility of the program will allow him to keep his day job, support his family financially, earn his Wisconsin mathematics teaching license in grades 4 to 12, and be eligible for a Call to a Lutheran school. Since Brian already holds an associate’s degree, he will be able to finish his teaching program in less than three years.  

Want to learn more?

No matter your situation, we can help you reach your goal of becoming a teacher within the Lutheran church. With the additional benefit of the built-in Lutheran Teacher Diploma, the AEE, ASPED, and ASE programs are ideal for anyone looking to enter the LCMS teaching ministry. For more information, you can contact us here. To learn more about the programs, check out our School of Education page below.