The LCMS South Wisconsin District’s Parish Pro’s group held its bi-monthly meeting on CUW’s campus this week and met with a few of the next generation of church workers.

A first-ever event occurred on Oct. 12 at CUW. Parish Pro’s is a group of LCMS professional church workers in the South Wisconsin District. The group is mostly made up of Directors of Christian Education (DCEs) with a couple of Concordia’s recent Director of Church Ministry (DCM) graduates in the mix.

This group meets bi-monthly at a rotation of locations to discuss their joys, challenges, and ideas for better ministry. Many in Parish Pro’s are DCE Youth Directors in various LCMS congregations. Some hold other congregational leadership positions as called workers. But all of them were excited to meet the next generation of church workers in CUW’s DCM program. 

About 20 on-campus DCM students met with the Parish Pro’s at Concordia for an afternoon in-service occasion. The two groups were mutually excited to meet each other, but the Parish Pro’s were exceptionally eager to pass along the wisdom they’ve accumulated from years of church work. 

DCM students had a hand in selecting the topics of interest to them: 

  • “Interview Do’s and Don’ts” was a session dealing with how to be most prepared for a congregation’s call committee interview as the church considers extending a call. 
  • “Your First Two Years in Ministry” addressed how to best get started at a first call. 
  • “Healthy Team Ministry” considered how a DCM will incorporate into an existing ministry, and how best to support the pastor. 
  • Finally, “Resources for Ministry” gave an overview of websites and LCMS networks to support a church worker. 

Members of the Parish Pro’s group led all sessions, with students asking many questions. The DCM students especially appreciated hearing perspectives from those actually doing the work these students aspire to do. As an added benefit, the Parish Pro’s distributed a bag of “study helps,” consisting of candy and gum.  This first annual event is thanks to Nicole Dollevoet, Youth Director at St. Paul-Sheboygan Falls and current president of the Parish Pro’s; Greg Witto, a DCE and CUW Director of Alumni and Parent Relations; and Rev. Dr. Kurt Taylor, who leads the CUW DCM program. The goal is to make this an annual event at Concordia.         

Want in?

Concordia offers two Director of Church Ministries programs: a bachelor’s degree and a certificate program. Students usually complete the 47-credit DCM certificate in two-and-a-half years. Cohorts only start once per year. Meanwhile, the DCM program for traditional undergraduate students is a 126-credit program that is typically completed in four years.

Christians of other denominations may enroll in the DCM program to receive theological training and grow in knowledge of God’s Word. But, only members of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod will be eligible to serve as a rostered worker within the LCMS.