Deaconess Certification prepares women for the deaconess vocation of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). The certification program allows the student to integrate prior education, professional and volunteer experiences with the academic program, field work and internship. Completion of the program does not guarantee either deaconess certification or a call into the deaconess vocation. Upon completion of the program, the student will complete a written exam and an oral interview to determine her readiness for deaconess certification. If certified, CUC’s Synodical Placement Office will oversee the process for obtaining a first call.
General Graduate Admission Requirements
All applicants must meet the general admission requirements for Concordia University Chicago graduate programs as published in the Concordia University Chicago academic catalog.
New students are accepted into graduate degree-seeking, approval, certificate, endorsement and/or post-graduate programs for online and on-campus study in the fall, spring, or summer semesters. Previously admitted students seeking to change programs may do so at the beginning of a semester (only) by submitting a Change-of-Program quick app. Applicants must be in good academic standing according to Concordia University Chicago’s satisfactory academic progress standards at the time of requesting a program change.
Program-Specific Admission Requirements
1. Acceptance into Concordia University Chicago as a guest graduate student.
2. Minimum of 15 semester hours in theology, with a grade of “C” or higher for every course, at an educational institution of the LCMS in the following areas:
a. Old Testament survey
b. New Testament survey
c. Basic church history
d. Lutheran Confessions
e. Lutheran doctrine
3. Application to the Deaconess Program with four letters of reference.
4. Report of a valid Fingerprint Criminal Background Check completed during the past twelve months to the Deaconess Director.
5. Complete and pass the interview process as provided by the Deaconess Director.
The student may obtain the application for the Deaconess Program from: Deaconess Director, Concordia University Chicago Box 47G, 7400 Augusta St, River Forest, IL 60305-1499; 708-209-3136; firstname.lastname@example.org
Application deadlines for admission to the Deaconess Program: February 15, June 15, October 15.
Prior and/or Concurrent Coursework
Prior to completion of requirements for Deaconess Certification, the student will have competed the following courses at the undergraduate or graduate level. If these requirements have not been taken prior to admission, they will normally be taken through CUC. The Deaconess Director will monitor the student’s progress and will report to the Registrar the successful completion thereof. Any exceptions or credit for prior experience must be approved by the Deaconess Director and Chair of the Division of Teaching and Learning.
21 semester hours in undergraduate or graduate level theology at an institution of the LCMS. The two required 6000-level required Theology courses above will count towards this area. A course must have been taken in each of the following areas:
- Biblical studies
- Lutheran theology of church and ministry
- Lutheran doctrine
- Church history
- World religions
- Lutheran education or catechesis
Support Courses and/or Experience in each of the following areas:
- Counseling skills
- Grief and loss
- Volunteer management
- Group dynamics
- Attendance at two annual gatherings of the Concordia Deaconess Conference
- Regular participation in activities of the deaconess community
Supplemental requirements may be added to address unique student needs. These will be assigned by the entrance interview committee and/or the Deaconess Director together with the Chair of the Division of Teaching and Learning.
Requirements (15 hours)
|THY-6600||Deaconess Foundations (H, CS)||3|
|THY-6620||Deaconess Capstone Seminar (CS)||3|
|THY-6630||Deaconess Field Experience (CS)||0|
|THY-6641||Ministry to Women (CS)||3|
|Two 6000-level THY courses 1||6|
|THY-6991||Internship: Deaconess (CS) 2||0|
Determined by the Deaconess Director and Chair of the Division of Teaching and Learning
Application and admission to the internship is required; application and process available from the Deaconess Director
Non-degree Completion Requirements
- Have on file an application as a non-degree-seeking graduate student.
- Complete, for the program being sought:
- the credit hours and levels as designated,
- within the specified time limit,
- with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
- Students completing multiple advanced programs or degrees at CUC must have a 3.0 GPA in each academic program in addition to a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
- If transfer credit is approved to be applied: have on file an approved “Graduate Transfer Credit Approval” form(s) or evaluation(s).
- Have on file the Intent to Graduate/Complete form with the Office of the Registrar by the published deadline.
- Take and pass the final examination or terminal requirements in the program during or after the final course.
- Approval of the faculty.
- Payments of all tuition and fees due to Concordia University Chicago. All holds must be removed to receive transcripts and diploma.
Every attempt has been made to include information to aid the student with information about his/her program requirements. It is, however, the student’s responsibility to complete all steps and meet all deadlines relevant to completion requirements.
Deaconess Certificate Exit Interview and Certification Process
Within the last 3 months of the student’s program, she may be eligible to sit for the Exit Interview and Exam. To be eligible for the Exit Interview, the candidate will have
- Earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 for all courses taken at CUC.
- Received written support for certification from CUC’s internship supervisor, the internship site supervisor and a lay leader, two CUC theology professors, and the Deaconess Director. Written support from other people involved in the candidate’s education may be requested by the Deaconess Director (e.g., field work supervisor, theology professor from another LCMS school).
- Submitted the documentation and written exam required by the Deaconess Director.
The Deaconess Review Committee will interview the candidate. The candidate must meet the doctrinal and practice standards for church work in the LCMS and must demonstrate suitability and fitness to serve. Pending a successful Exit Interview and Exam, the candidate’s name will be submitted for faculty endorsement to the Synodical Placement Approval Committee. Upon endorsement, the candidate receives Deaconess Certification. The CUC Synodical Placement Director oversees the process for first Call and Commissioning.