2022-2023 Academic Catalog

Theology - Professional and Pre-Professional Programs

The theology department offers a professional program for future deaconesses, and a pre-professional program to prepare future pastors for study at seminary.

  • Deaconess Program
    • The Deaconess Program prepares students to serve in congregations, agencies and missions of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). As a compassionate servant-leader, a deaconess encourages and guides the Church’s life of mercy; she offers spiritual care and teaches God’s Word.
    • Begun in 1980, CUC’s deaconess program is the only undergraduate program leading to full certification as a deaconess, eligible to be rostered as an LCMS Minister of Religion—Commissioned. This five-year program includes a Theology major, Deaconess specialization, choice of minor, and a paid one-year internship in an LCMS congregation, Recognized Service Organization or mission of the LCMS (overseas internships may be 18-24 months).
    • Upon successful completion of the program, the student earns a baccalaureate degree and is eligible, not guaranteed, to receive LCMS deaconess certification or placement. CUC’s Synodical Placement Office facilitates the call process. If graduate study is desired instead, the student will be well-equipped to enter an advanced degree program.
    • Students desiring entry into a public ministry in the LCMS must have earned a minimum GPA of 2.75 for all prescribed Theology requirements. Students desiring deaconess certification also must have a minimum GPA of 2.75 in their Deaconess Specialization courses. All theology and deaconess courses used in the GPA calculations must have a grade of “C-” or better and cannot be taken under the Pass/Fail grade option. Deaconess students must maintain an overall minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.5. Further admission requirements for the deaconess program are listed in the section: College of Theology, Arts & Humanities Special Admissions Criteria.
    • Course requirements are listed in the section Course requirements for College of Theology, Arts & Humanities, Degree requirements section. 
    • Non-course Degree Requirements
      • Over the five-year program, students will experience ministries and trainings through co-curricular requirements. Observation hours will enable the student to see best practices in real life. Service hours will provide experience and exposure prior to formal field work. Trainings will assist the student in responding appropriately and with confidence to crises and caregiving situations arising in church work.
      • Requirements for deaconess certification not tied to course requirements include:
        • 50 Observation Hours
        • 50 Service Hours
        • Certification in adult and pediatric CPR, First Aid and use of an A.E.D.
        • Trainings in crisis and chronic care (e.g., disaster response, mental health first aid, suicide prevention, disabilities, domestic abuse, crisis pregnancy)
        • A full list of non-course degree requirements with criteria, explanations and opportunities is in the Deaconess Program Handbook, available online to enrolled students.
  • Pre-Seminary Program
    • The Pre-Seminary Program of Studies is not in and of itself a degree program, but designates coursework to be taken within the College of Theology, Art & Humanities, College of Business, or in the College of Education. Pre-Seminary students with majors in the College of Business or College of Education should consult those respective sections for program requirements. Students completing all the prescribed coursework will be identified as having completed the Pre-Seminary Program of Studies on their transcripts. These programs will meet all academic entrance requirements for both seminaries of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
    • Students desiring entry into a public ministry in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod must have earned a minimum GPA of 2.75 for all prescribed Theology requirements. All courses used in the GPA calculations must have a grade of C-or better and cannot be taken under the Pass/Fail grade option.
  • Pre-Seminary Liberal Arts Track
    • Choose any Liberal Arts major. 
      • Recommended: Theological Languages
      • Suggested: Communication, English, History, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology
    • Choose one or more of the following Liberal Arts Minors (cannot duplicate major area).
      • Recommended: Biblical Languages (not available with a Theological Languages major)
      • Suggested: Communication, English, History, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology
        • Note: Pre-Seminary students in the Liberal Arts track must choose either a Theological Languages Major or a Biblical Languages Minor.
  • Required coursework if not taken as part of major or minor:
    Select one Philosophy course (PHI)3
    Required Courses
    THY-2010Introduction to the Old Testament (B)3
    THY-2500Martin Luther's Small and Large Catechisms (S)3
    THY-3105Introduction to the New Testament (B)3
    THY-3320Survey of Church History (H)3
    Select 2 of the 3 courses from list below
    THY-3230The Augsburg Confession and its Apology (S)3
    THY-3330The Ancient Creeds, the Smalcald Articles, and the Treaties (S)3
    THY-3410The Formula of Concord (S)3
    THY-4310Encountering Religion in America (encouraged, but not required)3