Lay Ministry

Do you have gifts that can support ministry in the church? CUW’s Lay Ministry program gives you the education, training and credentials you need to put those gifts to work in the congregations of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.

Why Study Lay Ministry at CUW?

  • We’ve been preparing students for the lay ministry for over 50 years
  • CUW is the only synod school to offer a four-year, on-campus B.A. in Lay Ministry
  • We offer two formats: an on-campus bachelor’s degree and an online Lay Minister Certificate program
  • Upon completion, students are eligible to be rostered in the LCMS as lay ministers

Two Formats. One Goal.

CUW offers two pathways to reach your goal of becoming a lay minister and sharing God’s Word.

1. Bachelor of Arts in Lay Ministry Program


  • Traditional four-year, on-campus degree
  • Double major in Theology and Lay Ministry
  • Students choose two areas of specialization from the following:
    • Evangelism
    • Missions
    • Parish Teaching
    • Pre-Deaconess/Social Ministry
    • Youth Ministry

2. E-Learning Lay Ministry Certificate Program


  • Online courses taught over the internet (except for two on-campus classes)
  • New cohorts every June
  • Three courses per semester
  • Ideal if you already work full-time in a congregation and seek education to support your service
  • Credentials can lead to becoming a Commissioned Minister of Religion in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod
  • Three-level program allows you to go as far as you want toward meeting your goals