Exploring Careers: DCE
Director of Christian Education
The Director of Christian Education is the leader of the youth and educational ministry in the church. This job is essentially a youth leader, but it is also a paid position in many churches. While a youth minister might only work with a youth group, a DCE works within various church programs. They work for the purposes of worship, education, volunteer work, and community outreach.
A DCE is a leader and mentor. They must be hard-working, creative, organized, and loving. A DCE should also know the Bible really well so that they can teach it and give wise advice. Good character is important because many people look up to their youth leaders.
There is a new program in Christian colleges today to earn a degree as a Director of Christian Education. Four years of college work and one year of full-time internship are required to complete the Religious Education major with DCE Certification. Upon successful completion of the requirements, the student is awarded the DCE certification and is eligible for a Call into full-time ministry as a Director of Christian Education.
Concordia University is located on the outskirts of Austin. It is a Christian college that recently added a religious education program. Once a student graduates with a religious education degree, they receive their DCE certification.
Like many jobs, the salary of a DCE depend on the location of the job. Naturally, if you are working for a very large church, you will get paid more than a job at a small church. According to www.payscale.com, the average salary for a youth minister is $34,000 a year. Most churches can't afford to raise their employees' pay every year, so a Director of Christian Education will most likely receive the same salary every year.
Right now, there are fewer than 800 DCEs serving within the full-time ministry. In Texas and elsewhere, DCE graduates are in great demand.
The Director of Christian Education program at Concordia University makes it easy for students to get a job right out of college. To become a DCE, students must first do an internship. The college sets you up with a church, and you learn by working alongside a current DCE or church leader. This is an effective way of learning, and it helps the student build new, lifelong relationships. Then, after graduation, the student goes directly into the ministry field.
This job appeals to me because as a DCE I would be a teacher and missionary. There is a lot of freedom that comes with this job, because it is the DCE's job to coordinate the Sunday School programs and youth activities. I would also enjoy taking kids to camps and service projects.
A DCE could be a youth minister at any church. A similar job to this career is a teacher. A teacher gets to work with children and make an impact in many lives.
Why I looked Into This Job
Being a youth minister is appealing to me because I could work with a church and kids. I could influence kids and work at a place I love.