Lubbock Christian University

LCU Bible Unveils New Graduate Certificate in Children’s Ministry

The Graduate School of Theology of Lubbock Christian University’s Alfred and Patricia Smith College of Biblical Studies announced a new, fully online, graduate certificate in Children’s Ministry at the National Children and Youth Ministry Conference in Colorado Springs in early January. Tuition for the five-course, fifteen-credit-hour graduate certificate is $4000 and it can be completed in one calendar year. Classes begin this August.

Dr. Shannon Rains, associate professor of children’s ministry and program coordinator for the new certificate, explained that this program was developed following numerous conversations with church leaders across the nation. These leaders expressed a widespread need for ministers serving local churches, who cannot relocate, to receive children’s ministry training.

“Almost every week, church leaders call me for advice as they begin their search process for a new children’s minister,” she said, adding that the demand for ministers with this expertise is far greater than the number of ministers available. “I often hear, ‘What if we don't find anyone?’ and the simplest answer is that it's probably best to hire from within.”

“Many people choose to enter ministry as a second-career, and this is especially true in children’s ministry,” Dr. Rains said. Second-career ministers are often volunteers, passionate about serving their church, who feel a call to serve their church in a new way. They bring many skills from their prior careers yet recognize they need additional training to succeed on a ministry team or in a wider congregational context.

“Church leaders almost always ask how LCU can help prepare those new ministers to better serve their congregation,” she shared. “This new program has been developed and refined in conversations with these elders and ministers. This certificate brings LCU alongside church leaders and empowers congregations to help those who are already gifted in these ways to be better equipped to serve their churches and communities. LCU’s leadership is kingdom-minded and this very affordable certificate is one way LCU supports the mission of the local church.”

Although other training options exist, LCU’s graduate certificate in Children’s Ministry breaks new ground. All courses are online and students can apply credit hours to LCU’s 36-hour master of arts in Christian Ministry. Students who complete all five courses with a 3.0 cumulative GPA receive the certificate. Anyone with a bachelor’s degree and positive references may apply.

The program begins in August 2023. Dr. Rains reported significant interest in the limited enrollment online program after she announced it recently at the National Conference of Youth Ministers.

Learn more about the Graduate Certificate in Children’s Ministry or contact Dr. Rains for application information on the program’s webpage.