Christian Leadership Program

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Course Information

Our curriculum is intended to nurture lay leaders, and church teachers, as well as provide theological insight for interested laity.

Having had more than 4200 course registrations from across the country and over 200 plus classes, University of Dubuque Theological Seminary continues to pave the way for our lay leaders in the church. Our courses are taught by experienced faculty with limited class size, to facilitate a beneficial learning environment. 

Our current Commissioned Leadership Program consists of eight core courses offered in the fall and spring of each academic year. Summer offerings are based upon demand and instructor availability. Prior to taking any of our eight core courses, students complete our Online Learning Course, to unfold the nature of distance education. University of Dubuque Theological Seminary offers the following courses;

Core Courses:

  • Introduction to the Old Testament
  • Introduction to the New Testament
  • Introduction to Preaching
  • Christian Education
  • Pastoral Care
  • Presbyterian Polity
  • Reformed Theology
  • Reformed Worship and Sacraments

Advanced Courses:

Advanced course offerings are posted on our or Moodle site. In the past, we have offered advanced courses such as: Life and Theology of Paul, studies on particular books of the Bible, and Introduction to New Testament Greek.  In the future, we may offer the following advanced courses;

  • Crisis Counseling
  • Pastoral Administration
  • Evangelism and Mission
  • Pastoral Leadership of Worship: Funerals, Weddings, Baptism, Prayer
  • History of Christianity
  • Foundations of Bible Study
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Advanced Preaching
  • Church Administration and Finance
  • Christian Leadership and Ethics

Course Load:

Our twelve-week courses are equivalent to a college course.  Although our current courses are NOT for credit, several courses offer the option of receiving undergraduate credit.  Courses will require approximately 6-9 hours of classwork and homework per week from preparation and participation time, reading, and writing assignments.

**A helpful suggestion- If you are working full-time, we suggest participants enroll in no more than two courses at one time.  If you are planning to study full-time, you may enroll in as many classes as you wish. 

Certification for our Christian Leadership Program for Commissioned Ruling Elders:

We do not grant certification for lay ministry.  As with ordination, lay ministry is certified through the individual's denomination.  We provide the courses and evaluations, which may be used by your presbytery, association, or other judicatory in your process of becoming a lay pastor.  We DO provide a Letter of Completion for each course completed.  At the student's request, we provide a Certificate of Completion listing either an individual course or all eight courses.  The cost for the Certificate is $10.00.  If you are interested in the Certificate of Completion, please contact Joy Lee by email at, or by calling 563.589.3630. 


Tuition for our Christian Leadership Program for Commissioned Ruling Elder Training includes the following:

Online Learning Certification $75.00  (REQUIRED Pre-Requisite)
Core Courses    $390.00 (Each Course)

** Tuition is subject to change.

Textbooks and supplies are in addition to course tuition. We provide a listing of course descriptions, required and suggested texts on our website. Textbooks may be purchased through our online bookstore, a Theological bookseller, or other online sellers, such as Amazon.


For more information: CLICK HERE  or contact Joy Lee ( | 563.589.3630).