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CSL, CUW partner to offer two online Continuing Education courses

Topics include Christian counseling, change management

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis is partnering with Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon (CUW), for the first time to offer two online Continuing Education courses for pastors, one in the fall and one in the spring.

The courses are especially appropriate for ordained pastors, commissioned church workers and lay leaders.

The courses are fully online. Each course features six modules over six weeks, with video lectures, optional readings, recommended assignments and peer discussion activities. The opening and closing sessions will be held live online and will be recorded for later viewing. All other sessions will be fully asynchronous, meaning they can be completed at any time during the run of each course.

The first course, “Scripture in Counseling,” will be available Sept. 8. The course will be taught by Dr. Richard Marrs, associate professor of Practical Theology and director of the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and Residential Alternate Route (RAR) Programs at Concordia Seminary, and Dr. Daniel Paavola, professor of theology at CUW. The course will cover the following topics:

  • Scriptural counseling
  • COVID-19/pandemic issues
  • Counseling through trauma and tragedy
  • Counseling a fellow shepherd

The second course, “Change Management in the Church,” will be available April 5, 2021. The course will be taught by Dr. David Peter, professor of Practical Theology and dean of faculty at Concordia Seminary; Dr. Erik Hollander, assistant professor of Business and director of Strategic Growth and Business Development in the School of Business Administration at CUW; and Rev. Randy Raasch, senior pastor at First Immanuel Lutheran Church in Cedarburg, Wis. The course will cover the following topics:

  • Emotional intelligence and leading change
  • Overcoming fear of change
  • Teams, collaboration and evaluation
  • Dealing with conflict in the church

“In my business classes, we were always repeating the marketing phrase ‘find a need and fill it.’ We hope we have accomplished just that by first asking pastors what they are missing in their ministries,” said Erika Bennett, director of Continuing Education at Concordia Seminary. “Beginning with these two courses, we hope to help pastors fill those ministry gaps, and we look forward to additional partnership opportunities to help church workers enrich the practice of ministry.”

Rev. Tom Davila, director of Continuing Education at CUW, added, “Before I came to CUW, I was a youth pastor for over a decade, and the biblical training I received in seminary was invaluable. But I found in ministry that there were areas seminary didn’t have time to cover in depth, and additional training could help me be more effective. I’m excited that this partnership and these courses can begin to meet some of those needs.”

Each course costs $99, which includes six Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits per course for pastors. Registration closes Aug. 31 for the “Scripture in Counseling” course and March 31, 2021, for the “Change Management in the Church” course. To register, complete CUW’s online application. On the application form, under the question “I am interested in ______,” choose “CUW/CSL Pastor Professional Development” from the dropdown menu.

For more information, contact Concordia Seminary’s Continuing Education department at or 314-505-7286, or contact CUW’s Continuing and Distance Education department at or 262-243-2027.

About Concordia Seminary

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis provides Gospel-centered graduate-level theological education for pastors, missionaries, deaconesses, scholars and other leaders in the name of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). To learn more, visit