Sharing Jesus through early childhood ministries

Dear Christian Friend,

Our WELS early childhood ministries are in great demand, which has led to the opportunity to teach more children and their families about Jesus!

But where do our congregations get the extra workers to meet the opportunity? Many times congregations hire staff who are qualified but who lack official credentials. How are we going to help these workers achieve state or ministry certification?

Martin Luther College (MLC), the WELS College of Ministry, has developed a four-tier system of training early childhood workers right where they are working.

  • Tier One: Free resources directors can use to onboard new hires for ministry and teaching. Twenty-five free training modules in five high-need areas. Located on the MLC website.
  • Tier Two: Three one-credit courses to earn the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential in one semester. Training includes the preparation for the test, portfolio, and classroom visit needed to earn the credential. The CDA credential is a nationally accepted first step in professional recognition for early childhood teachers.
  • Tier Three: A revamped teaching ministry certification for early childhood teachers provides theological and professional training for ministry in a Lutheran context. This 18-credit program, together with the CDA credential, can qualify a teacher to be locally called by a congregation.
  • Tier Four: An Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood degree for existing lead and assistant teachers. The ideal candidate has some college background already.

Martin Luther College exists to meet the ministry needs of WELS. As we see more opportunities, how will MLC have the resources to develop programs like these for state and ministry certification?

One answer is the WELS Ministerial Education Endowment Fund. With an endowment, dollars are not spent immediately but are placed in a diversified investment portfolio, and the annual distributions are designated toward gospel ministry.

Every year the Board for Ministerial Education designates some of the proceeds from the WELS Ministerial Education Endowment so that MLC can fund their most pressing ministry needs.

It’s an excellent way to support gospel ministry now and into the future. Would you give to the WELS Ministerial Education Endowment Fund today?

Cordially in Christ,
Rev. Paul Prange
WELS Administrator for Ministerial Education

Prayer: Dear Jesus, we praise you for bringing people of all ages to know of your holiness and of your love in forgiving our sins. Thank you for the great demand at our early learning centers. Bless our congregations with the teachers they need to serve interested families. Also bless Martin Luther College as it aims to provide the appropriate training for early childhood workers. May the children and families we serve grow in faith through the gospel we proclaim so that they can spend eternal life with you. Amen.