To serve in my future role as a DCE, I want to be able to have the theological answers that they may be seeking, and be able to best teach the children that are going to grow up to become the adults of our denomination.
“I chose theology because I felt like it would best equip me to be able to serve in my future role as a DCE and serve the people of my parish; that I would be able to have the theological answers that they may be seeking, and be able to best teach the children that are going to grow up to become the adults of our denomination.”
It takes special people to work in the Director of Christian Education (DCE) program, and Hannah Birtell is one of those people. She has a dream to guide and serve the children of the Lutheran church, and majoring in theology gives her the tools to do so.
In the theology program, the professors are a huge part of the experience: “We get such a wide range of theological perspectives that all pieces together to make one unified theology program. It’s also really cool that I have the same professors repeating, so I actually have relationships with my professors.”
As for a favorite class, Hannah enjoys Ministry in a Changing World: “We do an awful lot of writing, but the discussions that we’re having are intense too. We’re taking theology and the Bible and applying it to real issues that we’re going to be facing. We talk about immigration, race, and gender, as well as war and the right to bear arms.”
Using these conversations, Hannah is able to feel prepared for her own teaching: “They’re issues that are real in our country so it’s really intense. We really do get that opportunity to discuss and dive into how we move forward as Lutherans in this world. We consider taking religion and putting it into the modern setting, and how we make decisions based on what is important to us. We look at how we can use bring religion into our changing world and tie the two together, instead of having them be two separate, clashing things.”
Hannah plans on beginning her DCE internships in January of 2021, and would like to continue building the relationships she’s made at Concordia: “You don’t really get to choose where your internship is, so I am definitely hoping to stay in the area. It’s not the most traditional program out there, but it’s one that is very rewarding. You really dive deep into concepts and topics that you’d never thought you’d really get into. It’s not just limited to Christian doctrine either; we examine other denominations and other world religions. The program really gives me reasons why I believe what I believe, and allows me to feel like I can teach that to others.”