CBTE Is the First Step

The Competency-Based Theological Education (CBTE) Minor is the first step in building a pathway for returning adult learners. We intentionally focused on our CBTE Minor first for several reasons.

  • First, our pastors and principals shared that the CBTE Minor is what those serving our schools in various roles need to understand what it means to be a Christian educator.
  • Second, these are courses that learners must complete with us. As the public ministry training college of the WELS, we center our programming and degrees on our shared faith. The six courses of the CBTE Minor provide a strong foundation in understanding and applying Scripture and doctrine.
  • Finally, the requirements to move CBTE Minor through the approval process required two reviews, one internal by our faculty and one by our accrediting body, HLC.

These six courses, though, are just the beginning.

APPLE Is the Second Step

Green apple on bookThe Alternative Pathway to Professional Licensure Eligibility is the second step for returning adult learners who want to serve in our Lutheran Elementary Schools.

Over the past eighteen months we have made great progress towards APPLE.

  • We completed our internal faculty review and approval process.
  • We received recognition from Minnesota PELSB that as the teacher preparation courses in APPLE are the same as our Elementary Education program, we can move forward.
  • We received approval from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education to offer APPLE as a degree program.

We have one more approval to complete. The Higher Learning Commission, our external accreditor, needs to review and approve APPLE before we can promote and admit learners into that degree program.

We are finalizing our reports for HLC and hope to submit the complete application by July 8th. HLC has informed us that a review of a new competency-based program takes eight months to complete. We will know, then, if we have been approved to offer APPLE by the end of March 2025.

Learners who engage in CBTE with us this year will be able to seamlessly matriculate into APPLE once they complete their CBTE coursework.