DCE Career Path Research Project Continues On!

The purpose of the DCE Career Path Research Project is “to determine and describe the predominant career paths for certified DCEs in the LCMS and communicate to the church the various findings.”  As presently conceptualized, the Project has three phases.  Phase I – a demographic profile of some 800 certified DCEs that included their career path as plus responses to a number of significant questions – officially concluded with the distribution of the report at the 2010 NADCE Summit in February.  During this event the Summit participants also voiced their support for continuing Phase II and III of the project.  This decision was revisited and reaffirmed on July 29, 2010 by Dr. Debbie Arfsten (Concordia- Chicago), Jim Bradshaw (Kansas District Education Executive), Dr. Bill Karpenko (Rosemount, MN) and Dr. Jack Giles (Lisle, IL) via a conference phone call. Thus, Phase II is ready to commence and the following path is being proposed:

Phase II Research Team

While the previous structure (six member team meeting annually for a four day retreat in Mundelein, IL) was productive, it was also expensive.  Based on the current economic realities, we’re proposing a much more streamlined approach:

Research Team: 

1.       Includes Bill Karpenko and Jack Giles.

2.       Bill will again serve as the lead researcher; meaning he will analyze, compile and write the Phase # II report; while Jack will serve as the lead technology expert, meaning he will create the online research tools, compile the data and create the final report.

3.       Bill and Jack will also develop further the initial conceptual design for Phase II in concert with the advisory team.

4.       Their assignment is to complete Phase II of the DCE Career Path Project by October 15, 2011 (in time for the 2012 NADCE Summit).

5.       The research team will keep the NADCE Board apprised of its progress.

Advisory Team: 

1.       The Advisory Team will be used primarily as a “sounding board” for the two researchers.

2.       The goal would be to seek feedback from this team at a few key points during the development of the conceptual design, the implementation of the survey, and the development/dissemination of the report.

3.       The Advisory Team will include at least four and not more than five members …

a.       Debbie Arfsten and Jim Bradshaw have been appointed by the NADCE Board of Directors to serve on the advisory team.

b.      Two-three additional DCEs with at least twelve years of field experience will be recruited by the Research Team.


This project is being sponsored by NADCE.  Questions about the research project may be directed to Dr. Debra Arfsten or Jim Bradshaw.

National Association of Directors of Christian Education is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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