School Leadership

Principal Credential Cohort

Students, parents, and congregations expect that their schools not only survive but thrive. School administration has become increasingly complex including responsibilities that demand far more specialized training than a bachelor’s degree in education affords.

Successful Lutheran school principals establish a Christ-centered environment, high student achievement, and safe conditions. They manage financial challenges and employ effective marketing tools. They develop both long-term strategic plans and handle daily administrative details. They serve as leader, collaborator, and communicator with their faculty, board, parents, and student body.

Due to retirements, reassignments, and resignations, Lutheran Schools need approximately 30 new principals each year. Over the last five years an average of 5 new principals have started. In 2020, 30 schools started the year without a permanent principal.

The Principal Credential Cohort equips veteran teachers to serve as principals before they receive a principal call. Congregations that call these principals then agree to give them the time and compensation needed for long-term, faithful service.

Members of the Principal Credential Cohort

  • receive encouragement and support from mentors  and other cohort members
  • attend at least three leadership training events, including a national leadership conference
  • typically enroll in MLC’s MS in Education Administration program and receive a 50% scholarship for their coursework
  • and/or demonstrate competence in the WELS Principal Standards.

Eligible cohort candidates

  • have three or more years of successful teaching experience
  • are not currently serving as a principal
  • possess leadership gifts and characteristics

Pathways to Early Childhood Ministry Leadership

Early Childhood Director Credential Cohort

What a blessing our WELS early childhood ministries are for the children and families they serve. What a blessing for the congregations as they seek to provide Christ-centered, high-quality education and care for young children.

The need for high quality, faith-focused leadership in our WELS early childhood ministries continues to grow. The role of an early childhood director is complex and rewarding. The WELS Early Childhood Director Cohort was developed to provide training and growth for those who demonstrate gifts for leadership.

Following are the key components of the program.

  • Participants are nominated or recruited after three years of teaching
    • Eligible cohort participants have
      • three or more years of teaching experience
      • leadership gifts and characteristics
      • a desire to serve in a leadership role
  • Program is a minimum of a one -year cohort experience.
  • The cohort experience includes a mentor for the year.

Components of the program include:

  • a minimum of a year-long cohort including encouragement and support from a mentor and other cohort members
  • monthly cohort sessions on leadership topics
  • three training events on leadership including a national early childhood conference
  • opportunity to enroll in MLC’s MS in Educational Administration program and receive a 50% scholarship for their coursework


Contact Lutheran Schools for more information.

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