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Daniel Cook Architect The Lutheran Church of St. Andrew

At DCA, we believe in aligning money and mission, and most of all, in setting you free to carry out your vocation. Architecture that takes a cookie cutter approach fails to serve clients and their communities well. Instead, we offer a variety of ways forward: If you are interested in a new church or school building, we have a library of tried and true designs that we are happy to share with you at a reduced cost, enabling you to get moving forward quickly. These designs range in size and style, and can be customized to meet your specific site and ministry needs. Another option may be utilizing our schematic design services to ensure the most important parts of your project are set in stone. We also provide design development services to select clients. Though our expertise is unmatched, this form of design services is what you’ll find at most architecture firms. However, instead of completing the final construction documents in-house, we pass our designs along to a firm local to you to manage the final stage of the project. If you’re imagining a different way forward – a building that meets traditional ministry needs and facilitates additional use throughout the week – we provide a unique service in walking with “sustainable” ministries throughout the course of your project.


“Who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?”
Luke 14:28 (NRSV)
Daniel Cook Architect Northland Church Exterior

Pre-Designed Plans

The ministry God has placed on your heart shouldn't have to sit on the sidelines while you wait months and years for the development of architectural designs, permits, and approvals. Besides, the truth is, the longer the process, the more expensive your project will end up being. We believe in helping you practice stewardship from the very beginning stages of your project. After all, saving time and money means you'll have more to give to the ministry you are truly passionate about. Daniel Cook, the industry pioneer, has worked with over 1,000 ministries across the country. In an effort to steward the best designs of his career and have the biggest impact on growing ministries, he has cultivated a plan library. These are tried and true plans that can help you move forward with your project efficiently and cost-effectively. After learning about your ministry goals, we will work together to select a plan and make needed customizations. If you already know a Design/Build firm, architect, or contractor, we can pass the CAD files along to them in order to get your project moving! If not, we can help you find one.

Consider the following cost savings, when you start with a pre-designed plan.

Traditional Design

Pre-Designed Plans

Over $3.2 Million in Savings

Per Square Foot Cost: The industry standard for estimating construction costs is currently $325 per SF (this is an all-in cost including site development on a church or school building). This means a 25,000 SF facility would cost $8,125,000 to build.

Per Square Foot Cost: With decades of experience designing and constructing ministry facilities, we have created state of the art, economical designs without sacrificing quality. Our designs come in closer to $300/SF, lowering the cost of a 25,000 SF building to $7,500,000.


Construction Documents: A typical set of Construction Documents will cost 9% of the total project, or $731,250.

Construction Documents: We provide complete sets of Construction Documents from our plan library that have been used by other ministries. These are available for as low as $30,000. Plan and building code adjustments will likely cost about $70,000 and can be completed by an architect local to you.


Inflation: During the 6 months it will take for your plans to be designed, you’ll lose $1,950,000 in inflation costs. After all, construction costs are currently going up at the rate of about 4% per month.

Inflation: By starting with a complete set of plans that only need minor changes according to your preferences and site, you’re able to move forward immediately, easily saving a net of 6 months (or more) in inflation costs.


Ministry Facilities

DCA provides schematic design and design development services to Christian ministries. While most architects prefer to complete the final construction documents in-house, we believe it’s to your advantage to work with a local architect and contractor for the final stage of your project. This approach to design provides the best of both worlds. DCA gets to provide insight from our extensive experience in development, architecture, and construction, and guide the project at its most crucial turning points. Plus you'll get to take advantage of our signature techniques for creating high-quality, functional, and cost-effective facilities. But by partnering with local experts to get across the finish line, you'll find additional savings of time and money. Though Dan has held an architectural license in every one of the contiguous United States, we love partnering with locals who know the intricacies of your location and laws. Also, we ardently believe your project is the perfect opportunity for you to build even stronger relationships in your community. Despite not being the architect of record, DCA can continue to be a part of your project until it is complete as the Owner’s Representative. Herein, we are able to serve as the bridge between the ministry and the construction team, ensuring things go according to plan.

“What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge.”
1 Corinthians 9:18 (NIV)
Daniel Cook Architect Southwest Christian High School3.jpg
“They left their nets and followed him”
Matthew 4:20, Mark 1:18 (NIV)
Daniel Cook Architect Creekside Church Lobby

Sustainable Ministries

Christian schools, congregations, and other non-profits in the USA are on a precipice. Between the global pandemic and generational transition, change is here. Feeling overwhelmed about your next steps? Add pertinent experts to your team! DCA is passionate about helping you follow God’s lead in utilizing your current or future facility to its greatest potential. Through the fusion of mission and business, you can discover financial freedom and a connection to your community like never before. We have been a part of ministry-driven development projects that include hotels, events, recreation and play, child care, senior services, co-working spaces, and more. We are particularly excited about working with churches to develop play cafes, short-term rentals, and other business ideas relevant to the changing economic landscape. Whatever’s next for your ministry, there’s no need to take it on alone. DCA will walk with you to navigate each step of the process. When DCA joins your team, we investigate the needs and opportunities in your community together, and ask how God is calling you to be a part of it. After assessing feasibility and completing due diligence, we’ll create a strategic plan and mobilize a wider team. This will include local and national experts, like a general contractor, engineers, funders, and even management companies for the new businesses. Everyone will come together to bring your vision to life in the most economical way possible.



Vision and Strategic Programming

We’ll dive into your financial situation, the specifics of your site, and learn all about what’s important to your ministry and surrounding community. This will enable us to consider potential sustainable integrations and lead to due diligence.


Schematic Design

Once the strategy is set, we can move into a preliminary design process, which includes details like floor plans, site plans, and renderings.


Connecting with Partners

Next is a positioning phase where we flesh out the rest of the team, like partnering with management companies or funders. Herein engineering surveys may be completed and city approvals will be sought out.


Design Development

When it’s time to move forward, we will create drawings that define the entire scope of the project. This includes key systems like mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and structural, as well as the selection of fixtures and interior and exterior materials.


Project Management

With the project direction and design set, we can turn our attention to overseeing the project partners and process. This may include permitting, selection of subcontractors, jobsite ministry, and more.

DCA Method


Let us know what God is up to in your neck of the woods. We’d love to hear about it and explore how we might be able to serve you. 

Thanks for reaching out!

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