- Religious Life
- Church Relations
Certified Lay Ministry
TN Conference - Please send all Certificates of Completion and Letters to:
Martin Methodist College
Center for Church Leadership
Attn: Shana Hibdon
433 West College Street, Pulaski, TN 38478
or email, firstname.lastname@example.org
What is Certified Lay Minister?
A Certified Lay Minister (CLM) is a qualified United Methodist layperson called to congregational leadership as part of a ministry team under the supervision of a clergyperson, but who often serves the church in many other ways. Our Book of Discipline tell us that a CLM.
- Is an extension of the historic role of laity in Methodist environment.
- Is trained, supported, supervised and accountable for leadership in his/her context.
- Can be assigned by the bishop and cabinet as an appropriate leaders in a smaller church or faith community.
- Has the support and supervision of a clergyperson.
- Can make a real difference in the vitality of a congregation that otherwise may be discontinued for lack of a pastor.
¶ 268. Certified Lay Minister—1. A certified lay minister is a certified lay servant, certified lay missioner, or equivalent as defined by his or her central conference, who is called and equipped to conduct public worship, care for the congregation, assist in program leadership, develop new and existing faith communities, preach the Word, lead small groups, or establish community outreach ministries as part of a ministry team with the supervision and support of a clergyperson. A certified lay minister is assigned by a district superintendent in accordance with ¶ 419.2.
¶ 419.2. The superintendent shall work with the bishop and cabinet in the process of appointment and assignment for ordained and licensed clergy, or assignment of qualified and trained laypersons, lay ministers or lay missioners ¶ 205.4.
¶ 205.4. When a pastoral charge is not able to be served by an ordained or licensed minister, the bishop, upon recommendation of the cabinet, may assign a qualified and trained layperson, lay minister or lay missioner to do the work of ministry in that charge. The layperson is accountable to the district superintendent or another ordained or licensed minister appointed to oversee the charge, who will make provision for sacramental ministry. Upon the bishop’s assignment, the layperson will be assigned and additional clergy person as a guide to provide support in the assignment. If the assignment is to continue longer than one year, within that year the layperson will begin the process of becoming either a certified lay minister or certified candidate, thus coming under the care of the District Committee on Ministry. The layperson assigned is also accountable to the policies and procedures of the annual conference where assigned.
2. The certified lay minister serves to enhance the quality of ministry much like a class leader did in early Methodism through service in the local church, circuit or cooperative parish, or by expanding team ministry in other churches and charges. As with lay ministry in early Methodism, the certified lay minister uses his or her spiritual gifts as evidence of God’s grace.
3. One may be recognized by the conference committee on lay servant ministries, or equivalent structure, as a certified lay minister after he or she has:
- been certified as a lay servant, lay missioner, or equivalent as defined by his or her central conference;
- obtained written recommendation from the pastor and the church council or charge conference of the local church in which he or she holds membership;
- completed a track of study for certified lay ministers relevant to the candidate’s assignment as defined by the General Board of Discipleship, or the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry in collaboration with the General Board of Discipleship, and the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries or equivalent structure;
- received a letter of recommendation from his or her district superintendent;
- had all requirements for certification, including appropriate screening and assessment as defined by the annual conference, reviewed by the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries, or equivalent structure, for referral to the district committee on ordained ministry for examination of persons who have applied in writing to be certified lay ministers and to make recommendation for certification ¶ 666.10. After the district committee on ordained ministry interviews the candidate, the district committee on ordained ministry will make a recommendation to the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries for final certification by that committee.
¶ 666.11. The committee shall examine all persons who apply in writing to be certified as lay ministers. When there is evidence that their gifts, evidence of God's grace and usefulness, warrant and that they are qualified under ¶ 268, and on recommendation of their charge conference, the committee shall recommend their certification or recertification. The district committee shall report annually to the annual conference through the annual conference Board of Ordained Ministry a roster of all person certified as lay ministers.
4. Recognition as a certified lay minister may be renewed every two years by the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries, or equivalent structure, after the certified lay minister has:
- submitted an annual report to the charge conference or church council where membership is held and to the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries, or equivalent structure, giving evidence of satisfactory performance as a certified lay minister;
- obtained a ministry review by the committee on pastor-parish relations, church council, or charge conference from the congregation of which he or she is a member, or when under assignment, from the committee on pastor-parish relations, charge conference, or supervisory board of the ministry setting in which he or she is assigned;
- completed a Lay Servant Ministries advanced course or approved continuing education event, as defined by the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries or equivalent structure in the last two years;
- obtained recommendation for recertification from the district superintendent;
- had all requirements for recertification reviewed by the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries, or equivalent structure, for referral to the district committee on ordained ministry for examination of persons who have applied in writing to be renewed as certified lay ministers and to make recommendations for recertification (see ¶ 666.10). After the district committee on ordained ministry interviews the certified lay minister, the district committee on ordained ministry will make a recommendation to the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries for final recertification by that committee.
5. A certified lay minister may transfer certification to another district or conference upon receipt of a letter from the previous conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries, or equivalent structure, confirming current certification and the completion date of the most recent advanced course taken. Further renewal is in accordance with ¶ 268.4.
6. A certified lay minister is not eligible for support by equitable compensation funds or pension funds that are provided for clergy. If a certified lay minister is a lay staff member of a church, circuit or cooperative parish, the local congregation is encouraged to provide compensation and withhold taxes appropriate to a layperson.
** NOTE: TN Conference Additional Requirements:
- Safe Sanctuary (longer training)
- Healthy Boundaries
** Taught by TN Conference Staff **
From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church - 2016. Copyright 2016 by The United Methodist Publishing House.