If you have been certified as Certified Pulpit Supply (formerly Certified Lay Speaker) or as a Certified Lay Minister, you will not need to take more classes. However, every two years you will be interviewed. At that time, you will be asked to complete an educational goal (i.e., course, mentoring or coaching).
Laity actively pursuing Certified Pulpit Supply (formerly Certified Lay Speaker) are encouraged to continue to complete requirements in the learning pathways. Credit will be given for courses completed prior to January 2023.
Laity actively pursuing Certified Lay Minister are encouraged to continue to complete requirements in the learning pathways. Credit will be given for courses completed prior to January 2023.
Every year laity under assignment to a local church, no matter their status, will be interviewed by the district committee on ordained ministry. Certified Lay Ministers who aren't assigned to a local church will be interviewed by the district committee on ordained ministry at least every two years. Laity approved as Certified Pulpit Supply will meet with their district lay ministry team at least every two years. At that time, you will be asked to complete an educational goal (i.e., course, mentoring or coaching).
Laity who complete classes in Certified Pulpit Supply and Certified Lay Minister pathways will receive a course completion certificate. You should keep them for your records and lay annual reports.
Laity who are actively engaging in course work and those who are already certified within the Certified Pulpit Supply and Certified Lay Minister pathways will fill out a lay education annual report.
The district lay ministry team, which interviews Certified Pulpit Supply not under assignment to a local church, could include a district lay leader, a district lay education coordinator, other district laity, district clergy and the district superintendent. The district committee on ministry, which interviews all Certified Lay Ministers and any Certified Pulpit Supply assigned to a local church, is made up of district clergy and laity as nominated by the district superintendent and approved by the annual conference.
Following your interview, the district lay ministry team and the district committe on ministry registrar will submit your paper to the Conference Lay Education Director. Then, you will receive notification of your approval from the executive team of the Conference Lay Ministry Team.
Courses taken through Be A Disciple could potentially count toward a course in one of the three learning pathways. The course completion certificate for the course taken should be submitted to the Conference Lay Ministry Team. The team will consider the course and determine if it is comparable to a course required in a pathway. Any missing courses within a pathway would be communicated and required to be completed before the certification interview. We believe that all education is worthwhile, so if a course interests you, you should take it.
Submit your course completion certificates to the Conference Lay Ministry administrator, Morgan Scott, email@example.com.
If your church is disaffiliating and you are choosing to remain United Methodist, you can move your membership to another local church. You might visit our Church Locator to find the UMCs near you or even consider relating to a United Methodist Church through their online worship experience. Several of our larger churches have vibrant online worship and do receive members who do not live nearby. You can continue your coursework towards certification or follow the renewal of certification steps as they apply.
If your church is disaffiliating and you are following, your certification will be discontinued at the time of disaffiliation. (Disaffiliations are effective upon annual conference session vote.) These certifications are related to the United Methodist Church and the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Authority is given for the Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministries to approve alternative courses. It is important to note that the design of these courses must fit the needs of the Annual Conference (UMC Discipleship Ministries). See also, 2016 Book of Discipline, Paragraph 266.7.
Absorb is an on-demand learning platform that will offer online courses on your timeline, at a pace that works for you. The goal of this learning platform is to support educational opportunities for those seeking certification as well as equip local church leaders on a variety of topics to support their work.
When COVID hit in 2020, we had to rethink how we provided lay education in the Missouri Conference just as many churches had to rethink how to provide worship. We have spent the past couple of years taking a hard look at laity education and how to meet the unique needs of Missouri United Methodist churches.
Members from the Conference Lay Ministry Team, in conversation with the Cabinet and Bishop Farr, determined that a new, more innovative approach to equipping and empowering laity was needed for the Missouri Conference. The following areas were identified as priorities: Courses that were more accessible, filled with contextual content and updated, more culturally aware, and prepared and led by knowledgeable instructors.
From these conversations, new learning pathways were formed that will help educate and empower laity to live into God’s call on their lives while equipping any called laity to pulpit supply and lay minister work.