Certified Lay Ministry


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.

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. (2016 Book of Discipline, ¶ 268)


Steps to Becoming a Certified Lay Minister
Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference
Adopted Spring 2022

1.     Candidate completes the certification process to become a Lay Servant (contact information for Lay Servant Coordinator is here).

2.     Candidate contacts the District Superintendent (DS) to express interest in pursuing certification as a CLM.

3.     The DS alerts the District Committee on Ordained Ministry (DCOM).

4.     The DS and/or DCOM provide this document and a contact person for questions along the way. The DCOM schedules a get-acquainted interview to make sure the process is clear. [note: this document will be linked on a CLM page on the conference website]

5.     Candidate obtains written recommendation from the pastor and church council (or charge conference) of the church where membership is held.

6.     Candidate completes all four CLM class modules through BeADisciple.com. The interest generated from the Ministerial Education Fund (MEF) can be used to help defray the cost of coursework; request monies through the online MEF application.

7.     Candidate registers to take the abbreviated version of the Ministerial Psychological Assessment, and then completes that process as directed.

8.     Candidate requests that the DS write a letter of recommendation for the DCOM, and alerts the DS that it’s time for a background check.

9.     The DS requests a background check for the candidate.

10.  When all the previous steps have been completed, the candidate writes to the registrar of the DCOM, requesting a certification interview.

11.  The DCOM reviews the candidate’s materials, interviews the candidate, and makes a recommendation to the Board of Lay Ministry (BOLM). The DCOM registrar completes an Action Report and makes it available to both the BOLM and the Board of Ordained Ministry (BOM). [note: a shared dropbox folder will support this information exchange]

12.  The BOLM receives the recommendation along with a summary of the materials and the interview, and votes to certify the candidate as a Certified Lay Minister.

13.  The BOLM alerts the Conference Ministerial Services Manager, who produces a certificate for the new CLM, adds the CLM’s name to the Business of the Annual Conference report (BAC), and ensures updates of the CLM’s status in the conference database.

14.  If not already serving as Lay Assigned, the CLM should be in touch with the DS about service opportunities.

Ongoing Requirements for the CLM:

  • The CLM must be recertified every two years (see below).

  • The CLM must abide by the conference’s annual and quadrennial ethics requirements for clergy and lay ministers.

  • The CLM must submit an annual report to the charge conference or church council where membership is held; this report also goes to the DCOM.

  • The CLM must obtain a ministry review from the Staff-Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) of the church where membership is held, or from the church to which the CLM is assigned; the review should be submitted to the DCOM.

  • The CLM must complete one BeADisciple class per appointment year (July 1 - June 30). Any BeADisciple class in the "Lay Servant Ministries," "Certified Lay Minister," or "Congregational Leadership" affiliation will successfully satisfy this requirement. Grants for continuing education are available by application.

  • The CLM must submit a copy of the certificate of completion to the DCOM.

  • The CLM must request a recommendation for recertification from the DS.

  • The DCOM reviews the materials, and interviews the CLM every two years, then votes on whether to recommend the CLM to the BOLM for recertification.

  • The DCOM registrar completes an Action Report and makes it available to both the BOLM and the BOM.

  • The BOLM receives the recommendation along with a summary of the materials and the interview, and votes to recertify the candidate as a Certified Lay Minister.

  • The BOLM alerts the Conference Ministerial Services Manager, who will communicate with the appropriate conference/district entities, and will update the BAC.

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