Certified Lay Ministry (CLM)

Effective July 1, 2017, the CLayM Program has changed.  It is now the Certified Lay Ministry Program, or LM. 

Why the change?  The answer is simple.  The Book of Disciple of the United Methodist Church has changed.  Paragraph 205.4 was changed to read in part:

 “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 lay person, lay minister or lay missioner to do the work of ministry in that charge…If the assignment is to continue longer than one ear, within that year the layperson will begin the process of becoming either a certified lay minister or a certified candidate…”

Certified Lay Ministers are meant to enhance to quality of ministry to small-membership churches and to expand team ministry in churches.  Certified Lay Ministers preach the Word, provide a care ministry to the congregation, assist in program leadership, and are to be a witness to the community as part of a ministry team with the supervision and support of a clergyperson.

Our conference is adopting the Certified Lay Ministry Program from Discipleship Ministries.  The length and course materials are comparable to the old CLayM Program, although they updated and are taught in a different format.  There are four modules, each covering a different facet of ministry: 

  • Call and Covenant to Ministry
  • The Practice of Ministry
  • Organization for Ministry
  • Connection for Ministry

There are also five specializations for Certified Lay Ministers that will require additional training after completing the basic four-module LM course.  The specializations are:

National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministries Lay Missioner

  • Lay Missionary/Church Planter
  • United Methodist Parish Nurse
  • Men’s Ministry Specialist
  • Children’s Faith Formation

To be eligible to take LM training, a person must meet the following requirements:

  1. Completed the Basic Lay Servant Course (BLS) and the Advanced Lay Servant Spiritual Gifts Class (ALS-Spiritual Gifts).  These courses should be offered through your district Lay Servant Ministries Program.
  2. Obtain written recommendation from your pastor and church council or charge conference.
  3. Complete the LM Training application and submit it to the LM Registrar.

Please read the 2018 Inquirer’s Letter for course description and training options, anticipated class dates and associated costs. 

Those who have previously taken the CLayM training and have been assigned to a pastoral charge will be transitioning from CLayM to LM during the 2017-2018 church year.  There are two required courses that will need to be taken.  You will be contacted in the coming months by the LM Registrar with more information.

To register and for further information contact:

Scott Gessford
LM Registrar/Training Coordinator
Email: scott.gessford@cnumc.org

For more information download:


California-Nevada Conference
1350 Halyard Drive
West Sacramento, CA 95691
(916) 374-1500