The Certified Lay Ministry (CLM) Training Program uses coursework from Discipleship Ministries, the General Board of Higher Education, and specialized materials to prepare the laity for leadership in the local church. Training will be delivered in a hybrid method, utilizing Zoom, Google Classroom, and traditional email, along with three (3) in-person retreats.

Who should consider this training? Anyone feeling called toward collaborative leadership within the local church should consider CLM training.

To apply, you must be a Certified Lay Servant and have taken six (6) advanced lay servant classes: Deeper into the Bible, Preaching, Leading Worship, Leading Public Prayer, United Methodist Heritage, and United Methodist Polity. Those missing one or two of these classes may file a petition to participate in the Certified Lay Ministry Training Program while completing the necessary prerequisites later. In addition to the prerequisite coursework, you must receive a recommendation from your pastor and the district superintendent.

The Certified Lay Ministry Training Program aims to provide participants with basic training, support, and skills necessary to become a Certified Lay Minister. This 5-month course will expand upon the knowledge from the prerequisite classes and introduce new elements of ministry such as spiritual formation, evangelism, the organization for ministry, congregational care, and practical experiences of leading in ministry.

Participants should expect to commit a minimum of 3 hours of instruction per week with spiritual formation group participation, reading, and homework to take an additional 2-3 hours weekly.

The program cost is $800. Scholarships may be available through the participant’s church or District.

Those who successfully complete the training program may apply for certification and assignment to serve as a ministerial leader of a small church under the supervision of a clergy or district superintendent or to serve in a significant ministry at their local church under the supervision of their pastor. Some examples of ministries are

  • Help lead and attend to the worship life of the community
  • Organize and implement a caring ministry
  • Engage in regular pulpit supply
  • Develop and lead spiritual formation groups
  • Establish and lead outreach programs
  • Develop new faith communities or ministries for people not currently in church (need additional coursework)
  • Work with children and youth (need additional coursework)
  • Other possibilities indicated by one’s giftedness and congregational/community need

The first day of the program, with a welcome and orientation will be January 8, 2023 3-5 p.m. via zoom

Apply to the CLM Program

After you apply (what to do)

CLM Program Schedule

Dr. Mary Cheng
Director of Leadership Development
(916) 374-1527

Amanda Garcia
Leadership and Congregational Development
(916) 374-1526