Certified Lay Ministers

General Conference 2004 approved the formation of the Certified Lay Ministry position - a new lay position for pastoral leadership in the church. This position may involve all pastoral functions except for those duties that require ordination (ex. baptism, communion).

The Certified Lay Minister:

  • shall preach the Word
  • provide a care ministry to the congregation
  • assist in program leadership
  • be a witness in the community for the growth, missional, and connectional thrust of The United Methodist Church

Whereas some are called to a certain ministry and then find a church, the CLM program may be best for situations where a church or ministry has a need and someone in that membership is called to help out in a larger way. CLM allows the church/ministry to add workers without the higher expense of ordained clergy. The CLM may help out in all ministries, or they may specialize in one or more areas. This decision will depend on the needs of the church/ministry and the gifts of the CLM. The responsibilities should be spelled out in the covenant.

The Certified Lay Minister is assigned by the District Superintendent to provide lay pastoral leadership in a ministry or local church.

What is a Certified Lay Minister?

Laity have long been a part of ministry in Methodism. Lay preachers, exhorters, and class leaders have served the church since its earliest days. Certified Lay Ministers (CLM) can play a ministerial role in a variety of formats, such as:

  • serving small churches that have trouble affording a traditional pastor.
  • serving on a pastoral team on multi-point charges or parishes to assist in continuity of leadership.
  • serving as a pastoral associate in a larger church.
  • serving multi-cultural or cross-cultural groups by developing indigenous leadership.

Basic Requirements for Certified Lay Minister

  • Read The Christian as Minister and discuss with your pastor
  • Attend lay servant’s school to become a Certified Lay Servant
  • CLM Application for Training
  • CLM Recommendations for Training form
  • Personal Data Inventory
  • Background check                  
  • Google/Web search check
  • Consumer Credit Report         
  • Sex Offender Search
  • UMC Candidate’s Disclosure Form 114
  • Psychological assessment and report
  • Vote of recommendation where local church membership is held
  • Mutual Ministry Team created (Louisiana Conference CLM Covenant Worksheet)
  • Assignment of an Equipping Pastor
  • Complete License Preach School
  • Written recommendation from District Superintendent
  • Recent picture of the candidate
  • Majority vote of the DCOM for granting CLM status
  • District Committee on Ordained Ministry annual interview dates for re-certification: (DCOM to check Annual renewal of Mutual Ministry Team Covenant, biennial re-certification form, participation