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Certified Lay Speaker

A lay speaker is a Certified Lay Servant, or person with equivalent training as defined by his or her district conference who is called and equipped to serve the church in pulpit supply in accordance with ¶341.1 of the 2012 Book of Discipline. The role of lay speaker was created at the 2012 General Conference to foster excellence, insure quality, provide accountability, and retain the heritage of those laity called to provide pulpit supply.

To become certified as a Lay Speaker, you must:

  1. Be a professing and active member of a local church/charge
  2. Obtain recommendation from pastor and charge conference
  3. Complete the BASIC Course for Lay Servant Ministries
  4. Complete a track of study to include:
    •  —
    • Discovering Spiritual Gifts
    • Leading Worship
    • Leading Prayer
    • Preaching
    • United Methodist Heritage
    • United Methodist Polity
  5. Pass a criminal background check
  6. Be examined by the District Committee on Lay Servant Ministries or equivalent structure and be recommended to the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries or equivalent structure for certification

To maintain certification, you must:

  1. Submit an annual report
  2. Submit an application for recertification and reappear before the district committee on Lay Servant Ministries or equivalent structure every three years
  3. Receive endorsement of local church charge conference
  4. Complete an advanced course for Lay Servant Ministries at least once every three years for recertification
  5. Pass a criminal background check

Discipleship Ministries

For more information and resources about Lay Servant Ministries from the General Conference, click here.

Be A Disciple

Advanced courses for the Lay Speaking track of study are available on The BeADisciple Introduction to Lay Ministry: BASIC and Preaching courses do not count towards Lay Speaker certification in the Indiana Conference. These two courses must be completed within the Indiana Conference, and preferably within your district. Please talk with your District Director of Lay Servant Ministries to find out more about courses within your district. Visit for all scheduled courses.

Essential Documents

Annual Report
Certification Interview
Certification Requirements
Re-Certification Requirements
Lay Servant Ministries Catalog