Lay Speaking Courses - CMA

Central Massachusetts District
District Director of Lay Servant Ministries
Beth Ferguson


Spring 2018 Lay Servant Ministry Courses

The District will be offering a Lay Servant Ministry Academy on April 7, 14, and 21 at Quinsigamund UMC in Worcester, MA. Classes meet from 1-6 p.m. The cost is $45 per person and covers materials and books.

We will be offering three courses:

  • Basic Lay Servant Ministry: The Lay Servant Ministries Basic Course focuses on the many ways lay servants are called to be in ministry. Completion of the Basic Course is required for certification.
  • Accountable Discipleship: This course focuses on the concept of the household of God, Scripture as divine revelation, Wesleyan understandings of grace, and the importance of the class leader in the development of the Methodist movement.
  • You Can Preach: This course is designed for those who have not completed formal preaching training, for pastors seeking a basic refresher course, and for others who are called upon to preach in a pastor’s absence.

All three sessions are required to complete each course.

The registration deadline is March 24, 2018.  Click here for the registration form and details.

If you are registering close to the deadline, send an email as well to to let me know your registration is on the way.  

Fall 2018 Lay Servant Ministry Courses

  • Lay Servant Ministries Basic Course
  • Advanced Course: Class Leaders (Accountable Discipleship is a prerequisite) 
  • Advanced Course: Spiritual Gifts

Each course will meet from 1-6 p.m. on three Saturdays: Oct.  13, Nov. 3 & 10, 2018 at Oxford UMC.  

Basic Lay Servant Ministry: This course is foundational for all courses in Lay Servant Ministries. Participants are encouraged to discover and employ personal spiritual gifts as God intended and to consider the importance of exercising servant leadership, developing future leaders, remaining rooted in consistent spiritual practices, and being part of a group that holds members accountable in their discipleship. 

Click here for the registration form and details.


We are planning a two-day Lay Servant Ministry Academy on Jan.  26 and Feb. 9, 2019 offering Basic Lay Servant Ministry, Conflict Resolution, and Justice in Everyday Life, based on The UMC Social Principles.  More details to follow

About Lay Servant Ministries

Local Church Lay Servant serve in and through their local churches. To be recognized as a local church lay servant, one must be recommended by his/her pastor and church council or charge conference and complete the Lay Servant Ministries Basic Course. Each participant must reapply annually, reporting on service rendered and learning achieved during the year. Every three years the lay servant must complete a refresher course or continuing education course relating to his/her ministry

Certified Lay Servants serve in their own churches, in other churches, and through district or conference projects and programs. This offers them the opportunity to expand their outreach and to enrich their ministry through the various advanced courses. To be recognized as a certified lay servant, one must be recommended by his/her pastor and church council or charge conference and complete the Lay Servant Ministries Basic Course as well as one Lay Servant Advanced Course. Each lay servant must report and be renewed annually, and he/she must complete at least one Advanced Course every three years.

Specialized Track: Lay Speaker – A lay speaker is a lay servant who is called and equipped to serve the church in pulpit supply in accordance and compliance with the Book of Disciplines (2012) ¶341.1.  Lay speakers will have specific training as listed in this amendment and will be interviewed by the district committee on lay servant ministries. In the New England Annual Conference, the following Advanced Courses are in the training requirements for the Lay Speaker track: Discover Your Spiritual Gifts, Leading Prayer, Preaching, Living Our United Methodist Beliefs (UM Heritage), Leading Worship and Life Together in the United Methodist Connection (UM Polity).