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Certified Lay Ministers

Certified Lay Ministers serve in local churches providing assistance to pastors. Sometimes, they are assigned by a district superintendent to provide pastoral leadership in small congregations. The idea of laity serving as lay preachers, exhorters, and class leaders goes back to the early day of Methodism.

Certified Lay Ministers preach the Word, provide care for the congregation, assist in program leadership, and serve as witnesses in the community to further the growth and mission. They are usually a part of a ministry team with the supervision and support of a clergyperson. There are four major components in the formation of these leaders which include training, supervision, support and accountability.

Resources

Upcoming CLM Classes

CLM Recertification Classes

Certified Lay Ministry Recertification Make-Up Class
November 3-4, 2017 | BWC Mission Center

Class of 2016-2018 Module 4 - You must have successfully completed Module 1, 2 and 3.
Registration opens January 1, 2018
Tuesdays, January 9–February 20, 2018 | Trinity UMC (Frederick)
Wednesdays, January 10–February 28, 2018 | Union UMC (Upper Marlboro)
Thursdays, January 11–February 22, 2018 | BWC Mission Center

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How and when do I submit for a Baltimore-Washington Conference Background Screening?

The CLM Applicant is required to submit for a background screening before the completion of Module 1 and before registering for Module 2.

  • The required background screening includes a criminal records search, sex offender records search, a credit report search and a driver’s license report.
  • The CLM applicant is to contact Mrs. Debbie Albrecht at or 800-492-2525, Ext. 456. She will send you an online invitation from Trak-1 to complete the information necessary to complete the online screening. You will pay the screening fee at the time you complete the online form. The cost will generally range from $25 to $40 and must be paid by credit card at the time of completing the online screening.

What is a Certified Lay Minister?

The Certified Lay Minister (CLM) is a position that was created by the 2004 session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church. This position was designed to enhance the quality of ministry and ability of small membership churches and team ministry in larger membership churches to meet the spiritual and temporal needs of a constantly changing world (¶ 271 in the 2012 Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church).

Certified Lay Ministers preach the Word, provide care ministry to the congregation, assist in program leadership, and are a witness in the community as part of a ministry team with the supervision and support of a clergyperson. The Certified Lay Minister can be assigned by a District Superintendent to provide lay servant leadership in a ministry or in a church.

Who should consider beginning the application process and coursework for Certified Lay Ministry?

Perhaps you have considered being more involved in mission and ministry in the past, but wanted to remain in the community where you live as a faithful servant. Perhaps you are the one others look toward for leadership, perhaps you are comfortable sharing your faith story, or you could be discerning the service to which God is calling you.  Have you ever asked yourself, “Could God be calling me to be a leader in mission and ministry?” Have you read “The Christian as Minister”? Have you had a conversation your pastor? Certified Lay Ministry may be an appropriate response for you at this time.

What do I need to do to become a Certified Minister?

You need to commit to and complete the following requirements:

  1. Meet with your pastor.
  2. Meet with your local SPRC.
  3. Meet with your District Superintendent.
  4. Complete the Certified Lay Ministry application and submit it to the CLM office by July 1. (Note: all signatures and meetings need to happen prior to July 1.)
  5. Complete the BWC Biographical Information Form 102 (included in the CLM application packet).
  6. Requirements for making application to enter into the Certified Lay Ministry course of study:
    • Completed the Basic Lay Servant Ministry course.
    • Completed one Advanced Lay Servant course.
  7. Must be a Certified Lay Servant.
  8. Complete a background screening for criminal records search, sex offender records search, credit report search and driver’s license report prior to the completion of Module 1.
  9. Successfully complete the two-year learning experience, consisting of four seven-week modules and a separate demonstration project (practicum).
  10. Demonstrate through service in the local church an appreciation for the history, polity, doctrine, worship and liturgy of The United Methodist Church.
  11. Upon successful completion of Modules1-4, a Certificate of Completion for the required coursework will be issued to the candidate for CLM.
  12. The candidate for Certified Lay Ministry needs to request an interview with the District Committee on Ordained Ministry (DCOM). It is the CLM’s responsibility to contact the chair or registrar of their DCOM to request this interview.
  13. The DCOM will make their recommendation to the Conference Committee on Lay Ministry, who will provide written documentation of approval of the Certified Lay Minister.

What is required to begin the Certified Lay Ministry process?

  • Meet with your Pastor.
  • Meet with your local SPRC.
  • Meet with your District Superintendent.
  • Complete the Certified Lay Ministry application and submit it to the CLM office by July 1. (Note: all signatures and meetings need to happen prior to July 1.)
  • Complete the BWC Biographical Information Form 102 (included in the CLM application packet).
  • Complete the requirements for making application to enter into the Certified Lay Ministry course of study
    • Must already be a Certified Lay Servant.
  • Complete a background screening for criminal records search, sex offender records search, credit report search and driver’s license report prior to the completion of Module 1.

How and when do I re-certify as a Certified Lay Minister?

A CLM needs to recertify biennially (every 2 years) and be re-approved by the Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministry after interview with their District Committee on Ordained Ministry (DCOM) to continue as a Certified Lay Minister. This requires:

  • Satisfactory completion of the approved continuing education course (10 hours) for CLM. The CLM recertification class is offered annually during the months of May-August. It is the CLM’s responsibility to know when they need to recertify.
  • Annual written recommendation with a ministry review by the church council or charge conference from the congregation of which he/she is a member and if different, the congregation where assigned. This is on the annual Charge Conference Form. The original is to be turned in to your church for vote and approval at your charge conference. A copy is to be sent to the CLM Office (The Baltimore-Washington Conference, Attn: CLM Office, 11711 East Market Place, Fulton, MD 20759-2594).
  • It is the CLM’s responsibility to contact the chair or registrar of their DCOM to request an interview for recertification.
  • After the interview, the District Superintendent and the DCOM will provide their recommendations to the Conference Committee on Lay Ministry, who will then issue the documentation for re-certification.

What are the “Questions for Candidates”?

The questions that should be asked by the pastor and the SPRC to the applicant can be found on page 91 of “The Christian as Minister.”

What is the Pastor Recommendation process?

  • The applicant is to meet with the pastor to discuss his/her sense of calling.
  • The pastor will request a meeting with the district superintendent to include the pastor, members of SPRC, church council and the applicant to discuss the needs of the church, and the suitability of the person’s gifts as a candidate for the certified lay ministry program within the local church.
  • The pastor will sign the applicant’s application form.
  • The pastor will complete and sign the Pastor’s Recommendation. The signed Pastor’s Recommendation form is to be mailed before July 1 to: Baltimore-Washington Conference, Attn: CLM Office, 11711 East Market Place, Fulton, MD 20759-2594.
  • The pastor is part of the Commitment and Covenant through the applicant’s course of study and process.

Who needs to fill out the Lay Servant Church Conference form?

All Certified Lay Servants, Certified Lay Speakers, and Certified Lay Ministers are required to submit an annual report to their Charge Conference. This is not a new requirement and is found in Section XI. Lay Servant Ministries in the 2016 Book of Discipline.

What if I do not have a certificate from classes I have taken before?

  • If it has been in the past 2 years, please contact your District Director of Lay Servant Ministries for assistance in locating a new certificate of completion.
  • If the course was from BEADISCIPLE.COM, check old emails.
  • If the course was more than 2years ago enter the date and information you remember into the appropriate fields.

What if I have not taken an Advanced Course in the past three years (2 years for CLM)?

CLS and CLSp are required to take an Advanced LSM Course every three years to be recertified. CLMs are required to take a course every 2 years. These courses must be completed by Charge Conference the year they are due.

Special note:  The 2016 Book of Discipline added an application process to CLS and CLSp. Completing a course does not make you certified or recertified. When you have completed the course you are to fill out an application and submit it to your District Director of Lay Servant Ministry. This process has not been fully implemented yet across the BWC. For the 2017 Church Conference season the completion of the course will be accepted. In the 2018 Church Conference season the application process will be required. This means classes should be completed weeks, if not months, before your charge conference so the district can complete your application and you will have a certificate for charge conference.

Do I need a paper copy of my report?

Yes, three copies for the three signatures at your charge conference: pastor, district superintendent, and council chair person. 

These three signed copies are to be retained as follows: One copy for the church, one copy for the DS, and one for your own records.

I am a CLM but have not taken a Basic Course or Advanced LSM course.

The 2016 BOD made it a requirement for CLMs to be a Certified Lay Servant. If you have not completed the Basic LSM course or an Advanced course please type NONE in the fields for these courses. The BWC Committee on Lay Servant Ministry will be working this year to make sure all of our CLMs meet the new requirements.

Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministries

The purpose of the Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministries is to set criteria and guidelines for District Committees on Lay Servant Ministries, to develop lay servant courses and approve courses developed by District Committees, and to organize conference-wide lay servant events.

Learn more about who to contact about lay ministry.

Conference Lay Leader
Deloris Martin

301-421-9441

Chairperson and Director of Lay Servant Ministry
Julie Flinchum

410-610-6741

Director of Certified Lay Ministry
Sandra King-Shaw

301-340-7671

Annapolis District
Myra Young

301-706-4695

Baltimore Metropolitan
Darlynn McCrea

443-254-2083

Baltimore Suburban
Darlynn McCrea

443-254-2083

Central Maryland
Pam Plummer Matthews (Co-Director)

240-498-4520

Central Maryland
Rod Fry (Co-Director)

301-633-5910

Cumberland-Hagerstown
Vivian Moore

301-759-5810

Frederick
Deborah Simms

410-259-2082

Greater Washington
Carol Travis

301-908-6501

Washington East
Linda Flanagan

301-645-1375