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Certified Lay Servants


A Certified Lay Servant prepares to undertake one or more of the following functions, giving primary attention to service within the local church or other United Methodist ministry setting:

  • Provide leadership, assistance, and support to the program emphases of the church or other United Methodist ministry.
  • Lead meetings for prayer, training, study, and discussion when requested.
  • Conduct, or assist in conducting, services of worship; preach the Word; or give addresses when requested.
  • Work with appropriate teams and committees that provide congregational and community leadership or foster caring ministries.
  • Teach the scriptures, doctrine, organization, and ministries of the United Methodist Church.

A Certified Lay Servant performs one or more of these duties when specifically requested to do so by the pastor of the church or leader of the United Methodist ministry and in consultation with the pastor or ministry leader.

Contact Person

In the Pacific Northwest Conference, those interested in becoming Certified Lay Servants should contact Rev. Sheila Miranda (

In the Alaska Conference, those interested in becoming Certified Lay Servants should contact David Means (

Certification Process

Those who are interested in becoming Certified Lay Servants should follow these steps:

  1. Speak with the pastor of your local church or with your district superintendent about your call to this ministry.
  2. Contact either Rev. Sheila Miranda (PNW Conference) or David Means (Alaska Conference) to discuss the parameters of the Certified Lay Servant program and to receive information on further steps to take.
  3. Complete the Introduction to Lay Ministries: Basic Course.
  4. Complete an advanced Lay Servant Ministries course.
  5. Apply to become a Certified Lay Servant using this form:
    Application to become a Certified Lay Servant or renew status as Certified Lay Servant
    This completed form should be sent to the district administrator with all other charge conference forms. The district administrator will forward a copy of this form to the Conference Committee on Certified Lay Ministries (currently, John Townsend, or to the conference director of lay ministries in Alaska (currently David Means,
  6. The PNW or Alaska Committee on Lay Ministries will review your application and inform you of your status.

Recertification Process

  1. Complete and submit an annual report to your charge conference.
  2. Complete at least one advanced lay servant ministries course every three years.
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