Hispanic Lay Ministries Program
The National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry coordinates the program for Hispanic Lay Missioners (equivalent of Certified Lay Servants) and Hispanic Certified Lay Ministers (equivalent of Certified Lay Ministers).
Hispanic Lay Missioners are committed laypersons, mostly volunteers, who are willing to be trained and work in a team with a pastor-mentor to develop faith communities, establish community ministries, develop church school extension programs, and engage in congregational development. All lay missioners must follow the guidelines established by the National Committee on Hispanic Ministries of the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministries.
Lay missioners are accountable to their pastor-mentor as members of the ministry team. The ministry team is accountable to the local congregation or sponsoring body that established the goals for the ministry and assigned the ministry team. The lay missioner is accountable to the policies and procedures of the annual conference where assigned.
The concept of lay missioners is theologically based in the ministry of the laity. While lay missioners are engaged in a variety of ministries, their purpose is to complement, not replace, pastors.
Hispanic Certified Lay Ministers serve to enhance the quality of ministry much like a class leader did in early Methodism through service in the local church, circuit, or cooperative parish, or by expanding team ministry in other churches and charges. Certified Lay Ministers are called and equipped to conduct public worship, care for the congregation, assist in program leadership, develop new and existing faith communities, preach the Word, lead small groups, or establish community outreach ministries as part of a ministry team with the supervision and support of a clergyperson. The Certified Lay Minister is assigned by the district superintendent. Hispanic Certified Lay Ministers must first complete the requirements to be Hispanic Lay Missioners before continuing their education.
Rev. Cruz Edwin Santos (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Discipleship Ministries and the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministries have worked together to develop the basic coursework to prepare leaders for this form of ministry. Certification provides a layperson with the training, support, supervision, and accountability needed to lead in team ministry.
Candidates learn about the programs by speaking to a pastor or district superintendent. They get approval from their charge conference, and report to the charge conference and district superintendent.
Hispanic Lay Missioners must complete Encounters 1 and 2: Process to Be a Hispanic Lay Missioner. The program covers Bible, Theology, and Basic Practices.
Hispanic Certified Lay Ministers must complete Encounters 1 and 2, as well as Modules 1 and 2:
- Module 1: Theology, Call, and Steps for the Certification of Lay Ministers in the UMC
- Module 2: Basic Tasks of the Lay Minister, Liturgy, Worship, Preaching, Discipleship, and Pastoral Care.
Hispanic Certified Lay Ministers are interviewed by the dCOM in the same manner as Certified Lay Ministers and must complete the same required background checks and Safe Sanctuaries training. The dCOM recommends certification to the Annual Conference Hispanic Ministries Committee and the Conference Committee on Certified Lay Ministries.
For recertification, Hispanic Lay Missioners and Hispanic Certified Lay Ministers complete advanced courses or approved continuing education events established by the Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministry or the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry. Recertification is required every two years.