About Certified Lay Minster (CLM)

A Certified Lay Minster (CLM) is a qualified United Methodist lay person called to congregational leadership as part of a ministry team under supervision of a clergy person, but who often serves the church in many different ways.

The Certified Lay Minster Classes are a learning experience in preparation for those who are seeking to become a Certified Lay Minister. Successful completion of the four sessions of the Certified Lay Minister classes is one step among many on the journey towards becoming a Certified Lay Minister.

A certified lay minister is a not a clergy person. A certified lay minister is a certified lay servant, who is 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 ministries as part of a ministry team with the supervision and support of a clergy person. A certified lay minister is assigned by a district superintendent in accordance with ¶419.2. (2016 Book of Discipline, ¶268.1)

Over this course, students will engage in facilitated learning on topics such as worship, preaching, small groups, mission, evangelism, stewardship, theology, congregational care, administration and more. A student’s preparation, attendance, classroom participation, performance and assignments are all vital in the process.

Sessions Focus & Dates (Fridays and Saturdays)

Location: Due to COVID-19, whether sessions will be online or in person will be determined by November 2021 for classes beginning in 2022. More information and registration will be open November 15 for 2022 classes!

  • Session 1| Spiritual Gifts, Worship Planning, Crafting the Sermon, Understanding CLM Ministry
  • Session 2| Small Groups, Sermon Delivery, Christian Education
  • Session 3| Stewardship, Congregational Care, & Funerals
  • Session 4 | UMC History, Polity, Mission & Evangelism, CLM Next Steps


All four sessions (8 days total) are necessary to complete the “in class learning” for the Certified Lay Minister Course.

The sessions will take place from 9:30a.m. – 3:00 p.m. each Friday and Saturday. Students are expected to attend the entire day.

Requirements for Attending

  1. Online Registration due by January 15, 2022 – $200 Registration Fee
  2. Commitment to attend ALL Four Sessions
  3. Membership in a United Methodist Church of the Greater NJ Conference
  4. Active Certified Lay Servant – completed an advanced lay servant class within the last three years and active in one’s congregation
  5. Approval from one’s Pastor and Church Council
  6. Online recommendation form completed by one’s pastor by January 20th. Click here for form.

Pre-work assignments and reading for each session are available on the side of the page.

For more information, contact: