LSM Training

Find information on upcoming LSM courses.

Training Requirements

Certified Lay Servant (CLS)

Certified lay servants need to satisfactorily complete Discipleship Ministries Basic Course and one advanced course.

Certified Lay Speaker (CLSp)

Certified lay speakers need to have been previously certified as a certified lay servant and satisfactorily complete the following six Discipleship Ministries advanced courses: Leading Prayer, Spiritual Gifts, UM Heritage, UM Polity, Leading Worship and Preaching.

Certified Lay Minister

“To become a Certified Minister, you must first be a Certified Lay Servant, (See the Certified Lay Servant section above). The steps below may be used as a guide for the applicant, pastor, district and conference committees and the district superintendents for use in the initial certification and renewal of CLM candidates.

There have been several changes to the CLM program which are documented within this section. Please note that no one needs to apply to take any of the CLM classes offered, they are open to anyone.

Secondly, the educational requirements for CLM certification have changed to make CLM training more flexible, with two options. The first option utilizes the 4 Modules from Discipleship Ministries and the second option utilizes the Lay Academy for Rural Church Ministries. The 11 classes are no longer the required educational requirements to obtain CLM certification. The 11 classes are still being offered and can be used to complete coursework previously begun, or can be used to supplement the 4 Modules, or can be taken as advanced classes. The detail information regarding these changes is presented below. It is recommended you consult with your district director of LSM and district superintendent to determine the best training alternative for your particular need.

Besides the normal pastoral role of the CLM’s, they now have the opportunity with further training to specialize in the following areas: lay missioner, lay missionary/church planter, children's faith formation, men's ministry specialist, and United Methodist parish nurse. Find out more information on these ministries.

CLM initial certification requirements:
  1. The first step is to meet with your localpastor to discuss and discern your call to become a Certified Lay Minister. You must also be currently certified as a Lay Servant.
  2. The second step is to obtain from your local pastor and church council or charge conference a recommendation to become a Certified Lay Minister.
  3. The third step is to obtain a letter of recommendation from your district superintendent. (Form a mutual ministry team with an assigned elder).
  4. The fourth step is to:

Satisfactorily complete the educational requirements:

  • Module 1 (Call and Covenant for Ministry)
  • Module 2 (The Practice for Ministry)
  • Module 3 (Organization for Ministry)
  • Module 4 (Connection for Ministry)
  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • Preaching

Complete the Lay Academy for Rural Church Ministries CLM curriculum and

  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • Preaching

The coursework for the 4 Modules can be found through the BeADisciple website. The three additional classes (Old Testament, New Testament, and Preaching) may be found on the upcoming courses page. The Lay Academy for Rural Church Ministries courses can be found at

  1. The fifth step is to complete Safe Gatherings certification, Boundary Training, completed a background check and have a psychological assessment conducted. The background check and psychological assessment are handled through the Great Plains Conference registrar and the forms can be found on the BOOM forms page under CLM Certification. This information will be maintained on Passage UMC. Check with your district superintendent for login information.
  2. Submit a completed annual report (application) to the District Committee on Lay Servant Ministries (DCLSM).
  3. Have all forms reviewed by the District Director of LSM who completes the CLM checklist for completion of steps 1-6 and submits it to the Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministries (CCLSM).
  4. The CCLSM reviews the checklist and Annual Report (Application) for recommendation to be interviewed/examined by the District Committee on Ordained Ministry (DCOOM).
  5. Interview with and obtain recommendation from the DCOOM for Certification. The interview is scheduled through your District Registrar.
  6. Approval and Certification by the CCLSM after recommendation from DCOOM.

For those students who began under the 11-class program they may continue to do so or they may transition to the mew training program. For further information please refer to the Lay Servant Ministries guidebook.

Upcoming Courses

Stay up to date with the latest schedule of Lay Servant Ministries courses by checking back here regularly. Questions or ideas related to this section should be emailed to Jeanie Leeper at

Books usually can be purchased via or The coursework for the 4 Modules can be found through the BeADisciple website. The three additional classes (Old Testament, New Testament, and Preaching) may be found on the upcoming courses page. The Lay Academy for Rural Church Ministries courses can be found at

Watch for upcoming learning opportunities on our calendar. 

Virtual Courses
  • July 3-30, 2023, Great Plains Learning/Moodle
  • August 7-25, 2023, Great Plains Learning/Moodle
    • Course offered: Life Together in the United Methodist Connection (United Methodist Polity)
    • Learn more and register
  • September 5-30, 2023, Great Plains Learning/Moodle
  • October 2-November 5, 2023, Great Plains Learning/Moodle
In-Person Courses
  •  Coming soon
    • Watch for details