Steps to Become a Certified Lay Minister

What is a Certified Lay Minister?

A Certified Lay Minister (CLM) is a lay servant or lay missioner called and equipped to care for a small congregation, develop new and existing faith communities or establish community outreach ministries. Certified Lay Ministers accomplish this in collaboration with a ministry team and support from an assigned clergyperson.

One basic requirement for all persons pursuing this track is to be a professing member of a local United Methodist church. Annual Conferences may have their own complementary requirements for this track. So, you will want to connect with your pastor and district superintendent to know specific details of your conference.

These are the main steps towards becoming a Certified Lay Minister.

The process for becoming a CLM can be completed in its traditional format, through Discipleship Ministries, or in this new, contextualized format for the Hispanic/Latino population. (Download image)

Step 1:

Complete the equipping process for Lay Missioner, which consists of Encuentro Uno and Encuentro Dos, facilitated by the National Plan for Hispanic and Latino Ministry.

Step 2:

Once you have completed Encuentro Uno and Encuentro Dos, you will have to receive a written recommendation from your local pastor, pastor-parish committee and church council or charge conference. This is important because the support of your local church is key.

Step 3:

Then you will then need to complete the Lay Minister curricula. This is composed of Modulo Uno: Call and Covenant for Ministry and Modulo Dos: Practice of Ministry. Like the Lay Missioner process, these modules are available in digital, hybrid and in-person settings. Each module’s duration depends on the chosen setting.

Step 4:

Once you have completed the lay missioner and lay minister learning components, you are then eligible to be interviewed by the District Committee on Ordained Ministry known as DCOM and certified by the Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministries.

Upon approval, you will receive an invitation from the District Superintendent to work in a ministry assignment based on your gifts and talents.

There, you will become part of a mutual support team created by the district office and your place of assignment that will assist you in ministry. Additionally, you and your team will develop a ministry covenant to outline the plan and strategy for the conference year.


The Certified Lay Minister track is an intentional partnership between clergy and laity to live and work together in mutual interdependence, and to allow themselves to be guided by the Spirit to truth, which liberates, and to love, which reconciles.

All the information mentioned in this video can be found in ¶266-269 of the Book of Discipline.

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Additional links: 

Please contact Raúl Alegría, Interim Director of the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino MinistryAlma Pérez, Director of Hispanic/Latino Resourcing at Discipleship Ministries, or David C. Teel, Director of Laity and Spiritual Leadership at Discipleship Ministries.

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