Several United Methodist conferences accept these four modules for those wishing to become Certified Lay Ministers, such as the East Ohio Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and the Florida Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. We recommend you check with your pastor, district superintendent, or conference office to make sure these courses are approved for certification as a lay minister in your conference. Each conference is different, and some do not accept these courses for CLM certification.
What is a Certified Lay Minister?
The 2016 Book of Discipline, ¶268
“A certified lay minister is a certified lay servant, certified lay missioner, (or equivalent as defined by his or her central conference) 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 outreach ministries as part of a ministry team with the supervision and support of a clergy person.” (¶268)).
Certified lay ministers are laypersons, and as such may not consecrate the elements at communion, perform weddings, receive new members, or perform baptisms. The CLM, however, may perform all of the other duties of a pastoral leader within the ministry setting he or she is assigned. It is important that as a CLM, you consult with your CLM mentor or district superintendent to ensure that there are no state laws that would prohibit you from performing any civil ceremonies such as funerals.
Click the links for more information about each training, and scroll down to see all scheduled dates. Learners in CLM Module 1 must already be Certified Lay Servants — that is, they must have completed the Basic Lay Servant Ministries course plus the Spiritual Gifts advanced LSM course (either Rediscovering Our Spiritual Gifts, For the Common Good: Discovering and Using Your Spiritual Gifts or locally).
Every two years, approved CLMs need to go through a process to have their recognition as a CLM renewed. Part of this process involves completing continuing education credits. BeADisciple is pleased to offer Lay Servant Ministries advanced courses as continuing education for CLMs. You should always check with your own conference Lay Servant Ministries committee first to make sure these are approved for credit in your conference!
If you have questions, please contact BeADisciple at IFDcoaching.sckans.edu.
Certified Lay Minister Renewal
The 2016 Book of Discipline, ¶268.4
“Recognition as a certified lay minister may be renewed […] after the certified lay minister has:
… (c) completed a Lay Servant Ministries advanced course or approved continuing education event, as defined by the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries or equivalent structure, in the last two years; …”
Meet the Instructors
David B. Palmer
David B. Palmer is a Certified Lay Minister and Director of Lay Servant Ministries for the North Central District in the Florida Conference United Methodist Church. He is assigned to Belleview UMC’s ministry team in roles including preaching, teaching, and developing leaders, and in congregational care, missions, and community connections. David serves in district pulpit supply, as a conference lay delegate and on the Conference Board of Lay Servant Ministries. His career encompasses senior executive leadership in public safety services and as an adjunct college professor focused on leadership, strategic decision–making, and outstanding on-line learning. David brings his spiritual gifts, talents, and enthusiasm as a BeADisciple.com instructor to mentor future Certified Lay Ministers in exceptional service as Jesus’ disciples.
Sue Tesar is a Certified Lay Minister at Brunswick United Methodist Church in Brunswick, Maine. Sue’s ministries include assisting the pastor in worship planning by providing sermons and prayers, engaging members of the laity to participate in all aspects of Sunday worship; baking communion bread; and assisting the media team.
Her photography ministry features prominently on the church’s web page, weekly bulletins, newsletter, and special services. Administratively, Sue serves on the New England Conference LSM Committee, and as the Many Waters District CLM and LSM registrar. She assists CLM candidates with the initial credentialing process as well as providing guidance to CLMs in their annual and renewal requirements. Quarterly CLM gatherings have been instrumental in providing support and current information, as well as fellowship within the CLM community.
De Keimach was confirmed as a Certified Lay Minister in the United Methodist Church in February 2022. She first visited the United Methodist Church in January of 2017 and knew she had found her spiritual home.
De serves her home church (Aldersgate UMC in North Reading, Massachusetts) as the worship chair, with a primary focus on using social media to extend the reach of the church. From assisting with weekly worship broadcast to daily posting across platforms, she knows this ministry is essential to keeping people connected no matter where they are. This focus supports the belief that the church is not the building but is the people. De also enjoys writing and leading prayer. She has been a student in many BeADisciple courses and appreciates the opportunity to become an instructor/learner.
Todd Seifert is a Certified Lay Minister in the Great Plains Conference (Kansas and Nebraska) of The United Methodist Church. He serves fulltime in ministry as communications director for the Great Plains as well as serving as pastor at Centenary UMC in Lawrence, Kansas. He is a regular contributor to an online daily devotion email within the Great Plains Conference and hosts an award-winning podcast titled “In Layman’s Terms” that tells stories about discipleship and shares reflections on scripture. He has more than 25 years of experience leading Bible studies for all ages, though his favorite is facilitating Disciple I Bible Study, a task he has enjoyed multiple times over the years. And he has led the class “Acts as a Lenten Journey” on BeADisciple.com.