The East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church offers four CLM modules for those wishing to become Certified Lay Ministers. While originally intended for members of the East Ohio Conference, several other United Methodist conferences accept these modules as CLM credit as well. 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.

Learn more about the Certified Lay Minister program or view the CLM Brochure from Discipleship Ministries.

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.

CLM Training Program Dates

Click the links for more information about each training, and scroll down to see all scheduled dates.  Each of these courses requires access to a copy of the United Methodist Book of Discipline.  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 advances LSM course (either online or locally).

“I believe I was called by God to become a CLM in my district in North Carolina. I completed all four modules under the teaching of Dr. Joshua Reichard; all of these modules were very informative and I learned a great deal from them. When I went before the DCOM this summer I was approved!” – Pat Merrit, NC

CLM Module 1: Call and Covenant for Ministry

  • July 24 – August 6, 2023
  • September 11 – 24, 2023

CLM Module 2: The Practice of Ministry

  • June 26 – July 16, 2023
  • August 14 – September 3, 2023
  • October 2 – October 22, 2023

CLM Module 3: Organization for Ministry

  • July 24 – August 6, 2023
  • September 11 – 24, 2023
  • October 30 – November 12, 2023

CLM Module 4: Connection for Ministry

  • June 26 – July 9, 2023
  • August 14 – 27, 2023
  • October 2 – 15, 2023
  • November 27 – December 10, 2023

Continuing Education for Current CLMs

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 courses that meet these requirements in some conferences. You should always check with your own conference Lay Servant Ministries committee first to make sure these are approved for credit in your conference!

In addition to Lay Servant Ministries advanced courses, we offer the two continuing education courses below, which are approved in the East Ohio conference as continuing education for CLMs. These courses are taught by Dr. Joshua Reichard, who teaches our CLM modules.

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; …”

IFD301 – Jesus’ Abba: An Introduction to the Process-Relational Perspective on God

  • July 24 – August 6, 2023
  • October 30 – November 12, 2023