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¶ 271. Certified Lay Minister

¶ 271. Certified Lay Minister-In order to enhance the quality of ministry to small membership churches, expand team ministry in churches and in deference to an expression of gifts and evidence of God's grace associated with the lay ministry of early Methodism, the certified lay minister is to be recognized and utilized.

1. The certified lay minister shall preach the Word, provide a care ministry to the congregation, assist in program leadership, and be a witness in the community for the growth, missional and connectional thrust of The United Methodist Church as part of a ministry team with the supervision and support of a clergy person.

2. A certified layservant or a person with equivalent training as defined by his/her district or conference may be certified as a lay minister by the District Committee on Ordained Ministry after he/she has:
a) Been recommended by the pastor of the local church where he/she holds membership and by vote of the church council or charge conference.
b) Completed courses relevant to his/her assignment including preaching and exegesis, the care of the congregation, and other courses as recommended by the General Board of Discipleship and General Board of Higher Education and Ministry in consultation with leaders in the annual conference, and other appropriate agencies and organizations.
c) Demonstrated appreciation of the history, polity, doctrine, worship and liturgy of The United Methodist Church through service in his/her local church.
d) Been recommended by the district superintendent after completion of appropriate screening.
e) Made application in writing to the District Committee on Ordained Ministry.
f) Appeared before the District Committee on Ordained Ministry for review and approval.

3. The certified lay minister is to apply in writing for recertification biannually to the District Committee on Ordained Ministry upon:
a) Ministry review by church council or charge conference from the congregation of which he/she is a member.
b) Satisfactory completion of an approved continuing education event, and
c) Recommendation of the district superintendent.

4. The certified lay minister under assignment is to appear bi-annually before the District Committee on Ordained Ministry for recertification after:
a) Ministry review by church council or charge conference where assigned,
b) Satisfactory completion of an approved continuing education event, and
c) Recommendation of the district superintendent.

5. Transfer of Certification by Certified Lay Ministers
A certified lay minister who moves may transfer certification to the new district upon receipt of a letter from the previous district's Committee on Ordained Ministry confirming current certification.

6. The certified lay minister is a layperson and as such is not eligible for support by equitable compensation funds or pension that are provided for clergy members. The local congregation is encouraged to provide appropriate compensation.

From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church - 2012. Copyright 2012 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.

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