Licenses for Lay Ministry

Becoming a Licensed Lay Leader

Baptism into the Covenant Community of Jesus Christ is the primary prerequisite for any ministry in the Episcopal Church, and the Book of Common Prayer defines four orders of ministers: lay persons, bishops, priests, and deacons. All members are called to take their place in the life, worship, and governance of the Church.

While every Christian is called to be a minister, being certified in Lay Ministry may be appropriate for you if:

  • You have considered being more involved in missions or ministry, but wanted to get more training or certification.
  • You feel called to serve in your community or local church more than you feel called to serve anywhere in the Episcopal Church.
  • You feel called to one or more of the specific areas of ministry which the Canons require to be licensed by the bishop.
  • You desire to be in relationship with other lay leaders throughout the diocese who are being trained and licensed for these various ministries.
  • You’ve discerned that you are not called to ordained ministry as a priest or deacon, but feel called to exercise particular gifts for ministry within the licensing structure in El Camino Real.

The following guidelines and outlines for the training process and courses assure standards and consistency throughout the Diocese and aim to empower members in each congregation to engage in and further the ministry and mission of the Church. Since the work of Jesus is done in community — and the call to a ministry is a call of the Church to individuals asking them to share their gifts — the path to licensed lay ministries normally begins with a relationship with local parish leaders, either clergy or lay.

Descriptions, requirements, and forms for the seven lay licensing roles can be downloaded at the links below:

Worship Leader

Lay Preacher

Lay Catechist

Evangelist

Healing Minister

Eucharistic Minister (scroll down for training materials)

Eucharistic Visitor (scroll down for training materials)

In most cases, the rector or vicar of the parish will oversee the formation of lay leaders as they take on these licensed ministries. Licensed Lay Ministers act under the authority of the rubrics the Book of Common Prayer and within the faith and tradition of the Episcopal Church. All licenses are granted by Bishop Mary.

Below are PowerPoint training materials for Eucharistic Ministers and Visitors:

Eucharistic Minister Training Materials Part 1

Eucharistic Minister Training Materials Part 2

Training for Eucharistic Visitors

For more complete details, download the PDF “Becoming a Licensed Lay Leader” or contact Canon Jesus Reyes at canonjesus@realepiscopal.org.

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