Lay Servant Ministries

All are called and strategically deployed to Grow. Reach. Heal.


Live out your calling! Become certified in Lay Ministry.

Step 1: Attend the ConneXion Retreat in-person or online through MNsource.

In-person events will be listed here when they are planned.

Virtual, self-paced ConneXion Retreat and discernment with a ConneXion coach is available on Register first and then access videos.

Step 2: Find your niche in one of three tracks.

See certification requirements below. 

Certified Lay Servant

Certified Lay Speaker

Certified Lay Minister

Ongoing Development & Training Opportunities

Lay leadership trainings and resources on MNsource

MNsource is a resource sharing platform for churches in the Minnesota Conference. Our goal is to fuel the next generation of church leadership by providing digital resources for worship, study, and continuing education for clergy and the church at large. Anyone may submit a resource, and you can create a login so you can keep track of the resources you like best. Access all lay leadership resources here.

Be a Disciple online courses 

Find quality online educational experiences with roots in Wesleyan theology, including workshops and courses on a variety of ministry, formation, and leadership topics.

Upcoming events for laity

Subscribe to our MN Bulletin Board newsletter to learn about upcoming events and opportunities for laity.

Email Terry Sullivan ( to receive the Lay Leaders monthly newsletter.

Trainings for Staff-Parish Relations Committees (SPRC)

Access training resources and recordings towards the bottom of this page for SPRC and church leaders.

Certification Types and Requirements

Certified Lay Servant

Be equipped and inspired to serve as a leader in various ministry areas inside and outside your congregation. Serve as staff or volunteer in areas like community advocacy, social justice issues, earth care, as well as children/youth ministry, congregational care, hospitality, prayer, mission, and more.

Certification Requirements

  1. Completion of ConneXion Retreat.
  2. Encouraged to attend a United Methodist Training event either in person or online every year.
  3. Submission of Certified Lay Servant Form annually.

Certified Lay Speaker

Serve as a trained worship leader and share God’s word through preaching; you may choose to be placed on a published pulpit supply list available to conference pastors. View a list of certified lay speakers to find someone to come and speak at your church.

Certification Requirements

  1. Completion of ConneXion Retreat.
  2. Clergy and church council or charge conference recommendation.
  3. Completion of required courses for lay speakers (weekend retreat and coursework).
  4. Interview with and approval from members of the Lay Ministry Team.
  5. Submission of Certified Lay Speaker Form annually.
  6. Encouraged to attend a United Methodist Training event either in person or online every year.
  7. Completion of one course related to preaching or worship leadership every three years.

Certified Lay Minister

Serve as staff or a volunteer in a specialized ministry in roles such as communications director, music leader, children/youth ministries director, district parish nurse, care coordinator, and spiritual leader of a congregation under oversight of an elder.

Certification Requirements

  1. Complete ConneXion retreat.
  2. Discern and choose ministry area for certification CLM Materials and Information
    1. Please note:  The CLM Materials and Information link gives you all the information you need to know about Lay Servant Ministries and the discernment process.  It also clarifies the difference between a Certified Lay Servant, a Certified Lay Speaker, and a Certified Lay Minister.
    2. The Certified Lay Ministry Guidelines (the fourth choice) contains all of the information and forms that you need, with the exception of the Report of Lay Ministers Form 2, which is number 14 below.
  3. Obtain written recommendation from home church and council/charge conference
  4. Complete CLM Modules 1-4, which can be found in the Certified Lay Ministry (CLM) Certification Program through – Chris#1A44369.  [Please note that the time limit to complete each Module is two-three weeks long. 
  5. Meet with CLM coordinator [Carol Ottoson, ]  to finalize a training completion plan.
  6. Form a Mutual Ministry Team.
  7. Complete appropriate screening and assessment as required by district.
  8. Receive letter of recommendation from district superintendent.
  9. Have all requirements for certification reviewed by conference committee on lay servant ministries for referral to district committee on ministry (dCOM) for examination and recommendation.
  10. Make application in writing to become certified lay minister.
  11. Submit a report documenting completion of training and a written application/ministry covenant to become a CLM in the chosen ministry area to: clergy, DS and CLM coordinator [Carol Ottoson,].
  12. Submit application/ministry covenant and letters of recommendation to dCOM.
  13. Interview with dCOM and obtain recommendation for certification
  14. Submit an annual report to charge conference/church council where membership is held, to the conference committee on LSM giving evidence of satisfactory performance as a CLM.  This can be found at the following: Report of Certified Lay Minister (Form 2).
  15. Obtain a ministry review by PPRC/SPPRC, church council, or charge conference.
  16. Complete an approved continuing education course every two years.
  17. Recertify with dCOM every two years.

Have Questions? We are here to help.

Marion Hansen, Lay Ministries Team Chair / (218) 837-5054

Lay Ministries Team Registrar (new person coming soon)

Jody Thone, Director of Leadership Development / (612) 230-6134

Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

122 West Franklin Avenue, Suite 400 Minneapolis, MN 55404

(612) 870-0058