THE LAY MINISTRY TRAINING PROGRAM
Purpose. The Lay Ministry Training Program supports the Congregational value of a learned laity. It provides basic training for people who desire to serve the church more fully, either as a lay minister or as a lay leader. The program assists in the spiritual development of individuals and enhances knowledge in areas of biblical knowledge, theology, worship, Congregational history and polity, mission, and others.
The Lay Ministry Training Program addresses two concerns. One concern is to provide for the local church by developing the talents and abilities of the individual doing lay ministry. The other concern is for the spiritual development of the person who would serve as a lay minister. By emphasizing both of these concerns, the program seeks to enable effective lay ministry that is distinctly Congregational.
Ministerial Training. Congregationalism has a long and honored tradition of an educated clergy. Seminary training at an accredited institution is the preferred way for ministerial candidates to receive such an education. Through seminary training, students are prepared for ordination. However, the Lay Ministry Training Program recognizes that not all member churches can afford to hire a full-time, seminary trained pastor. Lay ministers are individuals who may not be able to leave their secular employment to attend seminary, or who intend to remain in secular employment while also serving a church. Many who enter the Lay Ministry Training Program are people desiring to be better equipped lay leaders in their churches. Often, students enrolled in the program more fully discern a call to seminary in the process. The Lay Ministry Training Program is not intended to be an alternate path to ordination although ordination has always been and remains the prerogative of the local church.
Methodology. Administered by the Dean of the Center for Congregational Leadership, the current program uses a mentor/student model and is designed to be completed in three years.
Application Requirements. To apply to the Lay Ministry Training Program, a person must be a member in good standing of an NACCC member church and have the expressed support of the Diaconate (or equivalent body) and the Senior Minister and submit an application form to the Dean of the Center for Congregational Leadership. There are fees associated with the program. Internet access is required.
For More Information. You may contact the Dean, Rev. Dr. D. Elizabeth Mauro, at the Center for Congregational Leadership as follows:
Rev. Dr. D. Elizabeth Mauro or Marie Steele, assistant to the Dean
Center for Congregational Leadership 1-800-262-1620 x1614
Burrage Library 269-749-7245
Olivet, Michigan 49076