Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. – 1 Corinthians 12:4-7
God calls all faithful people into ministry and community with one another as the Body of Christ. God also equips all people for these ministries – with that famous variety of gifts, so that we have poets and activists, teachers and engineers, parents and bankers.
Licensed lay ministries are one way that the Episcopal Church lives into the dream of God, where all the saints are called and equipped for ministry, service and love. Those with gifts for compassion might be called to take part in a visiting ministry. Someone with gifts of speaking and teaching may want to explore becoming a lay preacher. Listed here are the specifically licensed ministries named in our canons that lay people might engage in the life of a congregation:
A Eucharistic Minister is a lay person authorized to administer the Consecrated Elements at a Celebration of Holy Eucharist. A Eucharistic Minister should normally act under the direction of a Deacon, if any, or otherwise, the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community of faith.
A Eucharistic Visitor is a lay person authorized to take the Consecrated Elements in a timely manner following a Celebration of Holy Eucharist to members of the congregation who, by reason of illness or infirmity, were unable to be present at the Celebration. A Eucharistic Visitor should normally act under the direction of a Deacon, if any, or otherwise, the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community of faith.
Eucharistic Ministers and Visitors are generally trained in their local worshipping community, typically by a deacon or other clergy person in leadership. Deaneries may also wish to hold a training session, especially if there are a number of congregations without clergy in the area.
Whitaker Training for Eucharistic Visitors: Saturday, February 4, 2023 at St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church, Ann Arbor
This session, facilitated by Archdeacon Tim Spannaus, will be held on Saturday, February 4th from 10-Noon. Registration fee for this course is $10.
Printed Resources for Congregational Use
These downloadable training guides and outlines are available as samples and suggestions for congregational use:
Online Video Resources for Congregational Use
ChurchNext also offers video courses that can be used in training, including:
Upon completion of training, please fill out the licensing application form by clicking the button below.
A Worship Leader is a lay person who regularly leads public worship under the direction of the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community of faith.
The Worship Leader class prepares you and encourages your heart to design, craft and lead with confidence the non-Eucharistic services of worship, particularly Morning Prayer. Part of your course experience is to lead worship during the time between class sessions, offering an experience with which you can learn and share with your classmates. The next Worship Leader Course will be held in 2023.
Lay Preaching with the Rev. Phil Dinwiddie & the Rev. Beth Scriven! This course starts Tuesday, January 17th, 2023. There will be 8 sessions, held from 7-9pm at St. Luke’s, Ypsilanti on: January 17 & 31, February 14 & 28, March 14 & 28, April 18 and May 2nd.
A Preacher is a lay person authorized to preach. Persons so authorized shall only preach in congregations under the direction of the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community of faith.
Lay preachers are raised up from within a congregation, and are typically trained in diocesan class which includes workshop time for students to practice delivering sermons and receive feedback. Lay preachers must have some experience in Scripture study and biblical interpretation, such as EFM, regular attendance at Bible Study, or coursework like the Anglican Bible class through CALL at CDSP.
Registration for Lay Preaching is full! Please email the Rev. Susie Shaefer if you’d like to be on a waiting list or explore other options.
Clergy who would like to train members of their own congregation for licensed ministry as worship leaders or preachers should reach out to the Rev. Susie Shaefer, email@example.com directly.
All people seeking licensing for these ministries must be up-to-date on their Safe Church, Safe Communities training prior to applying for a license. Safe Church, Safe Communities training is fully online, and more information can be found on our Safe Church, Safe Communities page.
Other licensed ministries include Evangelist, Catechist, Pastoral Leader and Lay Chaplains. If you are interested in pursuing any of these roles, please reach out to The Rev. Susie Shaefer, firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.