Lay Preacher Licensing

Licensed Lay Preachers Program


Are you called to proclaim God’s good news?

Become a Licensed Lay Preacher!

For NEW Lay Preachers, in conjunction with the Academy for Vocational Leadership, the Whitaker Institute offers the opportunity to learn preaching as part of the Bible year plus six in-depth courses on the craft of preaching. Licenses are granted upon completion of the entire program year of bible. This course grounds participants in scripture and theology while equipping in the craft of preaching. See “* Become a new Licensed Preacher” below to enroll in this annual program-year course (begins in the fall, continuing until June the following year.)

For RENEWING Licenses: If you are already a lay preacher and wish to renew your license, complete the application below. Lay Preachers and other lay ministers are required to complete continuing education according to the Canons of the Episcopal Church and per our Bishop’s request (see this page for more info: Continuing Education).

** All Lay Preachers are requested to take Safe Church Track 1 either in person or online. Register here.

Download the Lay Preacher Application here for Lay Preachers (NEW and RENEWALS) and submit to Jennifer Elliot ( at the Diocese after your training.

For Lay Preaching Continuing Education ideas, click here.



* Continuing Education Opportunity for Preachers!

“Preacher’s Forum”

Who: This evening is specifically designed for lay preachers who are seeking to gain continuing education and practice, be inspired with fresh ideas about the craft of preaching, and form a community of lay preachers. Participants will be asked to offer a 5 minute homily on scripture of choice and work in small groups with mentor/coaches to proclaim the Good News. We will also review the licensing requirements for lay Preachers.

Teacher: Bishop Elect Bonnie Perry and a dozen or more clergy mentors!

When: THURSDAY evening, April 23, *new format as of March 30, 2020* 6pm to 9pm by zoom.

Where: By zoom online discussion

How Much: Enrollment is $FREE

For more information: Vicki Hesse or 313-833-4412



* Become a new Licensed Preacher Below:

This process consists of two components:

  1. Classes in Holy Scripture through the Academy for Vocational Leadership or comparable program
  2. Homiletics Class at the Academy for Vocational Leadership

Those who wish to become licensed preachers begin their preparation with the monthly Saturday classes in Holy Scripture offered at the Academy for Vocational Leadership. This survey of the Old and New Testaments consists of ten five-hour sessions, September through June, at the Colombiere Retreat Center in Clarkston. The cost is $600 ($60 per session), which includes lunch. Additional costs include textbooks and mileage to and from Colombiere.

Following completion of this class, or concurrently, individuals take the Homiletics Class offered at the Academy. This class consists of six two-hour sessions, October through March, at the Colombiere Retreat Center, in the evening of the same day as the Holy Scripture classes. Participants learn about, discuss, and practice preaching, and they prepare and deliver sermons at the Academy and at their home congregation. The tuition for the Preaching Practicum is $200 per student. Additional costs include textbooks and mileage to and from the class site.

After successful completion of both the Holy Scripture and Homiletics classes, Safe Church training and a background check are required. Following completion of all requirements, the diocesan office will issue a preaching license.