Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Certificate of Lay Ministry?
In the Church of the Nazarene, we believe all Christians should consider themselves ministers of Christ and seek to know the will of God concerning their appropriate avenues of service. Any member of the Church of the Nazarene who feels called by God to fulfill a specialized ministry as a layperson but does not necessarily profess a call to be ordained may receive a Certificate of Lay Ministry from the local church board. This certificate helps validate the participating layperson's commitment to a body of believers and the study of a chosen area of ministry.
Does the candidate need to complete courses before the Certificate of Lay Ministry is given to them?
No. In the first year, the Certificate of Lay Ministry is given to the candidate before any courses are completed. In the subsequent year, the candidate must complete two courses to have the Certificate of Lay Ministry renewed. Once our office receives the application from the pastor, we will send the Certificate of Lay Ministry within 2-3 business days. Once the pastor receives the Certificate of Lay Ministry from our office, the certificate can be given to the candidate.
Why would I want to pursue the Certificate of Lay Ministry?
Pursuing the Certificate of Lay Ministry will offer you a deeper understanding of Scripture, discipleship, and the Church and enhance your effectiveness in a chosen field of ministry. The Certificate of Lay Ministry also lends credibility, and the educational process affirms God's call. Furthermore, it will strengthen your walk with Christ as you discipline yourself through study.
When someone receives the Certificate of Lay Ministry, it is a statement to the congregation that the Lay Minister has entered into a covenantal relationship with the church board and pastor. The covenantal relationship involves accountability, a commitment to lifelong learning, and mentoring.
What does the Certificate of Lay Ministry allow me to do?
Every person is different, and every congregation has different needs. Some of the responsibilities given to the Lay Minister may include but not be limited to administrative duties, pastoral care, pulpit supply, or leading a specified ministry. The recommendation would be that through prayer and wise counsel, each church board and pastor create a document that outlines the responsibilities each Lay Minister will fulfill as they consider the calling, gifts, and graces given to each respective Lay Minister.
How do I pursue a Certificate of Lay Ministry?
Application for the Certificate of Lay Ministry is contingent upon the recommendation of the local church pastor to the church board as well as a commitment of the candidate to complete the Certificate of Lay Ministry studies. The Continuing Lay Training (CLT) office will record course completions as the Lay Minister completes the courses at www.DiscipleshipPlace.org, or the courses completed are reported by the participants and/or pastor.
Upon the pastor's recommendation, the local church board shall initially examine the Lay Minister candidate regarding the personal experience of salvation, effective involvement in church ministries, knowledge of the church's work, and the Lay Minister's qualifications for such ministry.
Once approval from the pastor and local church board has been granted, the pastor will send the Certificate of Lay Ministry Application. The application can be filled out on our website. Go to the menu Lay Ministry > Application.
Where do I go to take the course for a Certificate of Lay Ministry?
You can complete the courses for the Certificate of Lay Ministry at www.DiscipleshipPlace.org. Because the course content is available as free downloads, there are no books to purchase. You will find these studies in the Lay Minister Studies section of the website. We are continually adding more courses, so check back for new courses.
How do I begin?
You will first need the recommendation of your pastor. Your pastor will then present you to the local church board for approval. Once you have received approval from your pastor and local church board, your pastor must send in the Certificate of Lay Ministry Application.
Does the local church board need to approve?
Upon receiving the pastor's recommendation, the local church board will approve the Certificate of Lay Ministry candidate. The pastor will send us the Certificate of Lay Minister Application upon approval. Once we receive the application, we will send the certificate.
Does the Certificate of Lay Ministry need to be renewed?
Upon the pastor's recommendation, the church board will need to renew the Certificate of the Lay Minister annually. The Lay Minister shall report annually to the church board, and the renewal process is necessary to keep the certificate active. Upon approval for renewal, your pastor will need to send us the Certificate of Lay Minister Application. Once we receive the application, we will send a new certificate.
We require that the Lay Minister complete two courses each year, starting with the Required Courses outlined below. Once the Required Courses are completed, the pastor will direct the learning process. The Lay Minister can do other courses at www.DiscipleshipPlace.org or additional work outside the website. The pastor may decide to have the candidate do coursework that may include but is not limited to, any of the following.
Attend a conference and write a reflection paper.
Read a book and write a paper.
Do a ministry practicum and report the findings discovered by doing that ministry work.
Complete courses at www.DiscipleshipPlace.org.
What is the coursework for this program?
Continuing Lay Training requires the satisfactory completion of the following Required Courses, which are available for FREE on this website.
Communicating the Gospel in a Pluralistic World
Exploring John Wesley's Theology
Exploring Nazarene History and Polity
Practicing Wesleyan-Holiness Spiritual Formation
Telling the New Testament Story of God
Telling the Old Testament Story of God