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Lay Servant Ministries

Five ceramic bowls
Laity of Greater Detroit District train online
Lay Servant Training took on new forms when COVID-19 prevented in-person meetings. Instruction and relationship building moved online as these persons seeking certification on the Greater Detroit District illustrate. ~ photo courtesy Sharon Appling

Certified Lay Servant
Annual Reports & Renewal Requests

Certified Lay Servant Report HERE
Certified Lay Speaker Report HERE
Certified Lay Minister Report HERE


Please contact Michigan Conference Lay Servant Ministries Director Colleen Croxall

District Directors

Central Bay: Ray Francis & Janice Buckley
East Winds: Kristen LePalm & Becki Brice
Greater Detroit: Rickey Gibson & Paul Sadowski
Greater Southwest: TBD
Heritage: Anne Marie Hanna
Northern Skies: Liane Callow & Cola Hill
Western Waters: SK Osborn & Sara Wolfsen

CLM Program Lead

CLM Sharon Appling

Growing in your faith

Lay Servant Ministries is one of the significant lay leadership development programs available within the United Methodist connection. Through this system of equipping and empowering, lay servants have the opportunity to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ who then go and make other disciples. Lay Servant ministries can be a significant component of any discipleship system providing training in Hospitality, Offer Christ, Purpose and Engagement.

Becoming a Lay Servant

Classes can be taken in a variety of locations and dates including online. The Michigan Conference Committee on Lay Servant Ministry organizes classes to fit the needs of participants, specific requests for a topic, and to meet certification requirements. Whenever possible, the conference committee encourages the BASIC course and preaching course to be taken in person (within district) to create community connection. BASIC and Preaching can be offered and taken via video conferencing. Some classes (no more than 50%) can be taken through BeADisciple.com (beadisciple.com/lay-servant-ministries). When an individual takes an online class it is the responsibility of the individual to provide completion/certification information to the district committee.

Lay servant classes generally fall into the following categories: Introduction to Lay Ministry, Spiritual Gifts, United Methodist Heritage, United Methodist Polity, Leading Worship, Leading Prayer, Preaching.

Everyone must take a BASIC course before becoming a Certified Lay Servant. Districts post class offerings online with registration information. Participants may take classes in any location but are responsible to provide their local district with proof of completion.

Levels of Certification in
Lay Servant Ministries and Process Details

Certified Lay Servant Process

Certified Lay Speaker Process

Certified Lay Minister Process

Certified Lay Minister Process

If you are interested in becoming a Certified Lay Minister, be sure to contact your district Lay Servant Director. Click here for more information and current classes.

Upcoming LSM Classes

Please see the list below for available courses, times and locations. Click the links within the table for registration. Please note the requirements below.

The detailed process of becoming a Lay Servant and certification levels can be found on the left, and general information in the Lay Servant Ministries Equipping Resources booklet.

Schedule of Lay Servant Ministry Classes

A list of all Lay Servant Ministry Classes available in Michigan. Find one that fits your schedule and location.
DistrictCourseDate & TimeLocationCostRegisterContact Person
Greater DetroitAdvanced: PreachingOct. 31, Nov. 2, 14, 16
7 PM
Nov. 4, 18
10 AM
Zoom link will be provided$25Click to RegisterRickey Gibson
Greater DetroitAdvanced: Ministry with Those Impacted by DementiaMay 7, 9, 21, 23
7 PM
May 11, 25
10 AM
Zoom link will be provided$25Click to RegisterRickey Gibson
Central Bay DistrictCentral Bay DistrictBasic: Lay Servant MinistriesJuly 16, 23, 30 and August 6, 2024Saginaw First UMC
4790 Gratiot Road
Saginaw, MI 48638
Register HereJanice Buckley

Some Advanced Courses, approved by Discipleship Ministries are available online through beadisciple.com. Look for Affiliation of Certified Lay Ministry and Lay Servant Ministries.


  • Pre-registration is required for all classes.
  • Each course includes 10 hours of class time as well as outside reading.
  • For credit toward certification, participants must attend the entire course and complete all work.
  • Please bring a Bible, pen and notebook.
  • For your convenience, you may participate in courses outside of your home district – just make sure to share the course details and a copy of the certificate with your home district director.

Lay Servant Ministries Applications,
Renewal Forms & Reports

Form 1: Certified Lay Servant Application

Form 2: Certified Lay Speaker Application

Form 3: Certified Lay Minister Application

Form 4: Certified Lay Servant Annual Report & Renewal Form

Form 5: Certified Lay Speaker Annual Report & Renewal Form

Form 6: Certified Lay Minister Annual Report & Renewal Form

Last Updated on May 21, 2024

The Michigan Conference