IRD Lay Servant Ministry

Lay Servant Ministry courses are open to ALL, whether or not an enrollee applies to serve as a Lay Servant.

Lay Servant Ministries help Christians to claim their spiritual gifts, talents and skills by offering empowering training. This training encourages them to find places to use their God given gifts in ministry while providing them a network of support.

The 2016 General Conference of The United Methodist Church established three categories within the Lay Servant Ministries program (effective January 1, 2017).

  • Certified Lay Servant who serves the local church or charge
  • Certified Lay Speaker who serves by preaching the Word when requested by the pastor, district superintendent, or committee on Lay Servant Ministries
  • Certified Lay Minister who serves as a part of a ministry team with supervision and support of a clergy person                                   

 For more information go to the Lay Servant Ministry main page -


Basic Lay Servant Classes

Basic Class -

created for laity wishing to begin the Lay Servant process.  This course invites you to consider the importance of exercising servant leadership, remaining rooted in consistent spiritual practices, and being part of a group that holds members accountable in discipleship.  It offers guidelines for optimal communication in leadership and presents numerous types of lay servant ministries.  Both Saturdays are required.

REQUIRED TEXTLay Servant Ministries: Basic Course Participant’s Book by Sandy Jackson (ISBN 978-0-88177-626-3).  Individuals are expected to read and complete this text prior to the first class.  Available through Cokesbury, Amazon (book or kindle), and Upper Room (book or ePub).
COST:  $30.00 (includes lunch and snacks both days)


Flyer                             Registration


Advanced Lay Servant Classes

Living Our United Methodist Beliefs (UM Heritage)

This course will explore the special gifts of theology, witness, and organization that The United Methodist Church brings to the church universal, how we got where we are today, and how our distinctive emphases are still needed in the 21st century church.  Counts toward the Lay Speaker Track.

Required Text:  Living Our Beliefs:  The United Methodist Way by Bishop Kenneth Carder (ISBN 9780881775716).  Participants are expected to read this text prior to class and complete required assignments, due electronically to instructor by March 5.  Available through Amazon (paperback & kindle),   and Cokesbury

Date:  Saturday, Sept 15, 2018

Time:  8am – 7pm; Registration begins at 7:45 am

Location: Urbana First United Methodist Church, 304 S Race St, Urbana, IL 61801

Cost:  $30.00 (includes lunch and snacks)

Registration:  Advance registration is required.  Deadline is Tuesday, Sept 4.

Flyer                      Registration


Life Together in the United Methodist Connection (UM Polity)

Why does the United Methodist Church do things the way it does?  And what does any of this have to do with trying to be a place and a people that embody the Kingdom of God?  This course will help participants get their bearings and consider the specific structural challenges the United Methodist Church faces in the 21st century.  Counts toward the Lay Speaker Track.

Required Text:  The Method of our Mission by Laceye C. Warner.  (ISBN 9781426767173)  Available through Amazon (paperback & Kindle), Cokesbury (paperback & eBook) and Upper Room).  Participants are expected to read this text prior to class and complete required assignments, due electronically to instructor by March 20. Participants should bring a copy of the 2016 United Methodist Book of Discipline to the course.




Cost:  $30.00 (includes lunch and snacks)

Registration:  Advanced registration is required.