Advanced Courses

Our standing policy is: “Online Courses may be counted as continuing education on the same basis as Alternative Advanced Courses can be counted (every other time a Certified Lay Servant completes continuing education for credit).”  You may take an on-line class to meet continuing education requirements for Certified Lay Servant and Certified Lay Speaker without prior approval from your District Director. (Please remember that you must submit your certificate of completion of any on-line classes with your next annual report.)

Some districts are offering virtual courses.  Also on-line classes may be taken through BeADisciple.com. They offer a wide variety of classes, so please make sure you are taking only those courses approved for Lay Servant Ministries. The list of approved classes can be found at https://www.beadisciple.com/lay-servant-ministries/ Please be aware that classes may fill up quickly.

Advanced courses are developed by Discipleship Ministries in cooperation with the Education Committee of the Association of Conference Directors of Lay Servant Ministries.  Advanced courses provide at least 10 hours of instruction.  Advanced courses use a required text and will involve pre-course assignments.

Lay Servant Ministries courses are open to ALL, whether or not an enrollee applies to serve as a lay servant.  Classes that "count toward the Lay Speaker track" may be taken by anyone, not just individuals pursuing Certified Lay Speaker status. 

Conference Wide Alternative Advanced Courses

To receive continuing education credit for an Alternative Advanced Course, you must:

  1. Contact your District Director(s) of Lay Servant Ministries PRIOR to attending the event for approval and to obtain the required Continuing Education Form. 
  2. Take the Continuing Education Form to the event and obtain the instructor's signature at the end of the course.
  3. Upon completion of the course and your portion of the form, return the completed form to your District Director to receive credit.

Prior permission is NOT required to take a regular Advanced Course outside of your home District.

District Sponsored Trainings

Cache River District

Embarras River District

Illinois River District

Title:  Discover Your Spiritual Gifts (counts toward Certified Lay Speaker track)
Dates:  Saturday, March 11, 2023
Times:  Saturday, 8:00 AM-6:00 PM
Location: Dayspring UMC, 201 N. Norwood Place, East Peoria, IL 61611
Cost:  $ 30.00 (Lunch will be provided by the church) 
Instructor: Pastor Danira Parra
Contact: Kim Wade, kamwade77@outlook.com or 309-825-7237 (call or text)
Required text:  Each One a Minister by William J. Carter (978-0-88177—375-0)  Individuals are expected to purchase the text and read it prior to the first class.  Available through AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Cokesbury.  Available for Kindle.

Iroquois River District

Title:  Called to Preach (counts toward Certified Lay Speaker track)
Dates:  Friday , March 31st, and Saturday, April 1st, 2023 (both dates required)
Times:  Friday, 5:30 to 9:00, Saturday, 8:00 to 5:30pm, 

Location: Tuscola UMC, 901 N Prairie St., Tuscola, IL 61953
Cost:  $ 40.00 (includes lunch & snacks)
Instructor: Rev. James Fielder
Contact: Susan Connor, radtech20032003@yahoo.com
Required text:  From Pew to Pulpit by Clifton F. Guthrie (ISBN  978-0-68706-660-5).  Individuals are expected to purchase the text and read it prior to the first class.  Available through AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Cokesbury

Register online...

Kaskaskia River District

Title:  Called to Preach (counts toward Certified Lay Speaker track)
Dates:  Tuesday, February 21, Tuesday, February 28, Tuesday, March 7, Tuesday, March 14, Tuesday, March 21, Tuesday, March 28, 2023 (All 6 days are required).
Times:  7:00pm-9:00pm 
Location: This is a Zoom Class.
Cost:  $ 25.00 (Please send a check made out to IGRC to Nancy Volk)
Instructor: Pastor David Kueker
Contact: Nancy Volk, volkster45@hotmail.com; 434 E. Baird St., Olney, IL 62450
Required text:  From Pew to Pulpit by Clifton F. Guthrie (ISBN  978-0-68706-660-5).  Individuals are expected to purchase the text and read it prior to the first class.  Available through AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Cokesbury

Title:  Leading Prayer (counts toward Certified Lay Speaker track)
Dates:  Saturday, April 29, 2023
Times:  8:00 AM-6:00 PM 
Location: Clay City UMC, 412 S. Main St., Clay City, IL 62824
Cost:  $ 25.00 (Send check made out to IGRC to Nancy Volk)
Instructor: Pastor Marty Ellison
Contact: Nancy Volk, volkster45@hotmail.com; 434 E. Baird St., Olney, IL 62450
Required text:  Shaping the Prayers of the People: The Art of Intercession by Samuel Wells and Abigail Kocher (978-0-80287-097-1) Individuals are expected to purchase the text and read it prior to the first class.  Available through AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Cokesbury.  Available for Kindle.

LaMoine River District

Mississippi River District

Sangamon River District

Title:  Called to Preach (counts toward Certified Lay Speaker track)
Dates:  Saturdays, March 11 & March 18 (both dates required)

Time: 8:00 AM-5:30 PM on 3/11 and 9:00 AM-12:00 PM on 3/18
Location: Cotton Hill UMC, 5931 N Cotton Hill Rd, Springfield IL 62703-5693

Cost: $30

Instructor: Rev. Bradley Watkins, II
Wrapped snacks and bottled water will be provided. Please bring your own lunch.

Registration deadline: March 1, 2023. Register at: https://igrc-reg.brtapp.com/srdadvancedlayspeaking
Contact: Carol Conover, cconover@igrc.org
Required text:  From Pew to Pulpit by Clifton F. Guthrie (ISBN  978-0-68706-660-5).  Individuals are expected to purchase the text and read it prior to the first class.  Available through AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Cokesbury

Title:  Lay Pastoral Care Giving
Date: Saturday, March 11

Time: 8:00 AM-5:30 PM
Location: Cotton Hill UMC, 5931 N Cotton Hill Rd, Springfield IL 62703-5693

Cost: $30  

Instructor: Linda Albert

Wrapped snacks and bottled water will be provided. Please bring your own lunch.
Registration deadline: March 1, 2023. Register at: https://igrc-reg.brtapp.com/srdadvancedlayspeaking
Contact: Carol Conover, cconover@igrc.org
Required text:  Lay Pastoral Care Giving by Tim M. Farabaugh (ISBN 978-0-88177-554-9).  Individuals are expected to purchase the text and read it prior to the first class. Available through Amazon, Abingdon Press, and Cokesbury.

Title:  Leading Worship (counts toward Certified Lay Speaker track)
Dates:  Mondays, March 6, 13, 20, & 27 (all 4 sessions are required)
Times:   6:00-8:30 PM

Location: on-line class

Cost:  $15.00

Instructor: Rev. Haley Hausman
Registration deadline: February 28, 2023. Register at https://igrc-reg.brtapp.com/srdadvancedlayspeaking
Contact: Carol Conover, cconover@igrc.org
Required text:  Worshiping with United Methodists (Rev.) by Hoyt Hickman (978-0-68733-526-8).  Individuals are expected to purchase the text and read it prior to class.  Available through Cokesbury and AmazonAvailable as ebook. 

Spoon River District

Title:  Leading Worship (counts toward Certified Lay Speaker track)
Dates:  Saturday, April 22, 2023

Times:   8:00 AM-5:00 PM. Participants are required to bring their own snacks, drinks, and lunch.

 Location: Alpha UMC, 211 N. Scandia St, Alpha, IL. This is a hybrid class that may be offered via Zoom.

Cost:  $ 20.00

Instructor: Steve Davis, Spoon River District Lay Leader
Registration deadline: April 8, 2023.  Register by email at cemken@mymctc.net

Contact: Claudia Emken, cemken@mymctc.net

Participants are required to purchase their own book Worshiping with United Methodists (Rev.) by Hoyt Hickman (978-0-68733-526-8).  Individuals are expected to read the book prior to class and come prepared to discuss.  Available through Cokesbury and Amazon or The Upper Room.  

Title:  Afire with God (counts toward certification/re-certification- Does Not Count Toward Lay Speaker)
Dates:  Saturday, April 22, 2023

Times:   8:00 AM-5:00 PM Participants are required to bring their own snacks, drinks, and lunch.

Location: Alpha UMC, 211 N. Scandia St, Alpha, IL. This is a hybrid class that may be offered via Zoom.

Cost:  $ 25.00 for first four to register which includes the textbook.

Instructor: Pastor Karna Peterson, Alpha UMC

Registration deadline: April 8, 2023.  Register by email at cemken@mymctc.net

Contact: Claudia Emken, cemken@mymctc.net

Participants may be asked to purchase their own book, if more than four register. Afire with God, Becoming Spirited Stewards by Betsy Schwarzentraub.  Individuals are expected to read the book prior to class and come prepared to discuss.  Available through The Upper Room, Amazon, or Cokesbury

Vermilion River District