Lay Servant Ministry

2017 Lay Servant Training Brochure

The Southeast District offers training and certification for lay persons who desire to be recognized as lay servants. Recent changes in The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church has resulted in new terminology. Below is a brief summary.

Local Lay Servants serve in their local churches. In order to be recognized as local lay servants, they must be recommended by their pastor and their Church Council or Charge Conference and complete the basic course for lay servants. Each year, they must reapply to report how they have served over the past year and what courses they have taken.

Certified Lay Servants serve in their own churches, in other churches, and through District or Conference projects and programs. In order to be recognized as certified lay servants, they must be recommended by their pastor and their Church Council or Charge Conference, complete the basic course and one advanced lay servants course, and be interviewed by the District or Conference Committee on Lay Servants. They must report and reapply annually and they must complete at least one advanced course every three years.

Lay Speakers serve in a more distinctive leadership role, now requiring a more rigorous process of study and evaluation. Some of the major differences between lay servants and lay speakers are outlined in this brochure. More information can be found at the General Board of Discipleship website. 

If you have any questions about Southeast District Lay Servant Ministries, please contact Diane Bales, the Southeast District Lay Speaking Chair, by email at or call the Southeast District Office at 319.986.2095. To see our current list of certified lay servants for this district, please contact the Southeast District Office.