Licensing Procedures and Training
The process of becoming licensed begins within a parish or mission. The person seeking a ministry license first meets with clergy to learn the requirements for the license. This is followed by an interview with and recommendation of the Congregational Commission on Ministry (CCOM). The clergy person then arranges for appropriate training.
The preparation for a first license may, at the clergy person’s discretion, include formal or informal instruction, reading, and attendance at appropriate workshops or training sessions. Each of the individual licensed ministry descriptions includes a list of resources that might be helpful, not only for initial instruction but also for continuing education. It is not necessary to purchase and read all the resources on these resource lists in order to become licensed. Start with the basics and use the resource list for your continuing education and skill building as you learn and grow into your ministry. We will update these resource lists regularly, so that they are current and reflect new materials that become available.
The clergy person and Vestry (Mission) Committee, if satisfied with the progress and competence of those seeking a lay license, must then certify to the Bishop that the nominee is ready for licensing. This is done by the following process:
1. A formal typed request for license(s), either new or renewed, should be sent on church letterhead from the clergy person to the Bishop. This letter should attest to the vestry and clergy person’s approval.
2. This request should include the name(s) of nominee(s), lay license(s) that is/are being sought, and a statement that appropriate training has occurred.
3. The Bishop, if satisfied, signs the formal license, which is then sent to the clergy person.
4. The license extends for three years: Those issued in the first half of the year expire on June 30th of the third year after licensing. Those issued later in the year expire on December 31st.
5. Please remember that all those seeking a license must be first Confirmed or Received into the Episcopal Church, and be deemed in good standing by clergy.
Renewal Procedure for Lay Licenses
Licenses may be renewed by the Bishop for an additional three-year period. The supervising clergy person must send a letter, on church letterhead, to the Office of the Bishop certifying that:
1. The licensee has faithfully practiced his/her licensed ministry
2. The licensee has participated in appropriate continuing education. This may include:
a. Informal classes with supervising clergy, approved workshops or seminars, or suggested reading.
b. Formation and enrichment to strengthen ministers, such as retreats, quiet days, spiritual development activities, prayer workshops etc. at the discretion of supervising clergy.
Clergy should contact the Administrative Assistant to the Bishop with any questions.
For further information and questions concerning these guidelines, you may also contact the Committee on Lay Ministry Chairperson Mary R. Davy (email@example.com).
For information about Congregational Commissions on Ministry please click here and visit the CCOM page.