Lay Preacher Training Initiative

Canon Karen Olson & the Rev. William Heisley

Lay Preacher Training Initiative

Calling all lay people! Do you feel called to be a Lay Preacher in the Episcopal Church in Minnesota?

Have you felt a nudge, a stirring, an invitation from the Holy Spirit to “crack open” God’s Word through sermons in your congregation?

Minnesota was selected as one of six dioceses to pilot the Episcopal Preaching Foundation’s Lay Preacher Training Initiative (“LPTI”). Funded by a grant from Trinity Church Wall Street, the goal of the LPTI is to develop a robust cadre of lay preachers drawn from within their local communities who can supplement and complement ordained clergy in the pulpit. By training and supporting lay preachers in the Episcopal Church, the program aims to establish lay preaching and lay leadership as an important dimension of diocesan leadership in the Episcopal Church alongside bishops, priests, and deacons.

We are able to accept up to six people for this program.

What to expect in the training program?

The two-year curriculum will be offered over six quarters in 2022 and 2023.

Each quarter will last three months.  During those three months, one two-hour class per week will engage on a virtual platform for 12 weeks.

Year 1 includes 36 classes—72 class hours. The first hour of class time during year 1 will be dedicated to teaching, and the second hour to practical application, engaging students in analysis, critique, hands-on learning exercises, and some preaching.

Year 2 includes 36 classes—72 class hours. The first hour of class time during year 2 will be dedicated to teaching, the second hour to preaching, i.e., receiving and giving feedback on student sermons. This is a sequential curriculum, requiring students to take all modules in the prescribed order.

The recommended quarters are as follows:
September – November
January – March
May – July

Who makes an ideal candidate to apply to this program?

  • You might be feeling a sense of call to preach. That might be expressed as an “itch” that doesn’t go away, or a drive or purpose that wants to be fulfilled.
  • You are curious about Scripture and feel a draw towards sharing God’s word from the pulpit.
  • You have a committed prayer life, both personally and within your congregation.
  • Ideally, you have had some experience to formal study of Scripture, be it through Education for Ministry (EFM) or courses from the School for Formation (SFF) or from course work or degrees from a college or seminary.
  • You have been told by other trusted people from your congregation, “You’d be a great preacher!”
  • You resonate with the tradition, scripture, and teaching of the Church.
  • You are eager to commit to a rigorous, two-year curriculum and to participate in prayer, classes, reading, study, research, and experiential learning.
  • Your local congregation is in full support of you applying for this program.
  • You have or can get access to a computer or tablet with high-speed internet (ECMN can try to help with this if these are challenges).

Candidates Apply Here
Congregation Endorsement Form Here
Application deadline: December 15, 2021