Lay licensing is a process by which the Office of the Bishop grants formal and official permission to individuals who are not ordained clergy to carry out quasi-clerical acts. The Office of the Bishop provides licensing for:
- Eucharistic Ministers
- Eucharistic Visitors
- Pastoral Leaders
- Worship Leaders
All of the above need to complete Safeguarding God’s People except for Eucharistic Ministers. Anyone serving in any of the other licensed ministry roles needs to have successfully completed the Safeguarding God’s People training within the last five years. More information about the Safeguarding God’s People program can be found here.
Lay licensing is the process by which the Office of the Bishop grants formal and official permission to individuals who are not ordained to carry out certain ministerial acts in accordance with Title III, Canon 4, Sections 1-9 of the Canons of The Episcopal Church. For additional information about lay licensing, please visit www.episcopalarchives.org
Below is a brief description of the licensed ministry positions:
Catechist -A Catechist is a lay person authorized to prepare persons for Baptism, Confirmation, Reception and the Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows. Please contact the Office of the Bishop for qualifications.
Eucharistic Minister – An Eucharistic Minister is a lay person authorized to administer the Consecrated Elements at a Celebration of Holy Eucharist. Please see attached qualifications.
Eucharistic Visitor -An Eucharistic Visitor is a lay person authorized to take the Consecrated Elements in a timely manner following a Celebration of Holy Eucharist to members of the congregation who, by reason of illness or infirmity, were unable to be present at the Celebration. Please see attached qualifications.
Evangelist – An Evangelist is a lay person who presents the good news of Jesus Christ in such a way that people are led to receive Christ as savior and follow Christ as Lord in the fellowship of the Church. An Evangelist assists with the community’s ministry of evangelism in partnership with the presbyter or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation, or as directed by the bishop.
Pastoral Leader -A Pastoral Leader is a lay person authorized to exercise pastoral or administrative responsibility in a congregation under special circumstances, as defined by the Bishop. Please contact the Office of the Bishop for qualifications.
Preacher -A Preacher is a lay person authorized to preach. Please contact the Office of the Bishop for qualifications.
Worship Leader -A Worship Leader is a lay person who regularly leads public worship under the direction of the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community of faith. Please contact the Office of the Bishop for qualifications.
Term of the License
Licenses do not expire, however, they will be revoked in the following circumstances:
- Transferring to a New Congregation: Lay licenses cannot be transferred to another congregation. When a licensed individual transfers to a new congregation, he or she will need to reapply for a license to serve.
- Inactivity: Lay licenses expire when the licensed individual is no longer an active member of the congregation at which their license was issued.
- Improper Conduct: Lay licenses may be revoked by the Bishop at the recommendation of the rector, vicar or priest-in-charge of a congregation, with the consent of the vestry, in cases where the licensed individual has acted improperly. A letter signed by the rector, vicar or priest-in-charge and the bishop’s or senior warden must be submitted to the Office of the Bishop to formally request revocation of the license.
- Failing to Complete Safeguarding God’s People Training: Lay licenses are revoked if the licensee fails to have their Safeguarding God’s People training recertified once every five years.