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Lay Preacher Training

Lay Preacher Training Curriculum now available for the whole Church

The lay preacher training curriculum of the Episcopal Preaching Foundation is now available for the whole church. Over the last two years, with a grant from Trinity Wall Street, EPF has been testing and refining its curriculum. Now, with our year-long program, lay people can receive comprehensive and in-depth training in the theory and practice of preaching.

Diocesan leaders and interested parties are welcome to register for one of our two webinars introducing the curriculum, either April 9 at 5 pm (eastern), or April 17 at 2 pm (eastern).

Link to webinars registration here

We encourage interested dioceses to begin thinking of who you would like to recruit to lead the training, EPF will provide webinars to train the trainers in May and June. Our hope is that dioceses can begin the lay preacher training curriculum in September.

A groundbreaking lay leadership program

“Bishops speak to our tradition and how it impacts our present and future.
Priests speak to the life of the whole congregation, and
Deacons call us into the world to care for those in need.
Lay preachers speak of living the Gospel in everyday life.

—The Rev. Stephen Smith, Director of the Lay Preacher Training Initiative

The Lay Preacher Training Initiative, funded by a generous grant from Trinity Episcopal Church, Wall Street, is a local formation experience designed to prepare effective, confident, and passionate licensed lay preachers for our Church. Six pilot dioceses have taken part in the initial two-year rollout of the program, raising up two local trainers and up to six lay preachers in training each for regular study of scripture and theology, exegesis strategies, and practical homiletics. The cornerstone of the program is preaching to feedback, both to peers within the cohort and regularly in their local congregations. The first 30 lay preachers to complete the Lay Preacher pilot program will celebrate their new ministry at a noon service of Holy Eucharist to be held at Washington National Cathedral on Saturday, November 11, 2023.

Under the direction of the Rev. Dr. Stephen Smith, the Lay Preacher Training Initiative envisions a broadening of partnerships with dioceses and diocesan schools for ministry to identify and train local individuals called to preach the Good News, with timelines that are adjustable for each local context.

Download a brochure about the program.

Representatives of dioceses interested in participating in the 2024 program cycle should fill out the contact form.

Videos of the Lay Preacher Training Initiative

Lay Preacher Conference for Southern Ohio and Idaho-February 2023

Lay Preacher Training 2022

Importance of Training Lay Preachers

Bishop Scott Barker reflects on why the Diocese of Nebraska chose to be a partner in piloting the Lay Preacher Training Initiative.

Proclaiming the Word from the Lay Ministry Perspective

Panelists: Stephen Smith, D. Min.; Larry Holben; Brian Prior, Susanna Singer, Ph.D.; Deborah Stokes-Wayne

The Life of a Lay Preacher

Deborah Stokes-Wayne
Lay Preacher, Diocese of Southern Ohio

Each order of ministry brings a unique perspective to the pulpit: bishop, priest, deacon, and lay preacher. Invaluable in thinly resourced dioceses and congregations, the lay preacher can add a powerful community-based dimension to the Sunday message in stronger parishes, extending the range and relevance of the Sunday message.

Yes … Us

Freida Herron
Lay Preacher, Diocese of East Tennessee

Sermon on Acts 9:10

In the Details

Dr. Salem Saloom
Lay Preacher, Diocese of Central Gulf Coast

Sermon on John 6:41-51