Diocesan Guidelines for Licensed Worship Leaders
According to Title III, Canon 4 of The Constitution and Canons of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, 2018 Of Licensed Ministries:
A confirmed communicant in good standing or, in extraordinary circumstances, subject to guidelines established by the Bishop, a communicant in good standing, may be licensed by the Ecclesiastical Authority to serve as Pastoral Leader, Worship Leader, Preacher, Eucharistic Minister, Eucharistic Visitor, Evangelist, or Catechist.
The Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community of faith may request the Ecclesiastical Authority with jurisdiction to license persons within that congregation or other community of faith to exercise such ministries. The license shall be issued for a period of time to be determined under Canon III.4.1(a) and may be renewed.
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 faith community.
Steps for Licensing:
- Letter of recommendation by Rector/PIC/Vicar
- Application – Licensed Lay Ministries
- Bexley Seabury Seminary Worship Leader Training Registration
- Safe Church Training Modules for Worship Leader
- Background Check – Active Screening Faith
Once these steps are completed, please submit application with supporting materials to firstname.lastname@example.org
The diocese will reimburse $150.00 half of the cost of the $300.00 Bexley Seabury Worship Leader class-please submit receipt to email@example.com
Licensed Worship Leaders are not paid, and the Bishop prefers that they serve as Worship Leaders only in their own congregation.
The Bishop will license a lay person at the request of the priest in charge. In order to be considered for licensing, a lay person must be a confirmed communicant in good standing. The license is issued for three years and may require additional training before renewal. Lay worship leader applicants are asked to complete the training offered by Bexley-Seabury Seminary, the details of which will be found here. The Diocese will contribute to the required tuition, with the remainder to be split between the parish and applicant.
A licensed Worship Leader may read a sermon from Sermons that Work, the approved resource for The Episcopal Church, https://www.episcopalchurch.org/sermons-that-work/, a sermon from a resource that has been approved by their priest, or occasionally offer a personal reflection approved by their priest. Only a licensed Preacher may compose their own sermon and preach regularly in public worship, and the process to prepare for that ministry may be found here https://www.episcopalri.org/lay-preacher/