Lay Servant Ministries Home Page

Indiana District of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church
          District Director of Lay Servant Ministries - Jennifer Gordon
          District Superintendent - Rev. James Pond
          District Lay Leader - Corona McKee
          District Committee on Lay Servant Ministries - Rev. Alison Berkey, Rev. Wade Berkey, Patricia Ann Blose, Butch Brunner, Daniel Cunkelman, Deb Decker, Andrew Lefcowitz, Pastor Deb Marshall, Paul Morelli, Doug and Debbie Wolfe  (elected at District Conference on April 24, 2016)

           Indiana District Website

This page is provided as a resource for Lay Servants of the Indiana District, 
Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Recent news: 

July 22, 2017
The Indiana District Lay Servant Ministries Schools and classes for 2016-2017 have been determined.  Use the links on the left panel to find the dates, classes, and links to applications/brochures (as they are available).

*Lay Servant Ministry levels of recognition

*Contact information

*Available forms


New Lay Speakers

Check out the list of Indiana District Lay Speakers who have met the requirements defined in 2012 United Methodist Book of Discipline.  Use the link in the Navigation Bar on the left.  We have more lay servants that are on track to complete the certification process for Lay Speakers during the next year.  If you are looking for pulpit supply, check here for names and contact information.

Indiana District Lay Speakers


Lay Servant Annual Reports for Charge Conference

    New forms for Lay Servant Annual Reports have been distributed by GBOD.  Please do not use forms from previous years!!!

Here is a link to the new forms:  Lay Servant Annual Reports

After clicking on the link, look under the Reports to Charge Conference section in the right-hand column.  You will notice 3 different reports.  Please use the form most appropriate for your level of lay servant certification.

Local Church Lay Servant - You have completed the Basic class and no advanced level classes.

Certified Lay Servant - You have completed the Basic class and at least one advanced level class.

Lay Speaker - You have completed the Basic class and at least one class in each of the 5 areas of the Lay Speaker course of study.  

These forms are to be completed prior to your fall charge conference, including pastor/SPRC/PPR signatures.  Additional instructions will be added to this website and included in the clergy charge conference packets.


A new Lay Servant Ministries Resource Catalog as been released for 2016.  I have reviewed it quickly to make sure all of the courses currently offered in our Indiana District Schools are still eligible for advanced course and lay speaker requirements.  All previous courses are still listed and a few more have been added.

2016 Lay Servant Ministries Resource Catalog


Lay Servant Ministries - levels of recognition according to the 2012 Discipline.

The first major change and adjustment for everybody (pastors and laity combined) is to understand the change in name and focus of what was previously known as Lay Speaking Ministry. The name change to Lay Servant Ministries describes the change in focus to recognize the need to prepare, enhance, and certify the many areas of church ministry supported by lay people. Lay Speaking is still an important part of Lay Servant Ministries and the new requirements have created a process for developing and maintaining well-rounded Lay Speakers in the United Methodist Church.

A Lay Servant is...

* A professing member of a local church or charge who is ready and desirous to serve the church

* Eager to serve the church, the community, and the world

* Well-informed on and committed to the scriptures and the doctrine,

heritage, organization, and life of The United Methodist Church

* Trained in witnessing to the Christian faith through spoken

communication, church and community leadership, and

caregiving ministries

* Active in the support of the local church or charge

The purpose of Lay Servant Ministry Schools and classes is to provided the training and education parts of these requirements. The District Director of Lay Servant Ministries and the District Committee on Lay Servant Ministries are charged with organizing the schools and awarding certificates of recognition. The local church and pastor are responsible for validating the ministry and commitment of the lay servant to the local church through reviewing the Lay Servant Annual Reports and by SPRC recommendation and Charge Conference approval.

The first level of recognition is that of Local Church Lay Servant. Anybody who completes the Basic Lay Servant course and is an active member in good standing of a local United Methodist Church can receive a certificate as a Local Church Lay Servant. The Basic course is an introduction to United Methodist heritage, theology, doctrine, and polity; and caring, leading, and communication ministries. Any lay person will benefit from this class!

The second level of recognition is the Certified Lay Servant. After taking the Basic class, any advanced class will qualify the servant to receive a certificate as a Certified Lay Servant. Advanced classes can be in the Lay Speaking track or any other area of ministry. A Certified Lay Servant who has completed the Advance Lay Speaking class can be used as local church lay speaker to fill the pulpit in the pastor's absence. However, there is no longer a local church lay speaker certification.

The third level of recognition is the Lay Speaker. This level was formerly known as a “Certified Lay Speaker.” A Lay Speaker is a Certified Lay Servant who has been recommended by the local church and has completed the required course of study. A properly certified Lay Speaker may be called to fill the pulpit beyond the local church but within the local District in the absence of the pastor. The course of study requires Lay Servant Ministry advanced classes in the areas of Preaching, United Methodist Heritage and Polity, Spiritual Gifts, Leading in Prayer, and Leading Worship.

For more information:

2012 United Methodist Book of Discipline - The Local Church, Section XI - Lay Servant Ministries, paragraphs 266-271.


Contact information:

Daniel Cunkelman, Indiana District Director of Lay Servant Ministries


Cell phone:  724-840-7259

Mailing address:  292 SWISCO ROAD, CLARKSBURG, PA.  15725

For any questions, comments, or additional information, please contact me by email or cell phone.

I look forward to getting to know you and helping you develop your ministry as a Lay Servant in the Indiana District.


Please contact me through email to obtain any of these forms, or view/download from the Documents page:

Congregational Evaluation of a Lay Speaker

Lay Servant Course Checklist (transcript of lay school activity)