Lay Supply

The Virginia conference celebrates all of those who are assigned as Lay Supply!

The Discipline ¶205.4 (2016 Book of Discipline) allows laity to be assigned to a specialized leadership role -such as Lay Supply! – or as a specialized part of a staff team by the bishop and cabinet.  Thank you for serving in the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church!

This page will explain the requirements, provide information to equip you in your role, and help you begin the credentialing process in the United Methodist Church. Given that the Lay Supply role is intended to be temporary, all are expected to move toward becoming a Licensed Local Pastor, or a Certified Lay Minister within one to two years of being assigned. 

Mandatory Requirements for Serving a Pulpit in the Virginia Conference

All person serving a pulpit in the Virginia Conference must have the following:

Expanded Background Check and Clergy Ethics Training (Part I and II)

An expanded background check which includes a credit report as well as a state background and sexual offenders check.

A link to the background check instructions and Clergy Ethics Training Part I via the Safe Gatherings website can be found here.

Part II can be found here on the Clergy Excellence webpage:

The certificate you receive for Part I will automatically be sent to Clergy Excellence. However, you must send the certificate you receive for Part II to [email protected]

Additional Requirements

First Time Lay Supply are required to participate in the following:

Just in Time Training – First Saturday in June

This all day training is designed to give Lay Supply initial training in a variety of subjects: worship leadership, clergy ethics, church finances and administration, as well as cultural competency. The training takes place in person at the Virginia Conference Center in Glen Allen, Va. To register for this year’s training click here.

On-Boarding – Four Mondays in August

Four additional training sessions are held in the summer via zoom for First Time Lay Supply. These sessions provide training on pastoral care, introduction to the credentialing process in Virginia, and next level training on worship leadership and church administration. 

Additional Opportunities

Lay Supply Cohort- One Monday a Month, October – April

First Time-and Returning- Lay Supply are encouraged to travel together in the Lay Supply Cohort which meets one Monday a month via zoom in the evening.

Sessions provide opportunities for discernment, as well as additional training on a variety of topics: Methodist theology and sacraments, church communications, time management , leadership in the Wesleyan tradition and much more. 

Reception and Recognition at Annual Conference

In recent years, Lay Supply have enjoyed coming together for fellowship at a reception during Annual Conference.  In addition, the new class of Lay Supply are invited to stand during the Service of Call and Ordering of Ministry to be recognized by the Bishop and the Annual Conference at large.  First Time Lay Supply receive email communications about these events. 


Lay Supply Handbook

Explains the role, privileges, and limitations of those assigned as Lay Supply. It also includes links to liturgies for Lay Supply when participating in holy communion and baptism.

District Committee on Ordained Ministry Handbook

Provides information on the dCOM, how it is structured and how it functions in the context of credentialing in the United Methodist Church

Information on Candidacy (Phases I-III to become a Licensed Local Pastor) or becoming a Certified Lay Minister (CLM)

There are a variety of ways to serve in the United Methodist Church.  Instructions on Candidacy Phases I-III can be found here:

Instructions on becoming a Certified Lay Minister can be found here:

Lay Supply Registrar

The Director for Call and Candidacy serves as the registrar for all Lay Supply and provides orientation on the credentialing (Candidacy) and/or certification (CLM) process in the VAUMC.  For questions: [email protected], 804-521-1141

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