Lay Ministerial Standing

For a variety of reasons, there are times when an Ordained Minister is not available to represent and serve the Church. In such circumstances and in the confidence of the priesthood of all believers, lay persons may be called to bring their gifts and graces to particular roles in which they represent the United Church of Christ. The UCC provides support and accountability in a formal relationship of ministerial standing. Through Lay Ministerial Standing, a lay person demonstrates commitment to view their ministry for that specific time and place as part of the ministry of their Association on behalf of the UCC. In turn, the UCC lays claim to the particular ministry in which the lay person is charged to serve and commits to that ministry’s vitality.

Lay Ministerial Standing available for those who are in the Member in Discernment Process. Thus, persons interested in Lay Ministerial Standing should follow the policies and practices for applying to be a Members in Discernment and have their church request Lay Ministerial Standing on their behalf at the time of their application to the Member in Discernment process or thereafter. 

Leadership Development

Are you an adult who wants to go deeper in learning about their faith? The Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota Conferences can suggest learning opportunities. Look under the “Continuing Education” category on our calendar to see more opportunities.

UCC seminaries offer classes for audit or certificate programs:

You may also explore these opportunities:


If you have questions relating to the Lay Ministerial Process, contact ACM Rev. Ellis Arnold who works with those in the process.

Abuse Prevention Policies

Background checks and resources for creating a safe space for all congregants.

Essential Lay Ministerial Standing Resources:


The Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers of the UCC

  • An outline of the complex combination of talents, understandings, and skills needed for ministerial leadership in the United Church of Christ.

UCC Ministerial Code

  • All persons with ministerial standing in the United Church of Christ are expected to abide by the UCC Ministerial Code.

Journaling the Journey

  • A creative workbook for engaging and reflecting upon the Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers in one’s own ministry.

Discernment Travelogue

  • A resource for spiritual journeys, discernment, and decisions made along the way. Copies are also available through the conference office.

Marks Rubric

  • An assessment tool for those in discernment, their mentors, and committees. The tool uses the Marks for discernment in reflecting on formation for ministry and identifying areas for further growth.