Lay Preaching

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Lay Preaching2020-01-10T08:38:55-05:00

NC Synod Lay Preaching Certification

In 2019, the NC Synod commissioned its first cohort of lay preachers. These lay preachers discovered new ways of engaging with scripture and grew deeply in their own faith. Now they have the unique opportunity to serve in the synod. Lay preachers will be scheduled through the NC Synod office to preach in congregations that have a leadership vacancy or utilize supply ministry on Sunday mornings.

As of Fall 2019 we began our second cohort of lay preachers who will be commissioned in May 2020.

Please note that participation in all retreats is mandatory. If the dates do not work for you, please consider applying for future cohorts. 

Training Information

Lay preachers will serve at the endorsement of Bishop Smith after completing training and practicum work.  The training is combination of retreats and small group meetings (via video conference).

  • Retreat One: September 13-15th, Location, Lutheridge
  • Practicum One – Lectio: October – December
  • Retreat Two: January 24-25, Synod Office, Salisbury
  • Practicum Two – Sermons: February – April
  • Final Gathering: April 30-May 1, Synod Office, Salisbury
  • Commissioning: May 1 @ 3pm, Salisbury


Our first cohort for lay preaching was generously underwritten by a Holy Innovations Grant from the ELCA.  This allowed us to explore best practices and clearly define goals/objectives of the program. We continue to have some grant funding to help with the second year.  The total cost for the program (including housing, food, instruction, materials) is $625/person. Thanks to the continuation of the grant, we are able to keep the cost to $200/person for this year. 


Contact The Rev. Sara Ilderton for more information.

Think of us in this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries

1 Corinthians 4:1

Lay Preaching Training Team

The Rev. Sara Ilderton

Assistant to the Bishop

The Rev. Danielle DeNise

Director of Evangelical Mission

The Rev. Dr. Mark Fitzsimmons

LTSS Campus Pastor & Adjunct Professor

“God’s calling me to something more”

Brad Alexander has spent the last thirteen years working as a purchasing agent for a company that installs windows, exterior doors, mirrors, and bath accessories for new construction homes. On most Sunday mornings, you can find Brad at Redeemer, Gastonia, where he’s the congregation council president, an adult Sunday school teacher, and more. (Just don’t look for him in the choir; he’s not a singer.) Victor Parrish is a retired barber and hair stylist; he’s also a lifelong church musician. Victor has been the pianist at The Arbor, Lexington, for about 16 years and helps lead all the worship services. Last September, Brad and Victor, along with twelve others with equally unique stories, became part of the first cohort of the Lay Preaching Certification Program in the NC Synod. (more…)

first cohort of NC Synod lay preachers, 2019

Lay Preaching Program commissions first cohort

“Let us build a house where prophets speak, and words are strong and true, where all God’s Children dare to seek, to dream God’s reign anew.” All are Welcome, ELW 641

What do an insurance salesman, a paramedic, an HR rep, a teacher, and a church musician have in common? Well, in the North Carolina Synod, they preach.

On Thursday, May 30, the first cohort of the Lay Preaching Certification Program was commissioned for ministry in the North Carolina Synod. These lay preachers are endorsed and sent by Bishop Tim Smith on a new journey of proclamation. They will climb into the pulpits of churches all across the state in order to support congregational vitality and the ministry we share together as a synod.


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