CLM Candidate Training Program
The CLM Candidate Training Program (also called the cohort study track) is a one-year learning experience, consisting of four modules and a culminating demonstration project. Modules are delivered online through the NC Conference Online Learning Ministry, with one, full-day group cohort session per module. These one-day cohort sessions provide community among cohort participants and function to complete the module just studied and introduce the next module.
About the Modules
Discipleship Ministries and The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry have worked together to develop the basic coursework, organized into four modules:
Module 1: Call and Covenant for Ministry
Understanding of theology and call for ministry, exploring spiritual gifts, and developing a ministry covenant. This module includes the Lay Servant Ministries basic course and spiritual gifts course.
Module 2: Call and Covenant for Ministry
Four Sections: Leading Worship, Preaching/Sharing Faith, Discipleship Ministries, and Caring for a Congregation.
Module 3: Organization for Ministry
Focus on the leader’s task of organizing a congregation for mission and ministry. It provides specific
guidance on topics central to a congregation’s health.
Module 4: Connection for Ministry
United Methodist theology, practice, and polity are explained with the roles of the local congregation
district, conference, and general church.
About the Demonstration Project
Between modules 3 and 4, each CLM candidate completes a demonstration project that reflects how their gifts might be used in a congregational setting. The subject for this project is to be selected by the CLM candidate after consultation with their clergy mentor and the CLM cohort facilitator(s). The candidate’s final decision must be supported by their clergy mentor and the CLM cohort facilitator(s).
The completed project will include the following components:
- implementation site
- required elements (both personnel and materials)
- required training and/or preparation
- funding source
- measures of effectiveness
It is understood that the demonstration project is the plan for a ministry and that the CLM candidate may not implement the plan until after presenting the project to their cohort.
Schedule and Expectations
The CLM cohort study track is offered annually. The Day of Discovery kicks off the process, usually in July. Before the first module starts in October, CLM candidates will complete a Safe Sanctuaries course, designed just for CLM candidates (usually offered in September). Two other prerequisites, UM History and UM Polity, can be taken through Lay Servant Ministries course offerings at any time before the first module begins. The four modules run back-to-back, and conclude with a final group cohort session in April, when CLM candidates will present their demonstration projects to one another.
All together, the training requires a minimum of 78 hours plus the demonstration project. The prerequisite courses, at 10 hours each, could add an additional 30 hours.
Becoming an effective CLM is not a matter of completing the course work as quickly as possible. Instead, it is a journey that requires discernment, learning, and ongoing reflection of what is learned. This is a journey of learning in relationship and reflecting on your call, gifts, and practices to prepare you to serve in your assignment.
Some Frequently Asked Questions
What does it cost?
Here’s an estimate of costs for the CLM Candidate Training Program.
- Online courses: $120
- Books for online courses: $100
- Additional required LSM courses and materials (Polity, History, Safe Sanctuaries): $150
- Background check: $10
- Psychological evaluation: $150
This estimate does not include travel (usually a day trip to cohort meetings) and additional optional reading materials.
Who pays for my training?
The CLM candidate is responsible for all costs incurred in the CLM candidate training program. It is highly recommended the CLM candidate work with their local congregation to enable the congregation to offset the costs of the CLM candidate training year.
Where are the classes held?
Our class structure is a hybrid model of online module training through the NC Conference Online Learning Ministry together with mandatory groups sessions. Group sessions are day-long meetings and are usually held at the NC Conference office in Garner.
Do I have to attend all of the classes?
Yes! In order to benefit everyone in the cohort and meet the requirements of the certifying body, Discipleship Ministries, full participation in all the required courses and sessions is necessary to satisfy the training requirement for certification.
The Day of Discovery, while optional, is highly recommended as it provides the opportunity to meet potential cohort members as well as participate in knowledge sessions about certified lay ministry.
Is there another way I can take the required module?
While there are providers who offer shorter versions of these training modules (sometimes offered in a weekend setting or at BeADisciple.com), our conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries has determined these programs will not be accepted in the NC Conference. Other vendors may provide back-to-back training in an online format, but participants do not get the advantage of participating in a learning community to enhance their training and anchor it within the context, values, and traditions of the NC Conference. Any training, including the additional requirements, taken through an alternate provider must be approved by the conference committee on Lay Servant Ministries prior to its engagement. If the courses have already been taken prior to enrolling in the NCCUMC candidate training program, the potential CLM must also participate in the candidate training program in order to apply learning to the conference culture and context. The demonstration project and additional training requirements must also be completed.
Do I need a computer to participate?
In order to complete the online training modules, each participant will need access to a computer. Communication is done via email and the online learning ministry website. Assignments are submitted electronically and course materials are delivered in an electronic (PDF) format.
Is there a scholarship or financial assistance available?
Persons who are interested in CLM certification should discuss with their local congregation financial support for the training costs. While the certified lay minister often serves in a volunteer capacity, the local congregation should be encouraged to financially support the training needs of the CLM, including mileage reimbursement, ministry resources, and continuing education requirements.