The Lay School of Ministry of the East Central Wisconsin Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America trains lay persons of the church to perform service to and for the body of Christ. The program of Lay Ministry was organized and instituted under the direction of former Bishop John Beem.

The challenges of the twenty-first century call for educated, theologically reflective and articulate lay persons with a passion for mission. Our goal is to serve the East Central Synod of Wisconsin.

Our bishop and staff are instrumental in supporting and promoting the Lay School of Ministry. Participation in this program is recognized by our synod as an important way to strengthen East Central Synod congregations. While we purposefully do not offer academic credit, you will find the education is top notch. The Lay School of Ministry offers an opportunity to experience adult education through in-depth study. We enlist seminary professors, pastors with expertise in particular areas, as well as trained lay leaders as part of our teaching staff. One of the purposes of our Friday-Saturday meeting is to entice students into independent study throughout each month. The pastor-mentor component of the program is designed as a tool to encourage self-understanding and personal growth.


The lay school exists to equip and challenge adults for their work as disciples of Christ, empowering them for service and ministry in their church and community.

  • We understand lay ministries will have two primary foci:
    1. within the lay person’s local congregation and
    2. within the lay person’s local community.
  • We understand that in order for the church to faithfully execute its Christ-given callings and vocations, it will need to draw from the gifts of the priesthood of all believers. To that end we will work to foster the spiritual development and growth of the participants, increasing their knowledge of their callings and gifts as laity as well as the needs within the church and community.
  • We will challenge the students to reflect on their faith, to think critically and carefully about God’s work in the church.
  • We will provide historical, theological and biblical insights as well as practical experience.
  • We endeavor to educate the students in fulfilling their role as the baptized people of God.

“I really didn’t know how much I didn’t know about my faith until I attended Lay School. I have grown and learned so much, even after all these years!”

Certificate Student
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