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Lay School of Ministry

East-Central Synod of Wisconsin (ELCA)
ecswlayschool.org
layschool@ecsw.org

25 Years of Equipping People for Christ’s Mission
Established 1996

Dear Ones of the East Central Synod of Wisconsin,

In his work, Martin Luther emphasized the “priesthood of all believers.” Equipped lay people: students, doctors, teachers, janitors, bus drivers, young, old, and people from every walk of life bear the Word, Jesus Christ, to the world. It is not only up to pastors to proclaim the love of Jesus!

For 25 years the Lay School of our synod has existed to meet the need to equip people to share Christ’s mission and to live more deeply into what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

  • Do you know someone who is ready to dive deeper into scripture, theology, worship, history, and baptismal identity? Or…
  • Is your church in transition and is there a need for lay leaders to be empowered and equipped in this in-between time? Or…
  • Are you discerning a deeper call to ministry that you would like to explore in a tangible way?

Maybe that person is you?

Instructors will be present with students who learn and worship in community one weekend a month. New this year, Lay School will meet as one lay school at two sites: Saint Andrew Lutheran Church in Wausau, WI or Christ the King Lutheran Church in Combined Locks, WI.

As we live out our baptismal calling, may the Spirit continue to stir among us – raising up leaders for the world of Christ’s church. Amen!

The Rev. Anne Edison-Albright
Bishop of the East Central Synod of Wisconsin


LAY SCHOOL OF MINISTRY HISTORY

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 Eastern Lay School of Ministry or the East Synod of Wisconsin was established in September 1996. The Central Wisconsin School of Lay Ministry of the East Central Synod of Wisconsin was established in September 1999. In September 2000, the Lay School of Ministry restructured into one school for the synod with two satellite locations, to equip and empower adult lay persons in the fulfillment of their callings to serve Christ.  It provides an opportunity to experience adult education through in-depth study.

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 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 role of the mentor is to listen, acknowledge, pray with, try not to fix, and encourage. Discussions include relevant topics as needed whether with studies or present work with the congregation and community.


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

The lay school exists to equip and challenge adults for their lives as disciples of Christ, empowering them for service and ministry in their churches and communities.

How does the lay school accomplish its purpose?

  • We understand lay ministries have two primary focal points:
    + within the lay person’s local congregation and
    + within the lay person’s local community.
  • We understand that in order for the church to faithfully encompass 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 lay people 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.
  • We build a Christ-centered worship and learning community for mutual support and care for leaders across the church.

The Program

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.

Students can participate in a variety of ways: the Core Program consists of eight core classes, four are taught each year, and Continuing Education classes that include unique topics of study each year. Classes meet once a month on a Friday evening or Saturday morning.

Congregations make a difference.

Does your congregation have an endowment or benevolence funds to distribute? The lay school makes an impact by providing support for leaders across the church. To learn how to make a gift that offsets the cost of lay school for students, please contact Lay School Director, jen.hoffman@ecsw.org.


DATES FOR SCHOOL YEAR 2022-2023

September 16-17, 2022
October 14-15, 2022
November 18-19, 2022
December 16-17, 2022
January 20-21, 2023
February 17-18, 2023
March 17-18, 2023
April 14-15, 2023
May 19-20, 2023

SPECIAL DATES FOR SCHOOL YEAR 2022-2023

TBD – Celebration Service 12:10 p.m.
TBD – Celebration 1:00 p.m.


REGISTRATION

Registration for the new school year begins in March each year.  Those interested in attending school the following September are encouraged to complete the required Registration, Program Selection, and if needed, the Scholarship forms and return them to our Registrar.  All forms can be submitted on-line by clicking on these links: Core Course Program or Continuing Education Program or request a paper copy by emailing layschool@ecsw.org. It is important that those interested in attending submit the required forms as soon as possible to help the Lay School staff with planning.


DIRECTIONS TO IN-PERSON LOCATIONS


ACCOMMODATION & HOUSING

Because of the 10:00 P.M. ending of Friday classes, some students may want to stay over night in the Wausau area or Combined Locks area. Motels are available.  Some students volunteer to have other students stay with them.  If you would be willing to offer this accommodation for others, please advise the staff.


ATTENDANCE

Being a student of Lay School is a commitment to your faith growth and participating in classes with questions and your perspective provides a depth and width in knowledge and growth for every student. As a result, students are expected to be in attendance in courses scheduled.  We understand unique circumstances may come up that keep you from attending.  If this happens, course recordings may be requested by emailing layschool@ecsw.org with your name and a link to the requested course recording will be forwarded to you.  This link will be active for a limited amount of time and may not be copied due to the right of privacy for fellow students.

We plan to hold all classes in-person.  Students and instructors can participate at either St. Andrew in Wausau, WI or Christ the King Lutheran Church in Combined Locks, WI.  A virtual link between these two satellite locations allows all students to participate regardless of their physical location. The Lay School of Ministry will follow safety protocol guidelines at the Combined Locks and Wausau locations based on each location’s specific guideline on the weekend we meet.  As protocols change, they will be shared in the ECSW Lay School Email Blast. If you have any questions or concerns, please email layschool@ecsw.org.


MEET THE BOARD MEMBERS


“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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