Pondering together

The following information is supplied to you as you guide the Lay School student in his/her desire to attend Lay School: Introduction, Mentoring Guidelines, Statement of Purpose, Schedule of Events, and Rite of Beginning.  It is our hope that the year ahead be a blessing between you.  If you have any questions about the Lay School programs, please contact: Pastor Jennifer Hoffman, Synod Lay School Director, or email


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. The process of preparation intends to draw upon the resources and the partnership existing between synod, congregation, and the Lay School of Ministry. A key component of this process is the relationship between participant and their pastor or, with the congregational pastor’s blessing, a pastor who has agreed to serve as mentor.


  • Agreeing to meet with the student on a regular basis while participating in the Lay School of Ministry, to have the opportunity to discuss the material studied each month.
  • Engaging the student in discerning the direction for service within his/her congregation and community.
  • Making books, periodicals and journals available from the pastor’s personal library as needed for study.
  • Leading a “Rite of Beginning” in the congregation as the student prepares for the first session of Lay School and recognizing the individual publicly as one who will participate in the course of study. A rite may be utilized, or the pastor may adapt one from the minister’s handbook. For a sample message click HERE.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to initiate the contact to make appointments with his/her mentor/pastor.

The relationship with a mentor is a key component of participation in the Lay School of Ministry. The intention is that conversations between mentor and student will offer the opportunity of integration knowledge and experience, faith and practice. This mentoring relationship can be a central piece of participation in the Lay School of Ministry.

You may find this worksheet useful in helping to facilitate an effective student/mentor meeting.  Although the worksheet will not be collected, it is a tool for you to use at each Mentor Meeting to capture thoughts and ideas for future contemplation.

Participation in the Lay School of Ministry will require the mentor to sign the student’s enrollment form. It is preferable that the mentoring pastor would be the participant’s parish pastor. However, if it is not possible, a neighboring pastor may serve as mentor with the blessing of the student’s pastor.

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