Lay Licensing

Instructions  and application forms for (Lay) Licensed Ministries (Eucharistic Ministers, Visitors, Worship Leaders, Preachers)

The Office of the Bishop currently issues licenses for Worship Leader, Preacher, Eucharistic Minister, and Eucharistic Visitor as revised by the 2003 General convention and adopted by subsequent conventions. Specific descriptions for these and other available licenses are found in Title III, Canon III.4 (adopted by the 2018 General Convention.)

Overall Requirements

To be licensed all ministers must be

  • Communicants in good standing (definition: Title I,  Canon I.17.3)
  • Confirmed or received in the Episcopal Church
  • Endorsed by the rector or vicar of a congregation, or in the absence of a priest assigned, by the Senior Warden.
  • Enrolled in the licensing congregation.

 In addition, to be licensed Eucharistic Visitors must

  • Be currently certified in Safeguarding God’s People training (every 5 years).
  • Have a background check report on file; this is typically done when applying for the initial license and at every 5 year renewal.  
  • Have received instruction in the diocesan Two by Two visitation policy.


Licenses are valid only for the diocese in which they are issued and licensed ministries are exercised only with the consent of the member of the clergy in charge of that congregation.
Licenses do not automatically transfer; within this diocese, a person licensed in one congregation but now invited to serve in another should apply for a new license.
Licenses are now valid for five years and initial applications may be made at any time, using the forms found on the diocesan website and cited below.

Training occurs within a congregation, or in some instances through regional or diocesan training events. Persons are licensed at the discretion of the clergy in a congregation and completion of training does not guarantee licensing.
General Convention has renamed some ministries over time:

  • Worship Leaders were formerly called Lay Readers
  • Eucharistic Minister was formerly called a Chalice Bearer, or LEM 1
  • Eucharistic Visitor was formerly known as LEM2.

Each licensed ministry has particular requirements for training and preparation, as detailed on the following pages.


Once a year, each congregation will receive a list, with expiration dates, of persons currently licensed in that congregation. Those seeking renewal should complete a renewal form. Forms for new and renewal licenses are linked  below.  Additional instructions for those seeking to be licensed as preachers are included on that  application link.

. In addition, clergy seeking renewal for a licensed preacher should write a letter to Bishop Rickel describing

  • How the licensed minister has exercised his/her ministry during the prior period of licensing.
  • Outlining the responsibilities the licensed minister will have during the next round of licensing.
  • The procedure for ongoing oversight and supervision.

Licenses should only be renewed for persons who regularly serve in that ministry. Requirements for licensing may change; at the time of renewal, persons must meet the current requirements.

Contact the Bishop for information on licenses or situations not covered.