The Role

Designated lay ministers (DLMs) are lay ministers, recognized by a regional council and accountable to the Office of Vocation, who accept a leadership role for defined periods of time for defined forms of service. Leadership roles may include the work of preaching, worship, sacrament, pastoral care, education, or other forms of service. Designated lay ministers apply to their region for a licence to administer the sacraments if it is part of their ministry. This role is by appointment.


There are approximately 200 designated lay ministers in the United Church. They work in these types of settings:

  • solo ministry in a congregation
  • team ministry in a congregation
  • community ministry at a local pastoral charge


Designated lay ministers engage in the Candidacy Pathway to become recognized.

The Designated Lay Ministry Diploma Program is offered through St. Andrew's College, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, or those preparing for ministry in a Native Ministry setting can study at the Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre.