Thinking about Ministry

These are exciting and challenging times in which to serve the church. The United Church encourages gifted people of faith to consider ministry as a vocation.
At the Conference level there are two streams of ordered ministry in The United Church:

  1. Ordained ministers with responsibility for word (preaching), sacraments (baptism and communion) and pastoral care; and
  2. Diaconal ministers with responsibility for Christian education, service (outreach) and pastoral care.

Preparation for each involves study (both offer distance education options) and supervised practical experience.
At the Presbytery level , there are two areas of recognized ministry.

  1. Designated Lay Ministers (DLM) - requires experience working on a pastoral charge coupled with distance education may include Preaching, Sacraments, Pastoral Care and Christian Education
  2. Licensed Lay Worship Leaders (LLWL) – trained in the local Presbytery and licensed to take occasional Pulpit Supply engagements

At the Congregation level, there is one area of recognized ministry

  1. Congregational Designated Ministers (CDM) – are employed by and accountable to the congregation to fulfil particular ministries with the congregation. CDMs working in partnership with the Ordained, Diaconal or Designated Lay Minister of the congregation/pastoral charge.

Ordained, Diaconal, DLM, LLWL or CDM... They all start with membership in a United Church congregation, and discerning a sense of God’s call in your heart.

More information is available on The United Church of Canada website or from the Conference Minister, Vocations & Training, Tanya Cameron at or the Education and Students Convenor for London Conference, Jane Van Patter at