Worship nourishes and inspires us as followers of Christ, and is central to Episcopalian identity. The Episcopal Diocese of Central New York will train and license you to serve as a lay worship leader in for your congregation.

The Ministry

A worship leader is a layperson who regularly leads public worship under the direction of a clergyperson or other designated leader of a congregation.

Book of Common Prayer

Training and Licensing

Want to become a licensed worship leader? Thank you! Here’s how to proceed:

Step 1: Meet with your clergyperson

Meet with your clergyperson to discuss the ministry of a worship leader and your desire to serve in this ministry. A clergy recommendation (see Clergy Recommendation Form to start Worship Leader Training) is a prerequisite for the program. If you are in a parish without resident clergy, contact your District Dean, who will also consult with the warden-in-charge for your parish and your parish’s regular supply priest (if applicable).

Step 2: Fulfill prerequisites

Be sure to fulfill the following prerequisites:

  • Your Safe Church certification is up-to-date (training completed within the last five years). Download your transcript from Praesidium Academy to show your course completion and dates.
  • You have been confirmed or received in The Episcopal Church
  • You have received Holy Communion at least three times in the preceding year
  • You have been faithful in corporate worship and in working, praying, and giving for the Kingdom of God in the past year and are therefore considered a “confirmed communicant in good standing,” (Canon I.17.2,3)

Step 3: Complete appropriate training

  • For clergy-supported worship leader candidates, who serve in parishes with resident clergy, training may be either be overseen by parish clergy (according to the Curriculum for Worship Leader Training ) and/or the candidate will attend a diocesan worship leader training. Clergy-supported worship leaders will typically lead Morning Prayer or other services on an occasional basis, particularly when parish clergy are not present. They will generally use services prepared for them by their clergy or design services in close conversation with clergy.
  • For independent worship leader candidates, who serve in parishes without resident clergy, diocesan worship leader training is available. Independent worship leaders typically lead Morning Prayer and other services on a regular basis, and plan worship services by themselves.

Step 4: Apply for license

After above requirements are complete, you will be ready to apply to the bishop’s office for a license. The clergyperson responsible for your congregation (or your District Dean, in parishes without settled clergy) may submit the Worship Leader License Request Form to the bishop’s office.

Step 5: License renewal

All worship leaders should renew their license every five years by following steps 1-4 above.

Upcoming Diocesan Worship Leader Trainings

View a list of upcoming worship leader trainings.

Worship Leader Training (2022)


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