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. 

Contact: The Rev. Kathlyn Schofield, Worship Leader Training Coordinator

(315) 252-5721 | e-mail

Book of Common Prayer

Training and Licensing

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

  1. Meet with your clergyperson to discuss the ministry of a Worship Leader and your desire to serve in this ministry. A clergy recommendation (download the  Worship Leader: Clergy Recommendation Form) 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).
  2. Make sure you fulfill the following prerequesites:
    • Your Safe Church certification is up-to-date (training completed within the last five years).
    • You are currently a confirmed communicant in good standing in your parish.
  3. Complete appropriate training:
    • For clergy-supported Worship Leader candidates, who serve in parishes with resident clergy, training may be overseen by parish clergy according to the Worship Leader: Curriculum for Clergy-Supported 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. Clergy-supported Worship Leaders are also welcome to attend Diocesan Worship Leader Training.
    • 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.
  4. Apply for a license: After above requirements are complete, you will be ready to apply to the bishop’s office for a license. Clergy-supported Worship Leaders should work with their parish clergy to submit the Worship Leader: License Request Form. Independent Worship Leaders can initiate the licensing process at a Diocesan Worship Leader Training.

All Worship Leaders should renew their license every five years, either by working with their parish clergy (in the case of clergy-supported worship leaders) or by attending a Diocesan Worship Leader Training (in the case of independent worship leaders).

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