The Academy of Christian Training and Service is recognized by American Baptists nationally as an accepted model of study for persons desiring to be certified as lay ministers. Graduates of the Certified Lay Minister preparation program can be certified by one’s local American Baptist church, after being recommended by their church’s association. After certification, you may pastor a church, be an associate, youth, or interim pastor, do supply preaching, and/or generally work in your own church in a more educated and experienced way. Graduates may register with the American Baptist Personnel Services, which can facilitate the possibility of being called to a church ministry position. If called as a pastor, you will have the necessary recognition to perform weddings, and with the affirmation of the local church, may dedicate children, baptize, officiate at the Lord’s Supper, and conduct funerals. A certified lay minister usually has the opportunity to do whatever an ordained person can and should be well-equipped to conduct quality ministry in the name of Christ.
Our goal is that, upon completion of the requirements, the Lay Ministry student will have developed skills as an effective preacher using sound methods of Biblical interpretation, demonstrating a grasp of the overall content of the Old and New Testaments. He/she will be able to lead meetings, administer the overall organization of a local American Baptist congregation, and coordinate programs including stewardship, Christian education, evangelism and missions. He/she will demonstrate abilities to organize and lead a worship service and perform the ordinances. He/she will be able to organize his/her understanding of ministry into a theological framework. In all of these areas, the student will perceive how each relates to our Baptist heritage and will show willingness and ability to work within our current American Baptist structure.