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Welcome to the Lay Preacher and Local Pastor Training Network (LPTN) page. In many countries in Europe Local Pastors and Lay Preachers in United Methodist Churches and their equivalent in other Methodist traditions are playing an increasingly significant pastoral and leadership role. As a consequence it is increasingly recognized that the provision of high quality training for such a role is a priority for our churches. Some Methodist churches already have developed training others are in the process of developing or improving their training programs. LPTN is a network of people involved in such training programs. Its aim is to provide mutual support, resources, and ideas as a contribution to the continuing improvement of our training programs. This Website is a contribution to this process and will be developed in future to provide further resources and opportunities networking.
At a consultation of people involved in Lay Preacher and Local Pastor Training held in Prague in 2010 it was realised that prior to developing training curricula it was important to develop ideal profiles of both a Lay Preacher and a Local Pastor. These would then function as guidelines for the development of curricula in different countries. These profiles can be found by clicking on profiles on the left side menu.
While the exact terminology varies a lay preachers are lay people who are on a voluntary basis serve regularly as preachers in local congregations. They may be commissioned to serve in a particular local congregation or more broadly within an annual conference.
Local Pastors are people who not ordained as elders but who serve either in a full-time or part-time capacity as pastors of particular congregations. Unlike ordained elders they are not subject to being moved to another congregation. They may be licensed to administer the sacraments. They are required to have complete a program of theological studies but at a lower academic level than what is required of ordained elders.