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As defined by CanonsThe preacher is authorized to preach at worship services including Eucharist, daily offices, weddings, and funerals. The ministry of the preacher focuses on the study and sharing of God’s word in scripture, tradition, and the social teachings of the church through the sermon. The licensed preacher is a confirmed adult communicant in good standing and functions under the direction of the member of the clergy exercising oversight of the congregation

  • Personal qualities or history of the Preacher

    Ability to work collaboratively with other members of the parish and diocese for the good of the community 

    While remaining sensitive to the diversity of attitudes, values, and condition found within a congregation, an understanding of the centrality of the critical interpretation of Scripture to the Episcopal tradition 

    Basic knowledge of Holy Scripture and the commitment to continued study 

    Demonstrated skill in public speaking and comfort with using those skills in a public setting 

    Knowledge of the liturgy and sacramental theology of the Episcopal Church 

    Participation in the liturgical and community life of the church 

  • Formation considerations prior to licensing

    Contents and background of Holy Scriptures (a knowledge of the general historical outline and content of the Old and New Testaments and Apocrypha) 

    Ability to use methods of exegesis in sermon preparation 

    Demonstrated use of the voice in conveying the message of a sermon 

    Knowledge of liturgy 

  • Elements of training

    The Diocese of East Tennessee is currently recognizing two providers of formation of licensed lay preachers.

    Go to Bexley-Seabury’s Pathways for Baptismal Living course in Claiming Your Voice for dates and more details

    Go to Episcopal Preaching Foundation‘s description of their Lay Preacher Training Initiative and contact The Canon for Mission & Lay Ministry for dates and more details about this course in East Tennessee

    Class of 2023, instruction January 2022 through November 2023 (in progress)

    Class of 2024, instruction January 2023 through November 2024 (tentative)

  • Renewal of license process

    A licensed lay Preacher will be licensed for up to 1 year at a time. Before or 1 year has passed, the licensed lay Preacher should have: had opportunities to practice their ministry; received review of manuscripts prior to preaching; continued to develop their skill and spirituality; and should receive an assessment of their good standing.  

    At this time, a member of the clergy with oversight and responsibility for this ministry can recommend that their license be renewed or that they pursue other ministries within the church and give room for others to practice this ministry. 

    Each year the diocese will request an updated roster of licensed Preachers for each parish and worshipping community.

  • Invite a Licensed Lay Preacher to preach at your church

    If you are a rector or priest-in-charge of a parish of worshipping community in The Diocese of East Tennessee and would like to invite a lay Preacher to preach on occasion, please contact the Canon for Mission and Lay Ministry, Beverly Hurley Hill at or (205) 213-6640. Licensed Lay Preachers were endorsed and licensed for their specific parish. The diocese wishes to provide shared lay ministry resources only where appropriate and invited. 

  • Community

    If you are a licensed lay Preacher or interested in following this group of lay ministers please join us on Facebook.