‘Lay’ Pastor  

Baptists have a tradition in which pastoral ministry has been exercised not only by those whose primary calling in life is pastoral ministry, but also by those who live out their Christian vocation in a secular context and exercise pastoral leadership in a part-time capacity.  These have often been designated as ‘Lay Pastors’.
It is possible to train and qualify as a Nationally Recognised Lay Pastor through NBC.
Your Association has been asked to share in the national recognition of Pastors and it is to the Association that your church will commend you.
Once commended by your church and your association you can begin training with NBC.  This will involve part time study completing twelve modules covering such topics as:

  • Bible
  • Leading Worship
  • Preaching
  • Baptist Belief and Practice
  • Pastoral Care
  • Leadership Skills
  • Doing Theology
  • Theology and History
  • Mission and Culture
  • Personal Development and Formation

There are two ways of achieving this through NBC. 
The first is by completing a University of Manchester certificate in Theology. Most will study this course at  Luther King House for six weekends a year over two years. (It is also possible to do the certificate in a year by attending classes at Luther King House for two days a week during term time.) 
The other route is by taking a series of modules, at a level roughly equivalent to A-level, leading to the award of an NBC certificate.  These are taught on a 3-year rolling programme called Learning At The Centre.  These classes are held at the International Mission Centre, Birmingham.  The same programme is also taught in the Northern Baptist Association with the various modules being delivered on a flexible pattern in a variety of local churches.

The BU document Called to be a nationally recognised pastor gives further information.