Guidelines and Requirements for Pastoral Leader (Canon 4.3)

Under the direction of the Bishop, a Pastoral Leader is a lay person authorized to exercise pastoral and administrative responsibility in a congregation under special circumstances.


  • A personal sense of ministry.  A person of prayer who seeks to develop their own spirituality.
  • A mentor is required for the first year after licensure.  The lay licensing committee can assist you find a mentor.
  • Ability to analyze, prioritize, plan and pay attention to detail.
  • Takes initiative in working both independently and with a group.
  • Ability to complete tasks in a timely manner.
  • Understands necessity of confidentiality.
  • Good communication skills.
    • Listens well.
    • Seeks and listens for significant thoughts, ideas, and feelings of the person or group.
    • Articulates thoughts and ideas in a manner that is comforting, clear, and concise.


  • Ability to effectively work in ministry teams
  • Ability to facilitate and/or coordinate services to parishioners in the following circumstances:
    • counsel, comfort, and pray with persons afflicted with illnesses of all kinds and can offer the same to family and friends of the ill person.
    • aid and comfort families and individuals in issues of death and dying.
    • counsel and comfort families and individual in typical pastoral care issues including, but not limited to:
      • Life transitions
      • Children and parenting
      • Care of aging parents
      • Human relationships or their lack (loneliness)
      • Economic hardship
      • Alcoholism and substance abuse
      • Hospitalizations and other medical situations.
  • Can make referral to professional caregiver when appropriate.
  • Can prepare financial reports and maintain financial records in collaboration with the Parish and Diocesan Treasurers  
  • Can prepare the annual Parochial Report
  • Can properly maintain:
    • the Service Register
    • membership records and execute letters of transfer
    • the Parish Register

Background Knowledge

  • A basic understanding of Holy Scripture (Old and New Testaments), church history, The Book of Common Prayer, ethics and theology (at the level of catechism and creeds).
  • A college level understanding of psychology and family systems theory.
  • Basic principles of spiritual development and spiritual direction.
  • Familiarization with the Church’s Manual of Business Methods.
  • A general knowledge of the Canons, polity, structure and decision-making process of the Episcopal Church.
  • Specific knowledge of The Canons of The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of West Missouri that relate to parish administration.
  • A general knowledge of bookkeeping and insurance.

Education and Training Resources

  • Pastoral Leader Certificate Program, Bishop Kemper School of Ministry (Preferred)
  • Any educational training available through the Diocese including, but not limited to:
  • 1 unit from a Continuing Pastoral Education Program (CPE).
  • The Center for Anglican Learning and Leadership (CALL), particularly the “A Pastoral Care Series” of online courses.
  • Courses from accredited seminaries, local or through distance learning.
  • Education For Ministry (EFM).

To Be Licensed

  • Recommendation of Rector/Priest-in-Charge/ and Vestry/Bishop’s Committee
  • Recommendation of the Finance Director/Diocesan Treasurer
  • Personal visit with the Bishop
  • Criminal background check.  Contact the Human Resource Administrator and Finance Assistant for information.
  • Completion of Anti-Racism and Diversity Training Course.  Contact Shirley Bolden at for information.
  • At the time of licensure, the lay licensing committee will work with the licensee to find a mentor that can provide them with support and guidance as they begin this ministry.
  • Safe Church, Safe Community training modules are required. Contact the Human Resource Administrator and Finance Assistant for information.


  • An Introduction to Pastoral Care. Charles Gerkin, Abingdon Press, 1997.
  • Crisis Counseling. Howard W. Stone, Augsburg Fortress Publishers, Revised Edition 1993.
  • All Our Losses, All Our Griefs: Resources for Pastoral Care. Kenneth Mitchell and Herbert Anderson, Westminster John Knox Press, 1983.
  • How Will They Hear Us If We Don’t Listen. Ronald Johnson, Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1994.
  • Creative Ministry.  Henri J.M. Nouwen, Doubleday, 1991.
  • Caring for God’s People. Philip Culbertson, Fortress Press, 2000.
  • Teaching …Sermons on Suffering. Barbara Brown Taylor, Abingdon Press, 1989.
  • Generation to Generation. Edwin H. Friedman. The Guilford Press, 1985.
  • Manual of Business Methods in Church Affairs. Episcopal Parish Services. 2001.
  • How Your Church Family Works: Understanding Congregations as Emotional Systems. Peter Steinke. Alban Institute, Inc. 2006
  • The Diocese of West Missouri Mentoring Guidelines.


11-28-2022. Original version posted.

Guidelines and Requirements for Worship Leader (Canon 4.4)

A Worship Leader is a lay person who regularly leads public worship under the direction of the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community of faith.


  • A personal sense of ministry. A person of prayer who seeks to develop their own spirituality.
  • One who can reverently lead the community in worship.
  • A strong, clear, and articulate voice.
  • The ability to share responsibility for worship with other ministers of the congregation.


  • The ability to plan and lead the following liturgies:
    • The Daily Offices
    • Ante-Communion
    • The Burial of the Dead
  • The ability to plan and assist at the following liturgies:
    • The Holy Eucharist
    • Holy Baptism
    • The Proper Liturgies for Special Days
    • The Pastoral Offices
  • A prayerful person who reads well and/or can pray spontaneously putting into words what is on the heart of those present.
  • The ability to provide pastoral support to families and congregations at time of need and/or crisis under the direction of clergy.
  • The ability to obtain an authorized sermon and to deliver it.

Background Knowledge

  • A basic understanding of Holy Scripture (Old and New Testaments), Church History, Ethics and Theology (at the level of catechism and creeds).
  • A detailed knowledge of the Book of Common Prayer, especially rubrics.
  • The Book of Occasional Services, Lesser Feasts and Fasts, A Great Cloud of Witnesses.
  • Pronunciation of names and other difficult words in Scripture.
  • The Calendar of the Church Year, and a basic understanding of the seasons.
  • The BCP Lectionaries and the Revised Common Lectionary.
  • Knowledge of the Hymnal 1982 and other music resources.
  • Canons of the Episcopal Church, Title II: Worship.

Education and Training Possibilities

  • Coursework at Bishop Kemper School of Ministry “Sacramental Theology”.       
  • Education for Ministry (EFM)
  • Center for Anglican Learning and Leadership (CALL) Liturgy and Worship Series,
  • Liturgics courses offered by Episcopal Seminaries.

To be licensed

  • For initial licensure, be able to demonstrate knowledge of Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, Ante-Communion, and Funerals to Rector/Vicar/Priest-in-charge and Vestry/Bishop’s Committee.
  • At the time of licensure, the lay licensing committee will work with the licensee to find a mentor that can provide them with support and guidance as they begin this ministry.
  • Completion of Anti-Racism and Diversity Training offered by Diocese.  Contact Shirley Bolden at for information.
  • Criminal background check.  Contact the Human Resource Administrator and Finance Assistant for information.
  • Recommendation of Rector/Vicar/Priest-in-charge and Vestry/Bishop’s Committee.
  • Safe Church, Safe Community training modules are required.  Contact the Human Resource Administrator and Finance Assistant for information.
  • For re-licensure,
    • Report number of times that individual has served as Worship Leader.
    • Recommend taking the course “Sacramental Theology” at BKSM.
    • Report from Priest-in-Charge and mentor.


  • The Book of Common Prayer. Church Hymnal Corporation, 1979.  
  • The Hymnal, 1982. Church Hymnal Corporation, 1985.
  • The Book of Occasional Services (most recent edition)
  • Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints (most recent edition)
  • Canons of the Episcopal Church, Title II (Worship).
  • A Commentary on the American Prayer Book. Marion J. Hatchett, Seabury Press, 1981, 1995.  
  • A Guide to the Practice of Church Music. Marion J. Hatchett, New York: Church Publishing, 1989.
  • Opening the Prayer Book (The New Church’s Teaching Series, Volume 7). Jeffrey Lee. Cambridge: Cowley Publications, 1999.
  • Praying Shapes Believing. Leonel L. Mitchell, Minneapolis:  Winston Press,1985.
  • Sermons That Work. Sermons for each Sunday prepared by the Episcopal   Church USA; available at:
  • Enriching Our Worship
  • Pastoral and Occasional Liturgy: A Ceremonial Guide. Leonel L. Mitchell. Boston: Cowley Publications, 1998 
  • The Book of Common Prayer, a Biography.  Alan Jacobs. Princeton University Press, Reprint Edition, 2019
  • The Oxford Guide to the Book of Common Prayer. Charles Hefling and Cynthia, Editors. Oxford University Press, 2008.
  • Back Story Preaching: Integrating Life, Spirituality, and Craft. Lisa Cressman. Liturgical Press, 2018.
  • The Sacraments in Protestant Practice and Faith. James White. Abingdon Press, 1999.
  •  Any Body There – Worship and Being Human in the Digital Age. Craig Mueller. Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2017.
  • The Diocese of West Missouri Mentoring Guidelines.


11-28-2022. Original version posted.

Mentoring Guidelines


Coaches, teachers, preceptors, trainers, shepherds, directors, and others, through observing and listening, through example, questions, demonstration, and advice, may offer to others ways of mastering skills within a brief or extended relationship. As we use the term here, mentorship employs such processes to enhance those seeking or practicing licensed or ordained service to God in ministering to God’s people and the world.

 A highly skilled person may not have the natural ability to transmit a particular skill to others. Sometimes a less-skilled person will prove to be a better mentor if this person can assist the mentee in developing necessary skills and wisdom. For example, a fantastic swim coach may not be the greatest swimmer.  A successful mentor is not someone with a particular title or role, but someone with a level of skill sufficient to introduce and train someone else, and the ability to inspire the development of skills.

 A mentor/mentee relationship is a partnership. Thus, a mentee must desire such a partnership with the aim of developing the identified skills and be open to receiving shared wisdom.

 These Guidelines aim to point toward, and support, useful mentor/mentee relationships by which both may benefit. Many of the points below are obvious but may be worth reviewing. Please contribute your ideas for future versions of this document.

What Is — and Isn’t — Mentoring

Mentoring is…

  • Mentoring is about developing specific skills — with the values, principles, resources, and practice leading to justified confidence and success.
  • Mentoring is more like a partnership than a tutor-student relationship. It is a “coming alongside” a peer, and/or colleague and offering observation and shared wisdom.

Mentoring is for both the novice and the high-performer; anyone, at any skill level, can benefit from mentoring. Even the most acclaimed opera singer may retain a mentor to point out things of which the singer may not be fully aware. The “Jo-Hari Window” illustrates the possibility of gaining greater knowledge of oneself exercising a skill through honest and trust-worthy reflection and feedback from another.

Mentoring is not…

  • Mentoring is not counseling.
  • Mentoring is not about fixing or restoring someone.
  • Its purpose is not therapeutic.
  • It should not encourage dependence.

How to Mentor

Your faithfulness in mentoring may help you discover new things about yourself and your craft, and further enhance it, with the joy of contributing to another’s growth in God’s kingdom.

1. Relish God’s love. As appropriate, remind yourself and your mentee of God’s presence within — and the gift of offering service. Affirming what works and building on even small accomplishments may be more faithful than beginning with, or focusing on, what seems defective or wrong with the effort. A forthright assessment of a glaring performance failure can always be placed in the context of God’s love of the person — speaking the truth in love.

2. Observe, listen well, and ask questions. Different styles of listening may be appropriate at different times. Some styles are appreciative, empathetic, comprehensive, discerning, and evaluative. While the mentor’s own specific skills may lead naturally to questions as the mentee develops his or her own skills, questions such as these may be sometimes useful:

  • What was the mentee’s intent with this activity?
  • How does it arise within the mentee’s life of the spirit?
  • What resources did the mentee find available and useful?
  • What was the process by which the activity was planned?
  • What challenges did the mentee discover?
  • What does the mentee want to ask you?
  • What does the mentee not ask?
  • Encourage and assist the mentee to identify solutions to challenges and to explore opportunities rather than lay answers on a platter for the mentee to accept or reject.

3. Provide language. — Reflect to the mentee what you have observed and heard to celebrate, reassure, and measure the effectiveness of your mentee’s activity. Give your mentee information of which the mentee was unaware, and place this in a larger context (your knowledge not only of skills but also about situations, organizations, and circumstances). The language we use often clarifies our understanding of reality. Rephrasing the mentee’s words — perhaps in technical theological vocabulary, perhaps in secularizing it — may enlarge an understanding of the thought or activity under consideration. Eliciting or offering distinctions may be helpful — here are three paired examples: (1) balance or juggle, (2) care or worry, and (3) excellence or perfection.

Concerning excellence or perfection, the Rev. Dr. David E. Nelson writes says that perfection is a dead-end street. No matter how hard one’s work and how well one performs, a perfectionist still feels inadequate. “I should have done better.” Instead, a person driven by excellence does one’s best in the given time and situation, and learns from both successes and disappointments, ending with a sense of satisfaction and a vision to excel even further in the future.

4. Discover adjustments. Part of nurturing the mentee may be to imagine alternate situations for the activity exhibiting the skill being developed. How would the activity be affected by a different time, place, those involved, emotional affect, or alternate approaches by the mentee? It might be useful for you to demonstrate the activity under consideration or to role-play. How would the mentee adjust the activity given what has been exchanged so far in the conversation? How would the activity be different if the mentee has just now gained deeper understanding of oneself?

5. Offer endorsements. Genuine words praise for the mentee’s work, the mentee’s questions, and the mentee’s advancement in the skill(s) being developed may be placed in the context of God’s embrace

and as part of our service to God and to others. (At some point an endorsement the form of informal or formal public or ecclesiastical recognition may be appropriate.)

6. Summarize the session. At the end of each session, ask the mentee if the mentee is getting the help desired and how you might be even more helpful. Ask the mentee to summarize what has been learned and gained and offer your own summary as well. Your conclusion may well include “What I want for you is . . . .” (It is seldom useful to use the more frequent expression, “What I want from you is …”)

7. Identify the next step. You and the mentee may identify and articulate the next step in mastering the skills being developed, a step small or large. It may be some form of review — or it may be studying new material — or practicing a new activity — or adding someone to the conversation for a specific purpose. At any rate, if possible, schedule the forthcoming session with clear expectations for yourself and the mentee.

How to be Mentored

1. Honor your mentor. In many cases, while the Diocese may offer suggestions based on many factors of availability, you will be the one to select your mentor. You and your mentor want to be comfortable with each other. Your mentor is giving time and the benefit of skill and experience to you. It goes without saying you want to respect such a gift to your own development.

2. Preview the process. — Review the section above, How to Mentor, and, with each point, consider how you can gain the most from the mentoring relationship.

3. Success. — If formal recognition — certificate, license, or ordination — is expected to celebrate your success, offer your mentor whatever evidence is required for your fulfillment of the process.

Additional Resources


  • 07-11-2022. Original version uploaded to website
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