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ALLIANCE
for the Certification
of Lay Ecclesial Ministers

How Do I Get Certified?

The certification process consists of three steps: Apply, Prepare, Submit. All three steps are completed online using the tools provided on this website.

  • Apply: Submit your application materials and fee to the ministry organization that represents your ministry role (see the box "Application Submissions" on this page for the appropriate mailing address).
  • Prepare: After you receive notice that your application has been approved and you have been accepted as a candidate for certification, build your online ministry portfolio which documents how you meet the national certification standards. You will need to include the following items in your portfolio:
    • a cover letter formally requesting certification.
    • certification portfolio title sheet (PDF 91 KB).
    • the portfolio checklist (PDF 144 KB).
    • all materials submitted during the application process (You will already have done this if you’ve been admitted to candidacy.)
    • a completed self-assessment for your certification area.
    • testimony/observation assessments completed by a supervisor, a peer or colleague, and a subordinate. (Candidates for Director of Worship and Youth Ministry Leader including Pastoral Juvenil Hispana, must also include an assessment by the diocesan director.)
    • evidence of theological study, providing transcripts or other documentation for course work or approved equivalencies. See the certification portfolio requirements (PDF 91 KB) for theological study required of each ministry specialization.
    • evidence of specialized study, providing transcripts or other documentation for course work or approved equivalencies. See the certification portfolio requirements (PDF 91 KB) for specialized study required of each ministry specialization.
    • demonstration of competence in one’s specialized ministry. See the certification portfolio requirements (PDF 91 KB) for the demonstration required of each ministry specialization.
    • integration paper that applies personal, spiritual, theological, pastoral, and specialized competence to the practice of pastoral ministry. View and download the Guidelines for the Integration Paper (PDF document 67 KB).

When you are accepted as a candidate for the certification process, you will receive information for logging onto a special, secure webpage which will act as a "library/repository" for the items in your portfolio. You will be able to use this library as often as necessary to compile your portfolio by uploading written documents (for example, MS Word or PDF files), presentations (e.g., PowerPoint files), and even audio and video files.

  • Submit: When your portfolio is complete, submit your materials for review. If approved by your national ministry organization and the Alliance, you will receive notification that you are certified!

Initial Applications and Completed Portfolios are ordinarily accepted before the March 1 and October 1 deadlines each year. 

For Current Candidates

When building your portfolio library online, you may need to refer to the following documents for instructions on logging into the document library site and using the document library itself:

Questions? Please email info@lemcertification.org for further information.


Codes of Ethics

Below are the signable "Code of Ethics" documents for each ministry/organization:


Application Submissions

Submit your application materials to the appropriate organization for your ministry:

  • FDLC
    Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions
    415 Michigan Avenue NE
    Suite 70
    Washington, DC 20017
  • NALM
    National Association for Lay Ministry
    415 Michigan Avenue NE
    Suite 40
    Washington, DC 20017
  • NCCL
    National Conference for Catechetical Leadership
    3031 4th Street NE
    Suite B
    Washington, DC 20017-1102
  • NFCYM
    National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry
    415 Michigan Avenue NE
    Suite 40
    Washington, DC 20017
  • NPM
    National Association of Pastoral Musicians
    962 Wayne Avenue
    Suite 210
    Silver Spring, MD 20910

© 2012. National Association for Lay Ministry on behalf of the Alliance for the Certification of Lay Ecclesial Ministers