|© ERIC MICHEL MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL
251 Laurier Avenue West Unit 900, Ottawa, Ontario - K1P 5J6 - 613.317.1945 - An Unitarian Baptist Fellowship Institution (Canada)
Copyright 1987- Present Day Eric Michel Ministries International. All rights reserved. No part of this may be reproduced or utilized in any
Form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system
Without permission in writing from the author.
|WE ARE GOING TO ALL NATIONS VIA THE NET WITH OUR TEACHING AT
FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS SEMINARY & BIBLE ACADEMY
Lay Ministry For more information see FAQ's Canon Law
Certification of any rank of Chaplain is valid for life
Certificates of completion will be issued for each course completed with a passing score of at least 75%.
- Chaplaincies Commander Most Rev. Eric Michel. Archbishop only
- Chief Chaplain Rt. Rev. Marie Yvonne. Bishop only
- Deputy Chief Bishop or Minister
- Master Chaplain: The applicant must be an ordained minister and have at least 7 years of experience in their existing field of ministry.
Applicants must provide copies of all degrees, current ordination, training certificates and any certifications that they hold. The Master is
the team leader. Minister only
- Senior Chaplain: The applicant must be an ordained minister and have at least 5 years of experience in their existing field of ministry.
Applicants must provide copies of all degrees, current legal ordination, training certificates and any certifications held. Minister and Lay
- Registered Chaplain: You must be a legally ordained minister with at least 3 years of experience in your existing field of ministry.
Applicants must provide copies of all degrees, current legal ordination, training certificates and any certifications held Minister and Lay
- Lay Chaplain no requirement before training. Lay Chaplain cannot exceed rank higher than Senior Chaplain
- Master Assistant Lay
- Senior Assistant Lay
- Junior Assistant Lay
- Assistant Lay
- Honorary (Member of Elders Comity Minister and Lay)
Lay Chaplain is for all those who have very little experience or no experience in ministry and never been legally ordained. Lay chaplains are
required to complete courses. The courses are provided by us and partner in social and religious organisations. Certificates of completion will be
issued after completing all courses with a passing score of at least 75%. After field stage and probation.
A layperson generally refers to a non-ordained member of a church
Lay Chaplain Ministry roles
In religious organizations, the laity consists of all members who are not a part of the clergy, whether they are or are not members of religious
institutes, for example a nun or lay brother. The word lay derives from the Anglo-French lay meaning the people at large.
- Conducting Prayers
- Publishing banns of marriage
- Teaching, and assisting in pastoral care
- Conducting funerals
- Acting as ushers
- Acting as liturgists
- Making announcements
- Reading scripture
- Giving guest preaching sermons
- Serving or chairing church committees
- Congregational advocate and liaison
At the Chapel
Each week for our Sunday Service we have our laity involved with the follow roles:
Acolytes are lay chaplain volunteers who assist the minister in worship. An acolyte lights and sometimes carries candles, and helps in the
preparation of ritual of spiritual services. Our youth and adults are encouraged to participate as acolytes.
A Gild is a special lay chaplain service group in the chaplaincy who prepare the altar and maintain the furnishings the building. The guild usually
supervises all seasonal chapel decorations and is usually responsible for all flower arrangements. A member or two from the gild arrives early
before the service to prepare the altar linens, and ensure that our readiness for the worship service. They are member of the worship committee.
Chalice bearer is or are lay chaplain person who administers the chalice during the worship. Generally two people per service are needed and
on occasionally holidays there may be a need for additional chalice bearers.
Lectors (lay chaplain Reader) Any non-ordained person who participates in reading part of a worship service. The Lectionary readings for the
service consist designate texts. The prayers of the people are also read by a lector. The lectors generally practice their reading the week leading
up to the date of the service. In general a worship service has 2 lectors assigned.
Tellers lay chaplain volunteers who collect, count, record and deposit donations received usually following a chapel service or other chapel event.
They receive training and direction from the finance committee. Our procedure is to have 2 tellers assigned.
Greeters lay chaplain volunteers who welcome all who enter our doors. They demonstrate our chapel’s commitment to hospitality. The greeters
create the first impression with newcomers. For our corporation members our greeters provide needed acknowledgement that they are important
to us all.
Ushers lay chaplain volunteers who distribute worship materials and guide participates of a worship service or event to a comfortable seat.
They also provide the count of the number people attending the service or event. Our ushers arrive early before the service. There may be
material distributed following the worship service as well. Similar to our Greeters, the ushers are also some of the first persons to come in contact
with any newcomers or visitors.
Committees: The following committees are largely filled by lay chaplain volunteers with clergy and shared ministry team members also participating.
Most leadership positions on the committee are held by a lay chaplain person. See the church calendar regarding meeting times and identification of
Bishop’s Committee is the governing body responsible for operational matters The Bishop’s Committee shall consist of a Bishop,a Senior Chaplain,
a Junior Chaplain, The Treasurer, Five other at-large members elected by the corporation members, The Secretary of the Bishop’s Committee (non-
voting), Guest (non-voting).
Lay Leader is a member of corporation who has been chosen as a leader. Since lay leadership is not an ordained clerical office, the lay leader's
Lay Scholar is a person who acts as a scholar but without the training or degree that normally goes with it. Some lay scholars are able to build a
reputation of knowledge that allows them to obtain positions of authority normally reserved for the formally trained.
The Finance Committee is responsible for reviewing the financial performance of EMMI and making recommendations to the Elders Board
Committee and the Bishop Committee . The committee meets monthly and reviews the previous month's financial results. It also considers any
significant upcoming expenditures and advises the Elder Board Committee about the impact on the chaplaincy finances and alternatives for dealing
with the issue. It also is responsible for developing the annual budget and working with the Elders Board Committee and the Bishop Committee to
finalize an approved annual plan. The committee is led by the treasurer and also includes the Junior & Senior Chaplain and others interested in
helping with financial issues.
NB: A Lay Chaplain can be a superior to a minister depending of his role in the chaplaincy
Please Note: If you have any questions please contact us. A senior chaplain or an Elder will be happy to help you with any questions you have.
It is the goal of EMMI Chaplaincy to empower people to help people. This is done in recognition equal to their academic, life experience and
achievements,as well as the demonstrated competence they have shown in their personal and professional lives. Life experiences are vital and
very important in the life of a chaplain. Eric Michel Ministries places a lot of value on life and ministry field experiences.
EMMI Chaplain Ministries recruits hard working men and women to work as chaplain for hospice, nursing homes, Law Enforcement, Fire Departments,
Emergency services and community ministries.
- The Emergency Ministry of Chaplain and Assistant (TEMCA) is a sub ministry of the Chaplaincy
For Lay and Minister as well but the requirement is to be a member or an ex-member of Emergency Professionals as Policemen, Firefighter, The Emergency Chaplains is commissioned to work in a context different of a church. He is engages in a ministry of helps and is also on the
a ambulance personal or any civil government approved related emergency crisis employee.
lookout for opportunities to offer a listening ear and heart or to give a healing word of counsel or encouragement in his outreach visitations. The
bottom line an TEMCA Chaplains is called by God and sent out to serve the personal & professional needs of emergency service people and their
families and to share the word of hope. TEMCA is a non profit organization who promote tolerance and understanding, as well as, provide
professional, trained and dedicated chaplains in the various fields of need. The work of the chaplain differs greatly from the work of the pastorate.
The pastor cares for the spiritual needs of the congregation; whereas, the chaplain must care for the needs of the any other faith need as well.
(See Ordination Under)
Lay people See also Evangelists and Groups
Volunteers responsible to bring teaching and helping the clergy or the chaplaincy in their duties.
They do not accept payment and are not salaried employees or considered “paid clergy”, but they receive donations from members of the
congregation to help them with their everyday expenses if needed.
What's my job?
An effective Lay Administrator functions as the primary representative of and role model for Christian discipleship and faith lived out in the
church and in daily life. The Lay Administrator works to fulfill the mission and vision of the Chaplaincy.
Experience, skills: This person benefits from knowing his or her own spiritual gift(s) and living out those gifts in Chaplaincy life.
What does the Lay Administrator do?
- This Administrator represents EMMI.
- This Administrator examines ways that can be involved in caring ministries in the community.
- The Lay Administrator meets regularly to discuss the state of the church and the opportunities for ministry.
Lay Ministers or Lay Administrator, while fully recognized as clergy, are not expected to perform all of the ecclesiastical services of a ordained
minister. They are credentialed as supportive or beginning level ministers and allowed the opportunity for training, ministry experience and further
development into a unique ministry. Qualified Lay Minister or Lay Administrator if no clergy is available can validly administer Extreme Unction
Lay Administrators from the Board of Elders is a Licensed lay Administrators may be authorised by a bishop to assist in the distribution of Holy
Communion. Lay administration is limited to the chalice, and lay Administrators may also be permitted to take the consecrated elements from the
church to the sick or shut-in to be administered there. The duty and right to bring the blessed Eucharist to the sick belongs to the minister, to
chaplains or authorized lay minister/Administrator and, in respect of all who are in the house.
Interview via electronic media
Lay Administrator, Lay Readers and may be appointed by interview via electronic media, every ordination must have tactile contact in the laying on
of hands. Where appointment (rather than ordination) is performed, the interviewer and interviewee must be able to see and hear each other in real
time such as by Skype or other video communication.
EMMI Lay Chaplains are appointed by our Elders Board and are trained. They help ministers to perform marriages and the spiritual ceremonies..
Building on our Unitarian commitment to inclusiveness and our celebration of diversity, our chaplains are dedicated to bringing a sense of the sacred
into what are often non-denominational and even secular ceremonies. Based on personal integrity and People often choose a Unitarian Lay Chaplain
to officiate their ceremonies when their values and beliefs no longer fit with traditional religious perspectives. For example, many same-sex couples,
interfaith couples, and previously divorced couples choose us to help them celebrate their weddings. Whose ceremony is it? Our Chaplains recognize
that different people have different needs and preferences. They are prepared to tailor the structure and content of a ceremony to meet individual
needs. While ceremonies must be consistent with the fundamental values of Unitarianism–It is your ceremony!
What do EMMI Lay Chaplains charge for their services? There are fees for the ceremonies conducted. These are discussed in advance with the
Chaplains. A wedding development, rehearsal and service is $200. Fees for other Ceremonies, Rituals and Rites of Passage vary according to the
length and planning involved in the service.
Weddings – Marriages
Our Chaplains specialize in performing wedding ceremonies which meet the special needs of the couple. After meeting with the couple, a ceremony is
crafted which will be joyful, loving, meaningful and memorable. It may include favourite readings and music or other elements, e.g., a unity candle
lighting, flower ceremony, hand-fasting, wine cup ceremony etc. Each service is custom designed in collaboration with those who are directly involved.
Special family blessings or family member participation is also encouraged, if desired. On July 8th 2003 British Columbia became the second province
to legalize same-sex marriage. EMMI Lay Chaplains are delighted to now be legally able to marry same-sex couples.
Memorial Service – Funerals
Our lay-chaplains have been professionally trained to provide a funeral or memorial service that is an essential step in the grief and healing process
following the death of a loved one. We can be an important part of the process of families, friends and community coming together to support each
other in their grief, remembering and holding dear those who have died and seeking understanding that can lead to healing. Our Chaplains provide a
service that is sensitive to the wishes of all of those involved, while at the same time providing a space to celebrate the life of the deceased in an
expression of affirmation of that person’s life.
Ceremonies may also include elements which respect the diverse religious beliefs of those attending.
Infant Naming and Child Dedications
This is a celebration of new life and a community ritual around the commitment to the well-being of our children. Participants dedicate themselves to
the task of raising a child with love and fairness, and to nurturing a sense of responsibility to themselves and to others. This is a joyful and meaningful
ceremony for parents, siblings and other family and friends.
In accordance with the Unitarian Universalist belief that everyone has the right to develop an authentic faith of their own choice, this ceremony is not
about binding the child to a particular set of beliefs.
Other Rites of Passage
In our modern world there are significant passages that we travel through barely taking the time to acknowledge the profound spiritual growth that
occurs with each one. Our Lay Chaplains can help arrange meaningful services to mark the milestones in our lives.
All of us have a vocation. For some of us, that vacation may take on the expression of ordained Unitarian ministry. For others, it may be expressed in
many possible aspects of spiritual and practical service. This aims to assist those who are interested in the further discernment of their vocation, and
are considering whether they may wish to present themselves as candidates for ordination in the Eric Michel Ministries International, and those who
have already received ordination elsewhere and are considering whether to apply to the Chaplaincy for ministering. For others, lay work may offer a
better path to further their faith.
Are you interested in joining our chaplaincy?
What sort of person is eligible?
The Chaplaincy ordains both men and women to Holy Orders equally. It does not discriminate on the grounds of sexuality or marital status, and does
not require celibacy from its clergy. It does not impose any upper limit for the age of ordinands. It affirms the ministry of people with disabilities.
The Chaplaincy respects that its clergy may hold different opinions on issues of theology and ministry. However, all applicants for ordination must be
actively accepting of the liberal Unitarian Christianity of the Chaplaincy and the spiritual foundations established in its Canons.
The clergy is composed of extremely varied individuals. There is no one "type" to conform to, and indeed the diversity in the clergy reflects the
diversity of humankind. Nor is any particular background favoured over another. Good clergy include blue-collar workers, high-level executives and
homemakers, to name but a few. They are people who are rightly respected by society, and society in turn has a right to expect that a clergyperson
will conduct him or herself with integrity.
The Chaplaincy recognises that ministry expresses itself in diverse contexts. It will ordain both those who are called to a traditional congregational
ministry, leading a chaplaincy, as well as those whose vocation is predominantly solitary. The Chaplaincy is a sacramental community, and those
seeking ordination to the ministry are expected to be committed to regular celebration of the worship. Newly ordained clergy are given temporary
faculties for their first year, which is probationary, and on satisfactory completion are advanced to regular faculties thereafter. All clergy are expected
to maintain, and grow, their ministries which must be tangible and have an active expression.
All applicants must be fully self-supporting. The Chaplaincy does not pay stipends to clergy or cover their expenses. All clergy are unpaid, voluntary
and non-stipendary. Most of our clergy support themselves through a combination of ministerial and secular work, although a few do support
themselves through full-time ministry.
The Chaplaincy is highly selective concerning the men and women admitted for ordination. It looks for the personal and spiritual qualities that will lead
to a successful and valuable independent ministry within the Chaplaincy, and the resilience to cope with what can at times be a lonely and challenging
vocation. Above all, it looks for a good fit between the applicant and the Chaplaincy, so that a long-term and productive relationship can be assured.
Men and women who have been previously ordained may apply for incardination to the Chaplaincy. The procedure is as follows:
completion and submission of the application form according to the instructions on the form submission of copies of all certificates of ordination and
postsecondary academic study, including formal and informal theological training submission of a criminal record clearance. Submission of Letters of
Excardination from the previous Chaplaincy.
Applicants for ordination or incardination will be asked to attend an interview with a member of the College of Bishops or a representative appointed by
them. They will be asked to explain their path in ministry to date, and their reasons for believing that they are suited to ministry in the Eric Michel
Ministries International. They will be asked to redo their vows. They may be required to complete additional educational prerequisites if their previous
ministerial education indicates gaps, and it is usual for applicants from the mainstream denominations to be required to complete academic work. They
must demonstrate a sufficient foundation in matters of faith and ministry. A period of formal discernment is usually required.
Clergy who have served ministerially at a level equivalent to a bishop in Chaplaincies which are not in the Unitarian Apostolic Succession may apply
for incardination according to the procedure above, but with the understanding that if they are accepted, they will either be sub conditionally
re-ordained in the Apostolic Succession, or admitted to a pastorate.
The Chaplaincy does not accept ministerial credentials from internet-based Churches or similar that offer "instant ordination" or ordinations that
are 'purchased' as fulfilling the requirements for incardination, regardless of their legality or the genuineness of the ministry of the person concerned.
The Chaplaincy will only accept the incardination of bishops in particular circumstances. No person, whether or not he or she has been consecrated
bishop, may be admitted to the College of Bishops until he or she has served satisfactorily for a time in the Eric Michel Ministries International.
Men and women who have not been previously ordained may apply for ordination in the Chaplaincy. The procedure is as follows:
completion and submission of the application form according to the instructions an applicant must:
- Be at least 21 years of age.
- Have earned a high school diploma.
- Be a EMMI member. ($20,00/Year)
- Successfully complete the ordination course and be approved for ordination by the EMMI Board of Directors.
- Submit an application form through the mail or email. You are to submit the following with the application form: a signed copy of the EMMI
Statement of Faith and Non-Hatred Pledge, your resume, and a paper about your spiritual journey and call to ministry.
- Be personally interviewed by a EMMI Board Member, minister, or a person qualified and approved to conduct the interview on our behalf.
- Give us permission to run a criminal background check on your name. This is mainly to protect us from lawsuits if one of our EMMI-ordained
ministers commits a serious crime in connection with his or her ministerial duties.
- Arrange to have three people who know you, and are not close friends or family, submit confidential letters of recommendation.
- Have at least three contacts either in person or by telephone with a liaison assigned by the EMMI Ordination Committee. This is to get to know
you and for mentoring.
- Write a paper about your spiritual beliefs.
- Donate $500 for a non-refundable application fee. You may pay this fee with an initial agreed-on amount and in installments, with the full fee
due prior to ordination. The cost of books is not included.
The reading and writing assignments may be shortened for people who are already ministers with knowledge and experience, on a case-by-case basis.
The application fee may be reduced to $150 for people who are approved by the Ordinand Approval Committee and Board of Directors for a fast-track
program with significantly reduced course work requirements.
Important Note: Donating the application fee does not guarantee that ordination will be granted! The EMMI is not a mail-order ordination mill; this is
not a “pay to get ordained” offer. If you are looking for a quick way to get ordained without effort and study look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you
are looking for a credible ordination that will build your knowledge and abilities and which you will be proud to put on your resume, we encourage you
to go through the study process of the EMMI ordination program. We have a serious educational program which must be taken seriously and
completed by the applicant in a way that demonstrates learning and readiness for Unitarian ministry in order to be ordained by the EMMI.
For a part-time student of the EMMI ordination program (e.g. Someone who has a full-time job), it will typically take one to two years to complete.
Applicants with no formal education in ministry are required to take at least a year to complete the program (in order to allow significant time for
interaction between the candidates and their mentors), and are required to attend at least one EMMI-sponsored event. Applicants have up to three
years to complete the program. If it is not completed within three years of initial application date, the applicant must begin the process anew and
donate a re-application fee of $300.
Final, lifetime ordination is granted by laying on of hands by a EMMI minister at an ordination ceremony. The ceremony normally takes place at a
EMMI annual conference but may be arranged for a different time and location if necessary, on a case-by-case basis.
All ordinands are required to show completion of an acceptable level of education, in addition to a sufficient foundation in matters of faith and ministry.
This requirement may be satisfied in full or in part by previous education and experience. For those who need to complete their educational
All ordinands must be able to demonstrate competency on the altar or complete altar training. This is achieved through attachment to the Chaplaincy,
where the ordinand will be expected to undertake regular duties and receive training from an experienced minister or bishop.
The Chaplaincy practices ordination in the Unitarian Apostolic Succession through the laying on of hands by a bishop in a public, open service.
Lay work and serving
Many people are just not called to the ordained ministry for any number of reasons. The EMMI has numerous valuable and worthwhile roles for those
in this position. There are also several groups that have needs for people in this category. If you have any questions before applying, please contact
Ordination & Credentialing Qualifications
Ordination is the process that we, as an Unitarian Christian chaplaincy and ministerial fellowship, use to recognize called and fully equipped ministers.
However, not everyone comes to us fully equipped and therefore do not qualify for Ordination status. In these cases, we commission or license
ministers based on their level of equipping and experience. Commissioned, licensed and ordination designations are fully recognized as clergy status
and give ministers the legal protection needed to function.
The basic qualifications for clergy credentials are:
- A call from the Lord into ministry
- Maturity equivalent to being a spiritual leader
- Agreement with our Statement of Faith
- Character references including a pastoral reference, another minister or elder
Request the Application
Cost for commission, licensing and ordination
- Need to be a member class A 20.00$
- Seminarian Unitarian System 500.00$ or
- Seminarian Universalist System 500.00$ or
- You will need a Certificate in Ministry or equivalent
Lay Minister in chaplaincy training one year, vestments, books, etc., are not includes.
Signatures and addresses of 25 members or more of the denomination, excluding clergy and their families, petitioning to register you as a minister
of the denomination.
We require ministers membership due yearly renewal of 60.00$, for including all lay ministers, ministers and bishops.
For your Ordination you will need a alb and a lay minister stole, or a minister stole.
Unitarian Ordination and Credentials
Ordination and Clergy Credentialing is man’s method of acknowledging what God has already completed in the life of a man or woman. It is the
recognition of someone gifted and called by God to a particular dimension of ministry of the Lord.
The purpose of issuing ministerial credentials such as ordination to prepared and qualified candidates is:
to establish a recognition of those called to specific ministries of the Unitarian faith,
to make available a qualification process by which leadership may recognize and endorse such person, and
to provide an accountability process measured by defined ethical and religious standards.
Clergy status and specifically ordination is the highest recognition that a church can bestow on a minister. If you want to become a minister with the
recognition of commissioned, licensed or ordained please understand that along with this honor comes responsibility and accountability.
Unitarian ordination and clergy status within the EMMI are designed to honor ministers in three categories: lay minister, minister and bishop.
Lay Ministers, while fully recognized as clergy, are not expected to perform all of the ecclesiastical services of a ordained minister. They are
credentialed as supportive or beginning level ministers and allowed the opportunity for training, ministry experience and further development into a
unique ministry. Accountability and quarterly reporting are required ingredients for all ministers and used in the evaluation, renewal and upgrade
Ministers are fully recognized as clergy, but have a greater level of experience, equipping and responsibility than lay ministers. However, they still
do not carry the full responsibility of an ordained bishop. Accountability and quarterly reporting are required as is a more clearly defined ministry.
Ministers are recognized as fully equipped ministers that have proven leadership capabilities. With certain life experience exceptions, the ordination
credential will not be awarded with less than one year of membership with the EMMI. This allows the initial character investigation as well as the
accountability, quarterly reporting and annual renewal processes to give an accurate portrait of the ministers life and calling.
Professional accountability, quarterly reporting and the annual renewal process are required and significant ingredients in our clergy credentialing
system. Being set apart for the work of the ministry is a highly responsible endeavor.
Ordination & Credentialing Qualifications
In addition to ordination and clergy status we have unique ministry designations that describe what a minister’s primary ministry is.
Attend a Regional Event
Our communication system, which includes quarterly reporting and an annual renewal as part of the relations is mandatory for all ministers. Ordination
and clergy credentialing with no reporting, no expiration or no disciplinary procedures in place have very little value.
Lay Degree Programs:
The general content of the Unitarian Christian Studies Lay Ministry Program Curriculum:
- Module #1: “Unitarian Christian Beliefs: Then and Now”: 2-Text; with 8- Assignments;
- Module #2: “Unitarian Christianity for the 21st Century”: 4-Text; with 5 – Assignments;
- Module #3: “The Unitarian Christian Message Presented for Today’s World”: Ref. Course Syllabus. With 4 – Assignments;
- Module #4: “Worship Studies and Pastoral Care for the Modern Unitarian Christian Leader”: Ref. Course Syllabus. With 5 – Assignments;
Lay Ministry Program Curriculum:
EMMI Grading System For All Classes
- A+ = 96 to 100% Honour
- A- = 81 to 95% Excellent
- B = 71 to 80% Superior If you have this mark at 1st try B+ / if it is your 2nd try you will get B-
- C = 61 to 70% Average you will need to redo the exam to receive a B- if your mark is 71+, if not redo the program
- D = 51 to 60% Inferior you are require to redo the complete program
- E = 0 to 50 % Failure this is not your vocation