Lay leader training: EspaŮol, PortuguÍs, Korean, and English
Many up-and-coming lay leaders in immigrant fellowships and congregations are bolstering their capabilities by earning the Lay Leader Training Program (LLTP) certificate.
"Presbyterian traditions differ from country to country, and immigrant fellowships and new church developments in the U.S. include people from varied backgrounds," says Leslie Prince, chair of the committee that oversees the program. "This program instructs lay leaders in the beliefs and polity of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)."
The certificate program is taught in four languages; Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, and English.
The program is a partnership of Columbia Theological Seminary, the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, and the Tri-Presbytery New Church Development’s Immigrant Fellowship Commission.
"Earning this certificate calls for serious commitment," says Linda Morningstar, associate director of Columbia Seminary’s Center for Lifelong Learning. "Ten Saturdays or ten Monday evenings in class – plus reading assignments and practicum work – is a lot of time and energy, especially for those who have full-time jobs."
Prince encourages elders, deacons, and commissioned lay pastors – and people about to take on any of these roles – to attend this training.
Among the courses taught are Reformed theology, Presbyterian history and polity, the sacraments, Old and New Testament, biblical interpretation, new church development, worship, evangelism, church administration, stewardship, and theological reflection.
Some participants in this certificate program go on to become commissioned lay pastors, through their presbyteries. In the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), commissioned lay pastors are eligible to lead worship, preach, administer the sacraments, moderate sessions, provide pastoral care, perform weddings (where allowed by civil law), and have voice and vote in presbytery meetings.
"Each Presbytery determines what specific instruction and preparation are required to become a commissioned lay pastor," Prince explains.
The LLTP course schedules for the Spanish-, Portuguese-, and English-speaking programs are similar: Classes meet on Saturdays, once a month from January to December, on the seminary campus.
The Korean certification program seeks to equip and prepare officers for ordination as elders or deacons in the Korean-American Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). This program is for training newly elected candidates for elder or deacon for their ordination requirements.
The Korean participants attend 10 two-hour Monday evening classes at a designated church, beginning in September and ending in December (or, beginning in February, ending in April).
To read more about the Korean certificate program – in English and in Korean – go to this Website: http://webkam.org/2008/10/26/kam-lay-leadership-training-program-for-korean-track/
For more information about any of the programs, contact the program coordinators:
Certificate in English & Certificado em Português
604 Kirk Road – Apartment 37
Decatur, GA 30030
Cell 770- 596-4286
Certificado en Español
Rev. Nelson Donado
Certificate in Korean
Rev. Paul Huh