Southern District Lay Academy

CONTINUING FOR FALL 2023! Every person who completes a lay servant course will earn $20 towards their church’s apportionments! So, make a plan, bring a friend, complete a course and help support your church’s goal of paying 100% of its apportionments!

Below you’ll find a listing of the courses being offered from the Southern District Lay Servant Ministry team. While the classes are designed for lay members clergy are welcome to attend and participate. Not only that WE WELCOME anyone regardless of district, conference, or even denomination to participate in our classes! For those interested in offerings around the WV UMC Annual Conference see the summary below!

To learn more about spiritual leaders in the West Virginia United Methodist Church follow this link. To learn more about the different ways laity can be credentialed click here. If you are interested in taking steps towards credentialed ministry as lay person or clergy schedule a time to talk with your pastor. You can also always connect with the Southern District Superintendent Chip Bennett (phone: 304-252-7985 or email:

IN PERSON: at Bruce McDonald UMC The in-person classes will include “Public Prayer” led by Rev Tim Shuff; “The Opioid Epidemic” led by Rev Dr Barry Steiner Ball; and “Basic: UMC 101” led by Gary Hartsog. The event will be held on Saturday December 2nd, 8am-4pm.  Register Here

CLOSED: ZOOM: Writing Devotions Ever had an idea for a short devotion but felt unsure where to start? Journalist Audrey Stanton Smith will be teaching a class on writing devotions. In the class you will learn how to prepare and write short devotions for special occasions or every day. This is a wonderful course for anyone looking to pick up a new skill or sharpen and old one! The class will held on Thursdays starting on September 7th and ending on October 5th from 7:30-9pm on ZOOM.  Register Here

CLOSED: ZOOM: Personal Financial Strength Interested in how you can improve your personal financial strength or help others improve theirs? Have you ever wondered how your financial life impacts your discipleship? Join Randall Isom (CLM) as he teaches your how to develop solid financial management skills for life. This is a wonderful course for anyone regardless of their own experience (or lack of!) with finances! The class will held on Mondays starting on October 16th and ending on November 13th from 7-8:30pm on ZOOM.  Register Here

CLOSED: IN PERSON: at Oak Hill UMC The in-person classes will include both “Living our United Methodist Beliefs” and “Local Church Communication.”  The event will be held at Oak Hill UMC in Oak Hill on Saturday October 7th 8am-4pm.  Register Here

Interested in participating in the classes other districts are offering? Check them out below!

Lay Servant Ministries – Mon Valley District UMC (

See below for a printable registration form and class listing.