Lay leaders strive to represent Christ and his Church in every aspect of their lives, both within the Church and beyond. Lay leaders play a vital role in promoting the mission of the Church, which is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ. Lay leaders are not ordained, yet specialized training is available to strengthen their ministries.

  • Read Paths to Discipleship, for a broader outline of discernment and formation in the Diocese of Virginia.

Lay Formation

  • Education for Ministry (EfM) is a program of theological education created by Sewanee's School of Theology. Through individual and group study, worship, and the process of theological reflection, participants in an EfM community move toward a greater understanding of the fullness of God's kingdom and discover opportunities for responding to their own personal call to ministry. There are more than 30 active EfM groups in the Diocese of Virginia, listed here. For more information, please contact EfM coordinator Jane Dowrick at
  • Continuing Education through Virginia Theological Seminary.
  • Online Continuing Education through Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP).
  • Masters of Arts at Virginia Theological Seminary. An MA through VTS equips Christian educators and other lay professionals for ministry, but an MA is not recommended for those in discernment for the priesthood or the diaconate.

Lay Employment and Ministry

Young Adult Leadership

The Young Priest Initiative, the Diocese of Virginia's vehicle for finding, forming and supporting its young leaders. YPI allows interns to discern a call to leadership outside of the typical parish setting. Participants reflect upon their call to ministry as a part of an intentional process and through an internship. (Despite the name, YPI has a proud history of supporting and equipping folks to serve as lay professionals.) 

The Episcopal Service Corps is a network of 25+ organizations across the United States working for justice, deepening spiritual awareness and vocational discernment, and living together in intentional communities. 

The Young Adult Service Corps is a ministry for Episcopalians ages 21-30 who are interested in exploring their faith in new ways by living and serving in communities around the world. 


Questions? Contact Sarah Kye Price, interim Vocational Development Minister: