SALM & Lay Education Program
The SALM and Lay Education Program is built on the foundational Lutheran value of an empowered and educated laity. We are a “priesthood of all believers,” and the riches and responsibility of theological reflection and community building should be available to all.
The Synod Authorized Lay Ministry (SALM) portion of the program trains laypeople to provide worship and community care in their congregations or clusters when rostered leadership is not an option. SALM leaders are raised up from within a congregation or cluster, and their authorization by the synod bishop to perform the sacraments is specific to that congregation or cluster. The bishop, synod staff, cluster deans, and SALM Board play a primary role — together with local congregations — in identifying and vetting potential SALM sites. Once SALM leaders are identified, they enter a training program through the Oregon Synod designed to help equip them for leadership in worship and community care, including coursework focused on scripture and proclamation, worship and sacraments, pastoral care, and outreach. SALM leaders are also paired with mentor pastors.
The lay education portion of the program is an experiment within the Oregon Synod, designed to facilitate lifelong learning for lay leaders serving in a variety of roles and congregations. We gather over Zoom; explore and learn together; and prioritize participation and relationship-building. We’re encouraged to bring our whole selves to the table together with our sacred curiosity. Guest instructors from across the synod join us most weeks. The courses also serve as the core training for synod authorized lay ministers (SALMs). If you would like to be on the e-mail list for future lay education program opportunities, email Christie Bernklau Halvor.
We rely on donations from congregations and people who participate and/or believe in the importance of an educated and empowered laity. Thank you for your support!