Synod Authorized Lay Ministry
The Synod-Authorized Lay Ministry (SALM) 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 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 in identifying and vetting potential SALM sites, though local congregations may inquire with the SALM program as to whether they might be eligible. Once SALM leaders are identified, they enter a training program through the synod geared toward equipping 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.