An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Pastoral Leader

A lay person licensed under special circumstances to exercise pastoral or administrative responsibility in a congregation. A pastoral leader may be licensed to lead regularly the offices authorized by the Prayer Book. This ministry is licensed under the provisions of the canon for licensed lay persons. A pastoral leader must be a confirmed adult communicant in good standing. Guidelines for training and selection of pastoral leaders are established by the bishop. A pastoral leader is to be trained, examined, and found competent in the Holy Scriptures, the BCP and Hymnal, the conduct of public worship, use of the voice, church history, the church's doctrine as set forth in the Creeds and An Outline of the Faith (the Catechism) (BCP, pp. 845-862), parish administration, appropriate canons, and pastoral care. A pastoral leader is not to be licensed if the bishop or ecclesiastical authority determines that the congregation is able and has had reasonable opportunity to secure a resident clergy person in charge. A pastoral leader may be commissioned for this ministry with a form adapted from the Commissioning for Lay Ministries in the Church of the BOS.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.