Lay Academy

Lay Academy is a ministry of the Wisconsin Conference that engages lay people in spiritual growth and development through theological education. Anyone who longs to grow in faith, discover new ways to serve God and their community, and deepen their knowledge of Christian tradition, ministry, and mission is welcome.

Faith Foundations Years 1 and 2
A 2-year course focused on developing and deepening the foundations of faith.

  • Introduction to Lay Academy – Year 1 only
  • Reflecting theologically
  • Traditional & contemporary theology
  • Hebrew testament
  • World religions
  • Christian history
  • Christian testament
  • Ethics

Lay Leadership Skills
A course focusing on developing skills for effective leadership in the local church and wider community.

  • Understanding your leadership style
  • Transformative leadership
  • Governance and administration
  • Family systems theory
  • UCC history, polity and theology

Lay Ministry Skills
A course focusing on developing skills for congregation-based ministry.

  • Preaching
  • Faith Formation
  • Evangelism, stewardship and mission
  • Pastoral care
  • Worship and sacrament

Register for the 2017-2018 Lay Academy Sessions

Register for Faith Foundations – Year 2

Register for Lay Ministry Skills – Year 4

Call the Conference office for more information at 608-846-7880.

To log into your account to make online payments, click here.

Scholarship Information 2016

Covenant agreement for 2017-18 year

Wisconsin Conference Lay Academy Schedule

Faith Foundations – Years 1 & 2
Fridays 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm and Saturdays 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Year 1, 2016-2017
August 20, 2016 Introduction to Lay Academy – Sandra Graham & Tisha Brown
September 9-10 – How to Think Theologically – Dr. Dow Edgerton
November 4-5 – The Older Testament, Part 1 Dr. Carolyn Pressler
January 20-21, 2017 The Older Testament, Part 2 – Dr. Carolyn Pressler
March 3-4 – Christian Theology: An Overview – Dr. Carolyn Roncolato
**Friday, March 3, 10:00am-3:00pm: Discernment Day with Rev.  Dr. Marti Baumer
April 28-29 – Racism and Christian Ethics – Dr. Ben Sanders III

Year 2, 2017-2018
September 8-9 – Christian Spiritual Practices – Rev. Jane Redmont
November 3-4 – New Testament Part 1 – Dr. Karl Kuhn
January 19-20, 2018 – New Testament Part 2 – Dr. Karl Kuhn
March 2-3 – The Church at Work in History – Ben Menghini
April 27-28 – An Exploration of World Religions – Kevin McConeghey

Lay Leadership Skills: Year 3, 2016- 2017
Fridays 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm and Saturdays 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

September 9-10 – Effective Leadership in Congregations, Rev. Tim Perkins
November 4-5 – Leadership Skills for Congregational and Community Transformation, Wendy Cooper
January 20-21, 2017 – Family Systems and your Congregation, Cathy Wille
March 3-4 – Developing Spiritual Gifts, Rev. Winton Boyd
**Friday, March 3, 10:00am-3:00pm: Discernment Day with Rev.  Dr. Marti Baumer
April 28-29 – Governance and Administration in your Local Church – Rev. Melinda Feller

Lay Ministry Skills: Year 4, 2017 – 2018

September 8-9, 2017 – The Art of Faith Formation – Rev. Dr. Marian Plant
November 3-4 – The Art of Pastoral Care – Rev. Stephen Russell
January 19-20, 2018 – The Art of Worship – Rev. Bryan Sirchio
March 2-3 – The Art of Preaching – Rev. Mark Yurs, Salem UCC, Verona
April 27-28 – The Art of Discernment, Rev. Dr. Sandra Graham and Dr. Patricia Jensen

2017-2018 Lay Academy Fees

Wisconsin residents:
$650 shared room
$800 private room
$500 commuter (no hotel room)

Out of state residents:
$700 shared room
$850 private room
$550 commuter (no hotel room)

Lay Academy participants are responsible for purchasing their own course materials (books).

The Spark: A Lay Academy Witness by Ruth Schmidt

Each course meets five weekends per year at or near the Wisconsin Conference Trost Center in DeForest. The weekend sessions meet from 7:00-9:00 p.m. on Friday and from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday. Lodging is provided at a nearby hotel. Courses are taught by seminary professors, Conference staff and clergy with expertise in a given area. Additional requirements are designed to enhance learning.

More information

Rev. Tisha Brown
Associate Conference Minister for Leadership Development and Adult Faith Formation
Email Tisha Brown

Follow the Lay Academy!

Sign up for our newsletter!


Contact Us

(608) 846-7880