Lay School

ECSW Lay Schools of Ministry

ECSW Lay SchoolsThe Lay Ministry training program of the East Central Wisconsin Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is about training lay persons of the church to perform services to and for the Body of Christ. The program of Lay Ministry was organized and instituted under the direction of former Bishop John Beem.

The Eastern Lay School of Ministry

Please be advised that the Eastern Lay School will not be offering classes during the 2019-2020 academic year.  This decision was difficult and was made only after consulting with the Bishop and Synod staff.

Over the past several years the number of students enrolling has continued to decline, despite having made adjustments to the program.  In each of the past two years, there have only been 4 new students.

During the coming year, alumni from the program (who have been acting as the Coordinating Team) along with Synod staff (and hopefully some interested pastors), will consult with stakeholders throughout the synod and other lay ministry programs in order to re-tool our Lay School to better meet the needs of individuals, pastors and congregations.

We hope to have a new and improved program, along with renewed interest and support, for the 2020-2021 academic year.  If you are interested in being a part of our reimagining over the next year, we’d love to have you!  You can contact us at and we will be in touch.

The Central Lay School, which holds classes in Wausau, will continue to meet and anyone in the ECSW is welcome to participate.  You can find information about that program on the Synod website.

Please remember both Lay School programs in your prayers.
The Eastern Lay School Coordinating Team

The Central Lay School of Ministry meets at Saint Andrew Lutheran Church in Wausau (3200 North Mountain Rd, Wausau, WI 54401)  It is a ministry of the East Central Synod of Wisconsin.   More details are available on the Central Lay School website:

The Central Wisconsin School of Lay Ministry of the East Central Synod of Wisconsin was established in September 1999, to assist pastors and churches to further equip and empower adult lay persons in the fulfillment of their callings to serve Christ.

The challenges of the twenty-first century call for educated, theologically reflective and articulate lay persons with a passion for mission. Shared partnership, leadership and service between those ordained and those who serve with other callings will be central to ongoing renewal in the church. Our goal is to serve the East Central Synod of Wisconsin by yearly sending students into their congregations prepared to increase their ministries to synod congregations as teachers, everyday evangelists, informed leaders, lay worship assistants and leaders, care givers, and instruments of justice.

Our bishop and staff are instrumental in supporting and promoting the Lay School of Ministry. Participation in this program is recognized by our synod as an important way to strengthen East Central Synod congregations. While we purposefully do not offer academic credit, you will find the education to top-notch. The Lay School of Ministry offers an opportunity to experience adult education through in-depth study. We enlist seminary professors, pastors with expertise in particular areas, as well as trained lay leaders as part of our teaching staff. One of the purposes of our Friday-Saturday meeting is to entice students into independent study throughout each month. The pastor-mentor component of the program is designed as a tool to encourage self-understanding and personal growth.

For More Information Contact
Mary Neumann: 715-693-2087 or 715-573-9516
Jeanette Carlson, 903 Rosecrans, Wausau, WI 54401; or 715-848-2108