Interested in becoming an LPA?
1. Talk to your church pastor. Talk about what it means to fill in for him or her and the traits it takes to provide pastoral leadership (albeit, temporary).
2. If your church does not have a pastor, feel free to contact our office. We’ll put you in touch with someone who can shed some light on the role of an LPA.
3. Have your church pastor contact Bishop Crist or Rev. Jason Asselstine, Assoc. to the Bishop via email or phone call. This contact and conversation will be your pastor’s recommendation for your participation in the MT Synod LPA program.
After approval from the Bishop (to enter the program), please ensure you have the following items to our Synod office at least 3 weeks prior to the class start date (our staff admin person will send you the paperwork to begin the process):
1. Completed biographical, information sheet.
2. Initiation of a required background check
3. First year’s payment of $250 via check made out to “MT Synod” with “LPA training program” in the check’s memo section. This can also be brought with you to the 1st group retreat.
Still have questions? Call our Synod office at 406-453-1461
If you have questions regarding our Montana Synod LPA training or would like to inquire about enrolling in the program, please contact one of our task force committee members below. Our task force members are also available for assistance or advice during and after the training program.
LPA Task Force:
Bishop Jessica Crist
Rev. Jason Asselstine,
Associate to the Bishop
Colter McCarty (staff admin)
What is an LPA and what is their role in the congregation?
A Lay Pastoral Associate in the Montana Synod is a congregational lay person who has received religious, educational training, through the Montana Synod, in order to provide (in most cases) short term pulpit supply (ie, preaching) when the pastor is away, or if a congregation is without a pastor. Their role is to fill in for the basic pastoral duties such as providing Word and Sacrament, communion, and other roles as approved by the Bishop. LPA’s are NOT authorized to preside at weddings.
What kind of training is available?
The Montana Synod provides a 2 yr training class that covers topics which include preaching, worship, prayer, and pastoral care. This educational training prepares the lay person to fill in for the short-term needs (and in some instances, longer term) of a congregation when a pastor is away, or for those congregations without a pastor.
LPA students are required to have a member of the rostered clergy serve as their mentor for the duration of the training. This provides one-to-one guidance and training throughout the program.