LLWL OnlineTraining

A program of Canadian Shield Regional Council of The United Church of Canada, hosted nationally by United in Learning.



Being able to participate in the LLWL training entirely online has been such a blessing to me. I have felt called for many years to obtain this education, however, it has not been possible to leave my home responsibilities or community to attend school away.
    Deepened faith, optimism and a sense of connection to others of like-mind in spirit and devotion, even though in some cases far across the country, has been a real boost in my journey. For a tiny rural congregation the class is a Godsend. Along with my fellow students I have learned and grown so much.

-- Jani


I've learned so much, spread my wings and opened my mind to new and different avenues to take/use during worship services. It has been a wonderful and rewarding experience. Many thanks!
-- Wendy



This course has more than surpassed any idea I had for how I would grow as a person as well as grow my faith when beginning the first unit ... I read the bible now in 3D instead of words on a page. I am learning to better understand what it means to be a Christian and what my role while on earth is.
-- Carol



As the result of this training, I feel I have grown in my faith and in my understanding of what is involved in planning a good worship service. I never would have imagined myself preaching in a regular worship service, or creating and leading a whole service, but this training is giving me a solid grounding in doing just that, and I have found it to be very rewarding - and an honour - to lead worship.
-- Phyllis



Registration for Unit  1 (Fall 2024) is now open

This program will be offered over two years entirely online through 4 modules, each containing an introductory webinar that provides an overview of the topic for that module, six online sessions with others and your mentor, assigned readings in preparation for the module, assignments to be completed and shared with the group during the timeframe of the module.

Before each module begins, a webinar will introduce you to the tools you will be using (Zoom, Forums at CHURCHx, videos at YouTube). Basic United Church of Canada documents that provide guidance for worship leadership will be reviewed.

When to Start the Program

Each Unit is offered once every two years. Students are welcome to join the program at the beginning of any Unit.

Waiting List

If you are reading this page after Registration has closed on the current unit, you're welcome to go onto our Waiting List, and we'll send you and email when registration re-opens. To go onto the waiting list, scroll down to the bottom of this page and click the graphic of the course you want to join. There will be a "Join waiting list" button on the right of your screen.


What is a Licensed Lay Worship Leader?

A Licensed Lay Worship Leader is a lay member of The United Church of Canada, in good standing, who has been recommended by the governing body of their pastoral charge, duly educated, and licensed by their Regional Council to offer occasional worship leadership and preaching within the bounds of their Regional Council. (Licensed Lay Worship Leaders, United Church of Canada, October 2016)

For further reference see The Manual of The United Church of Canada 2022 (I.1.11.5), and the Licensed Lay Worship Leaders Handbook (June 2019).

A Licensed Lay Worship Leader is licensed by their own Regional Council.  At the completion of each module, the learner will receive notification that they have completed the module including the work completed during that time. It is the responsibility of the Regional Council (not the teachers in this course) to accredit Licensed Lay Worship Leaders.


Expectations of the Students

Each student will enrol in a learning group of 6-8 students. These groups meet by telephone and Internet tools six times throughout the course of each Unit, with the assistance of a Mentor who will facilitate discussion and assign readings for the next meeting. In addition, each Unit will begin with two Introductory webinars. The first will address the course expectations and introduce you to the Internet tools you will need to use during the program; the second will introduce the topic for Unit, and include a special guest leader to kick off lively discussion.

Throughout the Unit students will be expected to:

  • attend both webinars, and all the meetings of their Learning Group.
  • read, listen to or watch the readings/podcasts/videos  and post reflections as indicated in the curriculum”
  • write comments on at least two of their colleagues' forum postings between each mentored meeting.
  • lead the discussion in one of the Learning Group meetings, based on the assigned reading for the day.
  • prepare and deliver some kind of worship leadership (sermon, prayers, etc.) in a local church based on the themes of the Unit, and provide to their Mentor a copy of what they did and comments from other members of the congregation who were present when they did it.
  • Students typically spend between 8-12 hours per week at this course



  • Membership in a local United Church of Canada congregation
  • support of that congregation's Board/Council -- including agreement from the pastoral charge that the student will be welcome to offer worship leadership during the course of the module
  • a group of 3-5 lay people in the congregation who are willing to provide feedback on the worship leadership opportunity

Tuition Fee

The fee is $299.99 for each Unit.

Refund Policy

If for any reason you find that you need to withdraw from the program, here's the policy about tuititon refunds

  • ¾ refund after the Orientation and Introductory Webinars (there are costs of setting up the person in the mentored group, the webinars, the honorarium for the speaker)
  • ½ refund after the Orientation, Introductory and 1 mentored session (the costs of the mentor is added to the above)
  • no refund after that (people have had a chance to experience the workload and make the decision to withdraw

Becoming Licensed as a LLWL

Students are strongly urged to contact their local Regional Council Office before taking this course. The recognition of Licensed Lay Worship Leaders is the responsibility of the Regional Council. Most Regions have a series of training and interview requirements, and the requirements will vary across the country. Students should consult with their local Regional Council to ensure that this course meets the training requirements of their particular Region, and to learn what other expectations the Regional Council may have of them as they move through the process towards being licensed. 


Course Director: 

The Rev. Dr. Christine Jerrett has been an ordained minister of the United Church of Canada since 1982. She has a strong commitment to training leaders for congregations. She has facilitated online Learning Circles for lay worship leaders for several years. During 2014 - 2015, she received a McGeachy Senior Scholarship from the United Church of Canada Foundation to research lay leadership training in the United Church of Canada: what is happening; what needs to happen. She blogs at https://christinejerrett.wordpress.com




Registration for Unit 1 (Fall 2024) is now open

 This program is Sponsored by the Faith and Mission Endowment Fund at The United Church of Canada Foundation and United in Learning