Licensed Lay Ministry

Readers and Licensed Lay Ministers (LLM) are a key part of the provision of ministry within the churches of the dioceses of London and Chelmsford, and are selected as:

  • Articulate lay theologians
  • Adult educators and trainers with a strong commitment to the ministry of preaching and teaching, and
  • Potential leaders in ministry and mission.


St Mellitus College is the main centre for delivery of training for licensed lay ministry in the London and Chelmsford Dioceses.  However, all applications should be made directly to the diocese, you do not need to apply to St Mellitus College

Chelmsford Diocese


“LLMs will be lay people, holding the Bishop’s licence, trained to national standards, with national accreditation and transferability. Their distinctive role will be a focus, beacon and enabler for all forms of lay ministry.”  - Re-imagining ministry in the Diocese of Chelmsford 2013.

An LLM’s role as a lay theologian may be expressed as an adult educator, as the focal leader in a local church, as a co-ordinator of Christian nurture or as an interpreter of faith and daily life.

For further details about Licensed Lay Ministry in the Diocese of Chelmsford, please click here.

The normal foundation for training for this ministry is the diocesan Course in Christian Studies. This two-year course is open to all and covers topics including the Bible, church history, creeds, sacraments, spirituality, discipleship and ethics. Potential candidates who have already undertaken some theological education (for example, a diploma or degree) may be exempt from the Course in Christian Studies.

London Diocese


One route for training for those called to the role of Licensed Lay Minister in the London Diocese will be as students of St Mellitus College for three years, being taught by St Mellitus core staff at our main centre in Earl’s Court on Tuesday evenings and for one Teaching Week per year, and through two or three Saturday daytimes spread throughout the first half of the academic year (usually one per half term).

The Saturday training days are run by the LLM Training Officers appointed by the different episcopal areas in the Diocese of London and are usually taught by clergy from the diocese. Students will work towards a Diploma in Theology, Mission and Ministry, awarded by Durham University.

The three-year training programme will contain a balance of theological foundation modules alongside more practical ministry focused modules. The Beginning Theology course will be available to students in need of assistance to prepare for studying on the LLM programme.


If you have any further queries, please email us at [email protected]