“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38


The Southern Ohio Leadership Academy seeks to form and prepare lay leaders for service in the congregations of the Southern Ohio Synod.  In Baptism, God establishes us all as members of the priesthood of believers and service to the church is part of the common mission shared by all believers. As a church, we are also “committed to formation, education and continuing development and care of lay leaders and rostered ministers” (Called Forward, p. 7).

These lay leaders may be either a Lay Worship Leader (LWL) or a Synod Authorized Minister (SAM).

    • The Lay Worship Leader Program of the Southern Ohio Synod forms, evaluates, and prepares candidates to be certified and sent into ministry to provide occasional worship leadership and preaching to congregations and worshipping communities across the Synod.
    • The Synod Authorized Minister Program of the Southern Ohio Synod forms, evaluates, and prepares candidates to be certified and sent into ministry to meet congregational needs for sacramental worship and pastoral leadership in ongoing service to congregations and worshipping communities where the placement of ministers of word and sacrament is impractical or where pastors are not readily available.

The Rev. Dr. Lynn Nakamura administers the Southern Ohio Synod Leadership Academy. If you are interested, or would like to recommend someone for service, please contact her at  LeadershipAcademy@southernohiosynod.org.


Our Leadership Academy is currently open for enrollment for the 2022-2023 year. Please use the documents below to guide your discernment!

  1. Leadership Academy Programs Manual
  2. Definitions and Guidelines for Discipline
  3. Leadership Academy Program Goals
  4. Leadership Academy Schedule
  5. Leadership Academy Course Descriptions
  6. Leadership Academy Instructors

To apply to either the Lay Worship Leader or Synod Authorized Minister Programs, please complete & submit the following forms:

  1. Application Form (LWL & SAM)
  2. Application Info (LWL & SAM)
  3. Recommendation Form (LWL & SAM)

Click here to view an information session with Rev. Dr. Lynn Nakamura from Monday, May 16, 2022.