About the Local Preacher’s License (LPL)

Lay-leadership has always been central in the Methodist understanding of ministry. The concern to encourage more lay people to take the Local Preacher’s License (LPL) in order to “preach, conduct divine worship and funerals” (Methodist Book of Discipline 2022, para. 308.1) is in continuity with this central belief of Methodism and the New Testament doctrine of the “Priesthood of all Believers.”

Historically, lay leadership did not arise out of a vacuum. Wesley required his potential lay preachers to study 4 hours each day for 4 years before he commissioned them. Similarly, for lay-leadership to be effective today, it needs to be nurtured by proper training programs. Hence the LPL, which emphasizes Bible knowledge, theological content, practical skills and spiritual growth.

1. The Main Points

Those seeking a license to preach must be a member of a Methodist Church in Malaysia. They must secure a recommendation from their church’s Local Conference and their District Commission on Ministry once all academic requirements have been met (see below). Their church’s pastor should be able to guide them more fully on this process.

To qualify for the LPL, a candidate must complete 8 study modules (6 compulsory units plus 2 elective units). Each unit will consist of:

  • Attendance of a taught 12-hour study program (or similar) over a Study Weekend (typically, a full Saturday and Sunday).
  • Reading 2 prescribed books. The candidate will submit a statement to the effect that he has completed the reading of the 2 books. The statement must be counter-signed by their pastor.
  • One to two written assignments of around 1,500 to 2,000 words will be required.

There will be four Study Weekends offered each year in a central location like the TRAC office in Kuala Lumpur. Regional Study Weekends can also be conducted in different districts (e.g., Perak) provided there is a minimum number of 15 participants. Churches can contact the LPL Registrar to request for such arrangements for the following year.

A person can complete all the LPL requirements over a minimum of 2 years, or if needed, over a longer period of time. Because the modules are offered in cycles, a person can come into the program at any point of time.

Final qualification for the LPL will be subject to the requirements of the Methodist Book of Discipline 2022, especially para. 309 & 310.

2. Further Note

  • Those wishing to renew their LPL will be required to read two books that fall into one of 16 categories, and submit an Interaction Form for each book read OR attend a course that they have not attended before (provided the course has been approved by the Board of Ministry) and complete the Interaction Form. More detail can be found here.
  • Those who are not interested in obtaining a license to preach are still welcome to audit the modules they are interested in for personal equipping.
  • We wish to encourage Bible Study and Small Group leaders, Pastoral Care Team members and Youth Counselors to audit some of the modules as part of their on-going training.
  • Conference Boards can plug into the program to run seminars or workshops as part of the training program of the various Boards (e.g. BCE can liaise with LPL to conduct a Marriage Encounter Weekend).

“More detail can be found here”


3. Available LPL Modules

Six compulsory units

  1. Understanding the OT (Background and Exegesis)
  2. Understanding the NT (Background and Exegesis)
  3. Methodist Studies
  4. Spirituality & Discipleship
  5. Christian Doctrine
  6. Homiletics

Elective units (minimum two required)*

  1. Church History
  2. Specific Book Study of the Bible (multiple modules)
  3. Ethics
  4. Specific Doctrinal Themes (e.g. Holy Spirit; New Age; etc)
  5. Evangelism and Church Growth
  6. Christian Social Ministries
  7. Pastoral Care and Counselling
  8. Small Group Ministries
  9. Missions
  10. Youth Ministries
  11. Worship
  12. Inductive Bible Study
  13. Marriage Encounter
  14. Spiritual Warfare
  15. TRAC Institute of Christian Ministry (ICM) Spiritual Formation Leadership series
  16. TRAC ICM Organizational Leadership Module (OLM)
  17. TRAC ICM Life Giving Tools (LGT)
  18. Biblical Interpretation

* This is merely a list of modules that are recognized as electives. Not all subjects in this list will be offered on a regular basis. If there is sufficient interest for a particular module, we can consider organizing it for the following year. Please contact the LPL registrar to indicate interest.


Contacting the LPL Registrar

Rev. Shearn Sya
Tel: 04-8287445/8280234

Email: trac.lpl.registrar@gmail.com

c/o  Trinity Methodist Church, Penang
16, Jalan Mesjid Negeri
11600 Pulau Pinang