Lay Ecclesial Ministry

The Diocese of Gary’s Lay Ecclesial Ministry Program is designed for two audiences: 

  • For those who are currently working or hope to work someday as lay ecclesial ministers in the Diocese of Gary. This includes but is not limited to service as a pastoral associate, liturgy coordinator, parish catechetical leader, Catholic School principal, youth ministry leader, director of pastoral music, and parish business manager. 
  • For those who aspire to the Diocese of Gary’s Deacon Program for which the Diocese’s Lay Ecclesial Ministry Program is a prerequisite. 

The Diocese’s rigorous Lay Ecclesial Ministry Program is comprised of four components: six academic courses; monthly formation sessions; practica or service experiences in parish and diocesan settings; and two retreat experiences. The LEM program is 3 years (6 semesters) long.

The next LEM cohort is scheduled to begin classes in September of 2024. Apply here.

If you have any questions about admission to the Lay Ecclesial Ministry program or are in need of more information, please contact Fr. Declan McNicholas at

Program Curriculum

Academic Courses
  • Introduction to Catholicism (in-person or remote)
  • Lay Ecclesial Ministry/Ecclesiology
  • Old Testament 
  • New Testament 
  • Moral Theology 
  • Sacramental/Spiritual Theology
Formation Sessions
  • Prayer
  • Diversity
  • Theological Reflection
  • Administrative Best Practices
  • Ecumenism
  • Balance in Ministry
  • Liturgical Service
  • Faith Formation
  • Charity
  • Evangelization
  • Social Justice