Laity Empowered for Active Discipleship
L.E.A.D. Program

Because UFMCC affirms the universal priesthood of all believers within its bylaws and recognizes that all members of the Church are called by God to a ministry of the Gospel of Christ in the Church and in the world, it is only fitting that MCC has created the L.E.A.D. Program to empower laity for active discipleship.


The purpose of L.E.A.D. is to offer lay leaders of UFMCC an opportunity to deepen their spiritual growth, develop their existing skills and furnish them with additional leadership tools so that they may be effective leaders in the church and the world. The L.E.A.D curriculum will engage a variety of methods that include self-paced, instructor-led, and seminar-based training to support each individual’s learning style.


Participants begin the certification process by applying to the L.E.A.D. program and, upon acceptance, attending the Retreat offered by the Office of Formation and Leadership Development.

During the retreat participants are introduced to the program and basic principles of leadership development. In addition, individuals will work with faculty to create an individualized L.E.A.D Action Plan that spells out their goals and requirements for completion of the Certificate Program.


Participants complete 10 required modules/courses and a minimum of 4 elective modules/courses to earn the L.E.A.D. certificate. There are four broad areas of competencies that form the core of the L.E.A.D. Certificate:

  • Spiritual Maturity
  • Public Speaking and Leadership
  • Developing and Equipping Others
  • Situational and Strategic Leadership

For specific course requirements and more information, please download the L.E.A.D. Manual and Application Form.

application-for-lead-16                                                                          lead-manual-september-2016

Limited scholarships may be available; LEAD Scholarship Application 2015.  To apply, download the application-for-lead-16

Here is what LEAD Graduates are saying about the program:

Williams Laticia PhotoLaticia Williams (US LEAD 6 Graduate)

“Attending the LEAD Retreat enriched my journey with guidance, support and a spiritual high I had not experienced before. As I completed courses on the LEAD plan, my confidence grew and I received enrichment to help me become a better leader for my church and UFMCC in the future.”

Velma Garcia photoVelma Garcia (US LEAD 2 Graduate):

“The most precious and obvious impact is that of confidence boosting. LEAD opened the door to my consciousness to help me realize my own powers and my ability to succeed. All my ministries have been enhanced and have been completely blessed from just this realization. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, ‘You must do the thing you think you cannot do.’”

Bruce Brooks PhotoBruce Brooks (US LEAD 2 Graduate)

“I am very involved in church administration and remain our Lay Delegate but now have a vote at Board meetings.. . .The LEAD program has been very helpful to me and to our congregation. Things that I studied and learned have been a great resource.”

Ben LEAD croppedBenjamin Bromley (US LEAD 7 Graduate)

“Several of the required courses for the L.E.A.D. Certificate were a total immersion into the purposeful start, history and supreme sacrifices of the many who fought for the equality of all: but specifically of the LGBT community of GOD’s children. These courses brought me all the way from the start to today, and made our history come to life.”

Richard Henry PhotoRichard Henry (US LEAD 1 Graduate)

“I was part of the first LEAD retreat and since then have been on an amazing journey.

LEAD has opened doors for me and equipped me to say ‘yes!’ when I’m asked to serve.  I serve as Vice-Moderator of my church; I was the West Florida Network Leader and I am very excited about my role as CLM Coordinator.   Because of LEAD, I have moved from being an ‘in the pew on Sunday morning’ participant in my church to being a ‘looking at all the ways I can serve my local church and the denomination’ and wondering where my journey will take me next.”

Here is what one pastor is saying about how the LEAD program has influenced his church.

RevTigardRev. Charles Tigard – Senior Pastor, Church of the Trinity MCC 
“Church of the Trinity is proud to have the largest number of LEAD graduates. The program has deep meaning for us because Doug Berger and Rev. Elder Mona West, both who served as leaders in our congregation (Former Board Member and Former Pastor) developed and nurtured the LEAD curriculum.   Elder Nancy Maxwell, also a member of Church of the Trinity, has served as a long time LEAD co-coordinator and mentor.

The LEAD program has enhanced the ways our leaders connect with others.  LEAD graduates serve on the church’s Board of Directors, are Deacons, and hold important leadership roles on ministry teams.  LEAD participants serve not only within our local congregation but, with the ways MCC is embracing online learning, they connect with MCCers around the world.  For example,  two of our LEAD graduates were invited to serve on MCC’s Emerging Church task force, to resource and develop global emerging MCC church groups.

As our churches adapt in our rapidly changing interconnected world, LEAD graduates exemplify the best of the MCC movement.  They will be the leaders who take our message of hope and transformation to the next generation of Metropolitan Community Churches.”

 Over 100 MCC Lay People have already said yes to this incredible opportunity.
Will you be the next one to say yes to living out the plan God has for you?



One of the visions of ministry developed by the UFMCC Governing Board and Senior Leadership Team is to “build leadership development into all we do.” In pursuit of this vision, lay leaders in MCC are encouraged to apply for the next retreat for the L.E.A.D. program (Laity Empowered for Active Discipleship), which is the first step toward obtaining the UFMCC lay leader certificate. The purpose of the certificate program is to offer lay leaders of UFMCC an opportunity to deepen their spiritual growth, develop their existing skills, and furnish them with additional leadership tools so that they may be effective leaders in their local church, the denomination, and the world.  The L.E.A.D. Certificate Program provides MCC laity with an opportunity for spiritual growth and the development of leadership skills. Persons who complete the L.E.A.D. Certificate will be placed on a Leader List available to Elders, Senior Staff, and MCC Clergy, for the purpose of creating a leadership pool from which to choose trained laity to serve in leadership positions in MCC at the local, denominational, and international levels.

Five years ago the Office of Formation and Leadership Development launched a certificate program for lay leadership development.  Laity Empowered for Active Discipleship (LEAD ) offers a retreat, webinars and courses that equip people to be better leaders for their local church and the denomination.  The cost of completion of the program ranges from approximately $1000-$1500.

MCC has raised funds over the years to help defray the cost of this program and make it more accessible.  We are excited to announce that MCC Austin has generously proposed a Pilot Project to partner with MCC to set aside monies on a monthly basis to fund up to 18 participants per year for two years to complete the LEAD program.

The funds would pay for registration for the LEAD retreat (normally $350) at MCC Austin. The church will also provide housing and meals for participants during the retreat. Retreat participants would only need to pay for their travel, plus a $100 matriculation fee.  In addition, all online courses that are required or electives for completion of the LEAD program will be paid for through the Pilot Project (a $600 value).  Online courses must be completed within a year.

Rev. Karen Thompson noted in the proposal, “MCC Austin has benefitted greatly from the Office of Formation and Leadership Development’s LEAD program.  Because of participation in and completion of the LEAD program by several of our lay leaders, our ministries have grown and the spirituality of our congregation has deepened.  Because we believe so strongly in this program, and in the importance of empowered and equipped lay leaders for our local churches, MCC Austin is proposing this Pilot Project for the next two years.”

The OFLD hopes that this Project will create interest among other MCC churches that want to become LEAD Training Centers.  At the end of two years we will assess what we have learned and how we can make partnerships between LEAD and local churches even better.

The first LEAD retreat for this Pilot Project will be held at MCC Austin, 31 March-2 April 2017.  Space is limited to 18 participants per year and an application to the program is required.

To find out more about the LEAD program and to download an application go to (

Applications must be submitted no later than 1 March, 2017 to be considered. For those who are approved there will be a one time $100 matriculation fee payable at the time the application is processed and approved. (Note: start time for the retreat is 5 pm US Central/11pm UTC, 31st March and end time is 5 pm US Central / 11pm UTC on 2nd  April.)

more information contact Rev. Dr. Mona West at

For those participants currently enrolled in the LEAD program please remember that there is a scholarship fund available to assist you in the completion of your requirements.  The scholarship application can be found here (


Future L.E.A.D. Programs – SAVE THE DATES

31st March to 2nd April 2017
MCC Austin, Austin, TX

Donate Now to Support Lay Leadership Development in MCC
MCC Announces the Judy Dale Scholarship Fund for Lay Leadership

JudyDaleMetropolitan Community Churches is pleased to establish a scholarship fund in honor and memory of our iconic lay leader, Ms. Judy Dale. Judy’s service as a District Coordinator, her presence on MCC boards and councils, and her steadfast commitment to the priesthood of all believers has shaped the ministry of the laity in MCC for years to come. Rev. Dee Dale, Judy’s beloved partner, has approved the establishment of this scholarship fund.

Money received for this fund will provide scholarships for the LEAD program, MCC’s premier lay leadership training program. These scholarships will allow persons to participate in the initial LEAD retreat as well as offer some financial support for current participants to complete course requirements.

If you would like to honor Judy’s ministry by making a donation to the scholarship fund, you can send a check to MCC, P.O. Box 50488, Sarasota, FL 32432 with “Judy Dale Scholarship” in the memo line, or you can donate online here and include the same memo reference.