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
  • Diversity and Cultural Awareness
  • Developing and Equipping Others
  • Situational / Strategic Leadership

For specific course requirements and more information, please download the LEAD Manual


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.”

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?

The next LEAD Retreat to be held at MCC Austin, TX, USA

March 27-29, 2020

Over the last two years, MCC of Austin at Freedom Oaks, TX, US, has been setting aside monies on a monthly basis to fund up to 18 participants a year to complete the LEAD program.  These funds will be available for the cohorts of the next LEAD retreat, US LEAD 12, March 27-29, 2020. The funds will 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 will only need to pay for their travel, plus a $50 matriculation fee. In addition, all online courses that are required or are electives for completion of the LEAD program will be paid for by MCC Austin (a $600 value).  Also, the LEAD scholarship fund, The Judy Dale Scholarship for Lay Leadership, may be used to assist with other fees associated with course work or events that are necessary to the complete the LEAD certificate requirements. 

LEAD Scholarship Form (130.8 KiB)

Rev. Karen Thompson of MCC Austin noted MCC Austin has benefited 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 MCC Austin’s lay leaders, the church’s ministries have grown, and the spirituality of the congregation has deepened.  Because MCC Austin believes so strongly in this program, and in the importance of empowered and equipped lay leaders for local churches, MCC Austin has committed to financially supporting this retreat.

The first deadline for applications is September 16,, 2019 and applicants will be notified whether they have been accepted into the program by September 30, 2019.  After that date, applications will be processed monthly until February 15, 2020, or until 18 applicants have been admitted to the Retreat being held March 27-29, 2020. 


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.