Catholic Diocese of Richmond

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Ministry > Lay Ecclesial Ministry Institute (LEMI)

Lay Ecclesial Ministry Institute (LEMI)

The Lay Ecclesial Ministry Institute (LEMI) provides ministry formation to those who hold catechetical or youth ministry leadership positions in the Diocese of Richmond.

LEMI enables you to:

  • Enhance your ministerial skills and your own spirituality
  • Achieve an academic degree (M.A.) or certificate of study
  • Enjoy significant savings on tuition with subsidized rates
  • Qualify for the highest level of diocesan recognition for lay leaders: Commissioning by the Bishop
  • Qualify for the LEMI level of Job Classification and Compensation


June 18, 2022 LEMI Commissioning

Why Lay Ecclesial Ministry?
“Lay persons who devote themselves permanently or temporarily to some special service of the Church are obliged to acquire the appropriate formation which is required to fulfill their function properly and to carry it out conscientiously, zealously, and diligently.” – Code of Canon Law, Canon 231

His Excellency Bishop Knestout explains the value of lay formation:

Who is a Lay Ecclesial Minister?
A Lay Ecclesial Minister is a lay man or women whose ecclesial service is characterized by:

  • Authorization of the Bishop to serve publicly in the local church
  • Leadership in a particular area of ministry
  • Close mutual collaboration with the pastoral ministry of bishops, priests, and deacons
  • Preparation and formation appropriate to the level of responsibilities that are assigned to them


Pastors recommend LEMI formation for parish staff:

Who chooses Lay Ecclesial Ministry Institute (LEMI)?
In the Diocese of Richmond, the men and women who choose formation through LEMI are:

        • Directors/Coordinators of Religious Education
        • Catholic School Religion Teachers
        • Youth Ministers
        • Adult Faith Formation Coordinators
        • RCIA Coordinators
        • Campus Ministers


Explore more about LEMI: Program Structure | Application Process