Humanist Lay Leaders

About Humanist Lay Leaders:

Humanist Lay Leaders are acknowledged for their passionate leadership in driving humanism and humanist values forward in their communities. The Lay Leader endorsement is intended to be highly flexible and might be used in many different ways. Lay Leaders might organize meetings and discussion groups of local humanists, might represent humanism on interfaith coalitions such as a disaster recovery team, or might coordinate community service and other volunteering initiatives. Lay Leaders must be articulate in their understanding of humanism and should seek creative ways to promote the philosophy, values, and mission of humanism in their community. Lay Leaders are representatives of humanism acting within the bounds of the Humanist Society’s statement of ethics and code of conduct.

The Lay Leader endorsement does not authorize you to solemnize marriages or perform other humanist ceremonies unless it is combined with our Humanist Celebrant Endorsement.

Lay Leaders should not provide counseling, spiritual, or emotional support unless you hold the proper professional certifications. If this is your goal, please consider our Humanist Chaplain or Associate Chaplain endorsements.

Military service members using the Lay Leader endorsement to serve humanists on a military installation will qualify for a reduced annual professional fee of $25.


  • Strong understanding of humanism and commitment to humanist values
  • Demonstrated leadership experience; preferably in humanist groups and settings
  • Plan for using endorsement (include in application, discuss in interview)

Other Requirements:


Dual Endorsement:

Humanist Lay Leaders may wish to combine their endorsement with our Celebrant endorsement in order to officiate humanist ceremonies like weddings or memorial services. Only the Celebrant endorsement grants the legal authority to solemnize marriages and perform other humanist ceremonies. If you are seeking dual endorsement, please be sure you understand the requirements and expectations for each individual endorsement you are applying for. You may apply for dual endorsement at no extra cost.

Read more about our humanist celebrant endorsement here.