Carl Ellis

Photo courtesy of Carl Ellis

Rev. Dr. Carl K. Ellis

Rev. Dr. Carl K. Ellis

Rev. Dr. Carl K. Ellis grew up in a small membership church in San Francisco California. He has served as a pastor for 36 years; 31 years in rural churches and 5 years on the Kansas West Conference Staff as Director of the Center for Small Membership Churches.

He has a deep sense of call to rural churches and supporting and training lay persons move into ministry. He graduated with a Doctorate from Wesley Seminary with an emphasis in church leadership.

Because he understands the needs of rural churches and their ability to share the Gospel, he can help lay leaders and churches grow.


The Lay Academy for Rural Church Ministries began as dream of Rev. Dr. Ellis in 1988 when he saw the struggles rural churches were having finding effective leadership and adapting to changing times. From 1998-1999 he worked on different ways to training local church leaders. In 1999 the Lay Academy was born.

Since that time over 300 lay persons have been trained for ministry from all walks of life: nurses, teachers, counselors, business men and women, judges, mechanics, farmers, bankers, and more. Lay persons have discovered their callings and been able to serve, and churches have new hope through the help of committed and trained lay persons.