Lay Minister Preparatory Course
The Lay Ministers Preparatory Course (in Japanese, 教人資格講習会, kyōtō shikaku kōshūkai) is a spiritual development course that is a follow-up course to any primary spiritual training such as: Shuyoka, Spiritual Development Course, or Three Day Course. The course consists of three 5-day sessions and each session can be taken at different times. The English course is only available once a year, which starts from August 27th and ends on September 10th. This course mainly consists of lectures and only a few sessions of Hinokishin, basically, a lecture and discussion-intense version of Shuyoka. This is also a prerequisite for the Minister Qualification Course.
- The completion in Shuyoka, Spiritual Development Course, or Three Day Course. Or graduation from Tenri University, Tenri High School, Tenri Kyoko Gakuen High School, or Tenri Seminary High School
- Received the Grant of Sazuke
The course covers the same topics covered in Shuyoka and the Spiritual Development Course. The course requires the following texts:
- The Life of Oyasama
- Anecdotes of Oyasama
- Reference Materials for the Life of Oyasama
- Mikagura-uta (received upon attending the course)
- The Doctrine of Tenrikyo (received upon attending the course)
- Service and Ritual Procedures (received upon attending the course)
The course covers Musical Instruments practice (fue or kotsuzumi), ritual practice, service dance practice, monthly service practice, The Life of Oyasama, The Doctrine of Tenrikyo, and lectures on Hinokishin, A Thing Lent, A Thing Borrowed, Vertical Mission, Joyous Life, and Kakisage.
What differentiates this course with Shuyoka and the Spiritual Development Course is that it includes Group Discussion periods, which is an activity in which the instructor facilitates discussions between the students in small groups and provides input when necessary.
Becoming a Lay Minister
After the course is completed, the graduate is now qualified to register as a Lay Minister with the approval of his or her church head minister and parent church head minister. A Lay Minister is basically a Yoboku who is self-obligated to become a model for other Tenrikyo followers within his or her respective community. In the course handbook, it says:
- "This course aims at training Yoboku to become lay ministers who are always conscious of their positions as Yoboku, who strive for further spiritual growth, and who devote themselves to single-hearted salvation. Most important, students of this course must be motivated to seek the teachings and implement them by taking advantage of being right by Oyasama's side, by God the Parent's side."