If you want to officiate at the wedding or funeral of a friend or loved one, online ordination can be a quick, easy and inexpensive way to get the credentials you need. Some organisations ordain anyone, regardless of belief or lifestyle; others require a signed statement of faith. Once ordained, you are legally entitled to include "reverend" or another religious title as part of your name. People interested in ordination within a particular denomination may have the option of attending seminary online. This is a more traditional route to ordination and the requirements vary from denomination to denomination. The best point of reference if you want to pursue this is the pastor of your church.
Become a non-denominational minister by completing degree requirements at an online seminary that is not affiliated with a particular branch of Christianity. Choose from certificate programs that require a minimum investment of time, complete bachelor's or master's degree programs or modified doctoral programs that require only a dissertation in some cases.
Speak to your pastor directly if you want to become ordained in your denomination. Different denominations have different educational requirements for their ministers. A four-year degree may be required before you are eligible to attend seminary. You can pursue a bachelor's degree online and then attend an online seminary sponsored by your particular church body, if one is available.
Check the school's accreditation before you pay your tuition. Typically independent schools are accredited by a state or regional body. Not all schools have accreditation, particularly seminaries not affiliated with an established denomination. If you plan to transfer your coursework to another college, attend an accredited college.
Navigate to the Universal Life Church or the Spiritual Humanism Church. These, and other similar sites, offer ordination to anyone regardless of gender, belief, sexual orientation or religious affiliation.
Read the information about ordination very carefully. There may be a charge for the ordination. Some ordinations require yearly renewal, others are for life.
Check the laws in your state that pertain to clergy and ordination. Some states do not permit people with online ordinations to perform weddings. The Universal Life Church Monastery has an excellent marriage law page to use as a reference.
Select which church is the best match for you. Navigate to that website and click the button that says "become ordained." Several websites offering online ordination have complete ordination kits that include your ordination, baptismal paperwork for your congregants, funeral placards for your car and other items you may need in your duties as a reverend.
Complete the information as requested. This may include your given name, birth date, postal address and e-mail address. You may be asked to indicate that you are over 13 years old.
Print out the certificate of ordination that was sent to your e-mail address. You may be able to purchase a nicer ordination certificate that will be sent through the mail. Some groups offer ordination cards for your wallet, religious apparel, such as clerical collars, and other supplies.
Seek additional training. Take advantage of any online courses offered by the organisation that issued your ordination. Classes may include how to perform a wedding or funeral, counselling, spirituality and exorcism.
Don't feel compelled to order an ordination kit. You can often get the baptismal certificates and other supplies less expensively if you buy them separately from another church supply shop.
Tips and warnings
- Don't feel compelled to order an ordination kit. You can often get the baptismal certificates and other supplies less expensively if you buy them separately from another church supply shop.