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How to Become Ordained: A Comprehensive Guide for Great Peoples


Great Peoples, have you been contemplating on becoming ordained? Whether it's for religious reasons or to officiate weddings and other ceremonies, becoming an ordained minister is a fulfilling and rewarding experience. However, the process of becoming ordained can seem daunting and overwhelming. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps required to become ordained in the United States. First and foremost, it's important to clarify that there isn't a single path to becoming ordained. Requirements can vary depending on your religious affiliation, if any, as well as the state or county where you reside. Nonetheless, there are a few general steps you can take to become ordained, which will be discussed in detail in the following sections.In this article, we will go through the advantages and disadvantages of becoming ordained, the legal requirements, how to choose an ordination path, how to apply for ordination, and how to officiate a wedding or ceremony. We will also answer some frequently asked questions and provide a helpful table with all the necessary information and resources you will need.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Becoming Ordained

Advantages: One of the biggest advantages of becoming an ordained minister is the ability to officiate weddings and other ceremonies. If you have a passion for helping others commemorate significant life events, becoming ordained can provide you with an opportunity to do so. Additionally, the process of becoming ordained can be an empowering and spiritual experience, regardless of your religious affiliation.Furthermore, becoming ordained can offer a sense of belonging and community. Many religious organizations provide support and resources for their ordained ministers, including training, mentorship, and networking opportunities. Disadvantages: While there are many advantages to becoming ordained, there are also some potential challenges and limitations to consider. For example, some religious organizations may require a significant amount of time and financial resources to become ordained. Additionally, some states or counties may have strict requirements for officiating weddings and other ceremonies, which can limit your ability to practice as an ordained minister.

Legal Requirements

Before you begin pursuing ordination, it's important to understand the legal requirements for officiating weddings and other ceremonies in your state or county. In most cases, there are specific requirements for ordained ministers, including registration with the county clerk or marriage bureau, completion of a training program, and obtaining a license or certificate.Some states, such as California, allow individuals to become ordained online with minimal requirements. Other states, such as New York, have more stringent requirements, including completion of a religious degree program or affiliation with a specific religious organization.

Choosing an Ordination Path

Once you've familiarized yourself with the legal requirements, it's time to choose an ordination path. There are a few options to consider, including online ordination, affiliation with a religious organization, and independent ordination.Online ordination, as mentioned earlier, is a popular and convenient option. Websites such as the Universal Life Church and Open Ministry offer online ordination services with minimal requirements. However, it's important to research the credibility and legitimacy of these websites before pursuing ordination.Affiliation with a religious organization is another option to consider if you are interested in pursuing ordination within a specific faith. Many religious organizations offer their own ordination programs, which may include training, mentorship, and support.Independent ordination is an option for those who do not wish to affiliate with a particular religion or organization. Independent ordinations may require more extensive training and education, but can offer the flexibility to create your own spiritual practice.

Applying for Ordination

Once you've chosen your ordination path, it's time to apply for ordination. Requirements will vary depending on your chosen path, but typically include the completion of an application and any necessary documentation or training. Online ordination, for example, may require only a few minutes to complete an application and receive your certificate of ordination. Affiliation with a religious organization may require additional training and mentorship before ordination is granted.It's important to thoroughly research the requirements and credibility of your chosen ordination path before submitting any applications or payments.

Officiating a Wedding or Ceremony

Once you are ordained, you can begin officiating weddings and other ceremonies. However, it's important to understand the legal requirements for your state or county, which may include registration with the county clerk or marriage bureau, completion of a training program, and obtaining a license or certificate.Additionally, it's important to approach officiating weddings and other ceremonies with sensitivity and respect. Communicate clearly with the couple or parties involved to ensure their wishes and beliefs are respected.

Table of Ordination Requirements by State

State Minimum Age Residency Requirement Training Requirement
California 18 No None
New York 18 Yes Religious Degree Program or Affiliation with Specific Religious Organization
Florida 18 Yes None
Texas 18 Yes None

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the minimum age requirement for becoming ordained?

The minimum age requirement varies by state and ordination path. In California, for example, the minimum age requirement is 18, while in New York it's also 18 but with residency requirements.

2. How long does it take to become ordained?

The length of time required to become ordained depends on the ordination path and any associated requirements. Online ordination can be completed within a few minutes, while affiliation with a religious organization may require more extensive training and education.

3. Can I officiate weddings and other ceremonies if I'm not ordained?

In most cases, individuals must be ordained or licensed by the state or county to officiate weddings and other ceremonies.

4. Are there any continuing education requirements for ordained ministers?

Continuing education requirements vary by state and affiliation, but many religious organizations offer training and mentorship programs for their ministers.

5. How much does it cost to become ordained?

The cost of becoming ordained varies by ordination path and associated requirements. Online ordination can range from free to a few hundred dollars, while affiliation with a religious organization may require tuition fees or donations.

6. Can I officiate ceremonies outside of my state or county?

It's important to research and understand the legal requirements for officiating ceremonies outside of your state or county before doing so.

7. What should I wear when officiating a wedding or ceremony?

The dress code for officiating weddings and other ceremonies may vary depending on the couple or parties involved. It's important to communicate with them beforehand to ensure your attire is appropriate.


In conclusion, becoming ordained can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience for those who seek to commemorate significant life events and offer spiritual guidance. However, it's important to approach the process with caution and consideration, taking into account the legal requirements and associated advantages and disadvantages. We hope this comprehensive guide has provided you with valuable insights and resources for becoming ordained. If you are ready to take the next step, be sure to research your chosen ordination path thoroughly and approach officiating ceremonies with sensitivity and respect.Great Peoples, we wish you all the best on your journey towards becoming ordained and hope you find joy and fulfillment in this spiritual calling.


This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or religious advice. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, laws and requirements for becoming ordained can vary by state and affiliation. Please consult with your state or county officials or religious organization for specific guidance on becoming ordained and officiating weddings and other ceremonies.