How Do You Become a Legally Ordained Minister?

The traditional process of becoming an ordained minister for a particular religion requires obtaining a master's or bachelor's degree and completing any other requirements specific to the church or religion of choice, reports the Houston Chronicle. As of 2015, it is also possible to become ordained using a free online ordination service such as World Christianship Ministries, which ordains ministers of all faiths.

The Universal Life Church is another example of a free online service that ordains ministers of all faiths, according to its website. To become ordained through the ULC, click Get Ordained Now located on the homepage, and fill out the request form, which requires your full name and address. The printable credential receipt received upon submission of the request form allows individuals in most jurisdictions to officiate wedding ceremonies, perform baptisms and funerals, or start congregations. A hard copy of the Ministers License is also available upon request through the ULC.

Some churches and organizations require a donation or the purchase of a handbook before granting ordination to an individual online, notes the Houston Chronicle. However, to make sure the offer is not a scam, check with websites such as Scam Busters or other online religious communities. To become ordained with a specific denomination or faith, ask your local church leader, such as a minister or pastor, for the rules and processes regarding ordination.