How Do You Earn a State Minister's License?


Quick Answer

In general, jurisdictions that issue state ministers’ licenses require interested individuals to present proof of ordination, reports the Houston Chronicle. The Universal Life Church Ministries, the Open Ministry and the American Marriage Ministries ordain and issue pertinent credentials to those who meet certain criteria, according to the respective websites of these organizations. Major religious denominations such as Christianity and Judaism offer an alternative ordination path that requires interested individuals to first undergo theological training.

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Full Answer

With the exception of Virginia and some jurisdictions in the United States, all states accept the Universal Life Church Ministries’ online ordination credentials, as of 2015, notes the organization’s website. Similarly, the American Marriage Ministries ordination documents can be used to obtain ministers’ licenses in all states, reports the organization’s website.

The Open Ministry’s certifications – a Letter of Good Standing, which the organization issues to certify the bearer’s ordination, and the Ordination Credential, which the ministry uses to acknowledge ordination - are valid in all 50 states, according to the organization’s web portal. State and county officials generally require these two credentials before furnishing ministers’ licenses.

In general, states such as Virginia, Oklahoma, Hawaii, Alaska and Louisiana require ministers to obtain state licenses before practicing, notes the Houston Chronicle. In contrast, New Jersey, California and Florida, among other states, do not demand similar permits, although counties within these jurisdictions may require such licenses.

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