What Is the Process for Becoming an Ordained Minister?


Quick Answer

Although some churches allow people to become ordained ministers simply by filling out an online form, the general process for becoming ordained includes achieving a ministry or divinity degree, attending evaluations and completing an ordination ceremony. Ministers who are ordained online may not be legally allowed to perform services in certain U.S. states and counties.

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Full Answer

As an aspiring minister, begin by researching your own church or denomination's rules for ordination, which can vary greatly. The denomination's official website is a good source for this information. Next, meet with a committee from your church to determine whether you're a good ministry candidate both spiritually and personally. Most denominations require ministers to undergo an educational program, which may include attaining a bachelor's degree or a Master of Divinity degree from a seminary. Ministers may also need to complete field education or internships.

Submit to any interviews, evaluations or background checks as necessary, and schedule an ordination ceremony once you have met all the qualifications. A clergy person or other denominational official generally conducts the ceremony, which varies from church to church.

Another option is to become an ordained minister online through a denomination such as the Universal Life Church, enabling you to officiate weddings, funerals, baptisms and similar events. These types of licenses can be more limiting due to their lack of education and evaluation requirements.

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