How do I Become Ordained?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2019
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For some people, the path to become ordained is extensive. They may study for years in seminaries or other formal environments prior to petitioning a church for ordination. Most large religions have specific steps to become ordained and require people who want to become ministers within that religion to fully follow religious teachings. This method to become ordained will vary depending on each church, mosque or temple’s requirements.

There is another way to become ordained, and it is relatively painless. This is online ordination, which may not even require that you have a specific set of religious beliefs. There are numerous websites that will allow you to become ordained for free, or for a small fee.

Some of these online ordination sites do want you to hold certain religious beliefs. For instance, some will only ordain Christians, though they are not specific as to what type of Christianity is required. Others ordain any type of minister at all, regardless of whether they believe in God or some form thereof.

One thing to watch for is sites that seek to sell ministry packages. Some “free” ordination sites do make their money by printing official “minister” cards, or by attempting to sell educational materials at a later point. People can choose whether or not they wish to purchase these, but it might be wise to look for sites that don’t expect to make a profit by a person’s ordination.


Many people wonder why anyone would want to become ordained. Actually, there can be numerous reasons for this. A person wanting to start a new religion or church might want to seek ordination first to give them rights to marry parishioners of that new religion. Ordination, under most circumstances, also gives people the power to baptize, and baptismal certificates are often legally recognized documents. Of course, some “new” church teachings might not include baptism, but could include official welcoming ceremonies for babies.

When people seek ordination, they aren’t necessarily interested in starting a new religion. Instead they may be looking for ways to legally officiate at things like marriages, or they just may want bragging rights. Before people become ordained, they need to check the status of their ordination to be certain it gives them the right to legally marry people within their state, county, or country. The best place to check this is through the local County Clerk office. Some ordination sites really don’t confer this right to people who become ordained, in which case, marriages performed would not be legal.


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