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How can I become an ordained minister?

Studying at a seminary isn't the only way to become an ordained minister. You can sign up on a web site and immediately be a minister. Not everyone finds the Web's path legitimate from a spiritual perspective, but it's usually legal in the United States.

Perhaps the most popular instant-minister organization is the Universal Life Church (ULC). The ULC used to advertise in the back of magazines like Rolling Stone. All you had to do was mail in a self-addressed stamped envelope in order to become a minister. With the advent of the Internet, you're only a few clicks away from holy orders.

Founded by Kirby James Hensley in 1959 in Modesto, California, the ULC is about as non-denominational and non-dogmatic as a church can be. This group espouses no particular theology and simply requests that its ministers "do that which is right." Ministers can decide what is "right" for themselves. As of 2002, the ULC has ordained some 5 million ministers.

To ordain yourself online, simply go to any of the ULC sites such as,, or the ULC HQ, and look for the "ordination" link. Then supply your full name and address, and -- presto! -- you're a minister. Some of the sites provide a printable credential, while others will mail you a paper credential.

Is this legal? Generally, yes. A ULC minister can legally perform weddings and sign a marriage license, just like any other minister, rabbi, or religious official. In most U.S. states, any minister can solemnize a marriage as long as he or she is in good standing with his or her church. Many state laws simply declare that weddings can be performed by "any currently ordained clergyman or religious authority of any religious denomination or society."

However, several states have additional requirements. In Arkansas, Delaware, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New York (for weddings in New York City only), and Virginia, ministers must register their name and address with the state or county, or present a copy of their credentials to a state or county office before they can perform weddings (specifics vary among these states). The states of Nevada, Ohio, and Rhode Island each license their ministers. Tennessee's requirements might restrict ULC ministers because the state specifies that ordination must be a "considered, deliberate, and responsible act." -- From Ask Yahoo!'s Pagan/Wiccan guide has developed a section of rituals for the various rites of passage we celebrate throughout life. When we pass important milestones, such as birth, death or marriage, it seems only natural to mark these times with ceremony. Find ideas for marking these occasions at her site.

Whether you're giving thanks, celebrating a Sabbat, or just wanting to connect with the Divine, doing rituals is an important part of Wiccan life.
House Blessing Rituals: Whether you are moving into a new home, or find your present home needs to have some negative energy cleaned out.
Coming of Age Rituals: If you are raising your children along a Pagan path, you might want to consider a ritual to declare their growth into an adult.
Croning Rituals: Though not all women celebrate the start of their 'Crone time' (usually menopause), some mark this important life milestone with ritual.

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To share knowledge feeds the spirit."
~ The Art of Living Spiritual Center

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