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To perform a ceremony, you must first get ordained as this is a requirement. The best way to prove this is through an ordination certificate. Submit this as proof to a marriage licensing office, together with the marriage license application of the couple who you will join together in matrimony.

What does being ordained mean?

Today, the idea of getting ordained to officiate weddings of friends and loved ones has become very appealing. It doesn’t matter whether you have a profound and genuine call to ministry or a simple desire to get your own official certificate of ordination.

When you get ordained, you will get an ordained minister certificate along with the authority to function in a ministerial capacity. There are many called to a lifetime of ministry and ordination is the first step to prepare them for this lifestyle. Ordained ministers get assigned to areas like pastoring churches, missionary work, or children’s ministries.

It’s quite easy to get an ordination certificate in the US, especially if you have decided to join a specific denomination. Ordination programs online will ordain anybody in various countries, regardless of gender, faith, or lifestyle. But there are many churches that are more specific about the people they choose to ordain.

After ordination, you can already perform ministerial duties including marriage ceremonies, funerals, baptisms, anointing people, and even exorcisms. You may have an interest in ordination to perform the wedding ceremony for your best friend or you want to start your own congregation. The reasons why people get ordained vary widely.

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What is an ordination certificate?

Ordination is a process by which a person gets consecrated. Ordained ministers have the authority to perform priestly duties as defined by a specific church doctrine. For you to perform religious ceremonies, you must first get an ordination certificate through a legal church that has accepted you as one of its spiritual leaders.

Upon your acceptance by the church, you will receive the certificate from the church’s Gospel Ministry to prove that you’re a certified ordained minister. As a bearer of this title, you’re considered worthy of spiritual devotion and respect.

As such, you can perform various religious ceremonies whenever you’re called to do these. You will also have the right to move in certain institutions where ordinary people cannot enter like hospitals, nursing homes, or prisons.

What are ordination credentials?

An ordination credential is the official license of a minister. It is a legal and free ordination certificate that verifies a person’s status as a licensed minister. This bearer of these credentials has a number of benefits, most important of which is a confirmation of their position as an ordained member of the clergy.

If you got ordained and you have these ordination credentials, you must carry copies of these with you at all times to make it easier for you to prove that you’re an ordained minister. Moreover, couples who want to get married will have peace of mind when they see official credentials from you before the ceremony.

How do you get ordained?

Before anything else, there can be several terms you might come across when it comes to those authorized to officiate wedding ceremonies and how these people can get ordained. This is part of the process of getting your own ordination certificate.

For instance, you may encounter the word “clergy person.” This is someone ordained by a religious organization to officiate the wedding of two people. This person can be a rabbi, a priest, a minister, and so on. Also, notary publics, judges, and specific public officials can also solemnize marriages as part of their responsibilities.

Then there are temporary officiants who have the authority for one day to marry two people even if they don’t have an ordained minister certificate. If you’re planning to marry a relative or a friend, you can do either of two things: become a temporary officiant or become ordained.

As in anything that bears some legal importance like getting a marriage license, the regulations in performing an official marriage ceremony can vary in every state. If you plan to get an ordained pastor certificate, here are the basics to get started in the right direction:

  • Know the requirements of your state
    Make sure to check out the requirements in the county or state where you will perform the marriage ceremony. In most of the states, the laws are much stricter while in others, things are too relaxed.
    Whichever, you still have to know the requirements wherever you will perform the ceremony. This is especially true if you only plan to get ordained so you can officiate the wedding of a friend or loved one.
  • Prepare the documents you need
    If you’re planning to become a temporary officiant or “get a 1-day marriage designation in order to perform a ceremony, then this is the most crucial thing to do. You should prepare the necessary documents.
    Any ceremony without the required paperwork that’s approved by a temporary officiant will get null and void. Therefore, you have to make sure to do your due diligence. Check if it’s necessary for you to get approved by the state to marry a couple and if it is, find out how the process works.
  • Get ordained
    There are some states that don’t require legal documentation to marry two people. You can get ordained by a religious organization instead. Although this may sound a little too complicated, it is the least complicated option compared with all the other ways you can try when you’re planning to marry a friend or loved one in some states.
    If you want to perform a marriage ceremony with just a few clicks of a mouse, you can get ordained by organizations like the American Marriage Ministries and the Universal Life Church Monastery. In some states, however, they require an ordained minister to have a congregation or a ministry before they can marry people legally. So, again, you should learn what your state doesn’t and does require.

For couples who prefer to have a religious or spiritual component to their ceremony but reside in a state where it’s required to have a state-approved 1-day marriage designation, it’s more likely that you would have to do both.

You would have to become an ordained minister and a temporary officiant. Again, this might sound more complicated having to tackle both, but in many states, it can be very simple to get a 1-day marriage designation and become an ordained minister.

Getting your ordination certificate online

Generally, weddings only need three basic elements – the bride, the groom, and the perfect person to officiate the wedding. For the latter, the couples would want someone ordained to officiate the marriage. This can be you if you plan to get ordained and receive a free ordination certificate.

There is no need for you to fret if you don’t have an ordination certificate yet. These days, most people uniting couples in holy matrimony are uncles, aunts, siblings, friends, and other “average” people. This is one way to get the most important people in a couple’s life involved in their special occasion.

If you want to obtain a minister’s license certificate so that you can be the wedding officiant for someone you love, but you aren’t ordained, there are some things you need to know to make that really happen.

This might come as a surprise to you and your loved ones but it is ridiculously inexpensive and easy to become a wedding officiant. With a few steps, you can get a certificate of ordination that’s signed, sealed, and official.

If you genuinely want to become a legitimate minister – like if you plan to start your own congregation – then an online ordination isn’t the best option. In fact, there are many states that don’t recognize online ordinations.

These states prefer people who go through the traditional route of attending a seminary or obtaining a degree in ministry or theology. But if your main purpose is to become a wedding officiant, then an online ordination will be the easiest and most convenient option. Here are the steps you can take to get ordained online:

  • Use a device like a computer or a smartphone that you can connect to the internet.
  • Search for a non-denominational ministry’s website online like Open Ministry or the Universal Life Church Ministries.
  • Click on the “Get Ordained” button or something similar.
  • Fill out online the form.
  • Pay the ordination fee if any. Usually, though, most of these are free of charge, but they accept donations.
  • Wait to receive an email to confirm your application.

It may take 1 to 2 weeks before you can receive the official documents and officially become an ordained minister. Of course, this depends on the online ministry where you applied for ordination. Allot enough time for the process before you make any plans.

It’s also recommended that you verify with the county clerk in your state to make sure that your appointment is both legal and recognized before officiating a marriage. In case you got turned down by your state’s county clerk, you should get in touch with the online ministry that gave you the ordination to ask advice on what you must do next.


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