The first and most important step to becoming a minister is to confirm the legal terms. While some regions may allow minister accreditation with just a short online application process and a fee payment, other areas may have slightly more involved requirements.
To confirm what the full terms and conditions are for becoming a full-fledged minister in your area, it could be beneficial to do in-depth research on the specific laws of your county or state.
There are plenty of websites for organizations that ordain prospective ministers, but not all of them are created equally. Depending on the nature of the organization that you register with, there may or may not be a involved process of training.
To ensure that you are properly prepared to perform any ceremony, you might want to confirm whether or not an organization offers an active training program to be completed before being recognized as a minister.
More often than not, programs that treat the process of registration as more of an qualitative examination than a simple monetary exchange will be more reputable than not. Trustworthy organizations will also freely offer their contact information for getting in touch and asking detailed questions about the process of getting ordained.
While different organizations will have different processes and supporting material, practically all of them will require that a brief form be filled out with your basic identifying information. Be prepared to provide your full legal name, mailing address, an email address, and your nominal fee; no information more intimate than this should be requested by a trustworthy organization.
No matter what organization it is that you register with, you’ll want to ensure that you get a hard copy of your completed registration and official status as a minister. Because there are so many unregistered and unprofessional organizations that masquerade as official ordaining bodies, printed credentials will be all but necessary for substantiating that you are a legitimate minister.
Depending on your residence, a congregation may be a necessary step in the process of being officially recognized as a minister. Some states might also necessitate that all prospective ministers complete an official clergy registration before being licensed.
Depending on the nature of the registration, ministers in different states oftentimes have different restrictions regarding the types of ceremonies that they are allowed to perform. Before getting licensed, make a point to clarify just what the full limitations are in terms of your abilities to perform any ceremonies in the future.
Keep in mind that the laws regarding minister registration are subject to change at any time. Even after getting accredited, one should make a point to keep up to date with the laws to watch and see how they evolve; this could be a practical way to ensure that the accreditation isn’t unknowingly voided in the future by a subtle change in the law that you weren’t aware of.
Related Resource: The Top 15 Online Masters in Ministry Degree Programs