How to Become a Legally Ordained Minister With Credentials

••• bible image by Chad McDermott from

Having the proper credentials to prove the status of being a legally ordained minister can mean the difference between performing actions such as officiating a wedding legally and breaking the law. You can become a legally ordained minister either the traditional way of working with a local church and its leadership or receiving the status through an online ordination service. Both methods will provide you with proper credentials although you may have to pay for the processing of the credentials when you choose to use an online service.

Local Churches

Contact the leadership of a local church in your area. Keep in mind, each religious denomination will have its own set of processes to follow with its own code of ethics and procedures you would be required to follow once you receive your credentials. Although the procedures differ slightly, they all include an application, interviews, education and approval processes.

Fill out any required application to start the ordination process with the local church. You may have to participate in background checks and provide a resume of your past work history along with character references. During this phase you will participate in interviews to help determine if you are a good candidate for ordination.

Fulfill any educational requirements the denomination needs such as obtaining a bachelor's degree in divinity or theology. Some denominations may require an extra two years of concentrated biblical studies past this, known as seminary.

Present your fulfilled requirements to the church leadership and board of directors. The board of directors will decide on whether or not to allow you to become ordained. Once they do, they will present you to the local congregation with an ordination ceremony and afterward present you with your paperwork credentials.

On Line

Log onto the internet and visit several sites that offer ordination status and offer credentials with original ink signatures. Read the code of ethics or belief statements found on the site and pick one that aligns with your faith's beliefs.

Fill out any application requests and include payment for any cost required to process and ship credentials with original ink signatures. You should order an "Ordination Certificate," a "Licensing with Title Certificate" and a letter of good standing along with any ID cards you may feel will be helpful in identifying you as a legally ordained minister.

Check your email for an email confirmation of your ordination credentials and receipt of your credential processing purchase if any. Wait applicable processing and shipping time, which vary from five business days to a few weeks depending on the organization you chose.


  • Not all denominations consider becoming legally ordained on line valid or scriptural. Be prepared to encounter both positive and negative feedback from denominational members on becoming ordained on line.


  • Church leaders who may interview you will likely ask you why you feel you want to become legally ordained and what you see yourself doing with your credentials in the future. Spend some time considering your mission an a minister and then spend some time trying to put that vision into words.


About the Author

Misty S. Bledsoe has been writing since 1995. She specializes in writing about religion, technology and solar concepts, and her articles appear on various websites. She holds a Bachelor of Science in information technology from American Intercontinental University.

Photo Credits