Getting Legally Ordained

Want to get started crossing items off of your own bucket list but don’t know where to start? Try getting legally ordained. This ridiculously easy process enables you to legally preside over weddings in 48 states. Its free, easy, non-relgious and you can finish it in less time than it will take you to read this blog post.

Background

When I first started pursuing my bucket list, I went for the low hanging fruit first. In any major endeavor, overcoming inertia is the hardest step. Thinking about this, I went for this bucket list item which I knew I could complete online.

The Universal Life Church is a non-denominational non-religious establishment. In their own words:

The Universal Life Church believes that all faiths are best served by the freedom and choice to become ordained online. This includes the freedom to perform weddings, perform baptisms or perform funerals for friends and family, regardless of your spiritual or religious denomination.

Sounds pretty good to me. Not cultish, not overly religious and it enables me to support my friends.

In choosing to become ordained you must agree to the following doctrine:

The Universal Life Church has only two tenets (beliefs/doctrine):



1. to promote freedom of religion and
2. to do that which is right.



It is the responsibility of the individual to determine what is right as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others and is within the law.

Benefits

As a minister with the Universal Life Church, its own denomination, you are granted the following rights:

1. To perform marriages within any US state, following the rules laid out by the state in which you wish to perform said marriage.

2. To perform funerals, baptisms, last rites or any other sort of legal, peaceful ceremony or ritual you wish to perform, except circumcision.



3. To start a church of your own.

4. 

To ordain others with their permission through a ULC site

The Process

The process is simple.

  1. Go to this page to read the insturctions (essentially, you need to use your real information when registering)
  2. Fill out the form and submit the request for ordination.
  3. The next step is that the request will be reviewed by an actual person who works for the church.
  4. Please note that you have NOT been ordained “by Internet” or “online.” The Universal Life Church is a “regularly established church or congregation” and all ordinations are done as the deliberate, thoughtful, and responsible act of a human — being not by a computer. As is the case with nearly every church, organization and business, the ULC makes use of the Internet and email for administrative communications. The ordination itself, however, is done in person, by hand, at the church in Modesto, CA.

  5. You may then choose to purchase an optional wallet card or wall placard.

Results

After signing up you will be added to the “International Database of the Ministry of the Church” and you will start receiving their email newsletter.

My experience thus far has been entirely positive. I haven’t presided over a wedding yet but I do have tentative plans to marry a friend and his future wife.

The most useful reward has been using this as a way to spice up conversation and to scare people in Vegas. I think the tenets for the organization are great and the fact that I can marry people in most states is both a great differentiator and fun fact. It has also led to two instances where I was able to scare my friends in Vegas. “No seriously, Danny is an ordained minister, that was real.” (It wasn’t.)

Counterintuitively, becoming an ordained minister was the easiest item on my bucket list.

Are there any interesting and easy items that you know of that might be useful for getting started on a bucket list? Please feel free to share in the comments below.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Thanks for making this goal a little bit easier for me to complete!! It’s on my bucket list too (along with 300 other things). Can’t wait to be ordained!

    • Happy to help, it looks like you have a hell of a list yourself. Let me know if I can help you with any other items. Cheers and best of luck!

  • Danny,

    I have a funny story about the ULC. 2 Years ago my wife and I got married in South Carolina at Folly Beach and then promptly went on our Honeymoon to California and BC.

    About 2 ago my wife looked at me with dismay as we were doing a lil spring cleaning as she FOUND our Marriage certificate that we FAILED to mail in!?! At this point it had been void and we weren’t technically legally married….but really God saw the show so that has to be pretty important.

    Anyway we decided to get the marriage official on our 2 year anniversary through a quick pastoral signature (Runs about $80-100 or Justice of the Peace – $65)

    Well it turned out a good friend and bartender of ours is ordained via the Universal Life Church…we bought him a few beers and he signed the paper work saving us some Money!

    All of our friends thought it was REMARKABLE (Given the Divorce Rate) that 2 years later we were still willing to get married legally even though we had the chance to walk away from one another without needing to go through the “messy legal divorce.”

    Love to Anna who stuck by me when I was a very struggling SEO newbie 4 years ago !

    • Danny Dover

      Adam,

      That is crazy! What do you say after finding that paperwork?

      I am happy to hear the story ended well, it sounds like you two have something special. Best of luck over the next two years! (Hopefully this time with less paperwork issues ;-p)

      Cheers!

  • Thanks Danny,

    My wife just looked at me and said “Oh I didn’t know we had to mail those other copies in” because they had placed the bride and groom copy on top. I’m not one to get on someone for a mistake because I know in this marriage I am bound to make a big 1 or 2 or 50 at some point!

    PS- Just got your book and have read through the first 60 pages…for lack of a better word your Book is BALLER! Nice Job

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  • Audra

    I just actually had an experience with ULC and I can tell you that there is only one person, that takes these funds, this one man will not answer ANY questions until you PAY UP! and when you refuse to pay until you get your questions answered, you are viciously attacked with…. Well, nonsense quite frankly! People there are many only ordination options, choose one that does not involve a snake:( very sad as a Chriatian to have seen it all!

  • @Audra – The person you were dealing with has been hassling a lot of people. At least I’m assuming it’s the same guy. Florida, right? He has been a thorn in more people’s sides than you can imagine. If you want more info about the situation, you can go to http://www.ulcseminary.org/changeofsite.php. There’s a video there. Please know that he’s in no way connected to the real ULC in Modesto, CA.

  • HI, IT IS ANOTHER GREAT DAY HUH GUESS WHAT I HAVE REAL LEGAL PAPER OF MY CURRENT DRIVER LICENSE MY SOCIAL SECURITY CARD MY TEACHER CREDENTIALS I CAN TEACH EVERY GRADE EVERY CLASS EVERY AGE AND I HAVE MY LEGAL ORDAINED I AM LEGAL ORDAINED MINISTER REVEREND CLERGY PASTOR CHAPLAIN AND INTERESTING ENOUGH THE LARGEST LOCATION TO WATCH OF UP AND COMING EVENTS TO WATCH THOUGH IT MIGHT NOT BE ON THE TELEVISION UNTIL I BECOME A HUGE DOLLARS EARNER BUT ANYWAYS THE PLACE TO WATCH IS THE MONTEREY BAY AND WHY FOR SOME REASONS IT IS LIKE A MOVIE AND A SCI-FI MOVIE AND IT MIGHT SOUND LIKE A FAIRY TALE AND A MYTHOLOGY STORY AND RELIGION STORY AND BIBLE THUMPING ALL IN ONE RADIO AND MOVIE AND TELEVISION AND SO THE STORY IS THERE IS A LARGE MAGENTIC ANOMOLY HERE OF THE MONTEREY BAY ORIGINATING FROM APTOS/SOQUEL AND IT SOUNDS BIZARRE BUT THE THESE HUGE DOER’S CALLED THE REAL ANGELS AND ANGELS AND GODS AND GODDESS’S ARE ALL OVER THE PLACE OF THE ORGIN SITE
    YOU MAY NOT EVER HAVE TO ACTUALLY BELIEVE ME YET SINCE I AM SAYING MAGNETIC ANOMOLY LIKE THE BREMUDA TRIANGLE AND THE BREMUDA TRIANGLE ORGIN SPOT IS ACTUALLY REALLY THE APTOS/SOQUEL PLACE I TOLE YOU HMMMM THESE GUYS AND GIRLS AND WOMEN AND FEMALES ARE FLYING ALL OVER THE PLACE
    INTERESTING HUH
    AND SO
    DO YOU THINK GOD IS HERE? OR DID GOD SEND HIS MAIN DOER GUY TO WALK INTO THIS PLACE HUMBLE AND IS MEEK OR IS GOD MEEK DOING IT HIMSELF EITHER WAY YOU LOOK AT IT THE TRACK RECORD OF THE PLACE SINCE THIS GUY GOT HERE THINGS ARE NICER AROUND HERE ARE THEY GETTING NICE AROUND THERE TOO? MAYBE SEND A REPRESENTATIVE TO APTOS/SOQUEL AND WATCH FOR THESE GUYS GIRLS FLYING EVERYWHERE AND CHAT WITH THEM ABOUT WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE IT MORE NICE FOR THERE THERE IS HOT COFFEE ALWAYS AND FOOD AND WARMTH AND WARMTH MEANS COATS AND SNOW GEAR AND RAIN GEAR AND A WAY TO BECOME EDUCATED ABOUT HOW TO ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST AND BE ABLE TO MAKE SURE EVERYONE FROM WHERE YOU ARE CAN HAVE GROCERIES
    SOUNDS SILLY HUH GROCERIES
    ME I AM JUST A GUY
    MY LEGAL REAL NAME
    IS
    GREGORY MATTHEW ACKERSON

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