Ordination Renewal PolicyMay 25, 2012 by Reverend Michael
Ordinations issued by the Universal Life Church Ministries never expire, so there will never be a need for our legally ordained ministers to renew them. This means that a person can become legally ordained online on our site today and perform marriage ceremonies for the rest of their life without filing any additional information with us, as long as they keep their information in our ordination database up to date.
Additionally, there is no renewal process for the ministry products we offer on our site. Any given minister’s ordination certificate or wallet card credential (for example) is just as valid a decade after it was ordered as it was the day we issued it, provided that county clerks will still accept it.
There is a very simple reason why we adhere to these two policies: it is completely unnecessary to place an expiration date on the ordinations and ministry products we offer. From our experience, county clerks don’t take ministers’ ordination dates or the age of their ministerial documentation into consideration when they attempt to file for marriage licenses (unless the documentation has a state-mandated expiration date printed on it, of course). Requiring ordination or documentation renewals would essentially be an arbitrary way to increase the amount of money our non-profit organization earns without providing any additional services to our ministers in return. Such a practice would be unnecessary, dishonest, and completely unfair.
The ULC Ministries has been troubled to learn that a number of other online ministries DO impose ordination and documentation renewals upon their unfortunate members. While calling organizations who pursue such practices “scams” would undoubtedly be too harsh, it is disappointing to learn that other branches of the ULC, among other online churches, put profit before the well-being of their pastors.
If you are not ordained by the ULC Ministries and feel as if the online ministry you belong to is more of a scam than a church, do not hesitate to do the following:
- Report the online church’s practices to the Secretary of State of the state it belongs to. They will look into this “non-profit” organization and, if they are truly unscrupulous, their church charter will be revoked.
- Look into transferring you ordination to an honest online ministry. We exist, we swear!