The Universal Life Church (ULC) is a non-denominational religious organization with millions of members all over the world. Over the decades, the ULC has garnered global recognition for its promotion of universal togetherness and religious expression around the world. By becoming an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church, you'll be granted all the rights and privileges afforded to clergy members of other faiths – including the ability to perform legal wedding ceremonies. Ordination also opens the door for you to start a personal ministry, preside over other religious and spiritual ceremonies, and much more.
Membership is open to anyone who feels called to join; the ULC is multi-denominational, welcoming individuals of all backgrounds and belief systems into the fold. Plus, unlike traditional religious organizations, we don't require years of training or expensive courses to become a member of the clergy. Becoming ordained is free, and can be done entirely online.
How to Become a Minister
The Universal Life Church believes that all people are naturally endowed with the right to control their own spiritual life, and thus that all those who feel so-called should have access to ordination.
Ordination at the Universal Life Church is completely legal, is cost-free, and isn't complicated. An ancient Chinese proverb instructs us that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Within you lies the capacity to make the universe a better place, and your ordination may well unlock that potential. You can take your first step today by completing and submitting your online ordination application now.
We're proud to offer support to a fast-growing community of ministers in all of their endeavors. To that end, we've created a collection of minister training materials here on our site. These helpful resources go in-depth to provide advice and instruction on a whole host of ministerial duties. We also operate a blog to keep our ministers up-to-date on relevant current events and offer interesting topics of discussion.
While ULC ordinations can serve a variety of purposes, many ministers choose to use their ordination to perform wedding ceremonies. Sound intimidating? Not to fear, solemnizing a marriage is not as complicated as it might sound. We've created a simple guide, found below, that explains the process.
Steps to Performing a Wedding
Contact Marriage License Authority
Once you are ordained, but before performing the ceremony, you may need to obtain documentation proving you are a licensed marriage officiant. These policies vary by state, and sometimes even from county to county. For more information about the rules in your area, visit our State Wedding Laws page.
Most places will request some basic documentation such as an ordination credential, a letter of good standing, or signed statements of ministry. You can find all of these items, along with a host of other minister supplies, in the Minister Store section of this site.
Perform the Wedding Ceremony
Ministers of the Universal Life Church are frequently called upon to perform a wedding — from formal and traditional ceremonies to laid-back weddings with fun themes, we've seen it all. We always encourage creativity and applaud unique ideas as you custom-tailor the ceremony to the particular needs and wishes of the couple for their big day. However, as the minister, you should be familiar with the basic requirements that all ceremonies must meet.
For a marriage to be legally binding, the ceremony must include two key elements:
- The Declaration of Intent — known as the "Do you take... I do" exchange.
- The Pronouncement, where you will pronounce the couple officially married.
While most weddings will involve additional elements, these segments constitute the bare minimum for a legal ceremony. Make sure you cover them!
Filling Out the Marriage License
After performing the ceremony, make sure to sign the marriage license along with the couple. Marriage licenses can be complicated, so be sure to check out our guide to filling out a marriage license to complete this accurately. Important note: Most states have strict deadlines for returning the license, so be aware of this and make sure local officials receive the license within the allotted timeframe.
Once the paperwork has been submitted, you have officially completed the wedding ceremony. Congratulations!
After Ceremony Duties
It's common courtesy to stick around for a few minutes after the ceremony to socialize with the couple and their guests. This would also be a good time to present the couple with a decorative marriage certificate commemorating their big day.
And it doesn't end there! While performing a wedding may be the first thing you do as a ULC Minister, your ordination empowers you to do so much more! We would encourage you to explore the rest of this site for more training and information, and these three popular pages in particular.