How to Become Ordained in Rhode Island
Written and reviewed for accuracy by the ordination research team at the Universal Life Church Ministries on
Becoming a minister in Rhode Island is even simpler than you might realize! Anyone can get ordained right here on our website and become qualified to perform all different types of ministerial duties, including weddings.
It wasn't always this way, however. For much of history, the road to being a minister was difficult, time consuming, and exclusive. As a consequence, the title of "minister" was limited to a select few who were fortunate to have the resources and societal approval to pursue such a goal.
The Universal Life Church was founded on a belief that no such barriers – whether financial, identity-based, or otherwise – should prevent someone from following a calling to become a minister. An outgrowth of this commitment is our free and open ordination process that can be done entirely online.
Rhode Island has carved out a unique spot for itself among the other states, much like how the ULC has managed to carve out its only little unique niche in the world. So you probably wouldn't be surprised to learn that so many thousands of unique Rhode Islanders have chosen to get ordained with the ULC over the years.
In the below guide, we'll explain how online ordination works, talk through the legal considerations that you should be aware of, and show how to become ordained in Rhode Island!
1. Become an Ordained Minister in Rhode Island
The first step to receiving your official ordination credentials starts by completing the application on our website. This form collects some basic information that we ask you to double check before pressing submit. Once completed, your application will be processed in a matter of moments. And then it's official – you'll be a certified minister! To begin, please click the button below:
You might be thinking "how can it be that easy?" Well, our view is that maximizing access and opportunity is paramount – and that starts by making ordination simple and fast. Opening doors that were once closed spurs every individual to follow their own unique spiritual path, and in the process, pursue goals that they perhaps didn't think attainable before. The freedom to make one's own way in the universe is invaluable, and we're proud to offer an ordination process that fosters an environment where that is encouraged.
2. Put Your Ordination to Use in Rhode Island
Once finishing the ordination process and receiving your confirmation, ULC ministers can decide how they'd prefer to use their new title and what activities to pursue. Coventry and Cumberland are two places that are rich in ULC ministers doing their best to improve their communities through their ministries.
As a minister of the Universal Life Church, you can:
- Officiate wedding ceremonies
- Perform baptisms and christenings
- Preside over funerals
- Oversee myriad other spiritual ceremonies
Some committed ULC ministers in Rhode Island have even taken things a step further by founding their own ministries or churches! To read more about the paths available to you, please visit our Minister Training Center.
3. How Ordination Works in Rhode Island
Understanding how ordination works means understanding its history and significance. Ordination is a process of consecration that has been carried out for centuries by all different types of religions and denominations. While each faith tends to put its own unique spin on it, in a broad sense, ordination is a process that certifies an individual as a member of the clergy in a religious body. Being granted ordination distinguishes a member as a leader and bestows upon them the authority to carry out duties of the clergy (like performing weddings, for example).
In the past, becoming ordained demanded years and years of study, taking difficult tests, and winning approval from leadership. It was also notoriously exclusive – often along gender lines.
In our view, this backwards approach inhibits progress by creating unnecessary barriers to ordination for many people seeking to make a difference in the world. That’s why we've pioneered an open, online process that provides ordination to anyone who feels so-called. We're thrilled to offer ordination online in Rhode Island because we believe everyone has the right to follow their spiritual goals freely – goals that might include becoming a minister!
Best of all, ordination from the Universal Life Church provides the same rights and benefits enjoyed by other types of clergy members; our members are granted the authority to perform all the duties carried out by members of more traditional denominations.
4. Ordination Supplies Required in Rhode Island
When considering what ways you plan to put your ordination to use, it's important to make sure you have all the materials, documents, and other supplies to perform these duties! Requirements may vary, but ULC ministers in Rhode Island generally report that these items are the most helpful:
Regardless of what direction you choose to take your ordination in, know that we've got your back with all the knowledge, tools, and resources you might need to achieve your goals!
5. Use Your Ordination to Perform Weddings in Rhode Island
People choose to become ordained for a variety of different reasons. Once ordained, these new ministers are often eager to perform ceremonies. In particular, we hear from many ULC ministers who are excited about officiating wedding ceremonies.
Middletown or Westerly may both be coastal towns, but they'll provide very different vibes for ceremonies like interfaith weddings even though they are in the same state! If someone in your congregation is hoping for a more historic setting, The Breakers in Newport would be absolutely perfect for those who are looking to host a grand fairy tale wedding to celebrate their spiritual partnership.
If you think officiating a wedding may be in the cards for you, it’s important to read up on wedding laws in the area where you'd be performing the ceremony. Keep in mind that these requirements can differ from place to place, so be sure to check the specific rules for your state (and county). To learn more about the process in your area, please visit our guide for officiating a wedding in Rhode Island.
How Rhode Island Recognizes ULC Ordinations
As a recognized religious organization in good standing in Rhode Island, Universal Life Church Ministries has the power to issue ordinations to its members – ordinations that the state accepts as valid. In accordance with the laws of Rhode Island, ministers ordained with the ULCM have the authority to carry out all regular clergy duties, including officiating legal wedding ceremonies.