About the Universal Life Church

The Universal Life Church

The Universal Life Church Monastery (ULC) is a non-denominational, non-profit religious organization famous worldwide for its provision of free, legal ordinations to its vast membership over the internet. The ULC, recognizing the importance of maintaining open hearts and minds, embraces any individual, no matter their spiritual background, who wishes to become a member of this family of faith. Since its founding, the Universal Life Church has ordained more than 20 million ministers.

The ULC has also become renowned for its role as a champion of religious freedom, social justice, and spiritual expression. While the Universal Life Church Monastery has become a global leader in these fields, it largely attributes that status to the commitment and competence of the millions of empowered ministers brought together in a world tent of togetherness.

The Universal Life Church is headquartered in Seattle, Washington — from which it performs and records all ordinations, ships out minister supplies like Ordination Credentials and Letters of Good Standing, and fights daily for the rights of its ministers and persecuted individuals everywhere.

Who We Are

Over 20 million ministers worldwide have become ordained with the Universal Life Church. The ULC is open to people of all faiths, offering everyone the opportunity to become an ordained minister and practice their beliefs however they see fit. ULC Ministers have the authority to perform weddings, funerals, baptisms, or even start their own ministries. The ULC has an active online community that you can join by completing the free online ordination process today.

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It is important for ministers to know the legal basis of their status of being an ordained minister. ULC ordination confers the same rights and authority as ordination from more traditional religious organizations. Some denominations and independent churches encourage the view that ordination is only available to those who are anointed or selected by God, set apart, holy or sacred, or in some way special and better than others. That may be their belief, but there is nothing “special” legally. The ULC breaks down these artificial barriers to ordination, offering the status to anyone who feels so-called.

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Ordination Training

Our Mission

The Universal Life Church was founded on the basic belief that we are all children of the same universe and, derived from that basic belief, has established two core tenets by which it expects its ministers to conduct themselves:

  1. Do only that which is right.
  2. Every individual is free to practice their religion in the manner of their choosing, as mandated by the First Amendment, so long as that expression does not impinge upon the rights or freedoms of others and is in accordance with the government’s laws.

We have made it our mission to actualize these tenets in the world by empowering millions of ministers to speak their own truth to power, whether they come to us from a Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, Shinto, Agnostic, Atheist, Pagan, Wiccan, Druid, or any other spiritual tradition.

Unlike other large international churches, we do not require our ministers or congregants to show deference to any central leadership or hierarchy, and we believe in equality among all members.

We work tirelessly to ensure that anyone can get ordained online at the ULC Monastery and we seek to fulfill the spiritual needs of as many different groups as we can by offering plenty of information, a wide variety of services, and networking opportunities. The communication and fellowship of our scattered millions of ministers, we believe, is just as valid a form of worship as the weekly services held in some of the world’s more segregated and elitist religious institutions.

Our History

The Universal Life Church Monastery is the largest and most active direct descendant of the original Universal Life Church founded by the controversial Kirby Hensley in the late 1950s. This new Universal Life Church has no ties to the deceptive and illegal practices alleged of the old Modesto ULC and it has since proudly assumed a leadership role among other major religions by transforming the ULC into an ethical and inspiring beacon of freedom and justice around the world. We have been able (and continue) to mobilize our millions of ministers to act as champions of society’s underdogs and oppressed as the legacy of Christ, King, Kennedy, and Gandhi taught.

Unlike other international churches our size, we will never ask our ULC ministers or congregants to bow before us or kiss our rings and we steadfastly reject the idea that a church’s members should be made to obey the commands of any central leadership structure — we are all equal.

While proud of the work we’ve done and the victories we’ve won in areas like religious freedom and the legalization of same-sex marriage, we are far more excited by and interested in discussing our hopes for plans for the future.

Moving Forward

Empowering Ministers

The Universal Life Church will continue to ordain and empower hundreds of ministers every day. The ULC is committed to fight for the rights of its ministers on a daily basis — ensuring that all individuals have the freedom to take control of their own religious/spiritual life.

In addition to its continued provision of assistance to charitable organizations, the Universal Life Church Monastery will also continue to provide a voice to and fight for the rights of those whose freedoms are being violated around the world. We continue our battle to ensure that residents of all 50 states are permitted to become ministers under often antiquated and biased legal systems. We are proud of our past achievements, such as fighting for religious freedom and the legalization of same-sex marriage. For a more in-depth look at the ULC’s ongoing efforts to defend the rights of its ministers – including summaries of the most important cases we’ve been a part of – please visit ULC Case Law. We also offer a Find a Minister tool on Get Ordained™ that will allow people in need of a minister's services to find one that can perfectly suit their wishes.

There’s no escaping the fact that these legal battles are expensive. To ensure we have enough resources to continue our important efforts in the court system, we’ve set up the ULC Legal Defense Fund to collect donations for the cause. All funds donated to the cause go directly to helping secure and protect the rights of ULC ministers. We greatly appreciate whatever support you are able to offer!

We are also worried about humanity’s long term impact on the planet. Issues such as climate change and population growth trouble us greatly. We must work together to address critical challenges such as mass migration, starvation, and global pandemics. A worldwide United Nations Planetary Defense System should also be considered to protect the Earth against threats such as asteroids and comets.

George Freeman is the Presiding Chaplain of the ULC Monastery and has been with the organization since 1977. Chaplain Freeman believes that humans are explorers by nature and that we should continue our search for God in the universe. Depending on how things play out on Earth, we may also need to explore the idea of a new home for humanity.

In closing, we need your prayers. We know where we are going, and we hope you will join us — because we could use your help! If there is anything you would like to see added to this website which will help you grow spiritually, please feel free to contact us.