Researched and updated by the ordination experts at the Universal Life Church on

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Becoming ordained in California has never been easier! The “minister” title was once reserved only for those with the resources to pursue it through time-consuming, costly courses. But those days are no more. The Universal Life Church Ministries has knocked down these historic barriers by pioneering a new path to ordination that makes it simple for anyone who feels so-called to get ordained on the internet for free.

Californians are known for being adventurous and dancing to the beat of their own drum – which perhaps explains why getting ordained online is so popular in the Golden State.

Curious how to join them? Look no further! This guide will explain how online ordination works, what legal aspects you should be aware of, and, most importantly: how to become a minister in California.

1. How Do You Get Ordained in California?

Getting ordained online with the Universal Life Church Ministries is as easy as filling out a short form on our website. We just need a few a couple basic details to create your account, then press submit – that’s it! Once your ordination application has been processed, you’ll receive a confirmation email with a link to view your digital ordination certificate on our website. To begin, click the button below!

Our ordination process is straightforward, fast, and entirely free. Why? Because we believe everyone has the right to captain their own spiritual ship and navigate themselve through the expansive waters of the universe. Your faith is your own, and we think it’s important that you be given the ability to pursue your beliefs however is most appropriate for you – not according to a huge set of rules laid out by a distant governing body.

2. What Can You Do With Your Ordination in California?

Once you are ordained, you’ll have the freedom to choose how you want to put this new status to use. Regardless of where you reside in California – from San Diego to Redding, you can take advantage of your status as a minister in many different ways. As an ordained minister with the ULC, you can:

  • Officiate weddings
  • Perform baptisms
  • Preside over memorial services
  • Conduct a wide variety of other types of ceremonies

Some members of the ULC in California even go on to start their own ministries! To learn more about the potential directions you can take and how to study up on these different specialties, visit our Minister Training Center.

3. What Do You Need to Be Ordained in California?

Once you’ve decided what types of activities you’d like to get involved in, the next step is to make sure you have all the necessary supplies and documents to pursue your goals! Here are some of the most popular items among our ministers in California:

Regardless of what you want to pursue, rest assured that we can help get your ministry kickstarted!

4. What Does it Mean to Be Ordained?

Ordination is a process of consecration that has been practiced across many religions throughout history. Each faith and denomination has its own method for ordaining its members as part of the clergy – processes that can vary significantly from one belief system to another. At its core, getting ordained indicates that powers have been vested in you by a higher authority to become a minister and carry out duties such as performing ceremonies.

The road to ordination was historically a difficult one, requiring many years of study and the approval of leadership – not to mention the financial resources to attend formal schooling for becoming a minister.

The ULC believes such traditional routes are too restrictive, which is why we’ve opened the doors of ordination to all those who seek it through a unique online model. We provide this option in California because we recognize that Californians want to be able to make their own decisions about becoming ordained, unconstrained by potential barriers, such as those imposed by conventional religious bodies.

Ordination through the Universal Life Church Ministries confers all the same rights and privileges enjoyed by members of the clergy ordained through more traditional avenues. ULC ministers are empowered to conduct the same types of duties performed by other clergy members from other organizations and denominations.

5. Can You Get Ordained to Perform a Wedding in California?

Many ordained ministers have some interest in solemnizing wedding ceremonies – oftentimes for loved ones. In fact, ULC ministers perform countless successful wedding ceremonies in California each year! A traditional church ceremony in Los Angeles can be wonderful, but what if a couple just wants a friend to perform a handfasting ceremony at the beach? Having the freedom to shake things up can make for an amazing, unique experience for all involved.

If you plan to perform a wedding, it’s important to understand that because marriage is a legal ceremony, there are additional rules that apply. Every state has its own rules regarding marriages and the process for performing them, so you’ll need to know about the requirements that apply in your area. To learn more, please visit our guide on performing weddings in California.

Are ULC Ordinations Valid in California?

As an established religious organization in good standing, ordinations conferred by the Universal Life Church are fully recognized in California, and ULC ministers have the authority to perform all normal clergy duties, including officiating legal wedding ceremonies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it legal to get ordained online in California?
Yes! The Constitution specifies that everyone has the right to practice their own religion. By pioneering the use of technology to communicate and ordain, we may look different from the more traditional churches you might be used to, but as a ULC minister in California you have the same protections as all other ministers.
How long does it take to get ordained in California?
The amount of time required to get ordained depends on which religious organization is ordaining you. The Universal Life Church has deliberately made ordination available almost instantaneously online because we believe that everyone in California who feels so-called has the right to captain their own faith journey.
How much does it cost to get ordained in California?
Ordination with the Universal Life Church is free, and always has been! We believe that everyone in California who feels so-called should have access to ordination. Note that in certain areas you may be required to present proof of your ordination, which we provide for a small charge to help us cover production expenses.
How old do you have to be to get ordained in California?
To get ordained online by the Universal Life Church in California, an individual needs to be at least 18 years old. Depending on your location, there may be age requirements to perform functions like the solemnization of weddings - the office issuing the marriage license will be able to provide you with that information.

Interested in Performing a California wedding?

Be a CA Wedding Officiant

Learn All About Marriage Law in California

See the Full Statutes

Proceed to your Ordination Application

Become Ordained