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

An outline of Illinois with the ULC logo

Curious how to get ordained in Illinois? Well, good news: 1) the process is incredibly simple, and 2) we'll walk you through it step-by-step. There was a time when becoming a minister required thousands of hours (and dollars). Not to mention, candidates had to check certain arbitrary boxes to even be considered for the position.

Thanks to the Universal Life Church, those days are over. The ULC has shattered these institutional barriers and pioneered a brand new system that allows anyone who feels called to ministry to become ordained. Even better: this process is free and can be completed entirely online.

State Sovereignty, National Union is a state motto that shows Illinois' commitment to not only autonomy, but how it can be emphasized to better an entire community. Getting ordained is one way that sand-hillers can achieve just that.

In this guide, we'll explore what ordination is, explain how it gets issued online, and show you how to become a minister in Illinois!

1. Fill Out Your Illinois Ordination Application

Becoming ordained as a member of the Universal Life Church Ministries couldn't be easier. Just fill out the quick form on our website to create an account, inputting your basic details. When you press submit, allow a few moments for your ordination to be processed. Once that's done, you'll officially be a minister! Please keep an eye out for an email from us confirming your ordination status. You'll also see a link to view your new digital credential and to order any physical documents you might need. To begin, click the button below!

Why do we make ordination so simple? The ease of this process we've designed stems from our belief that every person should be granted the right to chart their own spiritual course in the universe. Each individual has their own unique conception of faith – what it means to them, what aspects are most important, and how best to go about it. As opposed to a traditional institution that sets all manner of rules regarding these questions, the ULC puts that power in the hands of its ministers to decide for themselves. And that empowerment begins with making ordination accessible to all.

2. Get Your Ordination Certificate

Following your online ordination, you should obtain a hard copy of your credentials. Regardless of the ministerial endeavors you undertake, it's important to equip yourself with the essential supplies and paperwork to aid you moving forward! Below are some of the frequently sought-after items among our ministers in Illinois.

No matter how you choose to use your ordination, know that we're committed to help you obtain whatever minister supplies you might need to take your next steps with confidence!

Become a Wedding Officiant in Illinois

One common reason to become a minister online is to gain the power to officiate wedding ceremonies. Did you know that each year, ULC ministers perform myriad wedding ceremonies across the state of Illinois? Some people get ordained to perform a wedding for a friend or family member, while others even go on to officiate weddings professionally in Illinois!

They can also champion love and joy by performing weddings all over the state, including in the heart of Chicago. Nothing makes for a more personal wedding ceremony than a friend or loved one officiating the service as an ordained minister.

If performing a wedding is in your future plans, there are a few important things to keep in mind. For one, because weddings are legal ceremonies, ministers must follow specific rules in order for the union to be recognized. These rules are generally set at the state level, but can also vary from county to county within a state. Once you know where the wedding will take place, you'll need to read up on the requirements in that area and make sure you understand how to check all the necessary legal boxes. For more information, please visit our guide on how to perform a wedding in Illinois.

What Can You Do With Your Ordination in Illinois?

After becoming ordained, you'll have complete freedom to decide how you want to take advantage of this new status. There are plenty of opportunities for ministers to volunteer, from Rockford to Belleville.

As a ULC ordained minister, you can:

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

Some members of the ULC in Illinois even decide to start their own ministries or churches! To read more about these possibilities and learn how to prepare for them, please visit our Minister Training Center.

What Ordination Means in Illinois

Ordination is an ancient concept that has been practiced across many different faiths dating back for thousands of years. This act of consecration differs from one belief system to the next, and every faith (and oftentimes each denomination within a larger faith organization) has its own specific practices for ordaining members of the clergy. In the most basic sense, becoming ordained means that the organization confers upon you leadership status and the power to perform certain clergy duties, including presiding over ceremonies.

Historically, the process of becoming ordained was not an easy one. It typically required candidates for clergyhood to undertake years of study, as well as conform to certain standards set by the faith's leadership figures. And one cannot ignore about the financial resources necessary to pursue this formal schooling, either.

In the eyes of the ULC, this institutional path to ordination is exclusionary and unfair. That's why our process looks entirely different; we've created a new ordination model that allows anyone to pursue this route in life.

Best of all, becoming ordained as a member of the Universal Life Church Ministries brings with it equal powers and privileges enjoyed by other clergy members from more traditional faith backgrounds. As is their right under the Constitution, ministers of the ULC in Illinois can conduct all the same duties historically performed by institutional members of the clergy from other denominations.

Why ULC Ordinations Are Valid in Illinois

The Universal Life Church Ministries is recognized as a religious organization in good standing in Illinois. As such, all ordinations issued through the ULC are fully valid in Illinois and our ministers are granted the authority to carry out all typical duties of the clergy, which include performing legally-binding marriage ceremonies.

Is it Legal to Get Ordained Online in Illinois?

Yes! The First Amendment of the Constitution generously extends the freedom of religion to all individuals across the United States, irrespective of their religious affiliations or modes of observance. In accordance with its practices, the ULC has duly ordained thousands of ministers online in Illinois. These diligent and insightful ministers dutifully conduct various services and ceremonies within their communities on a daily basis.

The ULC firmly asserts that anyone who feels the calling, regardless of their specific beliefs, should be granted the opportunity for ordination and the autonomy to navigate their spiritual journey. We only require our ministers to uphold two fundamental principles:

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

How Long Does it Take to Get Ordained in Illinois?

The time it takes to achieve ordination depends on the specific path you choose. At the ULC, our mission is to ensure that ordination is accessible to all who feel the calling. To this end, we have established an efficient online platform for ordination applications. Ordinations properly requested through the ULC are typically processed promptly, often resulting in immediate approval. Consequently, we have legally ordained thousands of ministers in Illinois who contribute significantly to their communities daily.

If you are considering joining our community, we extend a warm invitation to you.

How Much Does it Cost to Get Ordained in Illinois?

The path you take to become ordained greatly influences the costs involved. Attending a traditional seminary or religious graduate program can incur hefty tuition fees, often running into thousands of dollars. The Universal Life Church (ULC) has been steadfast since its start in ensuring that ordination remains accessible to all, regardless of financial means. One of the significant reasons behind this commitment is our belief in providing equal opportunities to anyone who feels called to serve. Hence, online ordination through the ULC comes at absolutely no cost.

This approach has empowered countless individuals, who might otherwise have been deterred by financial constraints, to pursue ordination and contribute positively to both themselves and their communities. While we do request a nominal fee from ministers opting for physical supplies or credential copies to help us cover the associated expenses, the online ordination process itself incurs no charges and is open to everyone.

How Can You Get Ordained in Illinois for Free?

As indicated earlier, online ordination with the ULC is always free! If you are interested seeking online ordination and haven't done so yet, please just scroll up to step 1 on this page and hit the big blue button to start your ordination application and the next great adventure in your life!

Do you have to be a resident of Illinois?

An online ordination from the ULC is not itself state-specific, meaning that you only need to get ordained once and that ordination itself is valid no matter where you are located.

You should be aware that differing states do sometimes have differing rules and procedures for how ceremonies, like weddings, are supposed to be performed - so prior to performing any ceremony with legal significance we always suggest that you reach out to the government office that will be governing the results of that ceremony ahead of time to ensure that you have all of the documentation you'll need.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Get Ordained in Illinois

The Universal Life Church requires that all those who apply for online ordination be at least 18 years of age or older. This age restriction, along with other policies and procedures related to the ordination process, are made clear as you are completing the application form. Any ordination application that is made under false pretenses or in violation of our terms and conditions will be automatically considered void, and we will not be able to defend the legitimacy of any ordination granted under false pretenses or otherwise in violation of our guidelines.

Interested in Performing a Illinois wedding?

Be a IL Wedding Officiant

Learn All About Marriage Law in Illinois

See the Full Statutes

Proceed to your Ordination Application

Become Ordained