An outline of New York with a chapel emblem

Getting ordained in New York State is now an easy and rewarding process! The title of “minister” was once reserved only for those with the resources to pursue it through time-consuming, costly (and sometimes discriminatory) avenues. But, because of us, those days are no longer. 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 online for free.

New Yorkers are known for not beating around the bush. When they want to do something, they go out and do it – and that includes getting ordained! The ULC has ordained many people to be ministers across the state of New York.

Curious how to follow suit? 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 New York!

1. How Do You Get Ordained in New York?

Getting ordained online with the Universal Life Church Ministries is as easy as filling out a quick form on our website. Just input a few basic details to create your account, then press submit – that’s it! Once your ordination has been processed, you’ll receive a confirmation email with a link to view your official digital ordination certificate on our website. To begin, hit 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 chart their own course 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 some arbitrary set of rules laid out by some distant body.

2. What Can You Do With Your Ordination in New York?

Once you get ordained, you’ll have total freedom to choose how you want to put this new status to use. Regardless of where in New York you call home – from New York City to Buffalo, you can take advantage of your status as a minister in many different ways. As a ULC ordained minister, you can:

  • Officiate weddings
  • Perform baptisms
  • Preside over funerals -Solemnize a wide variety of other types of ceremonies

Some members of the ULC in New York 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 New York?

Once you’ve decided what types of ministerial activities you are interested 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 New York:

Regardless of what you want to pursue, rest assured that we can help get your ministry off the ground running!

4. What Does it Mean to Be Ordained?

Ordination is a process of consecration that has been practiced by many different religious organizations throughout history. Each faith and denomination has its own method for ordaining its members as part of the clergy – processes that can vary quite significantly from one belief system to another. In the simplest sense, 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 path to ordination was historically a difficult one, requiring many years of study and the approval of church leadership – not to mention the financial backing to attend formal schooling for becoming a minister.

The ULC believes these old routes are unnecessarily restrictive, which is why we’ve opened the doors of ordination to all those who seek it through a unique online model. We offer this option in New York state because we know how important it is for New Yorkers to be able to make their own decisions about becoming ordained, free from the barriers typically 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 New York?

Many people who are ordained are interested in performing wedding ceremonies – this is one of the most important jobs all ministers have! In fact, ULC ministers perform countless successful wedding ceremonies in New York each year! A traditional church wedding in NYC can be wonderful, but what if a couple just wants a friend to perform a simple wedding ceremony somewhere upstate? Having the freedom to go off-script can make for an amazing experience.

If you hope to officiate a wedding, it’s important to understand that because marriage is a legal ceremony, there are additional rules that apply. Each state has its own laws regarding marriages and the process of 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 New York.

Are ULC Ordinations Valid in New York?

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