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

An outline of South Dakota with the ULC logo

Looking to get ordained in South Dakota? In this guide, we'll walk you through each step of the process and talk about the many advantages of being an ordained minister. As you probably know, it wasn't so long ago that becoming a minister meant a lengthy formal schooling process (which didn't come cheap, by the way). Not only that, but certain segments of the population were frequently excluded due to their immutable characteristics.

But online ordination with the Universal Life Church flipped that script on its head. The ULC has proudly dismantled those historic barriers to participation in ministry by pioneering a new online model for ordination that allows anyone who feels so-called to get ordained. And the best part? Ordination is free, and the process can be done 100% online.

The people of South Dakota love the outdoors and spend time getting close to nature. At the ULC, we recognize that our dream of building a world where we all treat each other as brothers and sisters, equal children of the same universe, requires that we protect healthy environments for all of our neighbors. So you probably wouldn't be surprised to learn that so many South Dakotans have chosen to become ordained by the Universal Life Church to empower themselves to go out and do that which is right in their own corner of the world!

Below, we'll explain how online ordination works, the different ways it can be put to use, and (of course) show you have to become a minister in South Dakota!

1. Get Ordained in South Dakota

Getting ordained with the Universal Life Church Ministries is a straightforward process. All that's needed is to fill out a brief form on our website, press submit, and your ordination will be instantly processed. Once you see your digital ordination credentials pop up, it's official: you're now a minister! You'll also get an email from us confirming your ordination, so keep an eye on your inbox. When you're ready to get started, hit the button below!

You might be thinking: "why is ULC ordination this simple?" The answer stems from our guiding philosophy: that everyone should have the opportunity to follow their own spiritual path, wherever that may lead. Faith is inherently unique to each individual – and because it's so personal, it can mean different things to different people. Unlike traditional religious organizations that impose their views top-down on members, the ULC takes a different approach. We believe that anyone who feels so-called should be able to pursue their faith journey in the way that makes the most sense to them. And empowering folks to do this begins with an ordination process that is accessible to everyone.

2. What You Can Do With Your Ordination in South Dakota

Getting ordained is only the beginning of this journey! Once your ordination is confirmed, you will have all types of doors open to you. You will have no issues traveling from one area to another across beautiful South Dakota. Conducting a funeral or performing a baptism anywhere from Mitchell to Brandon should be a breeze!

As a ULC ordained minister, you can:

  • Officiate weddings
  • Perform baptisms
  • Hold funeral and memorial services
  • Preside over many other types of ceremonies

We've heard from many of our members in South Dakota who have even proceeded to start their own churches! To learn more about the possibilities available to ULC ministers, please visit the Minister Training Center.

3. What Ordination Means in South Dakota

The concept of ordination exists across many different belief systems, and has been practiced for centuries. This formal act of consecration confers upon individuals the power of leadership status within a religious organization. With this status typically comes the authority to perform clergy duties, such as performing ceremonies.

The process itself can differ markedly from one religious tradition to another, but every faith system has its own specific methods for ordaining members. Historically, there were plenty of barriers to becoming ordained. To even be considered for clergyhood, members typically had to study for years, pay for expensive schooling, and pass numerous tests. Ordination also meant conforming to the standards set by church, no matter how strict or how well they aligned with one's personal identity or views.

The ULC views this traditional style of ordination as archaic, unfair, and most of all, exclusionary. That's why we've reimagined the ordination process from the ground up, pioneering a new online model that allows anyone who feels so-called to become a minister.

Furthermore, getting ordained via the Universal Life Church Ministries bestows upon you the same authority and rights under the law that apply to ministers of more traditional faith backgrounds. With the power of the Constitution at their side, ULC ministers in South Dakota have the privilege of performing duties that were historically reserved only for members of the clergy from traditional faith institutions.

4. What You Need to Be Ordained in South Dakota

Once you have a clearer picture of the types of ministerial activities you'd like to pursue, make sure you have everything you need to fulfill your goals! Our online catalog features a wide variety of documents, apparel, and other items you might find useful. Some of the most popular things among our ministers in South Dakota are:

No matter what path you're planning to travel, we've got the resources to help you proceed confidently!

5. How to Get Ordained to Perform a Wedding in South Dakota

Among the many reasons that people choose to get ordained online is to officiate legal wedding ceremonies. Every year, ULC ministers perform scores of successful wedding ceremonies all across South Dakota. Some people become a minister just to perform a wedding for a friend or family member, but many members of the ULC have gone on to start careers as professional wedding officiants in South Dakota!

In scenic areas like Sioux Falls, South Dakota, an ordained minister can find themselves performing the most stunning natural wedding ceremonies in some of the most gorgeous landscapes on Earth. And even in South Dakota, you could be approached by a nontraditional couple for your ministerial services - perhaps you'll find yourself officiating over a non-binary wedding ceremony in Badlands National Park.

If you think officiating a wedding could be in your future, you'll want to get up to speed on the rules and requirements for doing so in South Dakota. As marriages are legal ceremonies, it's important to follow the correct processes in order for the wedding to be recognized.

As these rules vary from place to place, once you know where the ceremony will be held, you should read up on the requirements in that area to make sure you know what's required to officiate. To learn more, check out our step-by-step guide on how to perform a wedding in South Dakota.

Why ULC Ordinations Are Valid in South Dakota

The Universal Life Church Ministries is an established organization in good standing in South Dakota, meaning that all ordinations conferred by the ULC are valid there. Our ministers enjoy the authority to carry out all the duties performed by other clergy members, including the power to officiate legal wedding ceremonies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it legal to get ordained online in South Dakota?
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 South Dakota you have the same protections as all other ministers.
How long does it take to get ordained in South Dakota?
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 South Dakota who feels so-called has the right to captain their own faith journey.
How much does it cost to get ordained in South Dakota?
Ordination with the Universal Life Church is free, and always has been! We believe that everyone in South Dakota 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 South Dakota?
To get ordained online by the Universal Life Church in South Dakota, 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 South Dakota wedding?

Be a SD Wedding Officiant

Learn All About Marriage Law in South Dakota

See the Full Statutes

Proceed to your Ordination Application

Become Ordained