Online ordination is a fairly commonplace practice these days. It’s exactly what it sounds like, namely, a method to get ordained as a pastor online. A lot of people want to get ordained for one reason or another – such as to perform marriages or open their own church – but aren’t able to travel to a seminary college or anything like that for a more “traditional” ordination. For people who want to get ordained without having to travel a long way or pay a lot of money, an online ordination is the perfect solution. The only problem is that there are a lot of questions that people find themselves asking. Luckily, most of these questions are easily answered.
One of the questions most people ask is “How long is this going to take?” The answer to this differs from group to group. Some churches or ministries are willing to ordain you simply for filling out a form and clicking “submit”. Others require you to take an online course to become familiar with the teachings of their particular ministry. Most ministries follow the first example and, thus, take only the time you need to fill out the form. The ones that require you to take an online course, however, can take as little as a week or as long as going to an actual seminary college.
The cost of online ordination also varies quite a bit from ministry to ministry. If you’re just looking to get ordained and aren’t picky about what group does it, there’s usually no cost to get your ordination. Most ministries offer several frame-able or wallet-sized versions of your ordination for a relatively small price. If you’d like to have a framed copy of the proof of your ordination, it’s usually going to cost you from 10 to 15 dollars plus shipping and handling. For the wallet sized version, you’re looking at just a couple of bucks. There are a couple of ministries, of course, that require a donation before they’ll ordain you. The prices for these can vary quite a bit from ministry to ministry but, if you want to be ordained by a particular ministry, you likely already know what price the ordination comes at.
The legality of online ordinations is something that can confuse quite a few people. It just seems far too easy to be legal to some people, for some reason, so they assume it just “doesn’t count” in the law’s eyes. No need to worry about that, however, as it is fully recognized by the government. It’s been considered legal ever since they were mail order ordinations, back in the 70s, and the ruling carried over to online ordination as well. If you’re planning on performing marriages, however, you may need to get a letter of good standing and have a physical copy of your ordination. This differs from state to state and sometimes town to town. Most ministries that offer online ordinations are willing to send an email as a letter of good standing, so this isn’t really an issue.
The last issue is avoiding scams claiming they offer online ordination. Luckily, this is a very simple thing to do. First of all, never pay for an ordination unless you actually know the church that you’re using for your ordination. If you’re a member of the church, after all, it’s unlikely that they’re a scam. Given the number of free ordination websites out there, this is unlikely to be a problem. The second thing to do is simply do a web search for the name of the ministry you’re going to get ordained through. If you see anything saying they’re a scam, avoid them and check another ministry. It really is as simple as that.