I am sure you are aware that online ordination sites are prevalent on the Internet and some of you are probably wondering about the Validity of Online Ordination.
You are absolutely right to be concerned as Some of the organizations offering this type of ordination require some type of study while others simply require a person’s name and address. A few of these organizations have been in the news for actually ordaining people’s pets into the ministry. Are online ordinations really valid? What will someone really obtain by this type of ordination, and what are they really trying to achieve?
Ordination online has become popular in the past few years as those who are getting married want one of their friends or family members to perform the ceremony. This individual goes online, gets their ordination and officiates the ceremony.
Other individuals seek this type of ordination because they feel called into the ministry, but through various circumstances, they have not been able to go through the regular channels to receive traditional ordination. Traditional ordination is a long and arduous process in most Christian churches. In most churches, a person must spend at least two years in Bible college and then pass an ordination exam administered by a panel of clergy. Most of the major denominations in the United States require a four-year degree and a three-year seminary degree as the ordination educational requirement. Written and oral tests must then be passed. In a few churches, ordination candidates must serve a period of around five years as a licensed minister before they are fully ordained.
Some individuals cannot afford the expense and time of going through all of this. They want to serve in the ministry, so they become ordained online in order to pursue what they feel God is calling them to do.
ORDINATION VARIES FROM STATE TO STATE
In most parts of the United States, online ordination is valid. The reason for this is that in the United States, the government cannot normally challenge the religious rituals of a certain faith. In other words, if something that calls itself a church wants to ordain people online, the government does not interfere. However, the states do regulate marriage. Each state has its own criteria as to who can legally perform a marriage ceremony. Some states, like Kansas, require that someone be a minister of a congregation in order to perform a wedding.
Some states, including New York, have challenged online ordination for marriage. Those who are ordained online will also find it hard to get a job as a pastor in most churches. Becoming a chaplain with an Internet ordination is almost impossible. They are not recognized by the armed services, and most hospitals, hospices and nursing homes want chaplains with an extensive educational background who are members of a well-known religious group.
Hopefully we have answered some of your questions regarding the Validity of Online Ordination. Please visit How to Become A Pastor often for more articles about becoming ordained.