Ordination questions and answers | how to become an ordained minister | doing weddings, am I to old to get ordained, can I do a legal marriage ceremony with your ordination, I'm retired and want to earn money on the side to help with retirement, wish to get ordained and licensed to begin a ministry, legal ordination, how soon can i get ordained
Ordination Questions & Answers
How to Become an Ordained Minister
World Christianship Ministries

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Site of wedding ceremony performed by Rev. McElroy, WCM founder (by Merced River, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park).

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Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)
World Christianship Ministries

Questions not answered?  Call us at:  (559) 297-4271    (or)    E-Mail us at:  wcm@wcm.org

Can I get ordained if I am retired, in my 60's?  Am I to old to become an ordained minister?

We ordain people from age 18 to people in their 90's. Senior citizens are welcome to apply for ordination. So if you are in your 20's 30's 40's 50's 60's 70's 80's 90's we welcome your ordination application. You can do wedding ceremonies or start a church or ministry if you wish. Lot's of senior citizens supplement their retirement income by doing marriage ceremonies in homes, gardens, parks and other places.

What is the difference between your ministry and ministries that will ordain you "online"... with a certificate I can print on my printer?

 When you leave your name and address on our website we immediately send you a brief application, important information about your ordination and other things we offer, and a copy of our newsletter. We now also allow you to quickly print out your ordering form and application using Webpage Gif file, Adobe pdf file, or word doc file. Once you have your application packet you can Mail In, Fax In or Call In your application.   Our ordination documents are printed on quality parchment paper, signed with original signatures, bearing the gold seal and red and blue ribbons of our ministry and just plain look great!  It is important for you to note that ordination certificates that are printed directly off the internet, with no original signatures, are meeting with more and more problems in many states.  As such, we do not ordain in that way.  However, our process of accepting faxed in or called in applications is very quick and you have personal contact with us. Also, once we have your application and ordering form, we have your package is placed in the mail in only a few days.

Many online churches and ministries offer Clergy Packages, what do you offer.

We offer 4 excellent Clergy Packages and fill them with more information and materials than you will find anywhere else on the internet.  Plus, we offer numerous BONUS items with each package.  We put more into our packages at a much less requested offering.  All items that we offer are also available individually if you wish.

How long before I will receive your applications, newsletter and more information after I leave my name and address with you?

We usually have your packet placed in the mail the day after you leave your name and mailing address. However, you can read through our website and then download our ordering form and brief application on our Request Page, and have all the same information as our mail out packet, and in much less time.

Do I have to renew my ordination each year and send another offering, or be financially obligated to World Christianship Ministries in other ways?

No, ordination is valid for life as long as your ministry or church remains only Christian.  We DO NOT require yearly fees to maintain ordination.  We also DO NOT ask you to be financially obligated to WCM in any other way.

After sending in an application how long before I receive my ordination documents?

Generally we have your package placed in the mail from 1-3 business days after receiving called in or faxed in applications.  The processing time for mailed in application is generally about 1-3 business days once the application is in our hands.  To open and print your ordering form and brief application, CLICK HERE.

Is it possible to expedite my ordination application?

Yes, if you have a pressing need such as a wedding that you wish to do, and the time is very close, or you just wish to have your package quickly, we can Express Mail your package back to you if you wish to add the Express Mail postage to your application.  Call us to see what the postage for Express Mail will be.

About how many people have you ordained in each state of the USA?

During the past 34 years, World Christianship Ministries has provided ordination to about 1,000 to 7,000 people in each state of the USA, with the exception of the smaller states with less population where we have ordained about 500 to 1,000 in each state.

 When I send for information do you put my name and address on a mailing list that you give out to other ministry's or sell?

NEVER!!  We NEVER NEVER give out or sell the names and addresses of the people that request information from us, or the people that we ordain.

Why do you make ordination so simple?

We believe it is Biblical and that it's one of the best ways to serve (and spread) the Christian Faith.

Does World Christianship Ministries offer the Pastoral Counselor certificate?

Yes, we have offered the Pastoral Counselor certificate for over 20 years, and it has always been a popular certificate.  Information about receiving this certificate will be in your initial information packet.  Generally the Pastoral Counselor takes a person to the Bible to allow the Bible to answer questions about problems they may be having.  Therefore, the Pastoral Counselor is not considered a professional counselor.  A professional counselor would be someone who received their professional counseling degree in an academic institution that the state recognizes.  While Pastoral Counseling is part of many churches and ministries it needs to be understood that you should not accept an offering for that part of your work.  To do so would make it appear that you are trying to be a professional counselor and you may very well run into problems.  Again, you should not tell a person what to do about their problems but rather lead them to the Bible and show them where the Bible addresses their issues. The Pastoral counselor certificate is meant to keep you within the religious confines of this responsibility. Receiving offerings for doing weddings, baptisms and funerals is fine as that is purely in the religious realm.

There are so many different kinds of Christian ministries and religious work and I am not yet sure which areas I would be best at.  Can you give me an idea of the different types of church and ministry work?

You are quite right.  Most people do not realize that there are so many different types of ministry and church work.  The most obvious is a church with traditional minister or pastor.  Other types of ministries would be a hospital or nursing home ministry, Christian relief ministry, evangelist ministry, Christian film ministry, home fellowship ministry, informational ministry, the ever popular marriage minister, or marriage officiant ministry, a Christian music ministry, prison ministry, radio and T.V. ministry, Bible study ministry, one on one ministry, tract ministry, and more.  World Christianship's Guidebook for New Clergy goes into detail about these various types of church and ministry work.

There are all kinds of Christian titles to choose from when being ordained.  Which one should I pick?

Generally it's best to pick a title that is closest to the type of Christian work you wish to do.  CLICK HERE and go to our Christian title page where the various Titles will be explained.  This should give you a better idea of what is best for you.

Will my new ministry be recognized by the government?

In the USA there is separation of church and state.  No part of the government has the authority to recognize one denomination over another, or a newly established denomination over an established one. (see the laws, and court decision on our Religious Freedom page Click Here).  You and the ministry that ordained you decide if you can be a church or ministry, not the government.

Is it hard to perform wedding ceremonies in my state?

No, most states make it very simple for any ordained clergy to perform weddings.  A few require that you file a copy of your certificate of ordination, ordination certificate credentials, first.  If you would like information about doing weddings in your state, feel free to give us a call, (559) 297-4271, we are always happy to hear from you and answer your questions. You may also find more information about doing weddings on our wedding officiant, minister page by Clicking Here.  Half way down the page click on the yellow button that says "Marriage Laws in Each State" for specific information about your state in detail.

Doing weddings is a wonderful experience.  When World Christianship began (over 30 years ago) we performed about two thousand wedding ceremonies in a five year period.  At one point our wedding services even attracted the attention of the San Jose Mercury and News, a major newspaper published near San Francisco, California.  They were kind enough to do a wonderful article on our ministry's wedding services, even going so far as to point out that a local judge said they were perfectly legal.  For those of you wishing to do weddings we recommend our handbook entitled "The Marriage Ministers Handbook" which was written based on our own wedding experiences.

If I have questions after being ordained can I contact you?

We are always here to answer your questions.  You can feel free to contact us at any time.  We are happy to offer advice.  The best way to contact us is by phone, we welcome your calls.  However, E-Mail and letters are welcome also. Again our phone number is (559) 297-4271.

What makes your ordination program different from others such as The First International Church of the Web, or Universal Life Church?

We are a Christian ministry only and only ordain Christian clergy.  WCM is also an established Incorporated Ministry which received two Federal Trademarks.   We have been established for over 30 years and offer many, many things that you will not find on other websites that offer ordination.

What authority do you give to the people you ordain?

We give you all the authority necessary to establish your new church or ministry.  We empower you with the authority of ordination, and the authority to perform all Christian services including the rites of marriage and baptism.  You will have the same legal authority as any clergy of any denomination.

Will World Christianship Ministries help me to become nonprofit or tax exempt?

 If you wish to apply for nonprofit status or tax exemption status you must do so in your name and your ministry's name.  We DO NOT allow anyone to apply for those things using World Christianship's name.  Keep in mind that you DO NOT have to apply for either of these things in order to be a church or ministry.  Many churches and ministry's are now deciding to be tax paying churches and ministries as they do not feel they should avoid taxes while the people they serve can not.  What does the Bible say in the Book of Matthew...(Matt 22:17) "Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou (Jesus)? Is it lawful to give tribute (taxes) unto Caesar, or not?"    And Jesus replied in verse 22:21 "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's (taxes); and unto God the things that are God's."

Do I need to be Ordained or Licensed or both?

Ordination by World Christianship Ministries gives you full authority to do all Christian services, and take your ministry in whatever Christian direction you feel appropriate.  We incorporate the words "ordained and licensed" on our ordination certificate as both words basically mean the same thing.  Some people feel that the term "licensed minister" means that the government somehow is involved in issuing a license to be ordained.  This is not the case as the government is not involved in the ordination or licensing of clergy.

 Does World Christianship Ministries offer the honorary Doctor of Divinity certificate?

Yes, we do offer the honorary Doctor of Divinity certificate to honor you for your Christian service.  We also offer the Pastoral Counselor certificate.  Information about these certificates can be found in the packet of information that we mail to you.

Does World Christianship Ministries offer the Confirmation of Communion certificate to show we are in good standing with you?

Yes, we do offer the Confirmation of Communion certificate.  Information about that certificate is mailed along with your ordination documents.  If you feel it is of benefit to you after receiving your package you may apply at any time.

Can I use my credentials to minister in Jails or other penal institutions to minister to inmates.

Our purpose is to give you the right to do Christian services and begin your own independent church or ministry.  Since you do not work for us you MAY NOTenter any type of penal facility using ordination documents issued by World Christianship Ministries. You would need to establish your own independent ministry or church in the way the facility will accept and request entrance in your church or ministry name. Ordination from us is your authority to begin your own indepencent church or ministry in a name other than ours.

How do I replace documents I previously received from WCM.

CLICK HERE to go to the Document Replacement Page.

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If you have questions that we haven't answered feel free to contact
World Christianship Ministries by phone at (559) 297-4271

To receive more information and application without delay CLICK HERE.

World Christianship Ministries LLC
PO Box 20030, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96151
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 Ministry Phone Number (559) 297- 4271
E-Mail Address:   wcm@wcm.org
Fax # for Applications:   (559) 297- 4223
General Information
Senior Citizen Ordination
Womens Ordination
Fast Ordination
Ordination Packages (Clergy Packages)
Ordination Application/Ordering Forms PDF
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Application Page
How to become a?
Be Ordained Today!
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Become Ordained Minister by State
Ordained Minister
How to Become Legally Ordained Minister
Do Weddings - Marriages
Weddings Page
Who Can Do Marriages
Marriage Laws for Each State
Interactive Marriage Law Map of USA
Marriage Ministry, Earn $

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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
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