Wednesday, May 31, 2023

The Universal Life Church's Commitment to Ministerial Support

The Universal Life Church (ULC) offers a straightforward and accessible process for individuals to become ordained ministers. To begin the ordination process, aspiring ministers can submit a written request to the ULC headquarters, either through mail (Universal Life Church, Headquarters 601 Third St. Modesto, CA 95351), email (, or online. The request should include the individual's full legal name, current mailing address, and a note expressing their desire to become an ordained minister. Unlike some organizations that charge fees for ordination, the ULC does not require payment for this service, although they do accept donations. It's important to note that the ULC based in Modesto, California is the original Universal Life Church and the only one authorized to endorse chaplains for BCCI certification.

Once ordained, the ULC provides ministers with an explanatory pamphlet and a certificate bearing their name and the date of their ordainment. These documents serve as tangible proof of their status as ordained ministers and enable them to perform various duties and ceremonies.

The ULC recognizes the importance of proper documentation when officiating weddings. While many jurisdictions have straightforward requirements, some locations have specific regulations that must be followed to ensure the legality and validity of the marriage. The ULC headquarters supports its ministers by providing the necessary documents for various jurisdictions, often at little or no cost.

For example, in New York City, an officiant must register with the City Clerk's office to perform weddings in any of the five boroughs. The ULC can assist by providing the required paperwork. By contacting the ULC two or three weeks before the wedding, the necessary documents will be promptly mailed, ensuring a smooth registration process.

In Nevada and Virginia, additional steps are involved in the officiation process. These states require notarization of ULC documents to add an extra layer of verification and authenticity. While notarization may incur a cost, the ULC headquarters can guide ministers through the process and provide the necessary paperwork for a small donation. This way, ministers can obtain the required notarized documents without paying exorbitant fees that other sources may charge.

It's crucial to understand that the Universal Life Church based in Modesto, California is the original ULC and the only one authorized to endorse chaplains for certification by the Board of Chaplaincy Certification Inc. (BCCI). Other denominations using the Universal Life Church name do not have this recognition from BCCI. If ULC ministers aspire to become board certified chaplains, they must ensure their ordination is through the Modesto ULC and seek endorsement from Rev. Andre Hensley at the ULC headquarters. This endorsement is necessary for the BCCI certification process.

In conclusion, the Universal Life Church is committed to ordaining ministers and providing them with the necessary documents to perform their duties, including officiating weddings. The ULC headquarters in Modesto, California is the original ULC and the only one authorized to endorse chaplains for BCCI certification. By following the ordination process and obtaining the proper documents, individuals can become ordained ministers through the ULC and officiate weddings with confidence and legality. Additionally, ULC ministers can pursue board certification as chaplains by fulfilling the educational and clinical requirements set by certifying bodies like the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) and obtaining the necessary endorsement from the ULC headquarters.

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