Monday, July 3, 2023

The Universal Life Church Has Only One Website

If you do an internet search for "Universal Life Church" you'll be presented with quite a few options, but only one of the sites actually belongs to the Universal Life Church that Rev. Kirby J. Hensley started in the early 1960s.

Most of the sites belong to Universal Life Church Ministries, also known as the Monastery. Up until the early 2000s this was an affiliate of the original church, but following a schism this Seattle-based church charted its own course. If you were ordained by the original church and contact them they will pretend that a "database change" caused your record to be lost, and they'll "renew" your ordination. In reality they don't have the record because they are not the original church.

One or two of the other sites you'll find belong to the Universal Life Church Seminary. This group was affiliated with the original church as well, but unfortunately they are no longer connected either. The Seminary takes orders but never fulfills them, meaning they make a lot of money for absolutely nothing. Church headquarters regularly receives complaints about the Seminary, but since they are unaffiliated there's nothing they can do.

The one and only site that truly belongs to the Universal Life Church Headquarters can be found at It's not much to look at, having been built in the late 1990s and never really updated. It is somewhat broken, but it is still in use. Orders placed through it will go through and be fulfilled, as will ordination requests made through the site. 

Of all these, I recommend the original church. Although the other sites look better, only the original church will mail your first credential to you for free. Only the original church will provide you additional paperwork for jurisdictions that require it at no extra cost, unless notarization is necessary. And only the original church can endorse ministers as part of the process to become certified professional chaplains. The original church based out of Modesto, California will stand behind you for more than just officiating weddings, if a fuller ministry is what you seek.

So, again, go to and apply for ordination, if you haven't already.

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