Becoming ordained in Texas to officiate a marriage means you must receive the licensing and backing of a religious organization to do so. Any legally recognized religious organization that offers ordination can provide you with proper ordination credentials allowing you to perform marriages in Texas. You can become ordained in Texas through a traditional method originating with local church leaders or via the internet.
Contact a local church of your chosen faith in Texas and ask the appointed officers for information on starting the ordination process.
Fill out any application forms and obtain any necessary approvals from the various levels of church leadership. This phase can include background checks, character interviews, and reference checks.
Obtain the necessary educational requirements the denomination or faith requires such as a bachelor’s degree in divinity or theology. Some faiths may provide their own curriculum for you to study and complete. Other faiths may require no such educational requirements and may require a hands-on training period instead.
Fulfill any requirements and request approval from the ordination directors of your local congregation. Your local church leadership may forward the information to other Texas organizations that handle ordination for your faith if required. When everything is approved, you will be presented to your local congregation as an ordained minister, authorized to perform marriages in the state of Texas.
Go online to the website of Texas-based Chaplain Fellowship Ministries (chaplain-ministries.com) or other online ordination companies that can ordain you and thus give you the authority to officiate at weddings in Texas.
Fill out any applications the organization requires and submit any payments required to process background checks and to ship you ordination credentials. Specifically ask for a licensing certificate, ordination certificate, and a letter of good standing to be shipped to you. Each county in Texas varies on the documentation it requires for proof of ordination. Having all three documents will cover your bases. Many online organizations will ordain you free of charge but some will then request a monthly fee to support the organization, often anywhere from $5 to $25 a month. You can order clergy packages which include the above documents and possibly a wallet ID and more for anywhere from $15 to $150 depending on the agency. Shipping times can vary from three business days to 30 days depending on the company you end up working with.
Wait to perform any marriages until you have received your documentation by mail. You should receive initial confirmation of your ordination by email.
Items you will need
- Bachelor degree in theology or divinity (optional)
- Internet access (optional)
- Check with the clerk at the county courthouse for the county you plan on performing marriages in to make sure you understand how to fill out the marriage license and to see if there is any other additional information the clerk needs from you.
- Some religious faiths and denominations do not allow becoming ordained online, so be prepared to receive some negative feedback if you choose this route. The negative feedback will not affect your legal status as an ordained minister.
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