The term “ online ordination” is fairly recent and not strictly correct so far as the American Fellowship Church is concerned. The AFC has been legally ordaining non-denominational ministers, pastors and preachers since 1975 – long before the days of the internet and websites for churches.
In that pre-internet time, we provided an “ordination by mail” service as an alternative to seminary study and traditional minister ordination. At that time, AFC ordination application forms, donations, minister ordination cards, ordination certificates, and minister training course materials were sent by mail.
With the growth of the internet and online systems, the means of sending has changed from physical transport of paper in an envelope to digital transmission via the internet. Eventually this process became known as “ online ordination”. “Online” meaning the initial communications took place over the internet.
In fact we carry out minister ordinations on Sundays with a solemn service of dedication and prayer befitting the status of the office of minister, pastor or preacher.
A condition of ordination with the American Fellowship Church is that applicants need to agree to our statement of beliefs and code of ethics before we ordain them and provide their ordinations cards.
All ordination cards, certificates and letters of authorisation are hand signed and mailed to the newly ordained ministers.
So ‘online ordination” is a misleading term, as it applies only to parts of the process that were once fulfilled by postal mail.
Many people prefer a ministry status that is not aligned to traditional churches or religions, preferring to practise their Christian faith through a personal experience and dialogue with Christ through prayer, rather than an interpreted direction.
Many people look for online ordination to perform the wedding of a friend, relative or couple who prefer a non-traditional service.
The reasons for wanting to stay clear of conventional marriage ceremonies are many and can include issues to do with couples from different faith backgrounds and traditions or no religious tradition.
At the same time they want their union to be blessed in a solemn ceremony outside the traditional institutions. AFC are please to confer ordination on men or women wishing to conduct marriage services. Complete an online application form here to become ordained.