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How to Become a Legally Ordained Minister Today!

If you want to know how to become ordained as a minister, the American Fellowship Church website is definitely a resource for you.

Welcome to The American Fellowship Church

First, you can become ordained. Men and women who are not able or don't wish to become ordained through traditional paths such as seminary study, will find our path to ordination a real alternative and an easy one to follow.

While it is impossible to determine each person's reason for wanting to become ordained, we have chosen 3 major reasons visitors come to our website. It is our hope that of these 3 categories below, one may quickly take you to what you are seeking:

1. I am getting married... 

I am visiting the site because I am getting married and am looking for a way for a friend or relative to perform my wedding ceremony / officiate.

2. My Friend or Relative is getting married...

I found your site because I am interested in becoming ordained to perform / officiate a ceremony for a friend or relative.

3. I want to become a minister...

I feel called on to strengthen my spiritual relationship, or become a minister and I would like to know more about being an ordained minister. If this is the case read on...

Click here to Renew



Since our founding in 1975, we have helped thousands of men and women of all
faith groups, ethnic, gender, educational, professional and occupational
backgrounds to become legally ordained ministers.

Men and women in every state in the United States, in all the Canadian provinces, and in many other countries throughout the world, have become ordained in our church.


Furthermore, in addition to ordination the American Fellowship Church can provide you with spirituality information and materials which you can use to enhance your well-being and assist your desire to serve God to the best of your ability, once you are ordained as a minister. People sometimes refer to the process as online ordination but that is not a correct description of our process to becoming a licensed minister.

Ordination and your religious freedom

People want to become ordained in our church for almost as many different reasons as there are people. Fortunately, the constitutional separation of church and state in the United States allows for a degree of freedom for spiritual growth and religious expression.

Whether people feel the call to serve God as minister, preacher, chaplain, pastor, priest, deacon, brother or sister, or even rabbi, becoming ordained online can be the way for them to achieve their goal.

As well as being independent, non-denominational and international, the American Fellowship Church believes in allowing individual responsibility for spiritual growth and development.

We Believe

  • That each person's reasons for wishing to become ordained are between that person and God.

  • That if you become ordained, you may find yourself led to spiritual growth and development.

  • That God has different messages for different people in different situations.

  • There are many paths leading to the same point and we are all open to many avenues for growth

We ordain both men and women as ministers

The American Fellowship Church welcomes and ordains women and men into the ministry. 

Testimonial from one of our Ministers...

I was skeptical at first about contacting the A.F.C., being wary of getting an affiliation I wouldn't like, but after reading the material that was sent to me, I must tell you how pleased I am to find one organized church that shares my own views about religion and the personal relationships we each have with God.... I am glad that I can be a part of the A.F.C. so that I can help others live better lives, and hopefully give constructive assistance.

Rev. D. E., New York

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1 Year Ordination 5 Year Ordination Lifetime Ordination

What does this mean for you?

The American Fellowship Church will never try to force you to accept any beliefs other than your own. However, we do suggest that spiritual growth and development take place more steadily if we eat good food, obtain proper exercise, pray/meditate and find satisfying work.

In addition to ordination we provide training courses and documents which are useful to ministers and churches.

How the church began...

The American Fellowship Church was founded by Theodore H. Swenson.

Rev. Swenson is a former Dean of Students at the University of California. He had wanted to become an ordained minister since he was a youth but he was not able to find the right connection to make that happen.

In short, he resigned his position with the University and, in 1975, he organized the non-denominational American Fellowship Church. In the course of setting up the Church, he learned how to help others who wanted to become legally ordained.


About Ordination and ministry

To begin with, it is not necessary to study to become ordained with our Church. Instead, we rely on your good will and the experience you have already gained during your lifetime.

But here's the thing... distance learning allows you to develop your counseling and pastoral skills, while carrying on with your home and family life, so, if you want more preparation, we urge you to take any or all of the home-study correspondence courses we offer. But, it is entirely up to you.

Please understand that after you become ordained, you must actually assume the role of minister and carry out your ministry to make it become a meaningful reality, unless you are becoming ordained simply to perform the wedding of a friend or relative, then your ministry can stop there, if you wish. Please see the note below re Canada and other countries outside of USA*.

Besides our courses, we offer various other materials and certificates to help you - you can even become a Doctor of Divinity. But what you do is YOUR choice.
And what's more...after you become ordained, you may:

Conduct Church Services such as:

  • Marriages
  • Baptisms
  • Funerals

Finally, you may also serve in any other appropriate way, including open door outreach ministries and regular church services.

If you plan to perform marriages for friends or others, we urge you to look at "Minister Licensing Laws."  This publication contains important information you need before  you perform marriages in the United States.  

You may or may not be able to perform marriages in other countries. For example, our ministers may not perform marriages in Canada where very few churches are allowed to do that.



** ATTENTION ** If you want to perform a wedding for a friend or relative, please visit our minister licensing guide locate your state (or the state in which you intend to perform the wedding) then simply follow the instructions.

If you are here to obtain a minister license on behalf of a friend or relative:

1 - Be sure that the person you are asking that we ordain has read, & has agreed to our Certification and Ethics

2 - Be sure to explain to us in the "comments" section upon checkout: All details:
a. Who's name and address is to be printed on the license
b. to what address the order is to be mailed,

if you do not specify where to send the materials, they will be sent to the name and address in the "Ship to". Additionally, you will need to enter the person who is to be ordained on the
ID card page.


WARNING: Do NOT become ordained with us in an attempt to gain tax benefits or to violate the laws of the jurisdiction where you reside. We are organized for RELIGIOUS purposes and not to assist with lawbreaking. We expect our ministers to behave ethically and to obey the laws of their jurisdictions. If you violate the law or if you fail to maintain an appropriate ethical and moral standard for an ordained minister, your ordination and license will terminate immediately and automatically without further notice.

Countries where we have ordained ministers

Antigua, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guyana, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Ivory Coast Republic, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Guinea, New Zealand, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Rep.of Seychelles, Russia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, USA, United Arab Emirates, Virgin Islands, W.Africa, Wales, Zimbabwe

USA states & territories where we have ordained ministers

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Virgin Islands, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Canadian Provinces where we have ordained ministers

Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador

We are delighted to have been instrumental in assisting each individual to become an ordained minister.