While some may think of getting ordained online as something trivial because it’s so easy, we at American Marriage Ministries take ourselves – and our mission – very seriously. Everyone knows the sayings: “Choose your friends wisely.” “A man is known by the company he keeps.” “Choose friends you can trust.” There’s a reason folks keep repeating these truisms.
We recommend putting the same amount of consideration into choosing where you get ordained online. The process for getting ordained will vary depending on who you choose for your ordination, but getting ordained should always start with research. Here’s why:
Authenticity & Credibility
Performing marriage is an honor and privilege, but it's also a huge responsibility. Most states have strict requirements that regulate who can and can’t perform a wedding ceremony, and getting ordained is the easiest way to meet those requirements. Some churches require training or specific coursework before they’ll ordain you, but many people choose American Marriage Ministries because our ordinations are valid, easy, and free.
Before you can perform marriage, you need to be legally authorized to do so, and it’s imperative that your ordination is legitimate and recognized in the state or territory where you’re officiating. When exploring your ordination options, ask yourself:
● Is the organization legitimate, and transparent about the way they operate?
American Marriage Ministries is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and non-denominational church. We are proud of our 501(c)(3) status because it makes it abundantly clear that we operate as a charitable organization. In offering further transparency, we make our legal filings publicly available on our website at all times.
We're also BBB accredited with an A+ rating!
● Is the organization recognized in the state where you’re performing marriage?
AMM Ministers can perform marriage in every state – as long as they are in full compliance with local policies. (We maintain a directory of all the states and their current minister registration policies here.)
However, some churches and organizations are not recognized across the country, so verify whether or not your credentials will be accepted by the local government in the state where you intend to officiate.
Integrity & Reputation
When you’re choosing a body that represents you and your own worldviews, it is important to choose an ordination that maintains a clear ethical code, and is honest about their practices and beliefs. Consider:
● Is the church/organization founded upon clear principles which you share and believe in?
At AMM, we make it easy to understand our mission because we’ve founded our organization on just three core beliefs:
1. All people, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, have the right to marry.
2. It is the right of every couple to choose who will solemnize their marriage.
3. All people have the right to solemnize marriage.
● Does the organization practice what they preach?
We believe that our mission extends to far beyond our computer screens, and AMM has spent years giving back to communities both on and offline.
As our first and foremost way of giving, we offer our ordinations and many of our valuable resources entirely for free. We have consistently donated to a wide variety of charities, nonprofits and worthy causes ranging from environmental research to supporting at-risk youth, the LGBTQ community, our veterans, and the disabled. We’ve volunteered individually and as a team at local food banks and shelters.
And perhaps most importantly, we’ve been instrumental in shaping minister registration laws across the USA, making it easier for non-traditional ministers and non-religious individuals to legally perform marriage. We work closely with government officials and lawyers all over the country to ensure that our ministers are always up-to-date and informed of nationwide policies.
We’ve even traveled across the country to personally stand alongside our ministers, amplify their voices, and fight for their rights when threatened by discriminatory practices.
Support & Community
We know what it’s like to feel wary and unsure of what comes next when you decide to get ordained online. That’s why you should look for an organization that will be available to help you after you click that “get ordained” button! When comparing ordination services, consider:
● Is it easy to contact and speak to someone (via phone or email) if you have any urgent questions or concerns?
AMM’s contact information is readily available, and we have dedicated associates who respond to all emails, phone calls, and direct messages!
● Are there real people behind the screen?
We are a real, live team of individuals who are personally and professionally dedicated to upholding our mission - and you can learn a bit about the members of our Church Board here!
● What if you want to pursue a career with your ordination?
With AMM, you can rest assured that you’re getting ordained with a federally recognized 501(c)(3) organization and non-denominational church that will guide and support you throughout the entire ordination and officiating process - and long afterward!
One of the great things about AMM is that so many of our valuable tools and learning materials are entirely free. To start, we offer an exclusive downloadable Officiant Timeline & Checklist, a crash course on ceremony basics, sample ceremony scripts, quizzes, guidance on how to handle the marriage license, and step-by-step state registration instructions.
However, we realize (and hope) that most folks take their role as officiant seriously, so we offer a variety of supplemental resources in our online store, too – everything from step-by-step guide books on officiating, to cut-and-paste wedding vows, to the enriching history of worldwide wedding customs and traditions.
We also maintain our American Weddings blog, where we keep our ministers and followers up to date on the best officiant practices, marriage laws and policies across the country, wedding trends – and so much more!