• 1 copy of our AMM Minister’s Manual
• 1 Ordination Certificate
• 1 Letter of Good Standing
• 1 Certificate Holder
• Minister Licensing Instructions (where applicable)
• Minister Licensing Application Materials (where applicable)
IT IS VERY LIKELY YOU WILL EXPERIENCE DIFFICULTY ATTEMPTING TO REGISTER IN VIRGINIA
Ministers ordained online routinely face difficulty and discrimination when attempting to comply with Virginia’s registration requirements. We disagree with this practice wholeheartedly, and we would like to encourage you to apply for the authority to perform marriage - a privilege the Code of Virginia grants to all ministers.
In 2010, a representative of the Commonwealth's Attorney General's office issued an informal letter of opinion that has had the unfortunate consequence of making it very difficult for many ministers to perform marriage in Virginia.
That letter, written by then Opinions Council, Stephen McCullough, does not change Virginia law in any way. This opinion is not a judicial ruling and does not constitute an opinion of the Attorney General. Moreover, the letter makes no mention of American Marriage Ministries! Nonetheless, some county clerks have decided to simply deny all ministers who were ordained online, regardless of their faith and without consideration of individual circumstances.
The Code of Virginia states:
Section 20-23 Order Authorizing Ministers To Perform Ceremony
"When a minister of any religious denomination shall produce before the… clerk of… court at any time, proof of his ordination and of his being in regular communion with the religious society of which he is a reputed member, or proof that he holds a local minister’s license and is serving as a regularly appointed pastor in his denomination,… the clerk of such court at any time, may make an order authorizing such minister to celebrate the rites of matrimony in this Commonwealth."
This statute, in conjunction with Section of 16 of the Virginia Constitution and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, appear to confirm your authority to perform marriage as an AMM minister.
The county clerk may deny your registration, but we encourage you not to take “no" for an answer. If a clerk tells you that your ordination will not be accepted, politely tell them that you ARE a minister, you are applying, and you would like a formal review of your credentials like everyone else.
If you are interested in attempting to register in Virginia, we have created this package to send you the appropriate registration documents at no charge.