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How do I Become a Ordained Minister in West Virginia?

by Tara Dooley

In West Virginia, like all other states, there are no license requirements to become a minister and preach the word of God. The only requirement from the state is that ministers have a license to marry couples. Requirements of various religions, however, might require that ministers be ordained. The act of becoming ordained normally involves study toward a certificate of ordination and possibly an ordination ceremony.

Contact an online organization that will help you become ordained in the religion of your choice such as the American Fellowship Church, American Marriage Ministries and West Virginia Church of Christ. These organizations, and others, offer online help to people in different states to become ordained according to religious and state laws. You can also choose a more in-person route by attending a brick-and-mortar school in West Virginia such as Appalachian Bible College or Bethany College. You will need to satisfy the school's registration requirements to attend.

Apply to the school of your choice, either online or brick-and-mortar, and get accepted.

Study the required courses for your degree if you chose a brick-and-mortar school, and pass your classes to graduate. For online studies, take the classes and self-study courses needed to meet requirements.

Obtain a certificate for ordination from your online religious establishment after you have fulfilled the study requirements. For brick-and-mortar schools, you will need to take your degree and study information to your specific religious institution. The institution will ordain you either by issuing a certificate, performing a ceremony or both. In the case of online programs, there is typically some fee that must be paid for the ordination certificate. Pay the fees.

Apply to the state for a license to officiate at marriage ceremonies. In West Virginia, you must have a license to perform marriages for the ceremonies to be legal. Register for a license to perform marriages through the Secretary of State's office.

About the Author

Tara Dooley has written for various websites since 2008. She has worked as an accountant, after-school director and retail manager in various locations. Dooley holds a Bachelor of Science in business management and finance.

Photo Credits

  • West Virginia state contour against blurred USA flag image by Stasys Eidiejus from Fotolia.com