The cost of seminary education is becoming prohibitively expensive. With congregations out there who can’t afford a pastor, there have been some novel approaches to cutting corners. Perhaps this is the end of the line, the final solution -- the Universal Life Church:
The Universal Life Church is the only denomination worldwide that opens its doors to all, welcoming all who feel called to be a minister to complete a free online ordination to be a minister, rabbi, priest or pastor. We are a non-denominational community and offer a full spectrum of support services. Millions of ministers have become legally ordained through the ULC Monastery all over the world. We do not have tests of loyalty, religious rings to kiss, nor do we require payment. The Universal Life Church wholly believes in its mantra - "We are all children of the same universe."Now lest you think I’m joking, I actually know someone who did this. (He’s not a Christian.) His nephew wanted his favorite uncle to marry him, so why not? He got his online diploma, and he’s good to go. You may now kiss the bride. Now here’s the kicker:
The Universal Life Church Monastery represents religious freedom, both freedom from and freedom of religion. At the ULC Monastery there is no hierarchy, and no one is held above another. All faiths are considered equal and no deity is held above another.
Online ordination in the ULC Monastery allows anyone from anywhere in the world to perform nondenominational weddings, funerals, baptisms, and other services in most states and counties in the United States. For information about the marriage laws of all fifty U.S. states, as well as those of other countries (including Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand), visit our Wedding Laws database. As a ULC minister, you will be a legally recognized wedding officiant, funeral officiant, or baptism officiant, among other things.
When couples want to find a wedding officiant to perform their wedding, you will be able to offer them your personalized services without going through the often unfair and unjustified hassle of traditional seminary training. [emphasis added]Their goal is “is to educate new ministers in the basics of their profession, regardless of faith, beliefs or religion.” You heard it here first. Let’s hope none of our seminarians get a whiff of this – they’ll be bailing left and right to avoid the unfair and unjustified hassle of traditional seminary training, not to mention the $60,000 in tuition. And I can only imagine what will happen if some of our district presidents get a hold of this. No more problems for “non-calling” congregations.
Just to seal the deal, you can watch Conan O’Brien give ULC his endorsement here.