Online Ordination Scams
Online ordination holds great promise for called leaders to get ordained to the ministry. Ordination is necessary because people need to know whether someone has been set apart for ministry. The Internet brings great convenience for people to get that ordination in their home or on their smartphones or tablet devices.
Online ordination scams have surfaced. These scams have been called to the attention of Christian Leaders Institute. Hundreds of Christian leaders have purchased ordination certificates only to find out they are bogus. The online ordination scams have compelled Christian Leaders Institute to offer an ordination that has the following characteristics:
1. A study program that covers the essentials of ministry training.
Christian Leaders Institute offers free training that gives Seminary grade Bible school classes that prepare leaders for officiant ordination. The curriculum includes Christian Basics, Church and Ministry, Pastoral Care and Marriage, and People Smart for Ministry. Plus a special Officiant Ordination Class preparing you for that calling. This officiant ordination program is a 20-hour program beamed to each student.
Online ordination scams do not require ministry training. While, in some cases, the ordination into the ministry may be justified, in most cases ordination to be a pastor without training is like asking a doctor without training to do surgery on someone. Ordained Christian leaders are called to bring healing to souls. Christian Leaders Institute believes high-quality training should be verified for ordination.
2. A study program that has local Christian church connection to confirm your character.
Online ordination scams are usually not connected to local churches or local leaders. This lack of local connection is one of the telltale characteristics of a scam. Historically, ordination is thought of as a “Church” function. The ordination candidate has the confidence of ordained church leaders who recognize the walk, calling and doctrine of the newly ordained leader. The apostle Paul told Timothy,
Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure. (1 Timothy 5:22)
Christian Leaders Institute structures the ordination program connected to local churches and local ordained leaders. After students complete 20 hours of study that is connected to a local mentor; students must gather the endorsements of three recommenders and one signer. The signer is ordinarily an ordained leader in a local church. While this does not totally assure a qualified and credible candidate for ordination, it does go a long way to confirming the calling and qualifications of the ordained leader.
3. A Study program that leads the ordination candidate through testing.
Online ordination scams do not test candidates in their competent knowledge for ministry. The general public does not know whether someone is qualified or a phony. These online ordination scams just want payment. Often the website looks impressive, but the certificate is just a piece of paper.
Christian Leaders Insitute issues an online Officiant certificate after the student proves his/her competency. Each student must take tests in their 20 credit hour journey. Students also are tested on the meaning of ordination including the ordination of women. If students do not pass this class, they will not be issued an ordination certificate.
Online Ordination Scams
Here are the characteristic of online ordination scams from a Biblical perspective:
1. Online ordination scams do not have historical standards of knowledge or competence. Online ordination scams will even tell you on their websites that you can put the “crown on your head.” One of the most popular online ordination scams is The Open Ministry. This website even says that everyone can get ordained if they ask.
“Everyone has the right and responsibility to determine what is right. The Open Ministry ordains those who ask, without cost and without question of faith. It is not your ordination or the piece of paper, which makes you a minister – rather it is your activity, how you act and what you do.”
2. Online ordination scams just ask you to pay money in exchange for an “ordination certificate.” These scams are very common. Back in the middle ages of the church, people would buy ordinations for financial purposes. Today people want to buy ordinations too. For instance, many want to buy an ordination so that they can officiate at a wedding. While this seems harmless, it still is not a historic Christian church ordination in any way.
These purchased ordinations without training, and local connection is likely scams. They are online ordination scams because the public at large thinks that pastors need training and local connections when most online ordination are just a piece of paper.
This page was written partly because so many of our Christian Leaders Institute students and graduates have purchased these ordination certificates and they found that they were only worth the piece of paper they were printed on. These ordinations are seen for what they are by the wider public.
Christian Leaders Officiant Ordination
Christian Leaders Institute developed a program to end the online ordination scams and give called Christian leaders a way to be ordained in a free training model in partnership with local churches and leaders.
Here is the story of one ordained leader from the state of Florida – Kurt Van Drie:
I’m 62 years old, I live in Fernandina Beach, Florida, in the United States, and I am semi-retired from my day job. I’m married with four children and seven grandchildren.
Having been ordained through Christian Leaders Institute (CLI), my wife and I have followed our calling to take the Gospel out to the people by holding ‘Off the Grid’ style worship services in parks and on beaches near our home. These ‘services’ are very informal, bringing praise and worship music, scripture reading and a short message to those who may not otherwise go to a church.
We set up a few extra, empty chairs so that ‘passers-by’ will be encouraged to stop and listen. Our prayer is that through this type of services, others will be brought to the Lord and begin attending an established church that preaches the Gospel. We hope to take our ministry ‘on the road’ in the future in a campground ministry. While some would scoff at this, we do face a rather cold winter here in north east Florida for holding services outside so a challenge for us is locating possible ‘bad weather’ locations that we can switch to on short notice.
I would consider myself an Evangelist and a Pastor to those we encounter. My local church has assisted me both through the pastor being my mentor and in supporting and promoting the worship services that my wife and I hold. As my mentor, my pastor has provided ‘hands’ on evaluation, one-on-one instruction that ties in with the teaching at CLI. I feel this is a valuable ‘tool’ that is needed by students attending CLI, as the mentor relationship allows for a personal interaction based on the class, that is not available in the online format. CLI also offers ‘forums’ to participate in and the instructors and staff at CLI have been quick to respond to any inquiry that I have made.
Christian Leaders Institute has provided me with a clear path to obtain my ordination. Due to my age, work status and economic situation, there is no way I would have been able to obtain this high-quality education (yes – it IS work to complete these courses!) without Christian Leaders Institute and those who provide the donations to CLI each month.
Plans are to continue my education through CLI and complete each of the courses that are offered. The classes taken to this point have been extremely beneficial both in increasing my knowledge of Scripture; how to interpret Scripture and how to present Scripture to others through preaching have been in the forefront. Also, there have been classes on Church and Ministry and Pastoral Care and Marriage that have already been helpful in discussions with a couple in a ‘pre-marriage’ consultation. That resulted in officiating in their marriage ceremony, a true blessing! This class has also helped my wife, and I adjust to the new challenges that will be forthcoming in our ministry as a couple.
I praise God for this opportunity and ask for your prayers that the gifts God has provided to me through CLI will be used for His glory to spread the Gospel to those who for some reason stay out of church situations.
Enroll now and begin training on your path to real and local ordination!