Avoid Online Ordination Scams

by Rev. Henry Reyenga
President of Christian Leaders Institute

Is there a way for a legitimate online ordination? Ordination is necessary because people need to know whether someone has been set apart for the ministry to be trusted. The Internet brings great convenience for people to get that ordination online.

Online ordination scams have surfaced. These scams have been called to the attention of the Christian Leaders Institute. Thousands of Christian leaders have purchased ordination certificates only to find out they are bogus. Many officials will not recognize an “online-only” ordination that does not include study and local recommendations.  The “online-only” ordination scams have compelled Christian Leaders Institute to support an ordination program that has the following characteristics:

1. Study Program Covering the Essentials of Ministry Education

Christian Leaders Institute offers free training with college grade Bible school classes that prepare leaders for minister ordination. The deacon minister ordination is available for men or women.

The Ordained Deacon Minister curriculum includes:

  • Christian Leaders Connection (3 Credits)
  • Christian Wedding Officiant Skill  (1 Credit)
  • Ministry Officiant Skills (2 Credits)
  • Christian Basics (3 Credits)
  • Deacon Minister Ordination (1 Credit)

Total of 10 Credits

Online ordination scams do not require ministry training. Ordination to be a pastor without training is like asking a person without driver’s training to drive a car on a busy highway.

Ordained Christian leaders are called to bring healing to souls. Christian Leaders Institute believes high-quality training should be verified for ordination.

Christian Leaders Institute provides the study programs for several ordained ministry roles. Click here to find out more.

2. Study Program Featuring Three Local Recommendations.

These recommendations confirm your calling, gifts, and temperament for ministry.

Online ordination scams are usually not connected to recommenders or local leaders. This lack of local connection is one of the telltale characteristics of a scam. In the early history of local ordination practices, it was essentially local first. Local Christian leaders commended and prayed over newly ordained ministers. The ordination candidate had the confidence of Christian leaders who recognized the walk, calling and the 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 the Deacon minister study, students must gather the endorsements of three recommenders and one signer. The signer is ordinarily an ordained leader in a local church or a mentor or minister on the directory with Christian Leaders Alliance.

Online Ordination Scams Characteristics

Here are the characteristics of online ordination scams from a Biblical perspective: (Learn more about Studying the Bible, Click Here)

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 ask you to just 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 “online-only” ordinations without training and local connection are likely scams. They are online ordination scams because the public at large thinks that pastors need training and local connections when most online ordinations 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.

Christian Leaders Institute Ordination

Christian Leaders Institute developed a program to help minimize 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.

Christian Leaders Institute has trained graduates in over 190 country codes.   Click here to see the directory.

Check out the stories of those who have been ordained through Christian Leaders Institute, click the pictures: