How Does Universal Life Church Ordination compare to Christian Leaders Institute?

Are you a Christian who has been called on to perform a Christian wedding ceremony or another ministry type of duty? Maybe you have learned about the Universal Life Church ordination process? Maybe you have little available time, so you are looking for a licensed or ordination clergy program that fits your calling to serve. You have done your own universal life church review, and what you like is that you can get ordained quickly. You have noticed that many celebrities have become ordained. People such as Glen Beck and Lady Gaga. (Source)

Free Ordination, No Hassles

As you make your Universal Life Church review inquiry, you find out that you can get “legally” ordained immediately. No study required, no doctrinal belief system, no recommendations that you are a person of character, no commissioning from a local or denominational Christian leader. No one prays over you. Maybe you wonder if this fits you because it seems self-evident that as a Christian, some process should be put in place to be a licensed or ordained minister.

 Online Ordinations Questioned

Some states such as North Carolina, Nevada, and Tennesse do not want to accept “online ordinations.” As you do your Universal Life Church Review and notice that it raises concern. While the internet offers great opportunities, it does seem there should be more involved than just ordering a piece of paper with your name on it. You would not consider ordering a piece of paper that says you were a trainer because someone asked you to exercise with them. You would want to show that you completed a trainer certification program before you set that expectation.

Religious Freedom

As you do your Universal Life Church review by clicking around the internet, you notice that the issue of religious freedom sounds great. In fact, Christianity Today wrote an article, “By the Power Vested in Me by God Or the Internet: The Fight Over Online Ordinations,” affirming the right for the Universal life Church to offer online ordinations. You conclude that religious freedom is essential, but you are unsure whether this quick option is right for you.

Is There an Option Suited for a Practicing Christian?

Your Universal Life Church review does not question whether Universal Life Church grants legal ordination in most states. You are seeking a more traditional form of ordination that fits your Christian faith. Christian Leaders Institute offers Christians a licensed or ordination process that includes free ministry training, local recommendations, commissioning, and global recognition.

Free Ministry Training

Christian Leaders Institute holds to a Statement of Faith that reflects a Biblical world and life view. In your Universal Life Church review, you notice that the Universal Life Church ordains you in the name of a non-Biblical worldview.

The ULC Wikipedia article writes,

The ULC has ordained ministers from a wide range of backgrounds and beliefs, including Christians, atheists, Wiccans, pagans, Jews, and people of many other faiths.

Plus, you find out that while the Universal Life Church offers minimal training, this training is accessed after you are already ordained. Many want to get the ministry training before they start the ordination or licensed clergy process.

The Apostle Paul modeled how Christian ministers are trained. He trained Timothy to be a minister. Paul writes in 1 Timothy 3:14-17,

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,  15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  16 All Scripture is God–breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  17 so that all God’s peoplea may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Christian Leaders Institute offers many training based programs that partner with the Christian Leaders Alliance. These include Licensed Wedding Officiants, Licensed Ministers, Ordained Deacon Ministers, Ordained Woman Ministers, and much more. See the full program. 

The only downside to this is that this will take the actual study of ministry training. But you can take all the courses online, and all the courses are free. You do not need to buy books, enroll, and set up a free ministry training account.

Local Recommendations

As you continue your Universal Church Review in detail, you notice that no one but yourself commends you in your ordination path. You declare you are a good person, and they send you ordination papers.

This detail seems odd to you. When you seek employment, most employers want you to provide references. Why should that be any different for being licensed or ordained clergy, whether someone is a volunteer, part-time, or full-time minister?

Christian Leaders Institute works with Christian Leaders Alliance to gather recommendations. If you want to perform a wedding ceremony for a loved one, you only need one recommendation. If you desire to be licensed as a minister, you will need two recommendations.  All the ordination programs require three recommendations.

There is a pattern Christian leaders live by. Ordained leaders are recognized. Even women ministers are recognized in the Bible.

Philippians 3:17     Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.

Rom. 16:1    I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon (minister) of the church in Cenchreae.  

This is also free of charge process. Christian Leaders Alliance is a global minister recognition and certification organization overseen by a group of Network ministers.


As you continue your study of becoming ordained, you notice that Universal Life Church and other online-only ordination locations do not require commissioning. Commissioning is a prayer by someone else, usually an ordained leader. It is described in the Bible as the laying on of hands ceremony. This ceremony is ordinarily public. The newly licensed or ordained Christian leader is asked whether they affirm the Bible as the Word of God and promise to serve as a faithful minister.

1 Timothy 4:14   Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.  

The Christian Leaders Alliance clergy process is commissioning that launches prayed-over ministers to serve.

Global Directory

You finish your Universal Life Church review and notice they have a global directory of ordained leaders. Millions are included. You like that. The public recognition identifies you as a minister.

Christian Leaders Alliance has a global directory that includes those licensed or ordained through the Christian Leaders Alliance. Click here.

Naming ministers as ordained ministers was a common practice in the early church.

Ephesians 6:21   So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything.

As you conclude, your Universal Life Church review finishing your in-depth research, you realize that the Univeral Life Church is free to offer these ordinations. However, they do not closely relate to the Biblical understanding of ordination. Many people have come to this same conclusion.

Andrew Peavey from Garland, Texas, in the Dallas metroplex, wrote about finding the Christian Leaders Institute for wedding officiant training and ordination opportunity.

So why am I here at the Christian Leaders Institute? My sister met a guy, and they fell in love. They asked me to officiate their wedding. So I went online to get ordained. That is kind of important to making their marriage legit in the eyes of the state. As I researched different online options, I realized so many of these online ordination companies did not support my worldview and values. I did not want my money for the certificate to go towards something I did not believe in or support.

Then I found online ordination at CLI. Their statement of faith and their desire to equip the saints for the work of ministry without having to rack up debt sold me on CLI. My main goal is to provide a Christ-centered wedding ceremony. A ceremony that my sister and future brother-in-law will look back fondly on in their grey-haired days. Online ordination at CLI has given me an opportunity to be equipped to do just that. Thank you, CLI! Read full story

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