How to Become a Minister in Texas

Three Methods:Preparing to Be a MinisterGetting Ordained OnlineFollowing a Religious Path

Becoming a minister means that you can play a significant role in people's lives during momentous occasions. As a minister, you can officiate wedding ceremonies and funerals. If you choose to become a minister in order to follow a religious path, you can work as a chaplain, start churches, and work with church congregations in addition to officiating marriages and funerals.

Method 1
Preparing to Be a Minister

  1. Image titled Become a Reverend Step 9
    Meet Texas state requirements to be a minister in Texas: You must be over the age of 18 (be an adult). No other state restrictions apply for a minister.[1]
  2. Image titled Know You Want to Become a Pastor Step 2
    Decide how you will become a minister. There are two ways to become a minister: through a religious education or through an ordination program, typically offered in person through a church, or remotely online. Those pursuing religious education tend to want to work in a religious role, such as church leadership, where religious duties largely comprise the role of minister in an organization. Others choose to become a minister solely to be licensed to officiate weddings. Decide your path ahead of time.
  3. Image titled Get Ordained Step 7
    Prepare paperwork. Texas does not require any licensing or registration with the government when one becomes a minister.[2] However, becoming a minister can influence taxes, and it is best to understand these potential changes ahead of time. Familiarize yourself with Form 4361 from the Internal Revenue Service, the application for exemption from self employment tax for ministers.[3]
  4. Image titled Get Ordained Step 2
    Be in good standing. Once ordained, some counties may require you to remain in good standing with the ordaining body. This means that your information would be up-to-date through the website you used to complete ordination. If you are unsure whether this is required in your county, call the county clerk's office, and ask whether this is necessary. If so, it usually requires nothing more than a certificate issued from the organization.[4]

Method 2
Getting Ordained Online

  1. Image titled Get Ordained Step 1
    Choose an organization. There are many options to choose from when deciding where to obtain online ordination. Decide whether you want to associate with and fulfill rules and regulations of a religiously affiliated organization or to have no affiliation. Some ordination websites are free, while others charge. Some provide certificates of ordination, materials to assist in ceremonies, or manuals to help get you started. Choose what will suit you best.
  2. Image titled Give an Interview Step 22
    Complete the ordination application. Most applications are short and quick to complete. You will need to provide some basic information, such as your name, address, and email address. Some applications may ask you for your reasons to become a minister.
  3. Image titled Get Ordained Step 8
    Receive written confirmation/or certificate. Be sure to receive confirmation, as this will enable you to perform duties of a minister. Some organizations will send a certificate to you, either by mail or through email to confirm your ordination as a minister. While the state of Texas will not require any documentation, some county clerks may ask for proof of ordination. A certificate should be sufficient.[5]

Method 3
Following a Religious Path

  1. Image titled Know You Want to Become a Pastor Step 5
    Understand religious ordination. Ordination into a particular church requires a demonstration of your commitment to that church and actions to acknowledge the church's recognition of your commitment. All 50 states accept church ordination to perform religious ceremonies, including weddings.[6]
  2. Image titled Pray to God (Beginners) Step 24
    Search your heart for the call. Many churches encourage those seeking ordination to experience a call, or a longing to work in ministry. The work of a minister can be difficult, and Biblical knowledge and spiritual preparation is necessary to succeed. Beyond teaching on Sunday mornings, a minister's duty often requires comforting those who grieve and counseling troubled individuals in a variety of circumstances.[7]
  3. Image titled Get Ordained Step 10
    Determine the requirements of your church or denomination. The state of Texas does not dictate requirements in ordination, but the church or denomination can. Each denomination differs as to how an individual can receive ordination as a minister. If you plan to minister within a particular organization or denomination, speak to/consult with the leadership for the distinctive guidelines dictating their qualifications of ordination, as guidelines vary.
    • For example, the Presbyterian church requires active church membership, coming under care (providing your religious testimony and the reasons you feel called to church work), licensure (completing a Bachelor's degree and seminary training, completing exams) a call to work at a church congregation, and ordination into the role of minister.[8]
    • As another example, the Baptist Church distinguishes between state licensed and church ordained ministers, and only ordained ministers can perform marriage ceremonies for a church. Each church decides how to ordain a minister but typically offer ordination following graduation from seminary.[9]
  4. Image titled Know You Want to Become a Pastor Step 9
    Consider seeking further educational opportunities. While possessing a degree in theology is not a requirement to become a minister in Texas "non-denominational" churches, the benefit of learning in a disciplined, systematic method could be a firm foundation. Advance your career by attending a seminary affiliated with your denomination or one which is independent/non-denominational. It is not necessary to attend seminary in Texas in order to receive ordination in Texas.
  5. Image titled Get Ordained Step 11
    Accept ordination. Ordination in the Christian faith may be as simple as recognition by a local church leadership, usually expressed in a special church service for that purpose. But, it can also require extensive education, testing/exams, depending on a denomination in which you may obtain ordination.

Article Info

Categories: Occupations | Careers in Christianity