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How to Become a Non Denominational Pastor

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Nondenominational pastors feel called by a higher authority but not called by a religious organization. These pastors often do not want to be subject to the traditions and regulations of an organized sect and instead prefer to follow their own heart when establishing a church. While the regulations of traditional churches vary, most involve some form of education in church doctrine to qualify for licensing with the organization.

Learn the laws of your state regarding the pastor requirements. State laws typically specify that a couple needs an ordained minister to perform the ceremony for legal marriages.

Receive your ordination from a company providing ordination credentials. Many organized denominations do not recognize ordination from any other organization, so if you ever wish to pastor a denominational church you will have to go through that organization's ordination process.

Apply for positions at nondenominational churches or organizations. Working with an experienced pastor can help you acquire the knowledge required to work with congregations and those seeking spiritual guidance.

Study the Internal Revenue Service's Publication 517. This publication assists pastors in understanding the special tax requirements for those in the ministry. While ministers can qualify as exempt from Social Security taxes if they feel that the program is against their religious beliefs, they are still responsible for paying taxes on their income.

Tip

Many companies provide ordination online; prices vary so shop for the company that meets your financial as well as your state requirements. If your state requires a Statement of Good Standing, make sure that the company authorizing your ordination provides this.

Warning

If you do not meet the IRS requirements for ministers -- which include ordination -- you cannot request a Social Security tax exemption.

About the Author

Specializing in business and finance, Lee Nichols began writing in 2002. Nichols holds a Bachelor of Arts in Web and Graphic Design and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Mississippi.

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