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How to Become an Ordained Minister in New York

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Starting a ministry in New York can be a way to meet people's needs and earn some money at the same time. A common business venture for ordained ministers is performing marriages. New York does not require state licensing for its ministers, though New York City does have licensing requirements for weddings performed in Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. Ministers must be at least 18 years old but do not need to be residents of the state.

Complete any seminary training your church requires you to do, if applicable. Not all churches recognize the authority of free or online-based ordinations. New York does not require your school to be in the state for you to be ordained there.

Choose a ministry to ordain you if you do not go to seminary. Several ministries, both Christian and non-Christian, exist that offer ordinations valid in New York. Some examples include First International Church of the Web, American Marriage Ministries and American Fellowship Church.

Research the ministry's spiritual position by reading its statement of faith. You and the ministry should reflect each other's beliefs.

Submit the application for ordination in New York along with the appropriate fee, if applicable.

Store the documents you receive from the ordaining ministry in a safe location. You may have to provide these documents as proof of your ordination when you register with the county, city or town clerk in the area you have your ministry.


Your ministry is not tax-exempt simply because you are ordained. Consult a tax professional if you seek tax-exempt status.