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How to Become an Ordained Minister in Ohio
Ministerial ordination for religious practice in the state of Ohio isn't a requirement of the state unless performing weddings and funerals within the state. All states are barred from implementing laws to regulate religious activities per the First Amendment in the U.S. Constitution. However, weddings and funerals in Ohio are considered a civil law in the state's point of view, requiring the minister to know the licensing laws for both. Ordination is performed by elders of a church or religious organization that is recognized by a given state, and the same holds true for the state of Ohio.
Find a church within the state of Ohio of a denomination which best fits your beliefs and understanding about the Bible. Denominations include Evangelical, Assemblies of God, Presbyterian, Methodist and others. Keep in mind that you will be asking to be a ministerial intern with the desired goal of becoming ordained by the denomination the church belongs to. Take your time and choose well.
Speak with the head minister of the church about your desire to become ordained to minister in the denomination, that you would like to be an intern. If the church will consider you for internship, be prepared to provide your seminary and educational credentials when asked to produce them for review.
Intern with the church and be willing to accept guidance from the head ministers of the church. They will instruct you in leading all activities as agreed upon by the member church's denomination. They will also instruct you in the marriage and funeral laws within the state of Ohio, including how to instruct parishioners to correctly fill out marriage licenses according to Ohio law.
Accept all position advances when offered to you. Your church may have many graduated positions leading up to formal recommendation for your ordination by the denomination. Such positions may go from intern to assistant pastor, all the way up to an offer to become a full-time pastor at a member church elsewhere within the state of Ohio. Execute the duties of each rank to the best of your abilities.
Accept the offer of ordination when offered. It is hard work moving through the various ministerial ranks while proving your understanding of all that you have learned. After accepting the offer for ordination, you will be granted an official Certificate of Ordination by the board of the church.
Present your Certificate of Ordination to any Ohio state official who may request it if any wedding or funeral you officiated comes into question for any reason. As a minister, you are held accountable by the state of Ohio if marriage or death certificates are improperly completed and submitted to the local Department of Vital Statistics. As such, always double-check the applications and verify the information your clients placed on them before submitting them to the state on behalf of your clients.
Ordination credentials can be revoked by the main headquarters of any denomination if church or state rules are repeatedly violated. Follow all Ohio state laws and denominational rules as an ordained minister.
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Kurt Schanaman has had several editorials printed by the Star-Herald Newspaper publication in Western Nebraska. He attended Western Nebraska Community College.