How to Obtain a License to Become an Ordained Minister in Kentucky

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Although the Commonwealth of Kentucky once required a formal minister's license of clergymen to officiate at weddings, funerals and other similar functions, the state legislature rescinded those requirements in the mid-1990s. However, to officiate at, or "solemnize" a wedding in Kentucky, you must be a duly ordained priest, minister, rabbi or other leader in regular communion with your religious order. This will grant you the authority to sign and certify marriage certificates.

Wedding Officiants

Discuss your plans to enter the ministry with your pastor, rabbi, priest or other religious leader. They can give you valuable advice about whether the calling of religious and spiritual leadership is for you. Typically, major religious ordersoften require the recommendation of a religious leader within your tradition prior to ordination.

Enroll in theology courses. Most major religions require the equivalent of a bachelor's degree, or even a master's degree, in the theology and religious literature specific to your traditions. There are a number of theological and seminary institutions within Kentucky that are dedicated to training members of the clergy, but your religion may require you to attend school out of state prior to ordination.

Complete a period of apprentice leadership within your church, temple or synagogue. Specific requirements vary, but most religious orders require their ordination candidates to act in leadership positions within their communities prior to ordination.


Some religious organizations will grant ordination by mail or via the internet with a minimal course of study. These are typically not well-known, established religious institutions. However, completing their requirements for ordination -- and, of course, sending in a fee -- will be sufficient for the purpose of officiating at a Kentucky wedding.