Ordination Program

Since 2008 the Christian Universalist Association, Inc. has offered a training course that can qualify a person to be ordained as a Christian Universalist minister. Men and women from around the world have been ordained, and more are currently in training. CUA ministers officiate at weddings and sacred union ceremonies, baptisms, funerals, the Lord’s Supper, also to teach and preach, lead study groups, and pastor congregations.

Men and women who meet all the requirements, regardless of their race, ethnicity, national origin, age, gender, disability, or sexual orientation, and upon their request, can be ordained in the context of worship and the gathered community. The ordination program is available to residents of all nations around the world. (One of our ministers is Tarek Salibi, who lives in Bahrain!)

Five ministers ordained by the CUA in 2011
Five ministers ordained by the CUA in 2011. (L to R: Mikal Rasheed, Mary Keller, Deborah Peterson, Blake Murray, and Judith Sheriff)

Various ways to receive ordination through the CUA:

The CUA ordination program is much like that in any established denomination. Education and ordination are handled separately. A traditional seminary, or Bible college degree, fulfills most of the educational requirements; and there are some Christian Universalist specific requirements as well.

  1. FastTrack: Many come to the CUA as experienced clergy, having come to a Universalist understanding during their ministry. For those who qualify with both ministry experience, and a traditional theological education, the process is simple: We check your references, and background. You write a few papers, and discuss things with our ordination committee. Assuming it’s a good fit, we will either officially recognize your existing ordination, or ordain you ourselves—whichever is best for your situation.
  2. Life Experience & Self Study: Some people have a lifetime of ministry, and self-education; but never earned a religious degree. We want to give those people life-experience & self-study credit.  We have a guide to help you present your case for recognition of your studies, in a way that will count towards ordination.  It’s not more work, it’s just a matter of showing us what you already know.  This combines your experience with our existing FastTrack program.
  3. Traditional Education: A fully-accredited Seminary education is great. Many CUA clergy have attended a traditional seminary. If you want a paid career in chaplaincy or academia, you need to graduate from a fully-accredited seminary. We would love to help you through the CUA ordination process, while you attend a fully-accredited seminary!
  4. Correspondence Education: If traditional seminary isn’t a good option for you, we  offer far less-expensive, unaccredited, minister training program.  It of a series of correspondence courses, plus a local internship program. Our training is a less intensive, but still similar to a traditional Master’s of Divinity program. See our education page for more on that.

Contact us to schedule a conversation about your education, or ordination!