Since 2008 the Christian Universalist Association has offered both ministerial training and ordination, 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.
Five ministers ordained by the CUA in 2011. (L to R: Mikal Rasheed, Mary Keller, Deborah Peterson, Blake Murray, and Judith Sheriff)
Four different 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 Christian Bachelors, degree fulfills most of the educational requirements; and there are a couple Christian Universalist specific requirements as well. We also have our own full correspondence education, plus different accelerated programs–depending on your background & experience:
- 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.
- 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!
- 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 knowledge with our existing FastTrack program.
- Correspondence Education: If traditional seminary isn’t a good option for you, we offer a far less-expensive, unaccredited, minister training program. It’s a series of correspondence courses, plus a local internship. The coursework is similar to a traditional Seminary Master’s, but less intensive. See our education page for more on that.