Since shortly after the founding of the CUA in 2007, one of the most requested services has been ordination; people from around the world have been ordained. CUA ministers are chaplains, pastors, and teachers; working in major hospitals, local congregations, and inpatient care settings—around the world.
Eligibility to apply for ordination is available without regard to race, gender, gender identity, age, class, nationality, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, or any other characteristic of human diversity. The ordination program is available to residents of all nations around the world, but unfortunately many textbooks are only available in English.
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 degree, or at least a Christian Bachelor’s, from a generally recognized school, 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:
- Traditional Education: Ministerial education normally means getting a three-year Master’s of Divinity from a seminary. Like almost every denomination, we too assume that candidates are getting a traditional seminary education; though for us, a Christian Bachelor’s will suffice. Ministry experience (ideally in a leadership role), internship, or chaplain training (CPE) is also required to apply through the traditional route. If you are currently studying for this type of degree, you can submit an application for ordination with the CUA, and get that started while you are still in school.
- Fast Track: If you already have both your degree and ministry experience (see above), we will fast track your application. 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.
- 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 Clinical Pastoral Education unit, or other local internship. The coursework is similar to a traditional Seminary Master’s, but less intensive. See our education page for more on that.
- Life Experience & Self Study: Some people have taught Christian Universalism for years; either through published writings, or sermons, and studied for years; 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, writings, and other ministry experience, in a way that will count towards ordination. It’s not more work, it’s just a matter of showing us what you have already done, over a lifetime of CU ministry.