Becoming an ordained minister can be a wonderful conversation starter and an excellent way to impress your current friends or make some extra cash on the side proctoring weddings. However, when most people think of the ordination process, they picture long study hours behind religious text and pricey admission costs to a clergy oriented school. In fact, becoming ordained is surprisingly easy and quick to perform. You can get all the benefits of being a registered clergyman without any of the hard work!
Thanks to the power of the internet, getting ordained in today's day and age is as easy as turning on your computer and getting online. Many websites exist that only require a small amount of information and a mouse click before giving you the ability to perform weddings and funerals.
The Universal Life Church
The most well known organization that provides these online ordinations is known as the Universal Life Church. They've been around since the early 60's and have ordained over 20 million people worldwide. Not adhering to a specific religious dogma, their motto is do "that which is right" and can fit into an array of religious beliefs.
I've personally obtained my certification from the Universal Life Church and the experience was easy and simple. All you must do is go onto their website and fill out a quick form with information such as your name, address, and phone number. Once that information is submitted, your registration is on file and you're then able to enjoy all of the perks of being a real minister.
You can then print out your certification or order "official" documents from their site, as well as literature on performing ceremonies.
Once ordained, you are then authorized by most states to perform legal weddings. There exists no central ceremony that you must adhere to, but a quick google search will give you plenty of ideas to get you started.
Performing these weddings can be a great experience and help you with public speaking while allowing you to be a major part of your loved ones' weddings. Personally, I've had a friend's mother come and thank me for performing a beautiful service and the feeling I got from that alone was amazing.
You also have the advantage of not belonging to a strict denomination with much religious dogma. The weddings you perform can be very open ended and the only limit is the wishes of the bride and groom.
Word of Warning
Not every governments recognizes the certification from the Universal Life Church. It's up to you to determine whether the weddings you perform will be legal under your local laws.