We recently received an inquiry asking why ordination terms expire:
My understanding is that Ordination does not expire. Can you explain about the 2 year, 5 year and 10 year materials? What happens at the end of the time period?
We responded, but the person’s email address was apparently incorrect and our message bounced back to us, so we’re printing our reply here:
To be fully compliant with general legal standards, ordination cannot be granted “for life.” Most ordaining bodies — churches and religious organizations — conform with a standard that limits the ordination term to a specific period.
This gives both parties the option to continue the relationship, or to terminate it. In essence, what happens if ten, or twenty or even thirty years from now, you decide that you don’t want to be ordained by the church any longer, but the church still has you on record as being ordained?
The truth of the matter is that ordination is one of the most misunderstood subjects for both pastors and churches. And unfortunately, ministers have bought into some “myths” concerning ordination.
— Raul Rivera*
At the end of your ordination term, it is your option to either renew extend your ordination, or allow it to lapse. If you have remained in good standing, it is usually a quick and simple process. And if your ordination term has recently lapsed, we generally grant you an extended grace period so that you can renew without losing your standing as a ceremonial minister.
Is it time to renew your ordination term? Please click here to begin the renewal process now.
Ready to be ordained? We’re ready to help! Click here to request ordination now.
* — Looking for more information about the legal implications of ordination and license renewal? Read Raul Rivera’s article at StartChurch.com.