Universal Life Church Monastery
|Universal Life Church Monastery|
|Separated from||Universal Life Church|
|Ministers||20 million (2011)[not in citation given]|
The Universal Life Church Monastery is a non-denominational interfaith ministry that is primarily known for its online ordination program, which allows individuals to preside over weddings, baptisms, and funerals across the United States depending on state and county laws. George Freeman is president of the Seattle, Washington-based ministry. It claims to have ordained 20 million ministers.
The Universal Life Church Monastery was founded in 1977 as an offshoot of the Universal Life Church. The church first established a website that allowed individuals to apply for ordination in 1995. Universal Life Church Monastery formally split from the Modesto-based Universal Life Church in 2006 following financial and legal disputes between the two bodies. Universal Life Church Monastery then began ordaining ministers through its own website.
Universal Life Church Monastery's mantra is "We are all children of the same universe." It also has two core tenets:
- Do only that which is right.
- Every individual is free to practice their religion in the manner of their choosing, as mandated by the First Amendment, so long as that expression does not impinge upon the rights or freedoms of others and is in accordance with the government's laws.
The monastery's stated mission is to ordain anyone regardless of their spiritual or religious denomination. It does not have a physical building that serves as a house of worship, and conducts ordination through its website. According to the church, ordination allows its ministers to perform marriages, funerals, baptisms, and exorcisms. It provides ordination services free of charge.
- "UI students serve as ordained ministers". The Daily Iowan. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
- "Chapel Bound: Getting Ordained Online". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
- "Pa. judge nullifies weddings by online ministers". USA Today. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
- "The Officiant Among Us". The New York Times. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
- "Universal Life Church: Ordained online". The Religion News Blog. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
- "About the Universal Life Church". Universal Life Church Ministries. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
- "Controversial online ordination surges in popularity". Emerald Media Group. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
- "The Next Same-Sex Marriage Battle: Who Will Officiate?". Forbes. Retrieved December 27, 2014.