What does ordination as an interfaith minister mean?

Ordination is not a given. If you complete the course and graduate and have demonstrated the necessary skills and competencies for ministry there is an opportunity for you to be ordained. Those ordained can choose to use the title of Reverend, not as a mark of status but as a reminder of their reverence for all life, signifying a quiet acceptance of an inner spiritual authority that is both radical and profound.

Many go on to choose to offer service as celebrants, or spiritual counsellors, or to be of service in a myriad of other ways. For those who choose to join OneSpirit’s register of ministers (ROSIM), it means they can identify themselves as a OneSpirit Interfaith Minister, use our logo and hold themselves accountable to the standards we recommend for public ministry.

What does ordination as an interfaith minister entail?

After successfully completing the training, two ceremonies mark the passage of ordination:

  • first, a vow-taking ceremony in which all ordinands say their own personal vow, witnessed and affirmed by their class, tutors and other ordained ministers;
  • later, at a more public facing ceremony witnessed by family and friends, ordinands step forward in silence and stand alone to receive their ordination from the natural, pre-ordained, ordinary, sacred, original, essential authority of who we truly are. On the self-affirmed authority of the Divine Self, the God Within, the Great Silence, the Source, the Call It What You Will – it is within, as it is above, below and between too. They then step back into the circle to have this experience blessed and affirmed by tutors and those present.

This is a radical and profound shift away from an outer authority, being the conductor for the energy of ordination. And it reflects the shift towards the awakening of inner authority, with ordination having forged its meaning in one’s own inner language, 100 percent in choice, and in communion with one’s own alignment within Grace. Ordination requires a deep, ongoing commitment to OneSpirit’s Code of Ethics – your status as an interfaith minister may be revoked if you are found to be in breach of this code.

If you choose to enter public ministry at some point following ordination, you will be expected to join the Register of OneSpirit Interfaith Ministers (ROSIM), which will allow you to use the title of OneSpirit Interfaith Minister, subject to the conditions of membership and your commitment to remain accountable to the standards we require for public ministry. If you do not join the professional register, you can, of course, still identify yourself as an independent interfaith minister trained by OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation, but your ministry will not be recognised or endorsed by OneSpirit.

What happens if I’m not ready for ordination after graduation?

The timing of ordination can extend beyond the two years and may be re-considered and chosen in years after the successful completion of the two-year training.

OneSpirit reserves the right to delay graduation and/or ordination and may request that a student undergo additional training or growth before being ordained. This may involve additional expense. It is essential that each student preparing for Ordination is seen by their tutors as being deeply aligned in their whole being with OneSpirit’s Code of Ethics.

Are the terms ‘graduation’ and ‘ordination’ the same thing?

No, you can graduate without going on to ordination. Ordination is a choice at the end of the two year training, ‘in addition to’ rather than as an assumption upon completion of the course requirements.  Ordination is an indication that each candidate has their own and the faculty’s agreement that they are ready, in essence, to serve authentically.

Please note that to be eligible for ordination you will need to:

  • be up to date with all your course work and assignments.
  • have your tutors’ confirmation that you have the skills and competencies required for ministry.
  • be up to date with your fee payments.
    Is an interfaith minister the same as a celebrant?

    OneSpirit does not run a celebrant training programme, there is much more to training as a minister than developing the skill to hold a ceremony. Indeed, even experienced celebrants can be drawn to undertake our training to add a deeper spiritual dimension to their practice and their ceremonies. However the training does prepare our students to conduct ceremonies as interfaith ministers, such as wedding blessing ceremonies (with no legal aspect), funerals, baby namings and other rites of passage.

    If I become an interfaith minister, will I be able to conduct legal ceremonies such as weddings?

    Ministers can be authorised to hold the legal aspect of a wedding ceremony, depending on regulatory frameworks that can differ according to location. Ministers in Scotland and Northern Ireland can apply to be nominated by OneSpirit to join the legal Solemniser registers. For ministers in Ireland, nominations to the legal Solemniser register held by the GRO are made by the Association of One Spirit Interfaith Ministers of Ireland. In all cases, membership of the Register of OneSpirit Interfaith Ministers is a requirement. Please note, nomination requires additional training, and it could be up to 12 months after ordination before you meet the necessary requirements as a new minister. We will not support ministers seeking to transfer from being nominated by OneSpirit to another nominating body.

    Do interfaith ministers have to belong to a particular religion?

    Interfaith ministers do not adhere to any particular religion or creed, unless it is the path of the individual minister; we all come to serve others on whatever pathway they are on, from our own pathway, whatever that is.