How to Become an Ordained Minister in Arkansas

If you haven't yet become ordained with the Universal Life Church, that is the first step. Anyone willing can become a legal minister of the ULC, one of the world's largest religious organizations. Online ordination is fast, easy, and completely free. Once you have your minister license, you'll be eligible to officiate a wedding. To become a minister, start by clicking the button below!

Become Ordained!

How to Officiate a Wedding in Arkansas

Contact the County Clerk's office in the county where the ceremony will take place. Introduce yourself as a minister officiating a wedding, and ask them what documents they will need from you. They may ask to see a number of things, and be aware that these requirements vary from county to county. Rest assured that any materials or documents you might need are available in the Church Supplies section of our website.

Select your county to view contact information for each office:

The Arkansas state flower, the Apple Blossom

What Do You Need to Perform a Wedding in Arkansas

Once you've determined what you need, simply log in to your account and order the materials from our online catalog. Our ministers in Arkansas typically choose to get a Classic Wedding Kit. Although ministers are generally not required to register in the state of Arkansas, it's possible the county clerk will ask you to present proof of your ordination before they will accept the legality of the ceremonies you've performed. Also keep in mind that the couple may like to see your ordination credentials. As requested by the county clerks, please place your order well in advance of the wedding to avoid complications.

How to Get a Arkansas Marriage License

Licenses are issued by the County Clerk's office, and will be picked up by the couple. As a minister, you should be aware of the rules regarding marriage licenses in Arkansas and its individual counties. For example, if the couple plans to get a Washington County marriage license, you should double-check if there are any rules specific to Washington County. In the state of Arkansas, the license is valid for 60 days and there is no waiting period before the ceremony can be performed. However, make sure the couple knows that the signed marriage license must be returned to the issuing office before the expiration date.

How to Perform a Wedding

Congratulations, you're ready to officiate the wedding! If you need any assistance in this important task, we encourage you to utilize the tools below. Together these exclusive resources include everything you'll need to craft the perfect wedding ceremony for any couple. Created with our ministers in mind, they offer tips and helpful information for all aspects of performing a ceremony. Fun fact: many ULC ministers have become professional officiants using these tools as a guide!

Finalizing the Marriage

After you perform the ceremony, you will sign the marriage license along with the couple and their two witnesses. Your title is 'minister', the ceremony type is 'religious', and the denomination is 'non-denominational'. You will not be required to provide a license number. You may also wish to give the couple a commemorative gift, like a marriage certificate to mark their special day. Last thing: make sure the signed license gets resubmitted to the marriage office before the deadline!

Arkansas Marriage Laws

Marriage laws in Arkansas are primarily directed by Title 9 of the state code. This section defines persons authorized to perform a marriage in the State of Arkansas, which includes ordained ministers of the Universal Life Church, among other individuals. We've reproduced the relevant portion below:

9-11-213. Persons who may solemnize marriages.

(a) For the purpose of being registered and perpetuating the evidence thereof, marriage shall be solemnized only by the following persons:

(1) The Governor;

(2) Any former justice of the Supreme Court;

(3) Any judges of the courts of record within this state, including any former judge of a court of record who served at least four (4) years or more;

(4) Any justice of the peace, including any former justice of the peace who served at least two (2) terms since the passage of Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55;

(5) Any regularly ordained minister or priest of any religious sect or denomination;

(6) The mayor of any city or town;

(7) Any official appointed for that purpose by the quorum court of the county where the marriage is to be solemnized; or

(8) Any elected district court judge and any former municipal or district court judge who served at least four (4) years.

(b) (1) Marriages solemnized through the traditional rite of the Religious Society of Friends, more commonly known as Quakers, are recognized as valid to all intents and purposes the same as marriages otherwise contracted and solemnized in accordance with law.

(2) The functions, duties, and liabilities of a party solemnizing marriage, as set forth in the marriage laws of this state, in the case of marriages solemnized through the traditional marriage rite of the Religious Society of Friends shall be incumbent upon the clerk of the congregation or, in his or her absence, his or her duly designated alternate.