Frequently Asked Questions about Ordination and the Ordained Ministry of The Satanic Temple
This document focuses on questions specifically pertaining to The Satanic Temple Ministry and its online ordination program. If you have more general questions about The Satanic Temple, please go to our main website thesatanictemple.com.
Read This First
Many answers below refer to documents on this site. Here is a list of links to those documents
Answers below may use specialized terms (e.g. "Suryan Council", "Non-Ordination Seeking Student", "Ordination Committee"). A list of terms and definitions appears in the Ordination Standards Section I.B.
Answers below sometimes use phrases such as "contact the Ordination Council," "contact the Suryan Council," and "contact Website Support." The email addresses for these groups can be found on our Contact Page.
If you have a question that is not answered here or in any of the above linked documents, please contact the Ordination Council to let us know.
Due to the high volume of email we receive, we will not reply to emails that ask about topics already covered in this document or emails that do not contain a clear question pertaining to ordination.
If you are ordained or intend to register as a candidate, we recommend you read through this document at least once from beginning to end.
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I. Ordination Process & Requirements
Am I eligible to be ordained by The Satanic Temple?
If you are a Satanist, a member of The Satanic Temple, and a Citizen or Permanent Resident in the United States, then you may register as an Ordination Candidate. During the registration process you will be required to provide accurate personal information, consent to a criminal background check, and agree to the TST Member Code of Conduct. There is also a fee to register. A full detailed list of requirements is published in the Ordination Standards. If you cannot meet all of the requirements for Ordination but would still like to take the coursework, you may be eligible to register as a Non-Ordination Seeking Student.
How should I prepare before I sign up for the Ordination Program?
There is no required preparatory work. As long as you meet the eligibility requirements, you may register as a Candidate. However, before you register you may want to ask yourself a few questions to assess whether you are ready to begin. Do you understand the history and symbolism of modern Satanism? Do you understand the history and mission of The Satanic Temple? Do you know a member of Chapter Leadership or Executive Ministry who can vouch that you are an active member of the community? Do you have at least twenty hours available over the next ninety days to go through the online curriculum, learn the material, pass the quizzes and final exam? If you are unsure, you may prefer to delay registering your candidacy until you have had more time to prepare. If you would like more detail about the ordination program and requirements, please see the Ordination Standards.
What could disqualify me from becoming ordained by The Satanic Temple?
From a legal standpoint, The Satanic Temple may disqualify you during your candidacy, or subsequently revoke your ordained status, at any time and for any reason without notice. As a practical matter, as long as you successfully complete the steps of the Online Ordination Program, the only things that would normally lead to disqualification or revocation of ordained status would be:
✔ You are arrested for or convicted of a serious crime.
✔ You breach the TST Member Code of Conduct.
✔ You use your candidacy or status as an ordained Minister of Satan to deceive, defraud, intimidate or otherwise manipulate or gain power over another person, or to gain access to people, places, documents or other materials that you do not have the legal right to access.
✔ You knowingly make false claims or take any other actions that disparage the goodwill, name, brand, or reputation of The Satanic Temple, or its current or past directors, employees, independent contractors, volunteers, donors, supporters, contributors, or current and former founders.
Why do I have to be a United States Citizen or Permanent Resident to be ordained by The Satanic Temple?
We currently limit ordination to United States Citizens and Permanent Residents for two reasons. First, one of the requirements for becoming ordained is submitting to a criminal background check. We don't currently support the process of performing this kind of legal check outside of the United States. Second, many countries have specific rules, processes and regulations around the requirements for conducting marriages. We would like to ensure that our ordained ministers all have access to the same legal rights and opportunities regardless of the country they are operating in.
If you are not a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident and would like to take the coursework, you may be eligible to register as a Non-Ordination Seeking Student.
Why should I be ordained by The Satanic Temple instead of one of the churches that ordains people for free?
You should only become ordained by The Satanic Temple as an authentic expression of your deeply held beliefs, and a desire to embody the values of The Satanic Temple in a way that is visible and acknowledged within the religious and cultural framework of our society. If your only goal is to have the legal ability to preside over a wedding, and you are not deeply connected with The Satanic Temple, then we recommend that you choose one of the many alternatives instead.
Do I have to be a Satanist to be ordained by The Satanic Temple?
Yes. If you are a secular humanist who supports the stances and activities of The Satanic Temple, but are not a Satanist, we recommend you explore ordination through The Humanist Society, or any similar organization with a rigorous ordination program.
Do I have to be a member to be ordained by The Satanic Temple?
Yes. If you intend to register as a candidate for ordination and have not already become a member, please visit the official website at thesatanictemple.com, click on the “Join Us” link in the top menu, and follow the instructions.
Do I have to be a member of a local chapter to become ordained?
No. It is easier to become connected within our community if you are part of a local chapter, but we understand that not all of our members live in areas where they have this opportunity. If you are not a member of a local chapter, please be sure that you are active and well-known within our community. You should also contact the person whom you intend to ask for a Letter of Approval to ensure they are able to provide you with the letter. Early in the roll-out of this program, Chapter Leaders may have a preference for writing letters for their own chapter members first, and they may advise you to wait before you register. This is up to the discretion of our leadership, and any attempt to coerce or harass any member of leadership into writing a Letter of Approval will result in automatic denial of ordination and removal from membership in The Satanic Temple.
Do I have to know other members of The Satanic Temple to become ordained?
Yes. However, you need not be a very “social” person, nor are you required to have met other members of The Satanic Temple face-to-face. We understand that many people are introverts, and some people have circumstances that prevent them from comfortably engaging in common social scenarios. We want our ordination program to be inclusive and accommodating of a wide range of personality and interaction styles. At the same time, it is important that our ordained ministers be active in our community in some way. This is most easily demonstrated through the establishment of social relationships with other members, whether in-person, via online message groups, using video conferencing, or any other mechanism.
I have a criminal history on my record. Can I still be ordained by The Satanic Temple?
We will not ordain anyone who has a record of violent crime, child abuse, rape or other felony sexual misconduct, or animal cruelty. If your conviction does not fall into these categories, you may reach out to the Ordination Council to explain your circumstances.
Please note: reaching out to Ordination Council to explain the context of your conviction does not guarantee that you will be allowed to pursue ordination.
I do not agree with some of the public positions taken by Lucien Greaves. Will The Satanic Temple still ordain me?
Yes. Satanism is an individualistic religion, and there is a lot of room for interpretation within the broad constraints provided by the Seven Tenets. Lucien and other members of leadership within The Satanic Temple have their own personal understanding of how the Tenets inform their views on matters ranging from political activism to metaphysics. If you are unsure whether a position Lucien has taken was intended as a statement of personal belief or a statement on behalf of The Satanic Temple, you may reach out to the Ordination Council for clarification.
I do not agree with all of the tenets of The Satanic Temple. Will they still ordain me?
No. The Seven Tenets are broadly worded and open to interpretation. They are designed to provoke thought and discussion, allowing individuals to define application of the tenets within the nuanced contexts of their own lives. We expect members to disagree with one another on the details. However, if your deeply held beliefs make it impossible for you to agree with all of the Seven Tenets, as they are stated and in the broadest context, then you will not be able to represent the values and deeply held beliefs of The Satanic Temple in the way that we require of our ordained membership.
I am a member of the Church of Satan. Can I still be ordained by The Satanic Temple?
Yes. Bear in mind that to register for candidacy you must be a member of The Satanic Temple and must agree to adhere to the TST Member Code of Conduct. If you feel that adhering to the TST Member Code of Conduct would interfere with your rights or obligations as a member of the Church of Satan, then you should resolve that conflict of interest prior to submitting your candidacy for ordination with The Satanic Temple.
I am a theistic Satanist. Can I still become ordained by The Satanic Temple?
No. The Satanic Temple is a nontheistic Satanic organization, a matter that follows naturally from the fifth tenet. Having a personal commitment to theistic Satanism makes you unable to represent the values and deeply-held beliefs of The Satanic Temple in the way that we require of our ordained membership. We encourage you to seek out a rigorous ordination program with an organization that represents your values and beliefs.
I am a Thelemic Magician. Can I still be ordained by The Satanic Temple?
This depends entirely on what being a Thelemic Magician means to you and how you interpret it. Thelemites usually follow Scientific Illuminism, and it is possible to interpret that philosophy in a way that is non-supernaturalist and is in line with scientific and evidence-based belief. However, Scientific Illuminism does not require atheism, anti-supernaturalism or an adherence to scientific belief. So the answer to this question goes back to whether or not you agree with the Seven Tenets, including the idea that beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding.
I do not live in an area with a local chapter. Will The Satanic Temple still ordain me?
Yes. Bear in mind that you must have some record of active participation in our community to successfully become ordained by The Satanic Temple. The easiest way to achieve this is to go to local area chapter meetings. If that is not available to you, make sure you are active and recognizable as a member in one of our online communities. Make ties to the community, and reach out online to chapter leaders and other active online members. One of the requirements for successful completion of the ordination program is to have a Chapter Leader or member of Executive Ministry send a Letter of Approval on your behalf to the Ordination Council. The person writing the letter does not need to know you in a face-to-face context; however, they must know you well enough to state with confidence that you are an active participant in our community.
What is a "Non-Ordination Seeking Student"?
If you know that you will not be able to meet all of the requirements to successfully complete the ordination program, but would like to take the coursework in order to deepen and enrich your understanding of Satanism and The Satanic Temple, you may register as a "Non-Ordination Seeking Student".
How do I register as a Non-Ordination Seeking Student instead of an Ordination Candidate?
On the registration page for the program, you will be shown two sets of statements that you must affirm and agree to. The second set of statements are specific to Ordination Candidates. Instead of agreeing to the second set of statements, you will be given the opportunity to indicate that you are signing up as a Non-Ordination Seeking Student.
What are the prerequisites for registering as a Non-Ordination Seeking Student?
To register as a Non-Ordination Seeking Student, you must be a Satanist and a member of The Satanic Temple, you must indicate that you agree with the Seven Tenets and that you will follow the Code of Conduct, you must confirm that you've read the Ordination Standards document, and you must confirm that you understand that your registration fee is non-refundable.
Which requirements for Ordination Candidates are waived for Non-Ordination Seeking Students?
Non-Ordination Seeking Students do not need to be United States Citizens, will not be required to submit to a criminal background check, and will not need to obtain a Letter of Approval from a member of Leadership.
How much does it cost to register as a Non-Ordination Seeking Student?
Registration for both Ordination Candidates and Non-Ordination Seeking Students is the same: $149.
How much does it cost to register to become ordained by The Satanic Temple?
The current cost of registration for a new candidate is $149. Ordination expires after one year, and must be renewed each year for ordained status to remain active. The current cost to renew your ordained status is $59.
Will there be any "surprise" fees after registration?
There are no hidden fees for the ordination program or renewal. After you are an ordained minister, you may want to purchase some items in the Minister Supplies Store: certificates, stickers, etc. These will have to be purchased separately. However, you are not required to make any of those purchases in order to be an ordained Minister.
Does paying the registration fee guarantee that I will become ordained?
No. Paying the registration fee guarantees that you will have access to the tools you need in order to complete the program and become ordained. If you abandon the program before you have successfully completed all of the steps, or if there is some disqualifying event (e.g. breach of code of conduct) during your candidacy, then you will not be granted ordained status.
If I am not granted ordained status after paying the registration fee, will I get a refund?
No. There are costs associated with the maintenance of the online program and the processing of each candidate, regardless of whether that candidate successfully completes the program. The application fee covers those costs. We provide this FAQ and the Ordination Standards so that you will know in detail what will be required before you register and can make an informed decision about whether you are ready to pursue ordination through The Satanic Temple at this time.
I can’t afford the registration fee. Do I have any options available to pursue ordination?
We understand that passionate and otherwise qualified members may find themselves in circumstances where they simply cannot afford the registration fee. We would prefer it if financial need were not a barrier; however, we do not have the resources to process applications for need-based discounts or financial assistance at this time.
If you feel it is important to pursue ordination with The Satanic Temple immediately, rather than waiting until the fee does not provide a material obstacle, we hope that you can reach out to friends, family, your local Chapter leaders, or other fellow Satanists within your community, so that you can have a conversation about how they might help to enable you.
Why do I have to provide my legal name to register for ordination with The Satanic Temple?
The Satanic Temple is legally required to keep records of the legal name, birth date and current address of our ordained ministers. You provide your legal name when you sign up, and you provide your birth date and address when you supply the information required for the criminal background check. This information will be kept confidential and will never be published or in any way be made public. This information will only be used in a legal setting if we are required to verify that a particular person is an ordained minister in good standing.
Why do you charge money to register for ordination?
Maintaining the ordination program and ongoing support for our ordained ministry costs money. In addition to annual fees that we pay to maintain the online ordination program and minister supplies store, time and effort are required to process candidates as they move through the program, to maintain the accuracy of the information we provide, and to develop and maintain services that benefit our active ordained ministers. The purpose of the registration and renewal fees is to offset those costs.
What are the steps to becoming ordained by The Satanic Temple?
This is a brief summary of the steps. You can find a detailed description of the requirements for ordination, and an explanation of each of the items listed below, in the Ordination Standards.
1) Register as a Candidate
2) Complete the ten lessons
3) Pass the final exam
4) Submit the criminal background check form
5) Submit a short reflection essay
6) Request a Letter of Approval
What is the process for registering as a candidate?
There are four steps you will complete on the registration page of the Ordination Platform:
1) You must agree to a set of statements
2) For those registering as an Ordination Candidate, you must agree to additional statements (these are not required for Non-Ordination Seeking Student)
3) You must enter your legal name, username, and password
4) You will pay a registration fee of $149.
For more details about each of these, see the Ordination Standards.
What topics are covered by the coursework?
You can get details about the coursework by reading the Ordination Course Curriculum. The high-level outline of the lessons of the ordination program is:
Lesson 1: What is Satanism?
Lesson 2: Heretics, Outgroups, and Witch Hunts
Lesson 3: Enlightenment, Science, and Democracy
Lesson 4: The Life of Satan
Lesson 5: Cults and Theocracies
Lesson 6: Modern Satanism
Lesson 7: Culture War, Violence, and The Undoing
Lesson 8: The Satanic Panic
Lesson 9: The Satanic Temple
Lesson 10: Satanic Ministry
How long do I have to complete the program?
Candidates have 90 days from their day of registration to complete the program, including the Background Check and Letter of Approval. Before you register, you should make sure you have at least 20 hours to dedicate to the ordination program over the span of 90 days from registration to ensure the best chance of success. Leave enough time to allow for unexpected circumstances, including: needing to retake the final exam several times, needing to discuss the results of your background check with a member of the Ordination Council, and accommodating the schedule of the Chapter Leader who has agreed to write your Letter of Approval.
How is the coursework administered?
It is an online course that you will have access to on this website once you enroll as a Candidate. You'll be guided through a set of lessons, each one consisting of some lecture videos to watch and a quiz to take. You will complete the entire course online.
How is the final exam administered?
The final exam is administered online as part of flow of the online coursework. We have partnered with Brillium, an online assessment platform used by educational institutions and professional certification programs.
I absorb information slowly. Will I be able to rewatch the videos before the test?
Yes. You may rewatch the videos as many times as you like. You will also have the opportunity to retake the final exam up to three times. If you do not pass the exam after the first attempt, you will be allowed to review the videos before you take the final exam again.
I am bad at taking tests. Are there any other options available without a test?
At this time there is no alternative curriculum available. Please understand that some form of assessment is necessary to ensure that candidates have the necessary breadth and depth of knowledge required of ordained membership.
If I fail the test, can I get a refund?
No. You are paying to register for the course, not to receive ordination. Think of it as similar to paying to attend a university: you pay to take the class, not to get a degree.
I have a disability that prevents me from making use of the online instructional material for the required coursework. What alternative learning materials are available?
All of the video lectures in the ordination coursework have accompanying transcripts. The visual component of the video lectures is helpful but not critical to understanding the material or passing the quizzes or exam. Reading material, instructions, and quizzes and the exam should all function well with screen reader software. If you have any other disability-related questions or concerns, please contact the Ordination Council for more information.
Why do I need to take a course and pass a test to become ordained?
Our ordained ministers are our voice within the community. They perform ceremonies for neighbors, friends and relatives. It is important that they share a common understanding of the mythology of Satan, the history of Satanism, and the history, values, and purpose of The Satanic Temple and its ordained ministry.
How is the criminal background check performed?
There is a step in the online course when you will be asked to confirm your full legal name (entered when you registered) and enter your birth date and current legal address. The Satanic Temple is legally required to keep this information on file for all ordained ministers. When you have submitted that information, we will initiate the process with GoodHire, the company we use for background checks. They will send you an email directly that will ask you to log in and fill out any additional personal information needed for the background check. The Satanic Temple does not receive the information you enter in the GoodHire system; we only receive the results of the background check.
Why do you require a background check to become ordained?
We will not ordain people convicted of certain types of crime. However, we understand that everybody’s path in life is complex and unique. If you feel you have something on your record that might create an unfair bias against you, you may reach out to the Ordination Council to discuss your circumstances.
How do I get a Letter of Approval?
There is a step in the online course when you will be asked to speak to a member of leadership and formally request their Letter of Approval. In the online course, you will then submit the name and position of the member of leadership who has agreed to write your letter. They will send your letter directly to the Ordination Council. Once the Ordination Council has received the letter, they will take time to review the letter and possibly confer with the letter's author or other members of leadership. You will receive an email once this process is complete.
Why do you require a “Letter of Approval” from either a Chapter Head or member of Executive Ministry?
One of the core guiding principles of The Satanic Temple Ministry is the value that we place on our community. It is important that our ministers reflect this by having some record of active connection to other members.
One way to establish such a connection is to go to local area chapter meetings. If that is not available to you, make sure you are active and recognizable as a member in one of our online communities. Make ties to the community, and reach out online to chapter leaders and other active online members.
Why can't I get a Letter of Approval from a member of the International Council?
Our ordained ministers should have a strong connection to our community, and we would like to foster connections within local communities as much as possible. While some people may feel that it's easier to turn to a member of International Council for a Letter of Approval, we do not feel it is an undue burden to ask those members who want to represent The Satanic Temple as ministers to forge connections with leadership at the local level. This also prevents possible conflicts of interest: we would like to avoid putting our leadership in a position where a person might turn to a member of International Council instead of the head of their chapter for personal reasons.
We may relax this restriction in the future; however, given the heavy workload that is already on International Council, we would prefer not to add to their burden if it is not necessary.
Why can't I get a Letter of Approval from a member of the Ordination Council?
We want to avoid any possible conflict of interest or appearance of conflict of interest. The Satanic Temple Ministry is not a "club." We turn to Chapter Heads as the primary sources of Letters of Approval to ensure that this final threshold for ordination is coming "bottom-up" from our community, rather than being a "top-down" decision.
How long will my ordination with The Satanic Temple last?
Ordination becomes effective immediately upon completion of the program and remains in effect for one year, expiring twelve calendar months after its effective date unless it is renewed. Renewals also last for one year, and you may renew your ordination as many times as you wish.
Why does ordination by The Satanic Temple expire?
To be fully compliant with general legal standards, ordination cannot be granted “for life.” Most ordaining bodies use expiration dates and require renewal to ensure an ongoing relationship with ordained ministers. The renewal process functions as a concrete expression of the minister's intent to continue a relationship with The Satanic Temple and is an opportunity for The Satanic Temple to review that relationship as well. Without a renewal process, courts could invalidate ceremonies performed by the minister on the grounds that an insufficient relationship exists between the minister and the ordaining body (cf. Cramer v. Commonwealth of Virginia, 1974).
What are the steps to renewing my ordination with The Satanic Temple?
This is a brief summary of the steps. You can find a detailed description of the requirements for renewal, and an explanation of each of the items listed below, in the Ordination Standards.
1) Enroll in an Elective Lesson.
2) Complete the one-hour Elective
3) Pass the Elective exam
4) Request a Letter of Approval
Why do you charge money for me to renew my ordained status?
Maintaining the ordination program and ongoing support for our ordained ministry costs money. In addition to annual fees that we pay to maintain the online ordination program and minister supplies store, time and effort are required to maintain the accuracy of the information we provide, and to develop and maintain services that benefit our active ordained ministers. The purpose of the registration and renewal fees is to offset those costs.
Why do I have to complete additional lessons to renew my ordained status?
Commitment to lifelong learning and self-development is one of the core driving principles of the Satanic Ministry ordination program, as described in the opening section of the Ordination Standards. By becoming ordained as part of The Satanic Temple Ministry, you have already demonstrated a passion for learning and understanding the history, symbolism, and values of Satanism and The Satanic Temple. Annual renewal, with elective lesson requirements, provides you with an opportunity to continue deepening your understanding.
My ordination has expired, but I want to renew. Do I have to start over from the beginning?
We may allow up to a two-month "grace period" after your ordination expires if you would like to register for a renewal course as a way to bring your ordination back to active status. To register for renewal after your ordination has expired, please reach out to the Ordination Council with details about your situation and request. If more than two months has passed since your ordination expired, you will need to purchase the full Ordination Program to become an active ordained member of The Satanic Temple Ministry.
Please remember that by registering for the ordination renewal course, your ordained status does not immediately or automatically become reactivated. You will not be an active ordained member of the Satanic Ministry until you have successfully completed the Ordination Renewal course. We have no way to expedite this process, so please make sure that you initiate the renewal process far enough in advance of any ceremony you would like to perform so that you have time to complete the requirements.
E. Problems and Complaints
My test score was wrong. Whom do I talk to?
If you believe your score was calculated incorrectly, or that you were marked wrong for a correct answer, please send an email to the Ordination Council with your name, the email address you used to register as a candidate, the specific title of the quiz or test (e.g. "Lesson 1 quiz" or "Final Exam"), and details about the question and why you believe your score was incorrectly calculated.
I feel the test was unfair. Whom do I talk to?
Quiz and exam questions have been tested on multiple groups prior to the launch of the program. While there are many difficult questions, we have made an effort to ensure that there are no "trick" questions, and none of the questions is beyond the scope of what can reasonably be answered by a student who has thoughtfully absorbed and understood all of the lesson material.
We generally will not change scores for individual students in an ad hoc manner in response to criticisms of the tests, because this creates an unfair environment for the students who, for whatever reason, did not feel comfortable speaking up to criticize the exams.
You may submit feedback to the Ordination Council. We will be sure to read and consider all feedback pertaining to course material and exams, and take that feedback into consideration when developing later versions of the course material.
I am having a problem creating my account on the website. What do I do?
The program is currently in an "internal testing" phase, and the creation of new accounts is by invitation only. If you have been invited to participate in this stage of testing and are unable to create your account, please email the Ordination Council and we will work with you to get you set up.
I am having a problem registering for the Ordination Course. What do I do?
The program is currently in an "internal testing" phase, and the creation of new accounts is by invitation only. If you have been invited to participate in this stage of testing and are unable to create your account, please email the Ordination Council and we will work with you to get you set up.
I have an account on the website, but I am having trouble logging in. What do I do?
Please contact Website Support with specific details about the problem you are having. Make sure to describe: exactly what page you are on (the URL in the browser) when you try to log in, what information you enter, and what message or response you get back when you try to log in.
I registered and was able to access the course at one point, but now when I log in I am unable to get to the program. What do I do?
It is possible that you did not complete the coursework in the time required. Please reach out to the Ordination Council describing your situation, and we will help to identify the cause of the problem.
II. Ordained Minister Rights & Responsibilities
What ceremonies may I perform as a Minister of Satan?
As an ordained member of The Satanic Temple Ministry, you may officiate weddings and funerals, you may lead religious services, and you may conduct Satanic rituals such as Black Mass and Unbaptism.
Please remember that any event in a region with a local chapter MUST be organized with the consent and collaboration of the local chapter leadership. You must also submit a Ceremony Notification Form through your Minister's Dashboard on this website at least 30 days prior to any event you would like to officiate.
Anyone leading unauthorized ceremonies will have their ordination and membership in The Satanic Temple permanently revoked.
Do I need to get permission for every ceremony I perform as Minister?
Sort of. You must send a notification form to the Director of Ministry at least thirty days prior to any ceremony you organize or officiate as minister. As an ordained minister, you will be able to access this form from your Minister's Dashboard on this website. On this form, you will provide basic information about the event.
You do not need to wait for a reply or receive explicit permission for every event. The Ceremony Notification Form gives the Director of Ministry an opportunity to review the event, ask questions, recommend changes, or even deny the event if it does not follow our rules or protocols.
Why must I notify The Satanic Temple Ministry about every ceremony I perform?
Many states legally require ordained ministers to maintain records of every ceremony they perform. Using the online notification form fulfills your legal obligation for record-keeping.
The form also provides an opportunity for the Director of Ministry to provide feedback. If your plan for the ritual or ceremony creates risk, breaks protocols, or is a potential source of problems in any other way, the Director of Ministry may use this opportunity to reach out to you in order to ensure that any ceremony you perform follows the standards and expectations we have for our ordained clergy.
What restrictions are there on what I'm allowed to plan?
Weddings and funerals have relatively few restrictions. If the event is expected to have unusually large attendance, be media-worthy for whatever reason, or if you are planning unusual activities (e.g. fire performance, suspension, etc), the Director of Ministry may reach out to you to ask questions or provide guidance.
Unbaptisms, Black Masses, and religious services are slightly more restricted. If you are in an area with a chapter of The Satanic Temple, you will not be allowed to organize one of these ceremonies without the consent and cooperation of the chapter. This holds whether you are a member of that chapter or not.
Finally, use common sense and professionalism. Remember that as an ordained minister, you are a visible representative of The Satanic Temple when you officiate a ceremony.
Now that I am ordained, are marriages I perform automatically legally binding?
The state or city where you want to perform a wedding ceremony often has very specific rules about the process you must follow in order for the marriage ceremony you conduct to be legally binding. States and cities most commonly require you to file evidence of your ordained status with a public office and sometimes also ask you to pay a fee. You should always call the local County Clerk in the place where the wedding ceremony will be held to find out the specific requirements. To make sure you don't miss any important steps, please look over our free Officiating Your First Wedding guide.
As an ordained minister of The Satanic Temple, you will be able to log into your account on this website and view our long list of free online informational material and purchase all of the physical documents you may need.
Where can I get a script or description of a Satanic wedding ceremony or other ritual?
As an ordained minister, when you log into this website you will see your Minister's Dashboard. This will have a number of useful links to resources, including free online scripts for Satanic weddings and funerals, and a link to the Minister Supplies Store where you can buy appropriate certificates and documentation you might need.
May I create my own Satanic wedding ceremony or other ritual?
When you submit the online form to notify the Director of Ministry of your planned ceremony, there will be a place on the form for you to describe the ceremony or attach a script. You are encouraged to be creative and adapt existing scripts to your personal style and needs. However, please remember that for any event, no matter what the venue or how many people are involved, you are representing The Satanic Temple, and should conduct yourself accordingly.
What titles may I use (Priest, Minister, Pastor, etc)?
The official title conferred by The Satanic Temple on ordained clergy is Minister of Satan, latinized as Minister Satanae. This is most commonly shortened simply to “Minister” when used as a pre-nominal title (e.g. “Minister Smith”) and abbreviated to its initials when used as a post-nominal title (e.g. Pat Smith, M.S.). This is the only title that should ever be used in a formal context.
Informally, Ministers ordained by The Satanic Temple may generally use whatever title they prefer, including but not limited to common titles such as pastor, priest, cleric, and reverend, or uncommon titles such as abbot, emissary, magus, monk, avatar, learned theologian, speaker, and sage. See the Ordination Standards for more considerations and specific titles to avoid.
What titles are prohibited, even informally?
Do not use "Counselor" or "Chaplain": both of these have specific well-defined meanings, and require special certifications and training. You should also avoid titles strongly tied to specific roles within a particular religious denomination (e.g. Pope, Bishop, Imam, Rabbi), because they are associated with training and/or authority you do not have.
What guidelines are recommended for informal titles?
Be sensitive about titles that are likely to be widely misunderstood. For example, titles that overtly run counter to Satanic values pertaining to supernaturalism or proselytizing (e.g. Healer, Oracle, Evangelist) run the risk of misrepresenting our religion. Similarly, please avoid titles with clear local or indigenous cultural connotations (e.g. swami, yogi, lama, shaman) unless you have a strong personal connection to that culture and you are certain the adoption of that title would be meaningful within that context.
Am I allowed to refer to myself as a Priest of The Satanic Temple?
Informally, yes. The official title conferred by The Satanic Temple on ordained clergy is Minister of Satan. That is the only title you should use in formal or legal documents. For more information, please see the answer to the question "What titles may I use" above.
Does being an ordained Minister of Satan give me any special rights or access within The Satanic Temple?
No. Ordination by The Satanic Temple only confers rights and access in the public sphere. Specifically, it confers those rights and access that are granted in the United States by law and tradition to anyone who is a legally ordained minister of any religion, such as the legal right to officiate weddings.
May I provide end-of-life counseling or grief counseling?
No. This program does not certify you as a counselor. Being an ordained minister makes you a trusted member of our community, and people may approach you for advice or input. We understand that you want to help your friends and members of our community in every way that you can. However, please be very mindful about how you approach this relationship. The word "counseling" has a very specific meaning in some contexts, and providing grief counseling or similar services is illegal if you do not have a degree in counseling or certification in a related field. If you are approached by someone in emotional distress, please help them get to a place where they feel safe and then either call 911 (in the case of an emergency) or help them contact a professional who can decide the best way to proceed.
Am I allowed to provide religious services for the incarcerated?
Not at this time. We are researching and working through the process of becoming recognized so that our ordained ministers will be able to provide religious services for people serving sentences in prison. We will make sure to provide updates as this project progresses.
Can my ordained status be revoked?
Yes. Ordained status can be revoked for any violations of criminal law or The Satanic Temple’s Member Code of Conduct: violence, harassment, hate speech, dissemination of confidential information, or acting as a spokesperson for The Satanic Temple without prior explicit permission. Revocation of ordained ministerial status is handled by the Ordination Council and Executive Ministry, can be executed unilaterally by either of those groups at their discretion, and takes effect immediately when their decision is made. The Ordination Council will attempt to contact you to notify you of the revocation of your ordination status; however, the termination of your status does not in any way depend on whether the attempt to contact you is successful.
Upon revocation, you immediately lose all rights and privileges associated with ordained status. Continuing to perform rites and services as an ordained minister after your ordination is terminated will result in legal action being taken against you.
My ordination has been revoked unfairly. Whom can I talk to?
From a legal standpoint, The Satanic Temple may disqualify you during your candidacy, or subsequently revoke your ordained status, at any time and for any reason without notice. We are interested in being fair and just in the application of our rules and standards. If you feel your ordination was unfairly revoked, please reach out to the Ordination Council to request information about why your ordination was revoked. If you believe the decision was made based on an incomplete or incorrect understanding of facts, please make sure to include details and corrections with corroborating material evidence whenever possible.
The Ordination Council is generally sympathetic to requests for information and strives to maintain a positive and constructive relationship with our members; however, the Council are not obligated to provide details about the revocation of your ordained status, and a failure to respond or a failure to provide reasons that you find satisfactory will in no way invalidate their decision to revoke your ordination. The ordination of ministry by The Satanic Temple is a relationship by mutual agreement; either party may unilaterally terminate without cause or reason given at any time.
I know an ordained member who has violated the Code of Conduct. Whom can I talk to?
Please contact the Ordination Council with your concern. Make sure you provide as much detail as possible about the relevant event(s) or situation(s), including attached images, screenshots, or other documentation where appropriate. The Ordination Council will investigate and take appropriate action.
I have been asked to provide proof that I am an ordained minister. What documents do I need and how do I get them?
Most states require some documentation establishing that you are recognized by a church as an ordained minister. Before the marriage ceremony, you should contact the County Clerk in the county where you will be conducting the marriage and ask for the exact steps and documentation you will need both before and after the ceremony in order for the marriage to be considered legal. State and county requirements vary widely from the required forms to the deadlines for turning in paperwork after the ceremony.
The most commonly required documents are credentials identifying you as an ordained minister (which can be purchased in the Minister Supplies Store as the "Basic Credentials Pack") and legal documents describing the ordaining church (purchased as the "Basic Wedding Pack"). These are sold separately because not every minister who requires credentials wants to perform weddings, and not all states require ministers to show credentials before performing a wedding ceremony.
A few states also required a signed and notarized Letter of Good Standing, written by the church on the ordained minister’s behalf. This can also be purchased as an individual item at the Minister Supply Store. Please verify with the County Clerk in the location where you will be officiating the wedding that you need this item before you purchase it.
For more detailed information, please look over our Officiating Your First Wedding guide, linked to from your Minister's Dashboard.
I applied to perform marriages in my state, and my application was rejected. What should I do?
First, read any statement you received to see if they explained why the application was rejected. If the rejection was due to a procedural issue, such as your failure to provide a form or pay a fee, then follow the required steps to correct the problem. As an ordained minister of The Satanic Temple, you will be able to log into the Ordination Platform and have access to purchase wedding officient packets with all of the forms and documentation required in your state or city.
Second, if you did not receive any statement explaining why your application was rejected, or if the explanation was unclear, then call the governmental office responsible for handling your application and request more information. Your request should not be immediately confrontational: simply ask whether there is any way to get more information on why your application was rejected.
Finally, if the office states explicitly, in writing or during conversation, that your application was rejected because they do not believe the documentation you provided from The Satanic Temple is authentic, legitimate or valid, then please contact the Director of Ministry to explain the circumstances, attaching all relevant documents and communication, so that they can follow up on the matter on your behalf.
E. Minister Supplies Store
When should I buy the Basic Credentials Pack?
The Basic Credentials Pack contains your high-quality, full-color printed Certificate of Ordination and your Minister ID Card. Both of these items are imprinted with your name, your ordination date, and the date on which your credentials expire. Many states require you to present these items to the County Clerk in order to register to perform marriages in that state. Please call the County Clerk for the location where you will be performing the wedding ceremony to find out exactly what documentation you will need.
Because these items have an expiration date, you may want to purchase a new certificate and ID card when you renew your ordination. This will ensure that the physical proof of ordination that you have carries the correct future expiration date. If you want to perform a wedding, and you have renewed your ordination with us but your credentials show a past expiration date, you should order your updated certificate and ID card prior to registering with the County Clerk.
Why do I have to pay for the Certificate and ID card?
Not everybody ordained into The Satanic Temple Ministry needs physical identification and documentation demonstrating their ministerial role.
There are many reasons someone might want a Minister Certificate and ID card. Some people plan on performing weddings in states that require the presentation of a certificate or ID card in order to register to perform marriages. Others may enjoy framing their ordination certificate and showing it off to their friends.
However, if you will not be performing weddings in a state that require physical evidence of ordination, then you may not need these items. Automatically sending these items to every ordained minister would increase the price of registration for everyone. In order to keep the registration price lower, we let people pick and choose what physical items they would like to purchase for themselves.
Why is the Letter of Good Standing so expensive?
Some states require you to have a signed, notarized Letter of Good Standing from the ordaining organization before they will allow you to register to perform marriages in their state. There is no way to automate the creation of these letters: every single letter that is sent out must be hand-signed by both the Director of Ministry and a Notary Public. This makes the creation of these letters more expensive and time-consuming than the printing of certificates or identification cards.
Before you purchase wedding supplies from the Minister Supplies Store, please be sure to call (or visit in person) the County Clerk in the location where you will be officiating the wedding to find out exactly what documents you need to provide. If you do need a notarized Letter of Good Standing, make sure you order it early enough so that it can be submitted to the County Clerk with enough lead-time before the wedding date.
When will you have more Satanic ceremonial supplies?
We work with highly skilled artists and artisans to provide customized ritual items available only to our ordained ministers. As with all hand-crafted, custom-designed items, these products take time to develop and are in limited supply. Rest assured that we are constantly working to make new items available and will email our ordained ministers to notify them whenever new items become available.
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