Michigan Ordination Laws

Michigan Ordination Laws for Marriages

Marriages may be performed by:

  1. Federal, probate, district, and municipal judges
  2. District court magistrates, in their court area
  3. Mayors, in their city 
  4. County clerks
  5. Ministers and pastors of the gospel, both resident and non-resident
  6. The Michigan Statutes also have a provision that allows for marriages to "be solemnized in the manner heretofore used and practiced in their respective societies or denominations."
A person is required to show proof of ordination by a religious organization to be considered a minister in the state of Michigan. This requirement can be met by providing documentation from a religious denomination. Although most ministers complete years of training and schooling to become ordained, Michigan also accepts online certification.

Most ministers complete years of education and training in college or seminary to receive ordination from a religious denomination. Michigan will also accept proof of ordination from online, non-denomination organizations. Once a person is authorized by the state to act as a minister, he can perform the tasks of a priest, rabbi, pastor or bishop. These tasks include overseeing a church or performing a licensed marriage.

Experience is required by most religious denominations before a person is ordained. This typically includes becoming an associate pastor in the denomination and learning under the guidance of an experienced minister. In Michigan, the state has no experience requirement.

Filing Requirements
Michigan has a procedure in which ordination paperwork is filed with the state licensing agency. However, filing ordination documentation is not a requirement, as long as a minister can provide a copy upon request. Ordination documentation is required when verifying a marriage license, to ensure the ceremony was performed by an ordained minister.

Request for ordination papers
To perform a marriage in Michigan you need to be ordained and may be required to provide proof of ordination such as an ordination credential, wallet credential, or a letter of good standing from the church on the church letterhead.