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TOPIC: What is Universal Life Church?

What is Universal Life Church? 6 years 3 weeks ago #1759

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The Universal Life Church (ULC) is a religious organization which was founded by the Reverend Kirby J. Hensley in 1959. The main that it offers is anyone’s semi-immediate ordination as a ULC minister which is same as priest. Such an approach is based on the belief that all people were created with the dedication of God; the Church simply recognizes it as a fact. This ordination is free; however, charges are taking for postal costs or in case of taking some exams for ministry credentials.

The Universal Life Church, through its own Department of Education offers a variety of degrees, such as "Doctor of Divinity ", "Doctor of the Universal Life." Typically, these doctorates require from the recipient to take one or more courses, make a payment for the course materials, and in some cases - to pass the exam. For example, the degree of "Doctor of Immortality" is awarded after candidate will read the book names "New Life - Do you want it? " written by the founder of the organization , Kirby Hensley . After this, a student must answer correctly at least on 75 % of the set of questions based on this book, and to make a donation of at least $25. The degrees of the ULC are not equivalent of the academic degrees obtained by university graduates, but they are intended for personal growth and using during the ministry in the Universal Life Church. Every minister may also receive a special title, such as, for example, "free thinker " or " priest".

The Universal Life Church states that anyone can become a minister, and the pre-ordination process required by other religions is unnecessary. The organization has no traditional doctrine – the one thing, which adepts are required to follow is "to do that which is right." Same time, adepts can follow any religion of the world, even to be pagans, agnostics or atheists and to combine the different religions. The Universal Life Church believes that it is anybody’s responsibility to act by himself or herself holistically, to do nothing to impinge on the rights of others, and to uphold religious diversity and freedom. Moreover, everyone (men, women, child from any country of the world) is able to practice their spiritual and religious beliefs without interference or threat from any government, representatives of other religions or society, or any other individuals, reasons and powers. Same time, the Church does not stand between the member and his or her belief system. Any person may associate themselves with the Church and, if they feel it is appropriate, request ordination as a minister, except of those who are currently imprisoned.
Since 1962, 18 million certificates of ministers of ULS were sent all around the world. The reasons why people wish to become priest of ULs are different. Firstly, in 1960s, many people in the USA became ministers because they thought that it would keep them from being drafted into military service during the Vietnam War or would help to get income tax relief as members of the clergy. Some, including those who are already the priest of the traditional religions, join the Universal Church of life to express support for the organization's mission to preserve and protect freedom of religion. Some people have turned to be ordained to the Universal Life Church after refusing obtained in their own religions because of their gender or sexual orientation. A common cause is also the desire to make the wedding ceremony for friends or relatives – in some states of the USA the ministers of the ULC are officially recognized to perform valid marriage ceremony, however, in other countries they have no authority to solemnize lawful marriage. Some ministers avoid this complication by meeting requirements to solemnize a civil ceremony, which might include being registered as a notary public or a justice of the peace. A lot of ministers of the Universal Life Church on a regular basis perform church services in the religious confession they have chosen, conduct religious ceremonies at weddings and funerals, bless the home, baptize, etc. Many continue to receive further religious education.

At various times, many representatives of art, such as actors, singers and writers became the ministers of the ULC. Among them, the writer and social activist Abbie Hoffman, singers Courtney Love, Alanis Morissette and Lydia Lunch, members of the Beatles -George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, the founder and owner of Playboy magazine Hugh Hefner, actors Sharon Stone and Anthony Perkins, a member of the band ZZ Top Billy Gibons, writer and journalist Hunter S. Thompson, film director John Waters, and others.
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