QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
about the Universal Life Church
The Ordained Minister
Q: How old does one have to be to become a minister?
A: Ministers are of all ages; however in most states you cannot officiate at a
wedding unless you are at least 18 years old. The legal age may vary in
different states so check your local Marriage Bureau for your State's
Q: Are there any restrictions on membership in the ULC because of race, color,
creed, or sex?
Q: What authority do we have for the "Laying-on-of-Hands" during services and
A: The "Laying-on-of-Hands" has been an integrate part of the church from the
beginning. Read Hebrews 6:2 and Acts 8:17 & 18. "Then they laid hands on
them, and they received the Holy Ghost."
Q:What services do I have to perform as a minister?
A: There are no specific duties required, other than those needed by the
congregation. You are authorized to perform all ministerial services such as:
baptismals, marriages, funerals; and to conduct church worship and meetings.
Q: What is the best way to contact other ULC Ministers in my area?
A: Place an article in the Universal Press asking those in your area to
Q: I am a prisoner; can they discriminate against me legally for being a ULC
A: You may be interested to know the Congress passed Title III of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C., 2000b, which prohibits discrimination against
persons in prisons on the basis of religion.
Q: What happens if the prison athorities are discriminating against me?
A: We suggest that you contact your attorney for help.
Q: What authority do you use for ordaining ministers into the church?
From the New Testament: John 15:16 states, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have
chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and
that your fruit shall remain, that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my
name, he may give
A: Do ULC ministers get discounts on the buses?
If you see a minister or a priest get on a local bus and not pay fare, you may
do the same. And if you expect to ride Greyhound, Continental or most bus
lines in the USA and Canada, you may get a Clerical Discount of up to 24% by
writing to the Cler
gy Bureau, Chicago, Illinois and sending proof of your need for church
business. The discount is good for the year in which issued only.
Q: May a minister be compelled to reveal any communications with members of
A: No. All such communications are privileged.
The Universal Life Church - Q & A
Is the ULC legal in all 50 states.
A: Yes, we have filed, or in the process of filing, articles of incorporation
in all 50 states.
Q: Does a church have to reveal the sum and substance of its religious basis?
A: No, a church may be established on the basis of Liberty of Religion and
permit to each of its ministers the Liberty of Conscience to which they are
naturally entitled. In Everson v Board of Education, 330 US, 91 L. Ed. 711,
it was held that: "The establishment of religion of the First Amendment means
at least this: Neither a state nor the federal government can set up a
church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or
refer one religion over another. Neither can force or influence a person to
go to or remain away from a church against his will or force him to profess a
belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for
entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church
attendance or non-attendance."
Q: Members of my congregation would like to visit International Headquarters.
Is this possible?
A: International Headquarters, 601 Third Street, Modesto, CA 95351 (209) 527-
8111 is always open to the public. Our office hours our 7:30AM to 4:00PM
Monday - Friday, and by appointment. Regular church worship services are held
each Sunday at 10:00 AM. We invite and encourage all to stop by and say
hello. We're looking forward to each and everyone of you.
Vow of Poverty
Q: What is a vow of poverty?
A: A vow of poverty states that one relinquishes all personal property to his
church, including clothes on his back. He owns absolutely nothing. A
notarized statement of such must be sent by certified mail to the IRS. We do
not encourage anyone to take a vow of poverty.
Organizing a ULC Congregation
Q: What is the minimum number of people required to organize a congregation?
A: A minimum of three people - a Pastor, Secretary and Treasurer.
Q: Is it necessary to keep minutes of Board Meetings?
A: Yes. Everything done by a church must be done by resolution voted on and
passed by the Board of Directors. You need record only those things which
Q: If a congregation no longer functions, who gets the property?
A: It reverts to International Headquarters.
Q: What course does the ULC offer to help me open and operate a congregation?
A: All of the courses offered by the ULC will help the new minister is
starting a congregation. The Course on Parlimentary Law and Church Procedure
would be the most beneficial on legal aspects of the church. This may be
obtained for a donation of $40.00.
Q: Can three of one family organize a congregation.
A: Any three individuals 18 year or older may band together to organize a
Q: How often does the Board of Directors meet?
A: Usually once a month. Under certain circumstances, your board may vote to
meet every other month.
Q: How many members of the Board must be present to have a legal meeting?
A: At least two.
Q: What happens to my congregation's assets when I die? Does all the money
then go to International Headquarters?
A: Your congregation is operated by a Board of Directors. Upon your death as
a minister, the remaining Board members simply appoint a new minister and the
congregation goes on indefinitely. If all the members of your congregation
should die, including the entire Board of Directors, and all congregation
assets were completely abandoned, then the assets would revert to the
International Headquarters as opposed to reverting to the state.
Q: Can the congregation pay for my health insurance if I am a member of the
Board of Directors?
A: Yes - if the Board of Directors votes that all of the members should be
covered with such insurance. You may vote to have the congregation reimburse
the members for all medical, hospital, dental and other health care, including
medications, provided such coverage is for all members and intended to insure
the uninterrupted work by taking care of the health of the Board members.
Q: Can the congregation pay for my life insurance if I am a minister in the
A: No - unless the congregation is made the beneficiary in the policy and the
coverage is voted by the Board of Directors.
Q: Can the congregation pay utilities of a home used as headquarters?
A: Yes, the Board of Directors of your congregation may vote to pay all
Q: Can a congregation start a nursery? If so does it need a state license?
A: Yes, a congregation may start a nursery. If the congregation intends to
make its services open to the general public the yes, a license to operate a
nursery must be obtained from the state.
Q: How often does a congregation have to meet.
A: Generally, churches meet on a weekly basis, however, there is no rule in
the law so it may be assumed that the meetings are so spaced as to be
reasonable for the religious purpose of the congregation.
Q: May the congregations of Universal Life establish their own retirement
A: Yes, it is suggested that the Board of Directors of each congregation
invest in a good solid retirement program.
Q: How could I find out about property tax exemption for my congregation?
A: Contact the local county tax assessor for all such information. It varies
from county to county because it it is a local government function, as it
Q: How old must one be to be on the congregations board of Directors?
A: All members of the board must be of legal age, 18 or older.
Q: Can we move our congregation to another State?
A: Yes; just notify us of any address change and the change of officers, is
any. Send in your old certificate and we will send you a new one with your
new state number.
Q: Is it necessary for our congregation to keep records of who made donations
A: As a proper congregation it is your duty to substantiate the donations made
by yourself and members of your congregation. If you have made regular
reports to International Headquarters, it is simply a matter to verify the
legitimacy of your donations.
Q: How can I help International Headquarters keep my file up to date?
A: Please print clearly your name, address, and zip code on your letter as
well as your envelope. Use your file number on all correspondence with
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