Become a Humanist Celebrant


A Humanist Celebrant plays a role similar to that of a traditional clergyperson with one difference: humanist ceremonies express our positive, nontheistic philosophy of humanism instead of traditional faith. Humanist Celebrants conduct humanist, nonreligious, and interreligious weddings, commitment/same-sex unions, memorials, baby namings, and other life cycle ceremonies. Humanist Celebrants are generally recognized in all states and many countries, being accorded the same rights and privileges granted by law to priests, ministers, and rabbis of traditional theistic religions. However, marriage laws vary by state in the United States. We suggest contacting your local county clerk’s office for the most accurate legal information.

The Humanist Society offers several different endorsement options. Read through our various levels and apply today!

Endorsement Levels

Associate Humanist Celebrant:This introductory endorsement level is a one-time celebrant status valid for a 90-day period. If after 90 days, you want to continue with this endorsement we encourage you to apply to become a Humanist Celebrant, in which case, your application fee and reference requirement will be waived. Associate Celebrant are granted the rights equivalent to ordained clergy allowing them to legally perform weddings under the jurisdiction of the law within their state and subject to “clergy” confidentiality.

Qualifications:

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Humanist Celebrant: Humanist Celebrants may legally perform weddings as well as preside over memorials, coming-of-age, baby welcomings and other life milestone ceremonies. Humanist Celebrants have the rights equivalent to ordain clergy, allowing them to legally perform weddings under the jurisdiction of the law within their state and subject to “clergy” confidentiality.

Initial Humanist Celebrant endorsement is valid for a 2-year period. Renewal is required following 2-year initial endorsement. See section on Humanist Celebrant Renewal for more information.

Please note: by the time of your 2 year renewal, celebrants must have performed at least 2 ceremonies (of any type). Similarly, by the time of your 5 year renewal, celebrants must have performed at least 5 ceremonies (of any type).

Those less familiar with Humanist or unsure about fulfilling the role of Humanist Celebrant should consider “Association Humanist Celebrant” designation.

Qualifications:

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Humanist Celebrant & Humanist Chaplain (dual endorsement): The Chaplain endorsement does not grant equivalent rights as clergy to legally perform weddings under the jurisdiction of most states within the U.S. without additionally holding a Celebrant endorsement. Chaplains who wish to have the privilege to legally perform weddings are encouraged to apply for dual endorsement of Humanist Chaplain and Humanist Celebrant.

Initial Humanist Chaplain and Humanist Celebrant (dual endorsement) is valid for a 2-year period. Renewal is required following 2-year initial endorsement. See section on Humanist Chaplain and Humanist Celebrant Renewal below for more information.

Please note: by the time of your 2 year renewal, applicants must have performed at least 2 ceremonies as a celebrant (of any type). Similarly, by the time of your 5 year renewal, applicants must have performed at least 5 ceremonies as a celebrant (of any type).

Qualifications:

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Humanist Celebrant Renewal: Initial Humanist Celebrant endorsement is valid for a 2-year period. Celebrants desiring to continue status at this endorsement level need to seek renewal. If granted continued endorsement, Humanist Celebrants are then valid for a 5-year period before renewal is again required.

Qualifications:

  • Completed application
  • $100 annual professional fee
  • American Humanist Association Membership
  • Understanding of Humanist Celebrant role
  • Please note: by the time of your 2 year renewal, celebrants must have performed at least 2 ceremonies (of any type). Similarly, by the time of your 5 year renewal , celebrants must have performed at least 5 ceremonies (of any type).

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Humanist Chaplain and Humanist Celebrant Renewal (dual endorsement): Initial Humanist Chaplain and Humanist Celebrant endorsement is valid for a 2-year period. A Chaplain and Celebrant desiring to continue status at this endorsement level needs to seek renewal. If granted continued endorsement, Humanist Chaplains and Humanist Celebrant are then valid for a 5-year period before renewal is again required.

Qualifications:

  • Completed application
  • $100 annual professional fee
  • American Humanist Association Membership
  • Please note: by the time of your 2 year renewal , applicants must have performed at least 2 ceremonies as a celebrant (of any type). Similarly, by the time of your 5 year renewal, applicants must have performed at least 5 ceremonies as a celebrant (of any type).
  • Service as chaplain subsequent to endorsement

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