MISSION ST MICHAEL
College of Divinity
Doctor of Divinity

LEGAL ASPECTS


Graduates agree to use their Degree in a lawful manner and to indemnify MISSION ST MICHAEL against Criminal and Civil lawsuits that result from actions for which the Graduate may be responsible.

With ministerial status, you have the standing of a professional. In common with all other business professionals in your community, you may have to fulfill certain other municipal, provincial, state or other local requirements in order to practice your profession. These laws, ordinances and/or regulations vary quite a bit, so you should make enquiries locally at an early date.

If you have any doubts about the matter it would be best to obtain local legal advice on the matter.

SAMPLE LEGALITIES of ORDINATION by MAIL and E-MAIL (USA)

Amendment 1:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (This gives legality to free expression of religion, including Ordination by Mail and E-mail)

Amendment 14:
1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. (This provision basically reinforced that States may not interfere with our Constitutionally protected freedoms, including our free expression of religion)
5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article. (Congress used this authority and passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993)

....In 1974 a ministry which ordained people in a simple manner by postal mail, and by email, sued the United States Government. The suit was over taxes. However, when the Federal Judge ruled in the ministry's favor on taxes he also ruled on the legality of receiving ordination in a simple manner.

Here is an extract from the Federal Judge's decision concerning simple ordination.

....."The Court must then address itself to the defendant's second conclusion: that the ordination of ministers, the granting of church charters, and the issuance of Honorary Doctor of Divinity certificates by plaintiff are substantial activities which do not further any religious purpose. Certainly the ordination of ministers and the chartering of churches are accepted activities of religious organizations. The defendant impliedly admits that same on Page 5 of its Memorandum in Support of its Requested Instructions. The fact that the plaintiff distributed ministers credentials and Honorary Doctor of Divinity certificates is of no moment. Such activity may be analogized to mass conversions at a typical revival or religious crusade. Neither this Court, nor any branch of this Government, will consider the merits or fallacies of a religion. Nor will the Court compare the beliefs, dogmas, and practices of a newly organized religion with those of an older, more established religion. Nor will the Court praise or condemn a religion, however excellent or fanatical or preposterous it may seem. Were the Court to do so, it would impinge upon the guarantees of the First Amendment."

(As a result of the dissemination of this Federal Judge's ruling, ministries started by mail and e-mail ordained clergy have flourished throughout the United States, and in many other countries worldwide).

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