If you have spent some time participating in a TST campaign, you can approach your campaign director and start a discussion about your pathway to becoming an ordained minister. Before you do that, however, there are a few things you should know:
- If you are relatively new to Satanism, or relatively new as a member of The Satanic Temple, then you are not ready. As it says on the Program Eligibility page (which you should read): Becoming ordained as a Minister of Satan is an advanced step that should not be entered into lightly. Becoming ordained is not a way to “get started” in Satanism; rather, it is a way for our active members to take the next step in their journey as part of our community.
- If you have only recently begun working with the campaign, it is probably too early to ask. Our ministers are instructed to only recommend someone as a potential candidate for ordination if they have enough direct, first-hand experience with the member to attest that they would be a good candidate. Until you have spent some time interacting with the campaign director an working with them on projects, they simply will not know you well enough to recommend you as a potential candidate.
- It is very common for a member of leadership to set a goal for a potential candidate, especially if they don’t yet know the candidate well. Do not be surprised if a campaign director who knows you and likes you, but has not known you for a long time, responds to your question about ordination by recommending that you work on a project, get involved in an event, go to some meetings, or otherwise get actively involved in the activities of the campaign. Engaging in an activity like this not only is a way of you demonstrating your long-term commitment to helping the campaign, but also provides an opportunity for the campaign director to see how you work with others and your skills with organization and managing activities.
- Your campaign director may simply tell you that they are not currently recommending ordination candidates, or that they specifically will not recommend you. Don’t be discouraged! This can be a learning experience for you. Talk to them, and try to understand why they think the ordination program is not a good fit for you. Make sure you don’t pressure them or try to get them to change their mind: they will let you know if their mind is open to being changed. If it is not, you should accept that and move on.
One of the most important tips to remember is that this process isn’t fast, and in many ways this is by design. Being committed to long-term participation in an all-volunteer religious organization like TST requires patience. Being a minister requires patience. Demonstrate that you are capable of patience during this process. Also keep in mind that nobody owes you an opportunity to register as an ordination candidate. Be patient and communicate, making sure you check in to understand what goals you should work toward in your pathway toward ordination.
If you have irreconcilable differences with the campaign director you work with, it may be that you are best served by seeking out a different campaign director to work with or a different pathway to ordination. However, if you have been “hunting” for someone to recommend you for ordination for a while and have been rejected by both congregation heads and campaign director, you may want to pause and think about the pattern that is emerging. Remember that The Satanic Temple doesn’t owe you: you have no right to become ordained by our church. If you are hearing “no” repeatedly, you may want to do some introspection and think about what personal skills and habits you may want to work on before you attempt to pursue ordination through another avenue.