Become a Humanist Celebrant

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About Humanist Celebrants

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 legally recognized in all states and worldwide, being accorded the same rights and privileges granted by law to traditional clergy.

The Humanist Society offers different endorsement options for those considering a one-time experience, those wishing to be regular celebrants as well as leader celebrants, lay leaders, and chaplains. See our guidelines to learn more.

Every Humanist Society Celebrant is considered to be a special representative of the American Humanist Association, our parent organization, so continuous membership in the AHA is required and involvement in AHA local and national activities is encouraged.

Application Process

You can apply by providing information about your background, qualifications, interests, and the names of three references that can attest to your ability to serve as a Humanist Celebrant. The Endorsement Committee will contact the applicant via phone to further clarify the information provided, after which, an in-person meeting may also be required.

Start your application online today!


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  • Linda M

    I guess I am NOT a humanist after all. This idea of having “certified Celebrants” is just copying religious institutions. It is insanely hypocritical and arrogant. Take my name off your roles. I am SO disappointed in you humanists!
    Linda M.

    • Neil Wright

      HI Linda,

      As an Associate Humanist Celebrant I have been granted the legal status to officiate wedding/handfasting ceremonies as well as other rites of passage. My activities in the community, my advocacy for religious freedom, nothing I did or do religiously or philosophically requires an endorsement. My endorsement is for legal recognition of who I am and what I do and allows me to help other Humanists and non-theists conform to the law without having to compromise our beliefs. I am doing what the law requires me to do and am grateful to the Humanist Society for providing me the credentials necessary to fulfill those requirements.

      Your path is your own but I hope that you will reconsider and continue in our worthy cause for religious freedom and equality. We are a community and each one of us is important!


    • ahki

      Humanist work to develop community, unlike atheist, and celebrants are a way of developing a leadership for starting that community feeling, especially for those that have left religious communities and still feel a need to belonging to a congregation of like-minded supporters.

    • notesfromme

      Hypocritical and arrogant? Look in the mirror.

    • Autumn Reinhardt-Simpson

      Many humanists identify as religious humanists (nontheistic but still interested in community and ritual). We are just as much represented by humanist organizations as other humanists.

  • Amii Gilmore

    Linda, maybe as someone on the end of needing a Humanist celebrant, I can give you another perspective- the base chapel and chaplain here in Wyoming, refuses to do any sort of wedding ceremony, or even allow us to have a secular officiant come in – we refuse to lie about being religious to skirt the issue, and we don’t want a religious ceremony, but getting married is still a big life step for us, and we want to mark it as a special occasion. A Humanist Celebrant is recognized by the States, as a non-religious, but still trained in what constitutes a formal, state-recognized, marriage ceremony, alternative to just going through the motions in a church. It is the way that someone that isn’t religious marks an important step in their life, like a birth of a child, a marriage, a death, in a way that acknowledges the import of these event in a human’s life, without bringing god into it, and also happens to be recognized by the state, taking the issue out of the stranglehold that religion has previously had over these important events. Not every Humanist WANTS or NEEDS to mark these events, but some do. ANd that’s ok. ANd the Humanist Celebrants are the way the STates recognize “here’s this thing clergy do” done by the non-religious.

  • Wayne Bowerman

    What is the benefit of being credentialed through this organization as apposed to being credentialed through Spiritual Humanism dot org?