Press Releases


Nontheist Wedding Officiant Training Now Available Online From the Humanist Institute


COHEBillboard advertisement looks to add more humanist celebrants as ranks continue to grow

Contact: Maggie Ardiente, mardienteatamericanhumanistdotorg  (mardienteatamericanhumanistdotorg)  , 202-238-9088 x116

Kristin Wintermute, Humanist Institute Executive Director, kwintermuteatmninterdotnet  (kwintermuteatmninterdotnet)  , 763-545-8941

(Washington, DC – November 12, 2013)—With an increasing demand for nontheist wedding officiants in the U.S., formal online wedding ceremony training is now available through The Humanist Institute’s Continuum for Humanist Education. The course is available to current humanist celebrants as well as those who are considering becoming one.

The Humanist Institute will fill the growing need for training that has resulted from a steady increase in certified humanist celebrants through the Humanist Society, a group affiliated with the American Humanist Association that has certified celebrants for over 70 years. More courses for additional humanist celebrant services are planned for the future.

In conjunction with the launch of these online training courses, the American Humanist Association is sponsoring a new billboard in Moscow, Idaho, to familiarize the public with the opportunity of becoming a nontheist celebrant through the Humanist Society, which added a streamlined online application system earlier this year. The billboard’s message includes a wedding ceremony image and reads “Join Your Friends In Holy Matrimony,” with the word holy struck out and the web address


“Everyone at The Humanist Institute is excited about offering this new course not only to current humanist celebrants, but to anyone who wants to learn about how to conduct a successful wedding ceremony,” said Humanist Institute Executive Director Kristin Wintermute. “This addition to the other courses offered by the Continuum of Humanist Education is the next step in our ongoing efforts to bring humanist education opportunities to the public.”

The multi-part nontheist wedding course covers areas that include the theoretical understanding of weddings, the role of the celebrant, wedding preparation, what goes into creating vows, different elements of a wedding ceremony, and more.

Details about all the courses offered by The Continuum for Humanist Education can be found at More information about the Humanist Institute can be found at and the Humanist Society at

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The American Humanist Association ( advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington D.C., its work is extended through more than 175 local chapters and affiliates across the United States.

Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.


Free Wedding Services to Same-Sex Military Couples Being Offered by Humanists


couple_freeceremony_finalContact: Maggie Ardiente  (mardienteatamericanhumanistdotorg)  , 202-238-9088 x116
Rachael Berman  (rbermanatamericanhumanistdotorg)  , 202-238-9088 ext. 113

(Washington, DC – Sept. 10, 2013)—Free weddings services for same-sex couples are now being offered by humanist celebrants for active duty military personnel. This national endeavor is in support of the Jan. 2014 implementation of full spousal rights for same-sex couples in the military.

Scores of humanist celebrants certified by the American Humanist Association’s Humanist Society are waiving their ceremony fee as part of this national effort. A listing of celebrants participating in the program can be found on the Humanist Society’s website .

“Humanist Society celebrants have been performing same-sex marriage ceremonies for decades,” said American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt. “Even before these marriages were legally recognized, humanist celebrants have been a part of commitment ceremonies of all kinds. It is heartening to see that so many of them are willing to wave their ceremony fee to support the ongoing revolutionary change in the U.S. that is now giving all married military personnel the same legal benefits.”

Each celebrant’s participation is voluntary and they will need to be contacted individually. The program begins immediately and will continue until December 31, 2013. Participants will have an American flag icon next to their listing on the Humanist Society website.

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The Humanist Society ( prepares Humanist Celebrants to lead ceremonial observances across the nation and worldwide, providing millions a meaningful alternative to traditional religious weddings, memorial services, and other life cycle events.

Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms a responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.