Officiant Program (4 total credit hours)

The goal of the officiant program is to train professionals who can create and lead meaningful Secular Humanistic Jewish celebrations of the life cycle. We want our officiants to model excellence in the Secular Humanistic Jewish approach to ceremonies.

Competency Areas

The understanding of and ability to: 

  • Create, coordinate and deliver a Secular Humanistic Jewish life cycle ceremony including ceremonial writing and officiating;
  • Basic ideas of Secular Humanistic Judaism and their appropriate application to our celebrations and observances, including historical roots and traditional Jewish observances of life cycles; and
  • Philosophical guidance in matters concerning family dynamics and issues in executing life cycles.

Admission Requirements:

  • Member of the movement of Secular Humanistic Judaism for two years
  • Interview with the Dean – North America of the IISHJ and a faculty member
  • Application Completion (including a short essay)
  • 2 references (one from certified/ordained clergy in Secular Humanistic Judaism and another who is a member of the movement)
  • Application fee of $36.

Requirements for Graduation

(Fees are $200 per credit hour)

Officiants who have completed the program pay an annual $36 certification fee and must maintain membership in the Cultural and Secular Jewish Organization, the Society for Humanistic Judaism, or a local community affiliated with one of these two organizations.

Field Work for Officiant Program

Create a life cycle sampler under the direction of an IISHJ certified Leader or IISHJ Rabbi (can be text or video) of original or new compilations of one each of the following ceremonies: baby naming; bar/bat mitzvah; Secular Humanistic Jewish wedding or intercultural wedding; memorial, funeral and/or interment and/or ashes scattering .

Questions and Starting Application

Please fill out the form below or contact the IISHJ office at or 847-383-6330 for further information or to begin the application process.