Going Pro: Humanist Celebrants Launch Professional Network

Photo by lisafx / 123RF

According to a 2015 study by the Pew Research Center, the percentage of the American population that identifies as Christian dropped 7.8 percent between 2007 and 2014. As the population of “nones” continues to rise in the United States, we as a community need to be equipped to provide these individuals with all the services and support typically offered by traditional, religious clergy members. The Humanist Society is an organization working to fill that gap by endorsing individuals as humanist celebrants to legally perform nonreligious ceremonies. As the number of nones continues to rise, the need for humanist celebrants will grow. Recognizing the increased demand for humanist celebrants, the Humanist Society recently launched the Humanist Celebrant Professional Community to better support current humanist celebrants through mentoring, collaboration, professional, and business development.

The goal of the Humanist Celebrant Professional Community is to provide opportunity for community and peer support for humanist celebrants. It will also provide skill development opportunities to increase the level of professionalism in the services they deliver. The Humanist Celebrant Professional Community formally introduced their upcoming initiatives via teleconference last month. Kathy Diedrich, secretary of the Humanist Society Board of Directors, announced that the Professional Community will provide free quarterly teleconferences and webinars to all humanist celebrants. These quarterly conferences will range in topics from tips for growing your humanist celebrant business to creating an effective website to ways in which to increase your visibility as a humanist celebrant. The purpose of these teleconferences is to professionalize, educate, and create a community for currently endorsed humanist celebrants.

In an effort to increase support and guidance for newly endorsed humanist celebrants, the Humanist Society Board of Directors decided to create a Humanist Celebrant Mentoring Program. Steven Bechtel, vice president of the Humanist Society Board of Directors, announced that this program will officially launch in July of this year. Newly endorsed celebrants will now have the opportunity to be matched with a mentor who will assist and guide them through the process of writing a wedding and memorial service ceremony. The goal of the mentoring program is to provide personalized support to newly endorsed humanist celebrants and ensure consistency in celebrant performance.

The Humanist Society wants to drastically increase the visibility of humanist celebrants. In order to do this, it is in the process of creating an effective marketing and advertising plan for humanist celebrants. Joshua Berg, treasurer of the Humanist Society Board of Directors, is leading this new marketing initiative by first surveying current humanist celebrants and inquiring about their current marketing strategies. He will then compile the information and present “effective marketing strategies” at the next teleconference. These strategies will include effective website platforms, best places to advertise your services, and how to increase your visibility.

Humanist celebrants provide vital services to the humanist and nonreligious communities. The Humanist Society is committed to increasing its support and resources for humanist celebrants, who perform professional, personalized, nonreligious ceremonies for the nones.