Find a Secular Celebrant


CFI certified Secular Celebrants may now solemnize marriages in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Oregon, and Washington, DC. We are taking action to become legal to solemnize marriages in other states.

Find a secular celebrant near you:

Found 19 Result(s)

Jennifer Beahan

Michigan
jbeahan@centerforinquiry.org
(616) 698-2342

Jennifer Beahan is the Executive Director for CFI Michigan, and a certified CFI Secular Celebrant. She is responsible for the day-to-day operations of CFI Michigan and is working to build a secular community throughout Michigan. Her professional interests include volunteer management, program development and evaluation, secular activism, and women’s rights. She holds a Bachelor’s of Music Education (K-12), and in addition to her work for CFI she teaches private music lessons on piano and woodwinds. Jennifer understands the importance of being able to celebrate life events in a way that is personally meaningful to the participants, and isn’t restricted to a script provided by a judge or religious leader. She will work with you to create a custom ceremony for your wedding or other life event that is deeply personal and meaningful for everyone involved.


Steve Bratteng

Texas
512-454-0977

Steve Bratteng is a semi-retired science teacher who teaches biology part-time at Austin Community College. He is the director of Center for Inquiry-Austin, a board member of Atheist Community of Austin, and one of the founders of the secular political activist group, Secular Texas. He helped found and served as President of Humanists of Austin. One of his interests is making cryptic crossword puzzles.


Dr. Shirley Buzzard

Washington, DC
sbuzzard@live.com
202-554-6316

Dr. Buzzard is an anthropologist who has worked in cultures all over the world. She has been active in the secular movement for five years. She works closely with clients to develop all types of ceremonies including weddings, memorial services, multicultural ceremonies marking any of life’s special events.


Frank Crownover

Michigan
frankob5@comcast.net
(231) 766-8536 or (617) 645-0713

Frank Crownover is retired after working full time as a pharmacist for 38 years, mostly in a hospital setting. In his spare time he likes to barbecue and bake bread. He grew up in Missouri as an off-and-on mainline protestant, becoming much more involved in church as a young adult. However, he never fully accepted the mythology behind Christianity and has identified as an atheist/secular humanist for the past 20+ years. Frank became a secular celebrant because he recognizes that there are many people who do not want religion to be a part of their significant life events. He is available for weddings, funerals and other occasions for which a secular celebrant might be desired. Frank will work with you to tailor a ceremony to your needs. He lives in Muskegon, MI.


Margaret Downey

California · Pennsylvania
margaret@ftsociety.org
610-793-2737 (office), 610-357-9432 (cell)
http://www.secular-celebrations.com/

Margaret Downey has been conducting marriages and other secular ceremonies since 2001.

Margaret is committed to secular principles and will guarantee that every event in which she is involved will be non-religious. For more information about Margaret and the celebrations she officiates, go to her website which is listed above.

For Pennsylvania:
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania allows for a couple to obtain a Self-Uniting Marriage License. This provision allows couples to use the services of a Secular Officiant without government interference. This is not the case in most other states.

For California:
According to California Family Code Section 400, if you want to have a Secular Officiant perform your wedding ceremony, he or she must apply to become a “Deputy Commissioner of Marriages.” Doing so would grant Margaret the authority for one day to perform your ceremony. In order to become a deputy commissioner of marriages, Margaret would first obtain the application for appointment issued by the County Clerk.

To complete the application, Margaret will need the following information: date and place of ceremony, the bride and groom’s names and mailing addresses. She will need to provide a brief description of why she is seeking deputy commissioner privileges, sign and date the application, then return it to the county clerk. In most counties, a fee must be submitted with the application form. The fee may vary, but $85 is a typical amount. The application must be submitted at least six weeks prior to the ceremony. Read more: https://oureverydaylife.com/how-to-become-a-marriage-officiant-in-california-12173891.html


Joe Flores

Indiana
jrichflores@gmail.com
(219) 669-5533

Joe is a pharmacist, husband, and father living and working in West Lafayette. He knows that for those of us whose worlds do not include a god, there truly is no greater force of love than the love we hold for our life partners, our children, and the memories of those we’ve lost. These loves are so great they cannot be borne alone, so we share them with each other through ceremony.

As a Secular Celebrant, he hopes to help other humanists, agnostics, atheists, and others to elevate their great loves into events worth sharing. He firmly believes in the rights of all couples to commit to each other in a ceremony which does not compromise their beliefs and which treats guests of all faith backgrounds with respect.

He brings the professionalism and community engagement of his pharmacy vocation along with the artistry and stage presence of his many years in improv and scripted theater. He lives in West Lafayette but travels to Northwest Indiana and Indianapolis often. Contact him about weddings and child dedications.


Cheri Harris

Indiana
cahmyf@gmail.com
317-255-5881

Cheri is an Indianapolis attorney who worked for the ACLU of Indiana early in her career and continues to believe firmly in the separation of church and state. She and her husband were married 1994, in a secular service which they wrote themselves. She officiated at a marriage for the first time in 2000, and found it to be one of the most enjoyable activities of her adult life.

Cheri’s parents died in 2008 and 2009, giving her personal experience navigating the path to finding successful and appropriate ways to honor and memorialize loved ones in a secular fashion.

She believes that creative choice and expression unique to the individuals involved are important components of memorable rituals. She earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science from the George Washington University in Washington D.C. She also has a Master of Science degree from the London School of Economics, and obtained her J.D. from Indiana University in Bloomington.

She lives in the Indianapolis area.


John Kiel

Indiana · Kentucky
jkiel77@gmail.com
317-402-4301

John Kiel has an AAS from Indiana University. He is employed by Ford Motor Company as a safety trainer and pipefitter/plumber (skilled trades). He is a charter member of Humanist Friendship Group of Central Indiana and Center for Inquiry Indiana. He is a member of NOW, AU, ACLU of Indiana, FFRF, and UAW Local 1111. He has taken the Dale Carnegie Course—Public Speaking.

I currently live in Louisville, KY and officiate in the “Kentuckiana” area. I’m a member of United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 862, serving on the Communications and Community Services committees.


Patricia Lawler

Indiana
patricialawler2@me.com
317-329-2779 (home), 317-652-2779 (cell)

Pat is currently semi-retired after teaching for 25 years. She currently teaches two English as a Second Language classes. She has been a member of the Unitarian Universalist church for 35 years. She has been a member of Center for Inquiry for 10 years. She has been a Girl Scout leader, active PTA member, and has been an active member of Indianapolis Hiking Club for 25 years. She has 4 children and 7 grandchildren. She is an advocate for caring for and promoting individual rights and protecting our Earth. She interjects her actions with love and humor.

She lives in the Indianapolis area.


Nicholas Little

Virginia · Washington, DC
nlittle@centerforinquiry.net
703-258-4407

Nick Little is a Vice President and General Counsel for the Center For Inquiry. Located in Alexandria, VA, he is an accomplished orator, having won multiple public speaking awards. Educated at Oxford University and Vanderbilt University Law School, Nick will work with you to ensure that your wedding meets your needs, rather than a using pre-determined template defined by a particular religious grouping. Nick’s work centers on insuring that non-religious individuals do not face legal discrimination in the United States. As the number of non-religious grow, and as more individuals marry those of different faith backgrounds, the demand for non-traditional, non-faith based marriage ceremonies will increase. Nick is looking forward to working with couples, regardless of their beliefs, to ensure they receive the ceremony they want and deserve. Nick is also available to act as a secular celebrant in all types of life events, from welcoming a new child to saying farewell to a deceased love one.


Eric McCutchan

Texas
ericmccutchan@gmail.com
574-596-3968

Eric is a freethinker who has been a member of CFI since 2010. He has a master’s degree in athletic training & sports medicine from Indiana State University. He is a member of Metroplex Atheists, Hispanic Secular Humanists of North Texas, was the 2014 representative from North Texas Skeptics to the Dallas-Ft Worth Coalition of Reason, and is presently an at-large board member of the Fellowship of Freethought in Dallas. Located in Irving, Eric is available for secular celebrations & ceremonies all over the DFW metroplex.


Katherine McCutchan, PhD (Spanish Speaker)

Texas
kplatt11@hotmail.com
317-730-2546

Dr. Katherine McCutchan is Co-President of Hispanic Secular Humanists of North Texas; a member of the Center for Inquiry, Fellowship of Freethought-Dallas, and Metroplex Atheists. She earned her PhD in Latin American Studies from SUNY-Albany and currently teaches Sociology at a community college in Dallas. Dr. McCutchan is a native of Panama City, Panama. She now lives in the Dallas, TX area.

La Dra. Katherine McCutchan es Co-Presidenta de Hispanic Secular Humanists of North Texas; miembro de las siguientes organizaciones: Center for Inquiry, Fellowship of Freethought-Dallas, y Metroplex Atheists. Ella tiene un Doctorado en Estudios Latinoamericanos de la Universidad del Estado de Nueva York en Albany. Actualmente enseña Sociología en un colegio comunitario en Dallas. La Dra. McCutchan es de la Ciudad de Panamá.


James Oliver

New York
marfinwile1@gmail.com
716-352-4131
www.secularcelebrantwny.wordpress.com

US Navy veteran (Vietnam era) Honorable discharge. 1969-1972.

Alfred State Technical College Alumni.

15 Years in the financial services industry.

Registered Representative Series 6 & 63.

Currently works at Veterans Affairs Medical Center of Western NY.

I worked as a church Sexton at an Anglican Church for 10 years, I had to be in attendance for all weddings and funerals as the church caretaker/ Sexton and I was always dismayed by every service be it wedding or funeral that each minister did the exact same service for the families, only the names were changed and very impersonal and stilted non-caring feelings would fill the air.

Being a secular celebrant gives me the opportunity for people who are non-religious to embrace life events that are important to them in a manner that makes it much more personal, with a format and content of their own choosing.

Jim is committed to secular principles and will guarantee through his role as a Secular Celebrant of CFI Transnational every event he is involved with will be non-religious.


Michele Shaw

Virginia
shaw.michele1@gmail.com
317-531-4000

Celebrating rites of passage, rituals, and memorial gatherings are important to so many of us. Milestones and memorials help make life more fulfilling because shared experiences are powerful. They bring people together and enhance each person’s individual experience. I hope to be able to help those with a non-religious world view prepare and hold a celebration of a life milestone in a meaningful and secular humanist way.

Michele Shaw is a secular humanist and a strong supporter of the Center for Inquiry, FFRF, and the Secular Coalition for America.  Michele is happily married to James and has raised two children free from religion.  She has a B.S. in Business Administration from California State University, Long Beach. She has worked for Fortune 100 companies in Information Technology management positions and now works for a small environmental consulting company. She enjoys spending time outdoors playing tennis, gardening or walking her four legged rescue friends.  She is an activist who has lobbied at both the local and national level for human rights, women’s rights and secular humanist special interests.

Michele will be honored in officiating your secular celebration or ceremony in the Northern Virginia area. As a Virginia circuit court appointed civil celebrant, Michele is authorized under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia to perform and celebrate the rites of marriage anywhere in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Michele will take great pleasure in assisting you in commemorating your special life event.


Scott Trout

Indiana
akefalos93@live.com
317-430-0641

Scott is a humanist and is a founding member of CFI-Indiana. Scott has been with his partner for 19 years. Being gay and currently denied marriage equality in Indiana, he understands how fundamental it is for people to form loving and lasting relationships regardless of orientation. He strives to bring a creative secular expression to your ceremony that will celebrate your special day as a couple.

He lives in the Indianapolis area.


Jim Underdown

California · Illinois
junderdown@centerforinquiry.org
(323) 666-9797

Jim Underdown is the Executive Director of the Center for Inquiry West and a certified secular celebrant. He has also taught Secular Celebrations Workshops at CFI in Los Angeles. He written for Free Inquiry and Skeptical Inquirer magazines and been a spokesperson for both Secular Humanism and Scientific Skepticism since 1999.

In the past 20 years, Jim has performed approximately 40 non-religious wedding ceremonies, both in and outside California. He has also officiated at several memorials and a few baby-namings.

Jim believes ritual has value because certain life events are important and deserve special attention – even for those who do not practice any particular religion. Secular celebrants are appropriate for people who prefer that religion not be mixed in with their momentous events.

Each ceremony he conducts is unique and written for that specific couple with the couple’s involvement. Jim encourages his clients to be creative and to tailor their wedding to fit their personalities and desires. Just because it’s an important occasion doesn’t mean it can’t be fun!


Patrick Walters

Indiana
patawalt08@gmail.com
(317) 690-1061

Patrick Walters is a humanist and an atheist. He is the husband of an incredible woman and a proud dog parent. He graduated from IUPUI with a degree in continuing studies. He was raised in a religious family with progressive ideals, but as he grew older he became more aware of the absurdities regarding the belief in a deity. He came to reject his childhood religious beliefs, and now uses skepticism and science-based evidence to evaluate the world around us.

He became a secular celebrant so he could officiate two of his best friend’s wedding, Bailey and Casey. He thinks that love can be shared by all individuals. He is accepting of all people no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, or religion(provided they don’t force their beliefs onto others).

He lives in the Indianapolis area.


Reba Boyd Wooden

Indiana
rboydw@gmail.com
317-797-5892
http://www.weddingofficiantindy.com/

Reba Boyd Wooden is Executive Director of Center for Inquiry Indiana. She started Humanist Friendship Group of Central Indiana in 1999 which became CFI Indiana. She has officiated at numerous weddings and same-sex commitment ceremonies and some memorials and other ceremonies. She is a board member of ACLU of Indiana and and a member of several other progressive organizations. She is a regular blogger at CFI’s Free Thinking: Freethought from the Heartland.

She is co-director of the CFI Secular Celebrant Program. If you would like a Secular Celebrant training session to be held in your area, email indy@centerforinquiry.net.

She lives in the Indianapolis area.


Stephanie Zvan

Minnesota
stephanie.zvan@gmail.com
(612) 986-4050

Stephanie Zvan is a lifelong nonbeliever. She’s a writer, speaker, organizer, and activist who’s never been at a loss for finding meaning in this world. Let her help you work through building a ceremony that resonates with you and the community you invite to witness your marriage, whether you find that in existing tradition or through creating your own.

Secular Celebrants are not currently permitted to register as marriage officiants under Minnesota law. Stephanie is working to have the law changed. In the meantime, she can discuss with you your options for having the state legally recognize your marriage.