You know what really pissed me off back in 1993. Whenever I was interviewed by the media, they always described me as a "Self Proclaimed or Self Described Witch or Wiccan." However when they interviewed a Christian Minster they described him as "Reverend So & So." I asked the producer of the Jane Whitney Show, even-though I was an ordained Priest, why they didn't credit me as Reverend? She said, it was because I didn't have a degree or certification in theology by a Church with an accredited Seminary. In other words, even though Wicca was an established Religion, recognized by the Federal Government, and had Tax-exempt status, to the World, unless it has a system of training and study for its Clergy that is accredited, you are considered a Layman. A member of Laity; but not Clergy.
So what's so special about being accredited one might ask? Well if you go to any collage, for example, if it has accreditation that means the school has been certified by a State or Federal Board of Education or Association and there are enough Schools accumulated to vote on the accepted curriculum. That means the school has passed a set of standards set down by the State or Federal Government. Now this makes the school's degrees a lot more valuable because they have been approved by this Country's Highest Educational Associations and Boards.
Granted this is all legal stuff that really doesn't have one thing to do with Spirituality. We all know if you go through the training with a Coven or High Priest/Priestess in the Craft, and are initiated 3rd Degree you are pretty much qualified as far as The Wicca are concerned. However, if we are ever to be on the same Equality and attain the same respect as the other major Religions of the world, then we have to play by the rules.
This is why I'm so proud to be apart of The Aquarian Tabernacle Church. The Founder, Pete (Pathfinder) Davis, back in 1979, had the vision to start the ATC along the path to achieve, for Wicca, the same level of Dignity, Respect, and Equality as all the other major Faiths of the world. The Aquarian Tabernacle Church has one of the first State recognized Wiccan Seminaries in the U.S. "Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary" Check out the website listed at the first of this blog.