At the age of 13 Russell was diagnosed with bone cancer
in his left arm.The doctors gave him about a 50% chance of survival. The amputation of the arm
was necessary and was followed by two years of chemotherapy. Russell is a cancer survivor!
Russell earned a bachelor's degree in History and
Religion from Texas Christian University, a master's degree in Theological Studies from Vanderbilt University Divinity
School and the doctoral degree in Education and Counseling from the University of North Texas where he now serves as a full-time professor. He recently completed the Doctor of Ministry degree from Meadville Lombard Theological School (affiliated with the University of Chicago) and serves as the minister of Westside Unitarian Universalist Church. He is a licensed professional and chemical dependency counselor (LPC and LCDC). He was ordained a minister by the Humanist Society on May 21, 1999. He has been married to Gayle since June 30, 1992.
Dr. Elleven can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or his counseling ministry website at www.rke.cc.
HOFW Member Jeff Rodriguez is a Certified Humanist Celebrant and legally sanctioned to peform weddings in Texas. Jeff is happy to work with couples to help them have a marraige ceremony that truly fits their beliefs, and his fees are very reasonable. Jeff can be reached via his webpage www.celebrantjeff.com or by email at email@example.com.
Some Humanist Minister Duties and Responsibilities
Special thanks to Humanists of Idaho for most of this page's text!
- Humanist Weddings: As opposed to religious services which are inherently sexist, Humanist ceremonies are built upon equality,
love and respect between the bride and groom. A successful Humanist marriage thrives on the efforts of the couple, not on the
intervention of a supernatural being or power.
- Commitment Ceremonies: Humanists and Humanist Ministers adhere to ethics and principles which assert that all adults,
whatever their religious preference or sexual orientation, have the right to form committed loving relationships, and to acknowledge
the significance of those relationships with ceremony and celebration.
- Rites of Passage: Rites of passage ceremonies acknowledge and celebrate crucial transitions in life, such as: birth,
child-naming, graduation, marriage, and re-birth through the cycle of new life.
- Funeral Ceremonies: Humanists use the word "ceremony" rather than "service," as we see it as an occasion to celebrate a
human life and to provide mutual support and comfort for the living, rather than as a "service" to a deity.
Contact Dr. Russell K. Elleven or Jeff Rodriguez.for any of these services.
Some Frequently Asked Questions about Humanist Ministers
What is a Humanist Minister?
The function of a Humanist Minister is identical to that of a minister, clergyperson, pastor, priest, or rabbi. Counseling of a pastoral
kind is necessary for preparing a wedding or memorial. This is common to the practice of all clergy, and a Humanist Minister is
expected to help clients sort out questions about ethics and morals as they apply to Humanism. In no case, however, unless a
Humanist Minister is otherwise certified or licensed in a helping profession, i.e. psychology, clinical social work, family or marriage
counseling, etc., should he or she cross the line into those fields requiring state licensure. Dr. Elleven is licensed by the state of Texas as a professional and chemical dependency counselor.
How many Humanist Ministers are there in Texas?
There are currently only six Humanist Ministers/Celebrants in the state of Texas certified by the Humanist Society.
Who ordains Humanists Ministers?
The Division of Humanist Certification (DHC) of the Humanist Society functions as the qualifying body which confers
ministerial credentials upon applicants who have met the institution's requirements to serve as clergy. All persons certified by the
DHC are legally authorized to perform weddings, as well as all other rites-of-passage, common to a religious congregation or
community which ordains persons to serve in its ministry. For a story of the history of the Humanist Society, click here.
Does the state of Texas recognize marriages performed by Humanist Ministers?
The State of Texas does recognize Humanist wedding ceremonies and weddings performed by Humanist Ministers.
What is a Humanist ceremony?
A Humanist ceremony is one that shows respect for both the bride and groom. The vows are personal, often specially written just for
the couple. The ceremony reflects the equality of the couple, compassion, mutual trust, and respect. The basis of the Humanist
marriage rests on the efforts and relationship of the couple, not on a supernatural being or power.
Can you perform services for traditional religions?
Yes, this ministry is basically to fit the needs of the unchurched. We can create a ceremony that says and does what you want and believe.
Is premarital counseling required?
No. However, Dr. Elleven is certified to offer the PREPARE inventories. Please refer to the Life Innovations home page at www.lifeinnovations.com for more information.
How can I learn more about the Humanist Society or its credentialling body?
Questions concerning the HSOF, its credentialling body, the Division of Humanist Certification, or its ordained certificants may be
Division of Humanist Certification
THE HUMANIST SOCIETY OF FRIENDS
American Humanist Association
Humanist Center 2000
1777 T Street NW
Washington, DC 20009-7125
Phone toll-free: (800) 837-3792
Phone: (202) 238-9088
Fax: (202) 238-9003
A Directory of Humanist Celebrants
Humanists of Ft. Worth
Ft. Worth, TX