Skip Navigation

Can I choose a person who is not a Christian as my child’s godparent?

A parent may choose to honor someone by asking him or her to be a child's godparent, but our Discipline clearly understands and calls godparents to be people of genuine faith and determination who exercise a ministry of seeing that Christ is formed in the child. (See Godparents: A Ministry of Love & Disciple Making)

Paragraph 226 of our Book of Discipline says,

At least one parent or guardian shall be a member of a Christian church; or sponsor(s) or godparent(s) who are members shall renew their own baptismal vows. They shall be admonished of this obligation and be earnestly exhorted to faithfulness therein. At the time of baptism they shall be informed that the Church, with its Christian education program, will aid them in the Christian nurture of their children.
(From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church - 2016. Copyright © 2016 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.)

However, our Jewish brothers and sisters are people of the covenant and can have much to offer in sharing their faith and practices of Judaism. I suggest that friends of other faiths be a faith friend/Jewish godparent and that you ask a professing Christian to be the faith friend/Christian godparent. If you keep the traditions clear, I think it would work well and your child will be the richer for it.

Rev. Dan Benedict
Center for Worship Resourcing
General Board of Discipleship

Learn more about baptism:
By Water and The Spirit
This is Your Baptismal Liturgy