I have met a lot of people introduced to me as pastor. and never really considered them as anything special or priestly, cause i thought they prob got it via on line course. I knew someone who was doing it on line but it was a legitish 2 year course.
From now on when i meet someone and they tell me they are a pastor or minister I'm asking "oh nice to meet you, what seminary did you go to."
Anybody can cheaply become an "ordained minster" from some fake group if they just want to be able to do an essentially secular wedding and be legally allowed to do it and register it with the state...
But I wouldn't say that a Protestant pastor you meet on the street probably did something like this.
I used to be Protestant, and at every church I saw, the senior pastor had at least an M.Div, the assistant pastor usually did, and the youth pastors had at least associate degrees (the 2 year program you mentioned), or more likely an MTM (5 yr min counting undergrad). Many senior pastors eventually got D.Min's.
An M.Div is a 3 year masters program (i.e. you have to do a 3-4 year bachelor's first) that cannot be done by distanc-ed (a north american requirement for an M.Div to be accredited is that it can't be distance ed).
So you can go get ordained for free if you want, but, you won't get a job as a pastor that way, you'll just be able to marry your friends.
To get a job as a pastor, you have to be hired by a church (i.e. a local congregation, normally there is nothing like a bishop involved, just the local congregation hires someone for the job... with some groups like Lutherans who do have bishops, I don't know how hiring works there), and they aren't going to hire someone who doesn't have an M.Div.
It varies from denomination to denomination how "ordination" works. At the Baptist divinity school here, once you get an M.Div, I think you're recommended to be ordained by the local baptist association, but that doesn't make you a pastor, it's just a job requirement you get, then you actually have to get a job with a church to be a pastor.