Church Pastor: Job Description & Career Requirements
Church Pastors have undergraduate educations in a diversity of fields. Additionally, most Church Pastors have completed seminary education within their denomination or a master's or doctorate degree in Theology. Leading a church generally requires a strong calling to the field and a passion for service.
Career Definition for a Church Pastor
A Church Pastor is a leader of a Protestant congregation. Pastors lead Baptist, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian churches, among others. The duties of a Church Pastor include performing ceremonies, such as baptisms, wedding and funerals, in addition to leading their congregation in worship through sermons inspired by the Bible.
How to Become a Church Pastor
Required Education for a Career as a Church Pastor
All Church Pastors must be ordained into their positions through an official appointment process, and educational requirements for Church Pastors vary with the needs of the congregation. Some denominations require their Church Pastors to hold graduate-level degrees from schools of Theology aligned with the denomination. Churches in well-populated urban areas are more likely to have formal educational requirements than churches in rural areas.
Skills Required for a Career as a Church Pastor
Pastoring a Church requires leadership skills, including the ability to motivate and inspire others. Church Pastors must be able to speak confidently to large groups and also to listen to the troubles of others with open minds. Most Church Pastors called to the profession are devoted members of their churches with solid ethics and natural senses of volunteerism.
Career and Economic Outlook for Church Pastors
O*NET Online's data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that employment for Church Pastors could grow about as fast as average compared to other occupations from 2010-2020. Employment and salaries tend to be greatly affected by experience and the average income of the population being served. As of August 2013, Salary.com reported that associate pastors earned a median salary of $62,639 annually, and Church Pastors with 5 or more years of experience earned a median salary of $86,610.
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