It is not the same to apply for a job at a supermarket as it is to apply for a job as a baptist pastor, as it is a position that is more than just a regular job.
Baptist pastors teach biblical truths, lead worship, officiate (and conduct) weddings, funerals and other events, and they play key parts in their religious communities.
Applying for a new job as a baptist pastor can be daunting in itself, but this guide will take you through every section of a well-written baptist pastor resume (see the full resume sample at the bottom) to help you get it right.
Resume objective for baptist pastors
After including your name and contact information, your baptist pastor resume can greatly benefit from having a carefully written resume objective.
A resume objective is not right for every resume, but considering the size of the role the baptist pastor will likely come to play, an objective offers a unique opportunity to show a church who you are and what aspirations you have as a religious guide.
We sampled 15 job posts and 15 resumes for this article, and we were able to determine that a baptist pastor can benefit greatly from including an objective or a professional summary.
According to the South Carolina Baptist Convention, a baptist pastor is someone who provides strategic leadership not only to the members of the church, but also to staff and ministries. This further highlights the importance of having a resume objective be the first thing a potential employer sees.
The place church has in modern society is different compared to how it was in the past, and many churches are now looking for a pastor who can adapt to modern standards without losing traditional values and customs.
How can you show that you are the right pastor? By using strong adjectives describing your personality, like ‘dedicated’, ‘respectful’, and ‘organized’, and adding in a few words about your previous experience and your philosophies related to your profession.
Think of it as an introduction to you as a professional, along with what you have to offer the church and the religious community.
Dedicated religious believer with a strong relationship with God, a drive to educate, offer second chances and implement healthy beliefs. Experience working with youth and interested in expanding church outreach, to make the house of God available to everyone in need.
Resume skills for baptist pastors
There are many different skills you need as a baptist pastor. One skill is being a good listener, and knowing how to connect with people by being there for them and understanding their struggles.
Baptist pastors also need the ability to successfully communicate with both adults, children and teenagers, and to be neutral and accepting of those less inclined to accept God and religion.
Leadership skills are essential, to guide the ministry in daily duties, lead worship and also to play a vital part in community outreach activities and youth retreats.
In your skill section, you can also mention teaching experience, a positive attitude, public speaking skills and broad knowledge of the church and religious faith.
Creative | Dedicated | Committed | Strong relationship with God | Community outreach experience | Certified public speaker | Patient | Teaching experience | Leadership | Flexible | Youth pastor experience
Baptist pastor work experience
So, do you need work experience to apply for a job as a baptist pastor? Yes and no. You can get a job without experience, but most ministries tend to look for a pastor with at least a year or two of experience.
They want to know that they are hiring someone who can handle the pressure and provide sufficient guidance, and previous experience working as a pastor is usually a good indicator.
Many young or inexperienced pastors opt for volunteering to have something to include in their work experience section. You can add experience from outside the church as well, but try to limit it to positions that confirm people skills experience working with young people or community related jobs.
Teaching experience is, for obvious reasons, a highly desirable past work experience, as a big part of the job revolves around teaching, educating and inspiring good and healthy values.
Sample Work Experience
Oakfield Wesleyan Church, Crooksville, OH
Pastor, 2016 – 2020
Led bible studies and participated in Sunday school alongside the ministry youth pastor, and worked actively to implement core values through community outreach.
- Organized a collaboration with the local High School, to offer students a safe space to study after school.
- Started a group for families, where parents and children could participate together to strengthen the family ties.
- Held a fundraiser to provide the homeless with proper winter clothing and shelter.
- Increased bible study participation with 74%,
Fargo Wesleyan Church, Marengo, OH
Youth Pastor, 2012 – 2016
Offered a modern and relaxed approach to bible studies, worship and faith, and actively participated in events created for children, teenagers and their families, with the purpose of strengthening the family unit.
- Opened up a youth group for anyone who needed a place to study or socialize after school.
- Participated in job fairies at the local High School and college.
- Collaborated with other churches to create a stronger religious community.
- Took over the youth choir and increased youth participation with over 50%.
Pasco County Schools, Land O’ Lakes
High School Religion Teacher, 2006 – 2012
Taught religion to High School students and provided in-dept information and guidance. Organized and planned classes, put together tests and engaged students in religious subjects.
- Worked together with the students to develop a study plan they would find interesting and engaging.
- Got through to unmotivated students and helped them find the right path.
- Coordinated with parents to provide the students with education relevant to their home life.
- Organized yearly fundraisers to make sure all students could participate in field trips.
Baptist pastor education
For anyone who is serious about a spiritual career as a baptist pastor, it is a good idea to have a college education to list on your resume.
There is no law that requires a pastor to have a higher degree, but churches often express a preference for at least an Associate degree.
In our research, the majority of the 15 job posts sampled expressed a desire for a baptist pastor with an educational background, which is confirmed by Study.com. A degree in ministry, theology or in pastoral studies is a plus.
Experience does weigh heavier than education, usually, but in order to get experience – you need someone to want to hire you.
List any degrees you have, even if unrelated to your job as a baptist pastor, in this section.
Boyce College, Louisville, KY
Bachelor of Arts, 2003 – 2007
- Biblical & Theological Studies
- GPA: 4.0
It is not necessary to list a course section on your baptist pastor resume, but if you have taken courses that would be relevant for your job within the church and the community – these are worth listing.
Coursework can help demonstrate knowledge and experience, especially if you lack work experience.
Listing courses is also a way for you to show the church what you specialize in and what you may be interested in, which could give them a good idea of who you are as an individual and what you wish to accomplish as a pastor.
If you don’t have any relevant courses to list – don’t worry, and simply omit this section when writing your baptist pastor resume.
- Worship: Theology and Practice
- Faith Formation in a Technological World
- Ecclesiology: The Church and Its Ministries
- Christian Formation in Cultural Contexts
The U.S government does not require pastors to be licensed or certified, but each church tends to license or certify their own pastors. This means that a pastor’s resume does not tend to include a certification section.
We confirmed this by revising both resumes and real job posts, where neither included certification requirements or listed certifications.
One reason, however, why you might choose to include it in yours is if you have other relevant certifications to show off.
Leadership certificates could look good on a resume, along with any certification related to community work, religion or teaching. We want to stretch that this is not something we commonly saw on baptist pastor resumes, and that it can be left out if not applicable.
- California Teaching License
- Certificate in Organizational Leadership
- Executive Certificate in Leadership and Management
Complete baptist pastor resume sample
The screenshot seen below is that of a real job post we came across in our research. With this, we will show you how to properly tailor your resume to the provided job description.
When you read through this job post, you quickly learn that the church is looking for someone who is hard-working and a strong believer, and who possesses excellent communication skills.
The church also wants their new pastor to be organized, dedicated and have an interest in music, along with the ability to successfully direct and guide children and young members of the church.
Committed pastor with 8+ years of experience working in a church environment. Passionate about helping church-goers connect with God and find their own individual path, through conversation and self-discovery. Hard-working and friendly, with experience working closely with adults, teenagers, and young children.
Organized | Interpersonal skills | Communicative | Deep commitment to God and the church | B.A in Theology | Masters in Biblical Studies | Background in teaching | Open-minded | Multitasker | Leadership
Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Pastor, 2017 – 2020
Officiated weddings and funerals, led bible study groups, provided couple counselling, youth counselling and support for those in need, while maintaining a close relationship with people in the community.
- Connected various local churches through a yearly event, with the purpose of creating a stronger religious community.
- Provided marriage counseling both before and after officiated weddings, which reportedly loweded registered divorces in the county with 34%.
- Held free bible study classes in a local park during summers, to inspire people to come join the church.
- Collaborated with local schools and nursing homes to help reduce the generation gap.
National Church Residences, Lake Wales, FL
Assistant Pastor, 2014 – 2017
Organized religious activities in a senior living community; worked to reduce the risk of depression in the community through spiritual conversation and social events.
- Used social activities to successfully reduce diagnosed depression with 43% within the community.
- Set up a buddy program for senior citizens, which allowed them to meet new friends and socialize.
- Implemented a suggestion box where community members could leave comments and suggestions to help improve the program.
- Received recognition from the town mayor for excellent community service.
Covenant Care, Panama City, FL
Spiritual Care Coordinator, 2012 – 2014
Provided support to families and friends, was available for grief counselling, carried out home visits and kept close contact with the community through email and phone.
- Provided family members with clear end-of-life plans in a way that made them feel comfortable and supported.
- Successfully identified spiritual needs and unidentified spiritual distress.
- Showed sensitivity to diversity issues to make everyone feel equally welcome and cared for.
- Guided loved ones through the process of funeral planning.
- Valid driver’s license (FL)
- First-Aid & CPR (2020)
- Teaching License (FL)
Colorado Christian University, Lakewood, CO
Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies, 2010 – 2012
Colorado Christian University, Lakewood, CO
Bachelor of Arts in Theology, 2005 – 2009
While on paper, a baptist pastor is not required to have specific education or academic background, the church will often read through your whole resume to see what you have done in the past – both professionally and academically.
Your resume could be what gets the church to notice you, so take your time with your resume to avoid wasting the opportunity. This is what you need to remember when you sit down to craft your next job application and baptist pastor resume.
- Experience is perhaps the most important thing when applying for a job as a pastor. The church often looks for someone with experience, and many less experienced pastors choose to volunteer to boost their resume work experience section.
- Include a short resume objective or professional summary, as this helps make your resume a little more personal. Baptist pastors need certain personality traits and skills, and the resume objective is a great opportunity to show what you intend to bring to the church.
- Highlight any teaching skills or experience you have, as a key aspect of a baptist pastor role is educating others in core values and religion related knowledge.
Tips from Experts
“Let’s get into ministry resumes. Here is the general rule about applying for a job. You want to come off incredibly humble in your interview, of course, because humility is a wonderful character trait. But on your resume or your CV – you do want to brag about yourself as much as possible.” – Matthew Everhard, Ordained Presbyterian Minister
“The experience section is by far the most important section of your resume. The person looking to hire you is looking here to see if you can do the job.” – David Lyons, Founder of MinisterSearch
“Lots of candidates want to tell you about all the things they are going to do once they show up. That is not really what I am wanting to hear. We want to hear about what you have done before you got here. In other words – we want to see results. What have you done?” – Trevor Hamaker, Better Youth Ministry
A baptist pastor is a natural leader and someone who is passionate about making a positive difference within their own church and the community, and someone who is not afraid to work hard to make life better for others.
When you write your resume, do your best to have that passion shine through the pages, and let your future employee know how dedicated you are to the church and to your own faith.
Show compassion, empathy, and loyalty, along with relevant work experience and teaching skills. Your dream job is waiting for you.