It takes a special person to work as a youth pastor successfully. A youth pastor is a person in charge of activities for the younger members of the church and works within the parish congregation.
Religious education is a serious subject and, as a youth pastor, you need to have the personality and the drive to make it exciting and welcoming for younger participants.
A youth pastor is involved in school activities, church camps, retreats, counseling, and weekend events, with a mission to share the church’s values and introduce a new generation of teenagers and adolescents to the youth ministry and religion.
It doesn’t matter if you have extensive experience working within the church, or if you are just getting started – you need a youth pastor resume that gets you an interview. In this article, we have composed a collection of tips, suggestions, and samples to make the process easier and less daunting.
Have a look at our full resume sample at the bottom of this article, and use it as inspiration when you apply for your next youth pastor job.
Resume objective for youth pastors
The role of a youth pastor is incredibly important in a church, and it is not an easy job to get, even if you are qualified. It is not enough to have a strong faith and be committed to the church you are active in, as you also need to have qualities that allow you to connect with teenagers and young adults.
How can you show off these qualities and skills in your resume? Start with writing an excellent resume objective to catch the attention of the hiring manager or your future employer.
Your resume objective should be brief. However, it also needs to demonstrate a commitment to your faith and past experiences such as teaching- or counceling experience, along with relevant personality traits (responsible, dedicated, good listener, etc. etc) and your objective – what you hope to achieve as a youth pastor.
Show passion, enthusiasm, and ability to communicate and connect with the church’s younger members.
Devoted youth pastor with over 8 years of service to the church. Four years of ministry experience (paid), a background in education, excellent leadership skills, and an ability to invoke trust and understanding with methods young people can relate to. Ready to start making a difference in the lives of young people.
Resume skills for youth pastors
Having a fresh and youthful approach to religion and faith is crucial when trying to get through to a young generation, and there are specific skills that you could benefit from mentioning on your resume.
Being a good listener will demonstrate an ability to communicate with teenagers and young adults. Leadership skills show that you will be able to handle retreats, church camps, and activities.
You need a broad knowledge of the faith, have public speaking skills, a positive attitude, preferably some type of teaching experience or experience working as a youth pastor, and you need to demonstrate an understanding of a youth pastor’s importance within the church.
Dedicated | Strong commitment to the church | Good listener | Creative | Organized | Leader skills | Background in teaching | Flexible | Patient | Experience with public speaking | Communicative | Ethical training
Youth pastor work experience
Previous experience working with youth is generally preferred, so this is a section you want to take your time when writing. There is no need to go back more than 10 years if you have a long career behind you and stick to the most recent positions you have had that are relevant to the youth pastor job you are pursuing.
Teaching experience, a leadership position, or a background in student- or youth counseling are great to list, along with internships and jobs within the church or community.
Sample Work Experience
Life Bridge Church, Denver, CO
Youth minister, 2018 – 2020
Organized monthly retreats, social events, built personal relationships with each child and teen in the youth group, offered youth counseling, and aided in implementing good values and religious beliefs.
- Implemented a system where the youth group was encouraged to make suggestions regarding how youth activities in the church could be improved, leading to an increase in weekly bible study participants.
- Started a family group for parents to attend with their pre-teens and young teenagers, to help form stronger family relationships.
- Made the church a place where youth would want to come, due to feeling fully accepted and welcomed.
- Adopted a modern approach to teaching religion, to make the lessons more relatable for children, teens, and young adults.
St. Catherine’s Cathedral, Williamsburg, VA
Youth pastor internship, 2014 – 2017
Worked alongside another youth pastor to learn the trade, and ended up becoming a part of an incredible community. Helped organize summer retreats and mission trips, held bible study classes, and were someone the children and teenagers could turn to when they needed help or advice.
- Conducted an organized family retreat to enforce the importance of having a family unit you can rely on.
- Organized a volunteering program where teenagers and young adults were invited to come to help out in less fortunate communities, to create social awareness.
- Used surveys to motivate honest feedback from retreat participants, to find ways to constantly continue improving.
- Started a social media account for the church, to better connect with a younger generation.
All Saints Angelus Church, Burbank, CA
Choir & Music Director, 2010 – 2013
Responsible for the church youth choir, directed a group of 30 preteens and teenagers between the ages of 11 and 16, provided guidance, and helped each choir member discover their musical potential.
- Managed the church choir budget and found creative solutions to lower the choir program’s costs, without affecting the children or their experience.
- Organized for teenagers to sing and perform in varied locations, such as nursing homes, homeless shelters, and group homes.
- Introduced more youthful songs and versions of songs, which motivated more teenagers to join the choir.
- Became an adult who was there for teenagers who had never had anyone to turn to, and used the choir as a motivational tool to keep them on the right track.
Youth pastor education
Do you need a B. A or higher to work as a youth pastor? The short answer is no. You don’t need an educational background in theology, religion, or even a B. A, but many churches may prefer it, even though it is not a requirement by law.
For youth ministry as a career, churches do tend to ask that you have at least a B. A, along with work experience. If you can show that you have worked in related fields for a few years, then having a higher education likely becomes less important.
You can list associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, education provided by the church, and more in this section of your resume.
Baylor University, Waco, TX
Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, 2012 – 2014
- Concentration: Music Leadership in Worship
Boyce College, Louisville, KY
Bachelor of Arts in Biblical & Theological Studies, 2006 – 2010
- GPA: 4.0
Courses are something you might have taken as part of your university degree, during work-related training, or just because you wanted to, but if you have taken a course that you think the church would be interested in – list it in this section.
It does not necessarily qualify you for a youth pastor’s job, but it can show the person hiring what you have been specializing in and what type of specialized knowledge you have.
For some work positions and careers, certain courses may be required, but this is not the case for a youth pastor. However, keep in mind that just because something isn’t needed doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t impress the person looking to hire a youth minister. Add relevant courses if you can.
- Ecclesiology: The Church and Its Ministries
- Christian Formation in Cultural Contexts
- Family and Adolescent Counseling
- Worship: Theology and Practice
- Gender in the Church: Biblical and Theological Perspectives
- Faith Formation in a Technological World
- Best Practices of Teaching Youth
Many jobs require certifications, but being a youth pastor isn’t necessarily one of them. For new pastors, an officially recognized church has the power to issue a license, which means that – in theory – you don’t need any specific education or certifications to get a job.
Certification can look impressive on a resume, so it is not bad to add it if you have it. There are certification courses available online and in physical locations, which will provide you with relevant knowledge that will help you in your career, and end with a certification.
Below are a few examples of the certifications you could list on your resume, but any certification related to theology, teaching, and leadership are excellent options.
- Youth Ministry Certificate (Gateway Seminary)
- Certificate in Theology (Morling College)
- Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies (CMD)
- Leadership and Management Certificate (Wharton)
Complete youth pastor resume sample
This article contains all the tools you need to construct the perfect youth pastor’s resume, but we will also take what we have learned and put it into practice.
Below is a real job post, where the Greater Phoenix Chinese Christian Church is looking for a new youth pastor. We are going to use the information in the job post to write a curriculum, to show you how you can utilize keywords in a job post when writing your own youth pastor’s resume.
The church wants a youth pastor with a Bachelor’s degree, two years of youth ministry experience, leadership abilities, a passion for working with youth, someone who is a team player and agrees with the GPCCC Statement of Faith. See the sample resume for the position below.
Committed Chinese/American youth pastor seeking the opportunity to guide, lead, and inspire the young members of the church. Excellent leadership skills, a friendly approach, background in counseling, and 6+ years of youth ministry experience. Familiar with the GPCCC Statement of Faith.
Strong commitment | Volunteer management | Teaching experience | Social media proficiency | Friendly | People-oriented | Leadership | Excellent listener | Ability to connect with teenagers | Counseling experience
Green Valley Church, Phoenix, AZ
Youth Minister, 2013 – 2019
Worked as a youth pastor and focused mainly on organizing events outside the church, to reach children, teens, and young adults who needed help and guidance. Organized day trips combined with bible studies.
- Implemented a support system built on faith for youth in low-income families to motivate them to want to obtain their High School diplomas or GEDs.
- Organized fundraisers to help raise money for extra-curricular activities in local schools.
- Became known as the “fun pastor” by children and teens, and parents reported an increased interest in attending church.
- Offered relationship counseling for young adults, in an attempt to teach the importance of mutual respect and consent.
New Point Church, Nashville, TX
Youth Minister, 2007 – 2011
Held weekly bible study groups for teenagers aged 13-19, planned and organized retreats for both younger and older teen groups, was available 7 days a week for drop-in counseling, and carried out other tasks and responsibilities in the church.
- Increased the size of the bible study group with 47% within the first year by implementing a more interactive teaching model.
- Organized a retreat for children at local group homes, which received national attention and was featured in several newspapers.
- Successfully helped young teenagers find something to be passionate about, to motivate them in their everyday lives.
- Held informative classes about alcohol and drug abuse in teenagers, and was able to help 6 teens turn their lives around.
Ulrich Davis High School, Nashville, TX
Substitute language teacher, 2004 – 2006
Taught Mandarin as a substitute teacher at a medium-sized High School. Planned lessons, interacted with students, parents, and faculty members, held conferences and adapted the teaching model to each student and their individual needs.
- Started a study group for students who needed a quiet place to complete homework, assignments, etc. etc.
- Helped 73% of the class improve their overall grades.
- Organized a cultural exchange event in town, to give the students a chance to meet up with native Mandarin speakers.
- Was offered a permanent position at the school.
- Youth Ministry Certificate (Gateway Seminary)
- Certificate in Youth Evangelization (Newman Theological College)
Williamson College, Franklin, TN
Master of Arts in Theological Studies, 2011 – 2013
- Practical Theology: Pastoral Care, Spiritual Formation, & Theological Education
Williamson College, Franklin, TN
Bachelor of Science in Ministry Leadership, 2002 – 2006
- Communication: An ability to communicate biblical truth and concepts of leadership.
- Leadership: Knowledge of biblical principles of leadership and management.
- Youth and Family Ministry
- Foundations for Youth Ministry
- Worship: Theology and Practice
Working as a youth pastor can be a lot of fun, with the workday consisting of playing games, laughing, attending events, and just having a good time. However, this is far from all it is, and a youth pastor also needs to be ready to tackle some difficult subjects and youth struggling with real-life problems.
When you write your resume, you want it to show that you are a person who can handle both the fun and carefree aspect of being a youth pastor, but also issues and existential crises related to depression, drugs, politics, sexuality, gender, religion and more.
A good youth pastor is someone who listens to understand, not just to answer, and if you can also be that person in your resume – your chance of getting called in for an interview is high.
- Showcase your experience, either as a youth minister, as man/woman of the church, or someone with experience working with children and teenagers.
- A youth minister needs to be responsible, organized, and adapt quickly to new situations while still connecting with young people. You need to show both sides of yourself in your resume so that the church knows you can handle all kinds of responsibilities.
- Religious education is the core of a youth pastor’s responsibilities within the church, and the individual in charge of hiring will be looking for someone with passion and dedication.
Tips from Experts
“You want to come off incredibly humble in the interview, but on your resume, you do want to brag about yourself as much as possible. You want to name every single thing you have done.” – Matthew Everhard, Senior Pastor of Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brookville
“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
It is an admirable role you are applying for, and a chance to make a real difference in a young person’s life. A youth pastor is there to implement important values, be a role model, and an independent and unbias support system, while also teaching about faith and religion.
For some kids and teenagers, a youth pastor can be the one person they can turn to, and that someone who helps them find the right path. Considering how important this is, a church is likely to be very selective when filling the role. If you want a job as a youth minister – you need a good resume.
Take your time when you write your resume, look for essential keywords in the job post, and make sure you come across as a genuine, caring, and competent individual.