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Not many people realize that being a pastor involves much more than just preaching.
Writing a 30-minute sermon could take up to 10 hours. Besides, there are administrative tasks, meetings, visits, fundraising, and other, sometimes quite surprising responsibilities.
On top of that, there is a need for impeccable communication skills and great charisma.
Good news is, that’s already a solid foundation for a spellbinding pastor resume. All you need to do is arrange things properly and follow some resume-writing rules.
This guide will show you:
- A pastor resume example better than 9 out of 10 other resumes.
- How to write a pastor resume that will land you more interviews.
- Tips and examples of how to put skills and achievements on a pastor resume.
- How to describe your experience on a resume for a pastor to get any job you want.
Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.
Sample Pastor Resume—See more resume templates here.
Trying to show pastor on a resume? See our guide:
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Pastor Resume Template
Judith Menezes, Pastor
Inspiring non-denominational Christian pastor with 7+ years of experience, skilled in preaching and relationship-building. Seeking to grow and guide the congregation of the Shine Grace Ministry. At the Faith Ascension Church, grew congregation size by 30% through concentrated outreach. Increased in-service donations 26% with better sermons and direct calls-to-action around pressing community needs.
Faith Ascension Church
June 2013–May 2019
- Served as head pastor in a Christian church with a congregation of 150+ parishioners.
- Grew congregation from 120 to 156 parishioners with directed outreach to local non-churchgoing Christians via word-of-mouth, email, and print campaigns.
- Raised donations during services by 26% through stronger sermons and connecting donations mentally with real needs in the community.
- Trained two youth pastors. One went on to become a pastor of a congregation with 200+ members.
Our Lady of the Sea Chapel
Jan 2012–May 2013
- Worked as head pastor in a Christian chapel with 50+ weekly churchgoers.
- Raised weekly donations from $100 to $300 through direct appeals to urgent needs.
- Collaborated with local town administrators to organize 20+ fundraising and community service events.
2009–2011 Northpoint Bible College
Associate in Arts Degree in Bible and Theology
- Led the school fundraising drive in 2011.
- Conducted a project to write weekly sermons for a local chapel.
- Hard skills: Writing sermons, preaching, culture creation, relationship building
- Soft skills: Leadership, delegation, active listening, interpersonal skills
Volunteer to make religious rounds at the Boston Children’s Hospital.
Work in the Bunker Hill Soup Kitchen 2x per week.
Here’s how to write a pastor resume that gets jobs:
1. Start With the Best Pastor Resume Format
Pastors lead a congregation of parishoners both during and outside of church services. Aside from giving sermons, they manage other church employees and volunteers, and coordinate fundraising events and activities. A pastor resume must show strong interpersonal skills, charisma, compassion, and effectiveness.
Show you’ll shepherd the small details.
With a neatly-formatted resume for pastor jobs.
Take these steps:
- Use a proper resume format like the reverse-chronological resume. It starts with your latest pastor job.
- Start with a professional resume header with name & job (Pastor), and contact information like email, phone, and social media.
- Work with 10–12 point font size for your resume. Choose Calibri or Helvetica and avoid the “wall of words” by leaving ample white space.
- Make the file of your resume PDF, not MS Word. Word resumes change on different computers. (But check the job ad. It might say “no PDFs.”)
Pro Tip: Put your resume parts in this order: header, summary, pastor experience, education, bonus sections. (We’ll cover each below.)
2. Write a Pastor Resume Objective or Resume Summary
You’re lost amid the flock.
The hiring team has a stack of resumes and not a lot of time.
Catch their notice fast, with a profile on your resume.
It’s called a resume professional summary if you’ve got two years of experience or more, supply it with your 2–3 best pastor achievements.
Add accomplishments from non-pastor jobs that suggest transferable job skills.
Pro Tip: The main part of your resume is a rock. On it, build your pastor resume summary statement. Don’t start off with the statement or you’ll get stuck for things to say.
3. Design Your Resume to Fit the Pastor Job Description
This is vital:
Craft your pastor resume so it fits this professional opening.
That means tailoring your relevant work experience resume section.
To do that:
- Begin with your newest pastor job.
- Write the business title and your ministry and dates.
- Tell them your responsibilities, plus—
- Show you met them well by listing key resume accomplishments and achievements.
- For instance, if they want someone who can fundraise, showing you organized 20 fundraisers fits perfectly.
- Use measurements like “26%” to clinch the job, and write with resume power words.
Pro Tip: You might need to write a resume for career changers if you’re switching into or out of pastor work. It’ll help you make a smooth transition.
4. Customize Your Pastor Resume Education Section
Most don’t do this right.
Listing education on a resume works better if you show a little pride.
Normally that’s a sin, but in a resume for pastor jobs it’s necessary.
Start with your school, degree, and dates of attendance.
But add positions, groups, courses you excelled in, or projects.
Do you need to share your GPA? Only if you graduated less than a year ago or it was high.
Pro Tip: Show job-related skills with your pastor resume education. If they want fundraising and leadership and you led the school’s fundraising drive, show it.
5. Show Pastor Skills in Your Resume
Use this pastor resume job skills list.
Pastor Resume Skills
- Team building
- Public speaking
- Experience with specific denomination (Baptist, Methodist)
- Strategic planning
- Writing sermons
- Creating a culture
- One-on-one guidance
- Relationship building
- Home and hospital visits
- Vision casting
- Interpersonal skills
- Organizational skills
- Collaboration skills
- Oral and print communication skills
- Time management
- Problem solving
- Active listening
A word to the wise—
Don’t use all those pastor skills.
Scan the job posting for the most important. Then give evidence like I showed above.
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional resume template here for free.
When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.
6. Add Other Sections to Your Pastor Resume
You’re not in this for the money.
In your resume for pastor jobs, add bonus resume parts.
- Professional certifications
- Conventions you’ve attended
- Media coverage
- Hobbies lists
Pro Tip: Make youth pastor resume bonus sections with a purpose. They should give credence to your qualifications. Making rounds in a hospital shows compassion and commitment.
7. Send a Cover Letter With Your Pastor Resume
When you send a resume for a pastor job, are cover letters important?
Nearly 50% of hiring teams insist on them. But—
Yours needs to be motivational.
Make your pastor cover letter this way:
- Format your cover letter with the three-paragraph method.
- Put something world-shaking in your cover letter first paragraph, like your biggest feat or what you love about the church.
- Give details about your passion in the middle paragraph.
- When closing a cover letter, make an offer to the team. For instance, “I’d be happy to explain how I can raise your donations by 15% in three months.”
- Keep the length of your cover letter to 350 words.
Pro Tip: Send a follow-up email to the job hiring team a few days after you apply, then nudge again in one week. They’ll appreciate your diligence.
Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:
That’s how to write a resume for pastor positions.
How did you find your calling? Does your pastor resume do everything it should? Give us a shout in the comments. We’d love to talk!