How to Write a Resume for a Priest: The Ultimate Guide

Confused about how to write a resume for a priest? Here is how to make sure your resume stands out when applying for a job as a priest.

How to Write a Resume for a Priest: The Ultimate Guide
Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Updated 10 min read

Writing a resume for a job is hard enough, but writing one for a priest can be even more challenging. There’s no “Objective/Summary of Qualifications” section to fill out, and you can’t just list your work experience or skills. So how does one go about writing a resume for the clergy? Here is the ultimate guide on how to write an effective resume for someone who works in pastoral ministry. We will cover all the basics including what questions to answer when creating your resume, what you should include, and where to find jobs in this field. By the end of this article, you will know how to write a perfect resume for anyone working as a pastor or minister.

What is a Priest?

A priest is a centuries-old term for a Christian cleric who performs the sacred rituals of the church. The idea of a priest dates back to ancient times when there was a temple in Jerusalem and people would go there to make offerings to God. Priests were the only ones who could enter the temple, and they acted as intermediaries between God and mankind.

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A priest is also someone who is ordained by a church to perform religious services of communion, baptism, confession, marriages, funerals, etc. In modern times, priests are often called ministers, pastors or chaplains.

Choose the Best Format for Priest Resume

The first thing you should do when trying to write a resume for a priest is figure out which format will work best. A chronological resume, for example, would be good if you have experience in the field that could be detailed in an organized format. If not, then a functional or combination resume may be more suitable. These resumes are good for individuals with varied work backgrounds who don’t want to bring attention to any one area.

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Once you’ve picked the right format, think about what information to include in your resume. You’ll need to list your skills and experience, education level (or degrees), and any other relevant qualifications. Be sure to highlight any skills related to pastoral ministry, like liturgical training or counseling skills, because this could make you stand out from other applicants. You should also include certifications like certificates in religious education or ordination that demonstrate your qualifications. If you don’t have any of these qualifications, no worries; just list whatever relevant experience you do have and how it is applicable to the job description.

Highlight your Good Parts in Resume Objective or Resume Summary

There are a lot of misconceptions about being in the ministry. Some people believe that pastors have to have certain beliefs, or that pastors are just well-read writers. Neither is true! The truth is that there are many different types of pastoral work.

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To summarize, here are some good parts to highlight in your resume objective or resume summary:

  • You love helping people with their struggles and challenges
  • You thrive when it comes to counseling others
  • You enjoy writing and researching the Bible
  • You want to be a leader in your church community
  • You want to make a difference in someone's life

Write the Best Priest Job Description for a Resume

The first step in writing the perfect resume for a priest is to create a job description. What does your ideal pastor do? What are the responsibilities of the position? What are some of the qualifications needed for this type of job? These are all questions you'll need to answer.

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What is the typical day like at the church? How many hours do you work per week? Do you need to be available every week day, every weekend day, or only certain days of the year?

What kinds of tasks will you be doing on a daily basis? Will you be preaching on Sundays, spending time with people after church, leading bible studies, helping out with administrative tasks, or something else?

What kind of skills are required for this position? Is it more oriented towards spiritual leadership or managerial skills -or both- and how much training would someone have to have in order to qualify for this position?

Once you’ve answered these questions about what your ideal pastor position entails, it will be easier to write your job description on your resume. This will also help interviewers better assess whether or not you're qualified for this specific role. For example, if you want a pastoral ministry position that includes administrative work then it makes sense that your resume should reflect that information!

Education Section for Priest

The education section is where you list your educational experience. If you have a degree, list the school and the degree. If you don’t have a degree but still have formalized education, list the school and what courses you took.

Write a Skills Section

Instead of a traditional “Objective” or “Summary of Qualifications,” you should include a skills section on your resume. This will show potential employers what types of skills and qualifications you have that will work well in this position. It is important to include things like your leadership skills, community involvement, and spiritual gifts – anything that can help establish that you would be a good fit for the position. Some other important topics to touch on in this skills section would be:

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You'll need to mention your competencies and abilities as they relate to the position.

  • Discuss any past pastoral positions you've held.
  • What are your passions? What are you most passionate about doing?
  • What are your hobbies? Do these hobbies show anything about you as a person or help demonstrate any qualities needed for this type of job? Discuss things like cooking, volunteering, reading, playing sports, etc. These are all great ways to reveal something about yourself as a person!

Don't Forget your Cover Letter as Priest

In addition to your resume, you will need to write a cover letter. This should be a standard cover letter that can be used for any position in the church as it will introduce you and tell the employer what you are looking for. In this letter, you should include all of the experience and skills you have that are relevant to pastoral ministry.

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It's always important to reiterate your interest in the position in your cover letter. You can also include personal details like saying that you're passionate about pastoral ministry or that you want to serve God by working with people. It is good to mention these things even if they don't seem related - they might be something an employer notes during their screening process.

Tips for Job Interviews

Now that you have your perfect resume, all you need to do is find a position. You may be wondering how to go about that. Your best bet is to use the internet to search for jobs that are relevant to your experience and skills. Here are some other tips for landing interviews:

  1. Apply for positions in person
  2. Send resumes through email
  3. Use LinkedIn (it's made for professionals like you!)
  4. Attend networking events

Key Takeaways

Who can write a resume for a priest?

Anyone with experience in pastoral ministry.

What should you include in your resume?

The basics including your education, work experience, skills, and more.

How do I find jobs working as a pastor or minister?

Search online, networking is also an effective method.

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