Resume Guide for Church and Ministry Positions
Churches hire pastors, ministry leaders and other staff based on different criteria than secular businesses and non-profits. Things like education and work experience are important, but congregations are also interested in a candidate’s personal testimony, family life and ministry philosophy.
How to write a church or ministry resume:
List your contact information at the top and bottom of the page including your name, address, phone number, and email address. Also add any ministry websites or social media pages you manage or are affiliated with. For security purposes, remove personal information from resumes you post online.
List your ministry objective, focus or calling. For example, “To obtain a position as Senior Pastor in an established, growing church.” If appropriate, also summarize your ministry philosophy and goals.
Include your home church, pastors, marital status, number and age of children, when you became a Christian, personal testimony, life experiences, and any other events or people who helped make you who you are today.
List your ministry and work experience in reverse-chronological order using verbs like preached, organized, led, and taught. The experience section should include church, ministry and non-profit positions, internships, volunteer work, missions, and any other positions held.
Education and Training
List your formal education and ministerial credentials, including continuing education. This section should include seminary degrees, relevant courses, licensing and ordination information, affiliations, and current standing with your fellowship or denomination. Also, add any time spent being mentored by ministry leaders in an informal setting. Many churches place a high priority on “hands-on” training and experience.
Spiritual Gifts and Talents
God-given talents and gifts are often the deciding factor when a congregation is looking for a new pastor or ministry leader. Relevant talents might include things like the ability to teach, play guitar or lead youth groups. Spiritual gifts may include discernment, faith or intercession.
References and Mentors
List three or four references in order of importance in your personal development and ministry history. Also list your relationship to them. Churches often hire pastors and ministry staff based on their connection to someone in a particular denomination or fellowship. List ministers, pastors and laypeople known by the church search committee if possible.