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Pastor Resume—Template, Examples & Writing Guide

Your sermons spark joy in your parishioners’ souls. You need to convince the congregation you’re the right fit to get your dream job. Achieve it with our pastor resume guide.

Dominika Kowalska, CPRW
Career Expert
Pastor Resume—Template, Examples & Writing Guide

To be a good shepherd, you need the right blend of skills and experience, starting with theological knowledge and ending with empathy and communication skills. 

You know you have what it takes, but how do you convince others that you’ll exceed their expectations if given the opportunity? Simple: with a show-stopping pastor resume. 

In this guide:

  • A pastor resume sample that gets jobs.
  • How to ace your pastor job description on a resume.
  • How to write a resume for a pastor that gets the interview.
  • Expert tips and examples to boost your chances of being hired.

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I had an interview yesterday and the first thing they said on the phone was: “Wow! I love your resume.”
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Looking for other roles where you can serve your community? Or are you considering a career change? Take a look at our guides:

Pastor Resume Sample

John Caldwell

Pastor

Phone no.: 732–388–7103

Email: john.caldwell@reslabmail.com

linkedin.com/in/12john.caldwell

Summary

A compassionate pastor with over 7 years of experience. Eager to support The Holy Cross Church in growing the congregation and working closely with the parishioners. At the Saint Joseph Church increased mass attendance by 30% within two years by delivering insightful, thought-provoking sermons. 

Experience

Pastor

Saint Joseph Church, Houston, TX

May 2016–July 2021

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Served a congregation of over 200 parishioners from different backgrounds. 
  • Grew congregation by 30% within three years by direct outreach and email campaign. 
  • Raised donations by 15% by running campaigns focused on the needs of the most vulnerable members of the congregation. 
  • Trained 4 young pastors. 

Key Achievement: 

  • Increased the number of parishioners actively participating in Sunday mass by 30% within 2 years by preaching relevant and interesting sermons.

Chaplain

Home and Health Hospice, Houston, TX

September 2012–May 2016

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Provided crisis intervention.
  • Visited families and provided spiritual counseling focusing on distress, grief support, and emotional aid during significant life changes. 
  • Worked alongside other caregivers, specifically to the spiritual needs of those served. 

Education

B.Sc. in Marriage and Family Ministry

Moravian University, Bethlehem, USA

September 2007–June 2011

Skills

  • Writing sermons
  • Preaching
  • Relationship building
  • Counseling
  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Active listening

Activities

  • Volunteer at the Children’s Cancer Hospital since 2011

Languages

  • Spanish—Fluent
  • Portuguese—Intermediate

Alongside leading the congregation in prayer during religious gatherings, pastors are responsible for growing the congregation, administrative tasks, fundraising, and home visits, among other duties. The purpose of your pastor resume is to highlight your theological knowledge and people’s skills.

Let’s discover how to write an equally good pastor resume for yourself:

1. Start With the Right Pastor Resume Format

Before your experience can get a chance to resonate with the reader, your resume needs to look inviting enough to actually get picked up. 

This is where your resume formatting comes in: 

What’s the next step?

Unless stated otherwise, make sure you save your resume as a PDF. A PDF will preserve your resume layout so that the document looks the same on every device. 

2. Write a Passionate Pastor Resume Objective or Summary

While writing a sermon, you know you need to catch your parishioners’ attention right at the beginning. The same applies to your pastor's resume, except that in this case, you don’t need a thoughtful, inspiring opener—

You need a compelling resume profile. That’s a 2–4 sentence introduction aimed at grabbing the reader’s attention. 

If you already have experience as a pastor, opt for a resume summary that’s comprised of:

  1. Anadjective (hard-working, diligent, passionate)
  2. Job title (Pastor)
  3. Years of experience (2+, 3+)
  4. What can you do if your application is accepted (support the church in growing the congregation)
  5. Your top 2–3 achievements from previous roles (increased the number of church-goers by 25% quarterly)

Without that kind of experience, you can write a resume objective statement instead. Focus on achievements and transferable skills from other jobs, volunteering, or your education. 

Expert Hint: It’s best to leave this section until the end. Write the rest of your resume first, then highlight the best bits and compile them into a job-winning profile section. 

3. Add a Great Pastor Job Description and Skills Sections

What makes a good work experience resume section

First, the work experience you choose to include has to be targeted to the role at hand. Targeting your resume means proving that you’re the best candidate for this specific position, not for any pastor job. 

Secondly, focus on your professional achievements rather than basic descriptions of your duties. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 10,000 people hired in the clergy sector. If you want to get a job, you need to stand out. 

Here’s how to write a targeted job description for a pastor:

  1. Re-read the job ad. 
  2. Note down the resume keywords—specific skills and requirements needed for the position. These are likely to vary depending on the needs and size of the congregation. 
  3. Think about times when you used those skills to achieve something noteworthy. 
  4. Sum up these examples in resume bullet points, and use numbers and action words where possible.

While you’re thinking about your skills, you may as well prepare your resume skills section—a list of your 5–10 most relevant abilities, ideally those mentioned in the ad. Here are some skills examples to get you started:

Pastor Resume Skills

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4. Provide Details of Your Education on Your Pastor Resume

Educational requirements vary between pastor roles, but in any case, you should always include your academic history on your resume. Omitting this section suggests you may not have the right degree to apply!

For experienced candidates, the job is easy—list your highest degree, the name and location of the awarding institution, and your graduation date. That’s all! 

On the other hand, if you’re writing a resume with no experience, elaborate a bit more. Add bullet points under your degree, detailing your academic achievements and most relevant areas of study. 

5. Include Extra Sections on Your Pastor Resume

Your resume is almost complete: assuming you finished writing your resume profile, all you need now are a couple of additional sections. 

Use any space you have left on the page to describe other relevant information about yourself that didn’t fit into any of the other sections. Think about:

Lastly, write a cover letter that will accompany your pastor resume. It will help you state your case, show your communication skills, and impress the congregation. 

Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter generator and make your application documents pop out.

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Want to try a different look? There's 21 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.

Key Points

To write a convincing pastor resume, remember to:

  • Use the pastor resume sample provided above. It will highlight your strengths and relevant experience. 
  • Introduce yourself with a resume profile in the form of a resume summary or objective. 
  • Highlight your relevant experience and skills in the job description and skills section. 
  • Write a pastor cover letter to state your case and get the dream job.

Thank you for reading! Do you have any questions about writing a pastor resume? Or would you like to share some insider knowledge? Leave a comment below; we’d love to chat!

About ResumeLab’s Editorial Process

At ResumeLab, quality is at the crux of our values, supporting our commitment to delivering top-notch career resources. The editorial team of career experts carefully reviews every article in accordance with editorial guidelines, ensuring the high quality and reliability of our content. We actively conduct original research, shedding light on the job market's intricacies and earning recognition from numerous influential news outlets. Our dedication to delivering expert career advice attracts millions of readers to our blog each year.

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Dominika Kowalska, CPRW
Dominika is a job expert with a focus on career development and onboarding processes. At ResumeLab, she co-manages our team of career experts.

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