Church Ministry Resume Guide
Looking for a church or ministry position? The first thing you need to do is put together a resume. Church, seminary and ministry resumes differ from secular resumes in a few important ways. Churches hire pastors, teachers and other ministry leaders based on different criteria than regular businesses and non-profits. Things like education and work experience are still important, but churches are also interested in a candidate’s testimony, family life and other personal details.
Here are a few general guidelines for writing interesting and informative church, ministry and Christian non-profit resumes:
- Contact information. Like most resumes, list your contact information at the top of the page including your name, address, phone number, email address, and the URL of any relevant church or ministry websites you manage or are affiliated with.
- Ministry objectives. Add your ministry objective, focus and/or calling under the contact information. This tells the church what kind of ministry job you are looking for. For example, “To obtain a position as Senior Pastor in an established, growing church body.”
- Personal information. Include your home church, who your pastors are, marital status, number and age of children, how and when you became a Christian (personal testimony), life experiences, and any other events or people who helped make you who you are today.
- Ministry experience. List your ministry/work experience in reverse-chronological order using lots of verbs like preached, organized, led, taught, performed and sang. The experience section should include part-time ministry positions, internships, volunteer church work, missions or any other ministry positions held.
- Education and training. Add your formal education and ministerial credentials, including continuing education. This section should include seminary degrees, relevant courses completed, licensing and ordination information, affiliations and current standing with your fellowship or denomination.
- Spiritual gifts and talents. Relevant ministry talents might include things like the ability to play guitar or lead youth groups. Spiritual gifts might include discernment, faith or intercession.
- References. List four or five references in order of importance. Churches often hire pastors and ministry staff based on their relationship or connection to people in a certain district or denomination. List ministers and pastors known by the church search committee if possible.
For more information and sample resumes check out Bethel Seminary’s Resume and Cover Letter help page.