Ministry Resume Guide
Churches hire pastors, ministry leaders and other staff based on different criteria than secular organizations. Things like education and work experience are important, but congregations are more interested in a candidate’s personal testimony, family life, and ministry philosophy.
The sections or parts of a ministry or church resume are similar to all resumes, except the focus is often on the role your faith played in your life journey.
What to Include in a Ministry Resume
- Personal information. Include the name of your home church and pastors, marital status, number and age of children, when you became a Christian, personal testimony, and other relevant events or information.
- Social media sites. Along with basic contact information, list church or ministry websites and Christian social media pages you manage or are affiliated with.
- Ministry objective. State your ministry objective, focus or calling. For example, “To obtain a position as Senior Pastor.” If appropriate, also summarize your ministry philosophy and goals.
- Ministry experience. List your ministry and work experience in reverse-chronological order using verbs like preached, organized, led, and taught. 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 times you were mentored by ministry leaders in an informal setting. Many churches prefer a candidate who has hands-on training and experience.
- Spiritual gifts and talents. God-given talents 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, including your relationship to them, in order of importance in your personal development and ministry history. 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.
An effective ministry resume doesn’t just tell a church what you have done, but what you will do. It convinces the pastor search committee that you have what it takes to be a successful member of their leadership team or ministry.