Pastor Resume Template & Writing Guide How to Choose Resume Format Free Pastoral Resume Example How to Write a Pastoral Resume that Will Boost Your Career Watch Out For These Mistakes To Sum It Up
Pastor Resume Template & Writing Guide How to Choose Resume Format Free Pastoral Resume Example How to Write a Pastoral Resume that Will Boost Your Career Watch Out For These Mistakes To Sum It Up
Updated 26/01/2021

Pastor Resume Template & Writing Guide

If you’re ready to start a career as a Pastor – it’s time to create a winning resume! We are experts and will show you every little trick you need to know.

If you’re ready to start a career as a Pastor – it’s time to create a winning resume! We are experts and will show you every little trick you need to know.

Pursuing a career in any field requires your professional skills, motivation, and, just as importantly, a strong and carefully built resume. A good resume can be a tremendous help during your job hunt. It is one of those documents that can attract the recruiter’s attention and showcase your candidacy in the best light. As your first point of contact with a potential employer, it is your first chance to impress them and set the tone for the following steps of the hiring process.

All this means that you should pay extra attention while writing a resume, ensuring that its content, format, and structure are flawless and will be helpful during your job hunt instead of slowing you down. We are experts at the art of resume writing, and we know how to help you. In this article, you will find all the essential tips on how to write a resume for the pastor position.


How to Choose Resume Format

When choosing the best pastor resume format, there are two main ones to choose from – chronological and functional. To select the one that suits you best, you need to focus on your professional background, as they can offer you a different perspective on it. Let’s get into more details.

Functional Resume Format

You should choose this resume format if you’re:

  • entering the job market once again after a long unemployment period;
  • entering the job market for the first time as an entry-level specialist;
  • decided to begin a new career path;
  • have an inconsistent work history with lots of gaps.

This kind of resume format will help you make your relevant education and professional skills a priority. It will also allow you to focus on your transferable skills. For example, being a former salesperson now applying for a pastor position, you might make the employer interested in your strong interpersonal and communication skills.

A typical functional resume structure:

  • Personal information
  • Summary or career objective
  • Most important skills and achievements
  • Professional experience starting from the most recent positions
  • Education
  • Additional Information (optional)
Chronological Resume Format

Choosing a chronological resume format is a great option if you’re a skilled professional with many years of relevant experience. This type of resume format will allow you to list all your work experience chronologically, starting with the most recent.

A typical chronological resume structure:

  • Personal information
  • Resume summary or career objective
  • Professional experience from the most recent positions
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Additional Information (optional)
If you’re looking for a good church resume template, check professional GetCoverLetter designs. They contain both chronological and functional formats, so your resume is guaranteed to meet your needs.
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Free Pastoral Resume Example

We believe that there’s nothing better for learning than seeing a real-life example. This is why we offer you two samples of a resume for a pastor position to see how it’s done.


Dylan Korbs

13 Cornelia Street
T: 321-544-535

A dedicated Pastor with 1+ years of experience in leading a congregation of 150+ parishioners. Grew the congregation from 125 to 160 parishioners while working at the Church of Light.


  • Bible knowledge
  • Ability to develop church programs
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Sermon delivery
  • Public speaking

Work history:
2019/04 - 2020/11
Church of Light, Denver

  • Raised church donations by 25% in 2 months;
  • Served as a junior pastor in a church with over 150 parishioners;
  • Conducted daily sermons with the lead pastor;
  • Welcomed new parishioners into the church.

2018/08 - 2019/03
The Golden Chapel Church, Denver

  • Assisted in the organization of 2 fundraising events;
  • Raised the weekly donations from $124 to $145 within 2 months.

2017/02 - 2011/10
Denver Bible College

  • Bachelor’s degree in Theology
  • Honor’s student for 2 years in a row;
  • City chess competition in 2016.
You can create your own winning resume using our builder right now! It will take only about 15 minutes.
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How to Write a Pastoral Resume that Will Boost Your Career

Now that you have seen our pastor resume samples, it’s time for you to create your own. With our tips, the process will be much easier. Check them out below.

Write Personal Details & Contact Info

At the beginning of your resume, it is important to include a header. It is a part of the document that gives the recipient your contact information. Typically, it consists of the following:

  • applicant’s full name and position;
  • physical address (it is up to you whether to include your address on the resume, however, if you decide to do so, list the full location including state and zip code);
  • contact phone number in international format;
  • an email address;
  • links to social media profiles.

While writing this section, you need to pay extra attention to two things. First – use a professional-looking email address for a resume.


As you see from the examples, you will look unprofessional by using a personal email and might even decrease your chances for the interview invitation. If your personal email looks unprofessional, create a separate email that you will only use for the job search. It will also help you keep all your job-search-related correspondence in one place.

Provide Info About Your Education

Usually, anyone aiming for a career as a Pastor is required to have a bachelor’s degree and strong knowledge of Theology, Liberal arts, Divinity, or religious studies. It is common for such specialists to go to the theological seminary after completing their bachelor’s degree. If you’re looking for a senior pastor role, keep in mind that it requires at least a master’s degree in Divinity. This program typically lasts for 3 or 4 years, depending on the number of courses.

The education section on the resume is also the place to mention any certifications you might have, for example, New and Old Testament course certifications. It should also include any achievements you had during your studies, not just some basic information about your college and degree.


2015/04 - 2009/09
International Law, Indiana State College


2019/04 - 2013/03
Master of Arts in Bible and Theology, Colorado Bible College

  • Responsible for conducting weekly sermons in a local church;
  • 2017 - volunteered for a local fun-raising event for the poor.

As you see, the lower option provides a much more considerable amount of details about you as a person, not just a professional. In some cases, that might be a winning point for getting an interview invite.

Show Your Work Experience in the Best Light

The worst thing you could do while writing this section is including irrelevant work history. Let’s see an example.


Crew member
Burger King, Los Angeles
2015/11 - 2016/04

  • Greeted new customers into the restaurant;
  • Ensured cleanliness in the restaurant;
  • Worked in the drive-through;
  • Ensured a high level of customer satisfaction.

New Hope Church, Chicago
2016/10 - 2018/03

  • Served as a head pastor in a community with over 200 parishioners;
  • Grew the church community from 226 to 250 parishioners in 2 months;
  • Raised donations while conducting sermons;
  • Trained 3 young pastors.

As you see, there is a significant difference between these examples. First, while the higher option can be a great match for a different position, it is completely irrelevant for the pastor career. So if you want to write a job-winning pastor resume, you should mention only those cases of your work history that can make you seem like a valuable specialist on this career path.

Another tip: mention your actual professional accomplishments, something you can quantify. For example, how many parishioners attended your sermons in a month. It will give the recruiter a chance to evaluate your candidacy better.

Ready to impress the recruiter with your work experience? Create a winning resume to show it perfectly!
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Tell About Your Skills

A skills section is a perfect place to put some keywords. It will allow you to adapt your resume to the requirements of each particular position. Carefully read the job opening, pick out some relevant keywords from it that you can later use in your resume. It will help the potential employer save time and see right away that you’re a great match for the job.

Also, don’t put every skill you have on your resume. It might look confusing to the recruiter. These skills are usually the most sought-after in candidates who applied for the pastor position:

  • Decision-making;
  • Strong will;
  • Ability to multitask;
  • Organizational skills;
  • Patience;
  • Interpersonal skills;
  • Sermon writing;
  • Preaching;
  • Delegation;
  • Active listening;
  • Culture creation.

To make sure your resume stands out and keep the recruiter from getting lost in your many abilities, pay attention to the list of required skills from each position you’re applying for.

Add a Professional Summary to Your Pastoral Resume

Typically, a recruiter spends around 6 seconds scanning a resume. If they don’t see anything worth their attention, they are likely to move on to the next. That is why you need to can catch their eye by writing a strong summary. This is a beneficial strategy regardless of your professional level.

For example, if you’re a skilled pastor with many qualifications and long work history, a decent summary will help you organize this information into a few sentences. It will save a recruiter some time and might be a turning point for selecting your resume.

At the same time, if you’re only a beginner on this career path and you’re applying for your first job, creating a strong summary might explain to the recruiter why you’re a good match for the position. Here’s what makes a good summary:

  • A limited number of sentences – preferably up to 5
  • Your biggest professional achievements so far
  • A list of your key responsibilities from previous jobs and the ways you successfully resolve them
  • Some of your most vital skills
  • A summary of your career path and the achievements you’ve made on its way
  • Wrong:
    I’m a self-driven and motivated professional with plenty of relevant experience. I believe that my skills will be the right fit for your team. I’m an organized individual, passionate about my job, and hopefully, this passion will bring profits to your company.

This kind of summary gives no real clues about the job applicant, does it? In fact, it’s hard even to guess the type of position the person is applying for. It’s not a great option even for an entry-level candidate.

  • Right:
    A motivated Pastor with over 9 years of experience in a church with a congregation of 300+ parishioners. Volunteered at the Hawkin’s Children’s Hospital regularly, trained 4 young pastors, and organized 4 local fundraising events and 2 charity concerts.

As you see, this summary example provides quantifiable achievements and gives a clear understanding of the applicant’s skill level.


Watch Out For These Mistakes

Writing a resume is a craft that is hard to master. However, we can make this road a little less rough by pointing out some of the possible mistakes you can make.

Mistake #1: Making Your Resume Too Fancy

Trying too hard with your resume’s appearance and choosing a “fancy” design for a ministry resume template can play a bad trick on you. Most employers prefer a neat and accurately written resume when trying to fill a Pastor position. However, if you want to add a little color to your pastor resume template – try using a light blue color. It’s mentally calming and will compliment your pastoral resume.

Also, stay away from using fancy fonts. In this case, the simpler – the better. Pick classical, readable fonts, such as Sans Serif, with clean lines. To lessen the worry, you can use the GetCoverLetter builder, where all the formatting settings are done automatically.

Mistake #2: Copying and Pasting a Job Description

It might be tempting to copy the job responsibilities from the job description and put them in your resume. It’s not a good idea, though. Recruiters are not interested in reading their own words all over again. They want to see how you managed to accomplish those tasks and what ways you found to do it. It would be great if you could also mention the following on your resume:

  • Did you manage any budget? If so, what amount of money?
  • What experiences did you have using the skills mentioned in your resume?
  • Did you manage or supervise anyone on the team?
  • Were you able to raise any funds for the religious community?

Mistake #3: Inappropriate file name

While sending out a resume, it’s important to name it so that the recipient immediately understands what kind of file it is and who sent it. Options such as "Copy 12", "Jack Nicholson," "Job Application" can confuse the recipient and cause your document to get lost in the general flow. Instead, include the document title, your first and last name, and the position for which you are applying—for example, Resume_Nancy Francis_Pastor.

  • Wrong:

  • review3_resume.pdf
  • New_doc.doc
  • Right:

  • alex_wright_pastor_resume.pdf
  • jackson_striff_lead_pastor_resume.pdf

To Sum It Up

Writing a resume might seem hard at the beginning, but we are sure that with our useful tips and your dedication, you will be able to master this craft in no time. You can use our builder to create a fully formatted and designed resume, back it up with a strong cover letter, and just watch your job interviews pour in!

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