What Are the Job Duties of a Pastor?

While pastors are the leaders of a church, they have many other duties aside from giving sermons. Read on to learn more about the job responsibilities and skills needed to become a pastor. Schools offering Pastoral Ministry degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Job Responsibilities of a Pastor

As a pastor, you provide spiritual leadership to members of a church. Your duties include preparing weekly sermons, preaching and conducting worship services. It's your responsibility to interpret biblical scripture for the congregation. You also provide care and counseling to church members and assist them in crisis situations. In addition, working as a pastor may require you to officiate at special services, such as confirmations, baptisms, weddings and funerals. You collaborate with choir leaders to integrate music into church services. Job hours are a bit irregular, because you must divide your time between conducting worship services, attending social events at the church and completing administrative duties. Additional job responsibilities may include:

  • Assisting in church financial matters
  • Overseeing management of all areas of the congregation's ministry
  • Supporting, overseeing and evaluating congregation staff
  • Holding regular staff meetings to coordinate ministries
  • Ensuring church facilities are functioning

Important Facts about Pastors

Work Environment Church and parish office
Mean Salary (2019) $53,290 (clergy)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 8% growth (clergy)
Similar Occupations Director of religious education, professor, fundraising manager

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Essential Knowledge and Skills

To work as a pastor, you must have comprehensive knowledge of the Bible and a strong religious conviction. You also must be ordained by a church or accredited body. Beneficial skills may include:

  • Strong character
  • Impartiality
  • Public speaking
  • Compassion for struggles and concerns of others
  • Ability to communicate clearly

Education Requirements

Some churches may require you to have various qualifications, such as a bachelor's or even a master's degree in divinity, theology or religion. Typically, churches require pastors to have a graduate degree in divinity from an accredited seminary school. In undergraduate school, aspiring pastors often major in a related subject, such as religion or theology. Graduate programs are intended to give you a deeper critical education in theology and religious studies as well as train you in other aspects of being a pastor, such as preparing sermons and conducting worship services.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • New England College

    New England College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at New England College:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Southwestern College

    Campus Locations:

    • Arizona: Phoenix
  • University of Dayton

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Dayton