Pastor CV examples to help you build yours

Even pastors can use a strong CV to show they’re the right choice to guide their church. How can you write an effective pastor CV?

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Table of Contents

  1. Pastor CV example
  2. What to highlight in a pastor CV
  3. The structure of a pastor CV
  4. Do’s and don’ts for a pastor CV
  5. FAQ: Pastor CV

Pastor CV example

CVs are often seen as business documents, so it might seem strange to submit one in a religious context. However, CVs can be a helpful way for a hiring committee to determine whether an individual has the experience and education necessary to pastor their church. If you’re looking to write a pastor CV, use these examples and tips.


What to highlight in a pastor CV

As already noted, a pastor CV is different from many professional CVs. There are many different types of pastor CVs: senior pastors, associate pastors, lead pastors, and even youth pastors. The elements you highlight will depend on what type of CV you’re submitting, the skills the church is looking for, and what you’ve found to be most fulfilling through your path of faith. Additionally, remember that pastors often aren’t chosen by hiring managers or recruiters but instead by church members or deacons putting together a church council and search committee.

The structure of a pastor CV

Every pastor CV will be a little bit different, and the CV format you use will play a part in that. Because pastor CV samples often lay outside the traditional format of CVs, the chronological CV may be your best option simply because it’s the most popular. The headings you’ll include in your CV will typically be these:
 
Header
 
The CV header is part of your CV design. It includes your full name, contact information, including your phone number, and potentially any public-facing job networking links you have, such as LinkedIn.
 
Professional summary
 
Your summary should include a quick overview of your best skills, education, and experience, in two to three sentences. 
 
Skills
 

The specific skills you cite in your skills section will depend on what type of position you’re applying for, as different pastoral positions will have different requirements. Here are a few common skills to consider:

  • Understanding of Christian theology, especially in specific theological denominations
  • Shepherding a congregation
  • Bible studies
  • Discipleship and mentorship
  • General pastoral care
  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Public speaking skills
  • Running a small group
  • Performing baptisms within your denomination
  • Doing community outreach
  • Welcoming new members to church
  • Strategic planning and discussion with staff members

The right skills section should take into consideration what you’ll be expected to do and the mission statement of the church you’re applying to.

 
Work history
 
Next is your experience section. Here, you’ll include any years of experience you’ve had in the past, both full-time and part-time. You can also include experience that’s related to but not directly in the field of pastoring.
 
Education
 
Lastly, you should include an education section. Feature your top credential, such as a Master of Divinity or Doctor of Ministry. Include all related studies and honors that relate to this path.


Do’s and don’ts for a pastor CV

Do:

  • Treat the CV professionally. While a pastor CV might not be as business-oriented as other CVs, you should still aim for a formal, straightforward presentation and tone.
  • Specify the type of work you’ve done as a pastor in the past. If you’ve handled worship services or Sunday school, then mention those responsibilities.
  • Know your most important outreach needs and discuss them in your CV. This way, the hiring committee will know where you’re hoping to impact the local community.

Don’t:

  • Talk about specific individuals that have been part of your congregation in the past. This can violate clergy confidentiality.
  • Include high school education on your CV. If you have college experience, then it will generally be assumed that you have a high school education or GED.
  • Include work experience that doesn’t relate to pastor work. For example, if you cite customer service experience, you should emphasize interpersonal relations and other important intangible skills, rather than your ability to handle point-of-sales systems.

FAQ: Pastor CV

Q: Do I need to include a cover letter for a pastor application?

This is typically a good idea. A cover letter can help you talk directly to the search committee, giving some more insight on what initially brought you to this vocation, why you’re applying at this specific church, and what benefits you can bring to the pastor’s office. The CVHelp cover letter builder can help you with this, even though the cover letter will necessarily be less business-oriented.

Q: How can I write a pastor CV without a lot of experience?

Especially if you’re planning to write a CV for a secondary position, such as in youth ministry, your pastor CV template may not have to include a significant amount of experience. In these situations, rely on your skills and whatever experience you do have in helping the community and mentoring others. Community service, for example, may teach many of these skills.

Q: How do I change my pastor CV to apply to different jobs?

If you’re looking for a pastoral job, then you may have to apply to a number of different congregations before you find the right one for you. While typical CV writing will have you consider CV keywords, which the hiring manager includes in the description to give insight into what they’re looking for, a pastor job may go a little deeper. Look into the church’s mission statement and consider attending a service or two to get a feel for what they’re looking for in a pastor, and then address those needs in your CV.

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