Employment in the clergy takes on more of a way of life than do most other occupations.
Members of the clergy are expected to uphold the beliefs and tenants of the religion they have chose and are additionally expected to live a moral and blameless life. This in and of itself can be very stressful.
The working hours for members of the clergy are seldom regular and many times include late night and weekend work as well as holidays. Most full time clergy find that they often work in excess of 60 hours per week preparing sermons and talking with members of their congregation.
The job duties of the clergy may also include:
- Family counseling
- Marital counseling
- Visiting the sick & elderly
It is important to recognize that some faiths have very strict restrictions regarding who may become a member of the clergy. Despite our modern age, many faiths still do not allow women to enter the clergy.
Employment Prospects for Clergy Jobs
There are numerous employment opportunities for members of the clergy; although some will face more competition than others. At the current time, the trend is toward large urban spiritual centers and it is anticipated that this will be the site for the most growth as well as the most competition.
Besides various spiritual and worship centers, churches and temples individuals may find employment as members of the clergy with branches of the armed services serving as chaplains. Seminaries and universities also employ members of the clergy to serve in both administrative and instructional capacities.
Each of the major and minor religions provide opportunity to enter the clergy; however some groups have significantly more opportunity than others. The Christian religion has more than 70 different denominations. The Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim religions also offer a number of opportunities to enter the clergy.
Job Search for Clergy Jobs
Opportunities in the clergy field can be located in a number of different ways.
In some cases, a congregation or a committee representing the congregation will issue an open call for a pastor or clergy member. If an individual is attending seminary or some other university devoted to training for the clergy then they may check with senior professors to learn about opportunities.
Each religion, and denomination within that religion, generally has very specific entrance requirements for entering the field. The best advice for a person considering this as a vocation is to chat with a member of their own clergy regarding requirements.
Resumes for Clergy Jobs
The resume required to apply for a clergy position is different than the typical resume one would use to apply for any other type of job. In many ways this resume is going to resemble more of a CV resume as it must include doctrinal information as well as experience the individuals has in leading congregations, counseling and other duties specifically related to that of the clergy.
Cover Letters for Clergy Jobs
When writing a cover letter to apply for a clergy position, job seekers should remember that the resume will primarily provide the bulk of facts and data such as experience and education or training.
The cover letter should be used as an opportunity to convey the job seeker’s sincerity, devotion and passion for the position. This is also a good place to make any mentions of esteemed persons who might be willing to provide a reference for the job seeker.
Training and Qualifications for Clergy Jobs
Most people wanting to enter the clergy ask how to become a priest …
The level of education and training required to enter the clergy varies widely from one denomination to another. The requirements even vary widely within certain denominations.
While formal training and education may not be required, the individual may be required to complete a sort of apprenticeship program with a senior and learned member of the clergy.
At a minimum, many denominations require that a person feel ‘led’ or ‘called’ to the clergy as a vocation.
Other denominations require an individual to completed no less than a bachelor’s degree in theology while still yet other groups, maintain that a member of the clergy must have a graduate degree.