How to Become a Preacher

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Preachers study in-depth theology, lead a church’s congregation, act as the leader of a church, and sometimes provide Christian counseling to members. There is no formal education requirement to become a preacher. However, most churches prefer an applicant to have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited seminary or theology school in their denomination. There are thousands of Christian denominations around the world, and preachers usually specialize in one particular denomination.

Wikimedia Commons: Duke Chapel
Education No formal education required
Starting pay $22,440[1]
Median pay $43,800[1]
10 yr growth Average
Related professions Priest, rabbi, minister, nun, monk
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Preacher Job Overview

Preachers are responsible for the well-being of their church members. They study the Bible and give sermons during the church services, provide counseling to church members and the community, counsel service members, minister to people who are sick in the hospital, and go to prisons to witness to people who are incarcerated.[2]

Preacher Education

There are no education requirements for preachers. However, most congregations prefer to hire a minister who has earned at least a bachelor’s degree at an accredited seminary or theology school in their denomination. There are opportunities to advance enhance their career and earn higher salaries with a master or doctorate’s degree.[3]

Preacher Training

After graduating, preachers who choose to attend seminary school or theology college study under the guidance of a veteran clergy member. This form of internship usually lasts three months to two years. During this time, students learn how to apply the skills they learned in college to real world practices. They are trained in church philosophy, procedure and learn how to work under stress.[4]

Ordination Process

Most denominations require pastors to become ordained. This procedure happens after students graduate from seminary or theology school. There are several steps to becoming an ordained minister, but all denominations do not follow the same ordination practice. Typical steps in the ordination process include studying for the ordination councils test and appearing before a council of local ordained ministers to be tested on knowledge of doctrine and church guidelines. If the council approves the request, a vote will be required by the church congregation to fulfill actual ordination.[5]

Preacher Job Duties

A look at the many responsibilities of Joel Osteen

Also See: How to Become a Grief Counselor, How to Become a Christian Counselor, How to Become a Guidance Counselor


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