How long does it take to become a pastor?

Are you thinking about entering the ministry and becoming a pastor?

If so, one of the questions you may have is…

How long does it take to become a pastor?

The length of time it takes to become a pastor depends on three things:

1) The process. As we discussed in the article How to Become a Pastor, every denomination and church organization has their own process for training pastors, ministers and clergy. Before you start taking classes and pursuing a degree, it’s important to check with the denomination or organization you wish to serve in and learn about its process – the degree requirements, internship, and everything else.

2) The prerequisites you already have. Most church organizations require a master of divinity, master of biblical studies or some other masters level degree. If you already have a degree that fulfills this requirement, obviously it’s going to take you a lot less time to become a pastor than if you don’t. Similarly, it’s going to take less time to become a pastor if you have a bachelor degree of some kind than if you have an associate degree or no college at all.

3) The pace. How long it takes to become a pastor depends on how much time and effort you have to put towards your classes and training. A full-time graduate student might be able to earn their MDiv or master of biblical studies in 18 months. While someone who is working full time and taking classes in the evening might take 3 years or longer.

These are the three primary factors that determine how long it takes to become a pastor – process, prerequisites and pace.

So, while we can’t say exactly how long it takes to become a pastor a rough estimate is about 3 to 4 years.

If you would like to become a pastor, Trinity’s online seminary provides a great way for you to earn your master of divinity online or masters in biblical studies online. To learn more, complete the Request More Information form on the right side of this page.

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