How to Become a Pastor

Are you thinking about becoming pastor?

Wondering, “How do I become a pastor?”

The process of becoming a pastor varies from denomination to denomination.   Many denominations expect a person to have a master’s degree in biblical studies or a masters of divinity degree before they can be ordained.  However, education is usually just one part of the process of becoming a pastor.

Many denominations have pastoral training programs that include psychological testing, mentoring, internship or vicarage, and more.

If you would like to become a pastor, here are…

5 Steps Towards Becoming a Pastor

1) Pray & seek Godly counsel

We would be remiss if we didn’t recommend starting with prayer and praying throughout the entire process as you seek God’s guidance as to whether to go into the ministry, in what capacity, and when and how to pursue that calling.  It would also be wise to discuss the matter with several other pastors, especially your own pastor, those in your denomination, and those who have entered the ministry in a similar stage of life as you are currently in.

2) Contact your denomination or church network. 

Ask the denomination in which you would like to pastor to provide information about the requirements and process of becoming a pastor in that denomination.  If you feel God is calling you to plant a new church that is not a part of a denomination, it can still be beneficial to partner with a church planting network. You may want to investigate church planting networks and see what sort of pastoral training programs or requirements they have.

3) Ask specifically about the educational requirements. 

While almost all denominations have their own seminaries, many of them accept degrees from other seminaries and bible colleges. Some specific things you should find out:

  • Does your denomination accept degrees from other seminaries and bible colleges?
  • If so, do they have a list of seminaries and bible colleges from which they will accept degrees?
  • Do they have a list of degrees from those seminaries and bible colleges they will accept?
  • What is the cost of their own seminary degree program?
  • What requirements does their seminary degree program for taking classes, exams or seminars on campus?
  • What is the expected workload of their seminary program?

4) Investigate seminary and bible college options. 

If your denomination accepts degrees from other seminaries or bible colleges and their seminary requires classes or exams to be taken on campus, you might find it more convenient and less expensive to opt for a 100% online seminary like Trinity.  If your job, family or ministry situation would make it difficult to keep up with the expected workload of your denomination’s seminary degree program, you might find a self-paced degree program a better option as well.

5) Confirm your plans with your denomination

If you’re leaning towards pursuing a seminary degree with an online seminary like Trinity, talk with an advisor within your denomination. Tell them the degree program you are considering and confirm they will accept the degree.  Discuss the time table for completing your degree as well as going through the other steps in the denomination’s pastoral development program.

Trinity is a trans-denomination seminary.  Through our college of biblical studies, you can earn a masters in biblical studies online or master of divinity online which are almost universally accepted.  If you are thinking and praying about becoming a pastor, complete the “Request More Information” form on the right side of this page, so we can provide all the information you need and answer any questions you may have.

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