dcsimg

Career Story: Parish Minister

Parish Minister

Job Title: Minister

Type of Company: The church is a spiritual center for people in the community. It is a worshipping congregation that also provides religious education for children, youth and adults, and actively works to improve the lives of others though its social justice work

Education: BA, English, College of the Holy Cross •• M.Div., Andover Newton Theological School

Previous Experience: I have worked as a hospital chaplain , a hospice chaplain, an assistant minister, sabbatical minister and interim minister.

Job Tasks: My work as a parish minister is multi-faceted. I prepare worship service for each Sunday. I officiate at religious rites such as weddings, funerals and memorial services, and child dedications. I represent the church in the community at interfaith meetings and serve as a public witness on social justice issues. I often meet with people who are in some measure of crisis, which can be a spiritual crisis, and emotional crisis, or a personal or economic challenge. As the pastor, I supervise the office administrator and the religious education director.

My work enables me to talk with people about faith, God and their beliefs and thus I have a window into the larger questions of life, death, meaning, suffering, joy, and ethics. Sometimes this can be very challenging; being with a family when their 17 year old son died after a car accident was probably the worst. Other times it is wonderful. Just being a part of people's lives and their growth is a privilege. Always I am learning a lot and growing along with the people I serve in the congregation.

I use words a lot in my work, and my computer is a regular accompaniment in my day. I write sermons, homilies, letters to the editor, emails, newsletter columns, articles and occasionally scholarly work. That said, the other daily practice of my life is prayer, and much of that is in silence and word-less. I listen for the voice of God and watch for signs of God in our world. I listen to people a lot too, keeping my mouth shut so I can be more fully aware and tuned into others and the spirit. Prayer life grounds my work and keeps me from being tossed around by all the challenges that come with minister.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The hardest part of my work is the abrupt transitions from one type of experience to another. For instance, I might have a counseling session with someone who has just been fired and then have to meet with the building and grounds committee about a fire safety plan, then off to the state house to lobby for affordable housing. When one encounter is very emotionally charged and then I have to be in another situation that calls for a very different response, that can be hard. On the plus side, there is enormous variety in what I get to do, and I often feel like I am making something of a difference in people's lives.

Job Tips:
1.) Establish or deepen your spiritual life. 2.) Discern with others from your church or denomination if this work is what you are called to do. 3.) Practice listening. 4.) Go to church. 5.) Become a lay leader in your church. 6.) If you're married or involved, talk to your partner about what this work will mean for your relationship and your present or future children. If your spouse is less than supportive, get some counseling about the issue.

Popular Schools offering Religious Studies Programs

quickinfoClick the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .

Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school

Matching School Ads

Prepare for your mission - earn your bachelor's or master's degree in theology online with Grand Canyon University.

  • Programs: Master of Divinity with an Emphasis in Global Ministry, Master of Divinity, B.A. in Christian Studies, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor

Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.

  • Programs: Master of Arts in Ministry - Practical Theology, Associate of Arts in Christian Ministry - Biblical Studies, Associate of Arts in Christian Ministry - Pastoral Ministry, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Associate, Bachelor

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

  • Programs: Ed.D. in Christian Leadership, Doctor of Ministry: Evangelism & Church Planting, M.Div: Homiletics, more...
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Master

Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017

  • Programs: Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Counseling (Certificate) - Online, Liberal Studies (Associate of Arts) - Online, Liberal Studies (Bachelor of Arts) - Online
  • Degrees: Certificate, Associate, Bachelor
Argosy University
Ontario, Orange, San Diego

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

  • Programs: Liberal Arts (BA)
  • Degrees: Bachelor

See What’s Possible When You Earn a Degree at Florida Tech 100% Online

  • Programs: Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts
  • Degrees: Associate

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota's Online Master's Programs

At Saint Mary's, we take pride in offering online graduate degrees designed to complement the schedules of working adults like you. Get an affordable, convenient education from a top-ranked university that's grounded in real-world applications.

  • Programs: Master of Arts in Special Education, Master of Arts in Human Resource Management, Master of Arts in International Development, more...
  • Degrees: Master

Founded in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national public research university and the state’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher learning.

  • Programs: Online Master of Information
  • Degrees: Master

Syracuse's Master's in Library and Information Science (MLIS) curriculum prepares students for careers in a broad range of settings, including academic institutions, public libraries, corporations, government agencies, and cultural institutions.

  • Programs: MS in Information Management, MS in Library and Information Science
  • Degrees: Master

Earn your Master's degree online from Norwich University.

  • Programs: Master of Arts in International Relations Online
  • Degrees: Master
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Clergy

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Clergy, including:

Back to Top
SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104