Ordained and Lay Ministries

Ordained and Lay Ministry (including chaplaincies)

About a third of our graduates end up in traditional forms of ministry—both lay and ordained. The preponderance of these are working in parishes, though some work in college chaplaincy or campus ministry, hospitals, nursing homes and prisons, military chaplaincy, outdoor ministry and para-church organizations.

The best preparation for work in a ministry setting is solid and broad coursework, strong internships that stretch the students understanding of ministry, and intentional discernment and formation.  Those seeking ordained ministry should be in contact with their denominations to determine specific requirements. With denominational ordination processes, there is no such thing as too much communication or documentation!

Lay ministry is an option for those who are unable to be ordained or who do not feel called to ordination. Lay ministers have been selected for youth work, children’s ministry, musical leadership, visitation, and many forms of chaplaincy as well.

 

The Process of Finding a Job

 

Ordained parish ministry: positions in ordained ministry are most often found via a specific denominational process that your ordaining body will instruct you on how to access.  Additional listings can be found in interdenominational websites. Most often students use a form specific to his or her denomination. Often a collection of CDs or DVDs demonstrating the applicant’s skill in preaching will be needed as well.  Additionally, most individuals seeking ordained work will also need a resume.  These will be used for any positions that are outside of denominational systems (campus ministries, interdenominational), and are also frequently requested by churches once they are later in the process of selection. 

Timelines vary widely by denomination.  Some denominations do their primary hiring for entry-level positions in the winter and early spring. Others do not begin reviewing applications until after graduation is complete. Searches for pastoral ministry typically take about 6 months from initial paper application until the individual starts the position—and sometimes longer.   

For information about ordained college chaplaincy and campus ministry jobs, please also see the higher education page.

     United Methodist Church  

     National Association of Catholic Personnel Administrators.

     Salvation Army

     Presbyterian Church (USA)

     PCUSA national staff positions

     Evangelical Lutheran Church in America\

     United Church of Christ

     https://www.abpsconnection.org/mol/index.cfm

     http://www.baptistlife.com/jobs.htm

     http://baptistpastorsearch.com/

     http://cdo.dfms.org/

     http://www.episcopalchurch.org/cdo/

     http://www.assemblyofgodjobs.com/

     Christian Jobs This page lists Christian jobs within a wide range of agencies, churches and businesses.

     Christian Net This page outlines jobs in businesses, churches, and a wide variety of other entities---all Christian

     oriented.

     Ministry Link This page is interdenominational in perspective.  One can search by denomination, job title,

     geography, or some combination of the above.

     Ministry Jobs.com Listings are organized by state and include a variety of pastoral positions including Christian

     education and youth ministry.

     Church jobs, predominantly (but not exclusively) in Cornerstone, Evangelical Free and Baptist congregations.

     Church Staff.com A wide mix of offerings and of denominations.

     National Association of Christians in Social Work Children and Youth

     This page is sponsored by Youth Specialties, and also gives students the option of posting their resumes.

     Houseparent positions, often at schools for troubled youth.  Many of these positions are for married couples,

     although some welcome singles, as well.

 

Lay Parish Ministry lay ministry positions in parishes are typically hired based on a traditional resume and cover letter. In some cases, a special form is required, but this is relatively rare.  Applicants may be asked to provide sermon CDs or DVDs if preaching is involved.  The turnaround on lay positions is shorter than that for ordained positions. Most positions take around 3 months from first advertisement to first day on the job. Obviously each situation is different. Lay ministry positions are typically announced through multiple means. Some are posted on denominational boards. Others are listed with individual seminaries and theological schools.

For information about lay college chaplaincy and campus ministry jobs, please see the higher education page.

     United Methodist Church  

     National Association of Catholic Personnel Administrators.

     Salvation Army

     Presbyterian Church (USA)

     PCUSA national staff positions

     Evangelical Lutheran Church in America   

     United Church of Christ

     https://www.abpsconnection.org/mol/index.cfm

     http://www.baptistlife.com/jobs.htm

     http://baptistpastorsearch.com/

     http://cdo.dfms.org/

     http://www.episcopalchurch.org/cdo/

     http://www.assemblyofgodjobs.com/

     Christian Jobs This page lists Christian jobs within a wide range of agencies, churches and businesses.

     Christian Net This page outlines jobs in businesses, churches, and a wide variety of other entities---all Christian

     oriented.

     Ministry Link This page is interdenominational in perspective.  One can search by denomination, job title,

     geography, or some combination of the above.

     Ministry Jobs.com Listings are organized by state and include a variety of pastoral positions including Christian

     education and youth ministry.

     Church jobs, predominantly (but not exclusively) in Cornerstone, Evangelical Free and Baptist congregations.

     Church Staff.com A wide mix of offerings and of denominations.

     National Association of Christians in Social Work Children and Youth

     This page is sponsored by Youth Specialties, and also gives students the option of posting their resumes.

     Houseparent positions, often at schools for troubled youth.  Many of these positions are for married couples,

     although some welcome singles, as well.

 

Military Chaplaincy

 

The process of being called to a position as a military chaplain is (as you would guess) fairly precise.  Most individuals begin this process while still in theological school and participate in simultaneous ordination and military chaplaincy processes. There are age and physical health restrictions in place for each branch.  Students interested in this field should make inquiry into the training programs as soon as possible. (Additional print materials are kept in the Office of Career Services).

 

http://www.goarmy.com/chaplain.html

http://chaplaincare.navy.mil/BecomeANavyChaplain.htm

http://www.nationalguard.com/careers/chaplain-corps

http://www.usafhc.af.mil/howtobecomeachaplain/index.asp

 

Prison Chaplaincy

Formal prison chaplaincy (with the bureau of prisons) requires specific coursework within the M.Div. (see the board of pensions page for more information) two years of experience, and ordination or membership in a vowed community.

Denominations frequently support their own chaplaincies within specific prisons, sometimes as stand alone ministries and sometimes as part of a particular congregation. These positions are hired from within denominational systems and may have their own set of requirements.

http://www.bop.gov/jobs/job_descriptions/chaplain.jsp

 

Healthcare Chaplaincy

The first step for each of these programs is CPE credentials. Typically the first unit of CPE is earned while in the M.Div. and an additional three to four units are garnered in a full-time residency after graduation.

Residency Listings: http://www.acpe.edu/CareerResidencies.html

Career Information: http://healthcarechaplaincy.org/

http://www.professionalchaplains.org/uploadedFiles/pdf/common-standards-professional-chaplaincy.pdf