Ordained and Lay Parish Ministry

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.

Positions in ordained ministry, and some lay ministries 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)

     Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

     United Church of Christ

     Baptist Life 

     Baptist Pastor Search

     CDO (for Episcopalians)

     Assembly of God 

     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.