Pastor Education Requirements

In this article, we will learn about the education, training, experience, key skills and much more required to become a pastor.

TCM Staff

2nd June 2020

An individual who is considering entering the christian ministry, you are possibly wondering what education degree is required to become a pastor. But the answer for the education requirements could vary based on the denomination you want to become a pastor in. There are certain concepts, educational paths and degrees common to become a pastor. 

Pastors are spiritual leaders who work with people to worship god and guide the followers to connect with god.they also work on motivating the gathering through their speeches, articles, sayings. They usually work for non-profit organizations, churches to address the people and work for the well-being of the community. 

In this article, we will go through how to meet certain criteria required to become a qualified pastor through proper training, education and skills.

Educational Requirement

Not every requires a traditional degree to become a pastor. While being hired for this profile, the churches look for your firm hold on topics such as Bible, theology, and ministry. However, a seminary degree like the Master of divinity gives you the necessary credentials and education on the overall aspects the church looks for. Let's look at in detail here,

Bachelor’s degree 

A bachelors’ degree to become a pastor is a 4 years program which offers 120-128 credits to complete the coursework which includes bible studies, mission and message of jesus,theology, christian ministry, ethics, sociology and also topics to cover old and new testaments.

Master of Divinity (M.Div.)

This degree program is chosen by aspiring students to advance their knowledge to become a pastor. This program is accredited by the renowned accrediting agencies called the Association of Theological Schools(ATS) and usually  takes up to 3-4 years as it requires a completion of a minimum of 72 hours. The courses include theology, biblical studies, biblical languages, pastoral care, church history, and liturgics. 

Some programs also allow students to gain education as well as practice and observe the skills with an ordained pastor

Experience and Training Program

After completing your education, you are then expected to gain experience in the field you want to get a job. Gaining experience can be through following ways,

  • Completing a ministry internship

  • Being involved in evangelism.

  • Gained experience in short-term missions trips.

  • Worked as pastor for few years to complete the learning

  •  Leading a building campaign.

  • Serving and assisting staff of multiple pastors.

  • Gain experience in multicultural ministries.

Stand out skills required for a Pastor

With the education you acquire, you must also concentrate on acquiring skills associated with this profession. As this job profile includes addressing people, working with the gathering and connecting with people emotionally and spiritually, this calls for additional skills to provide better assistance and care for others. They are listed as follows,

  • Be compassionate empathize with people

  • Be a motivated individual to encourage others

  • Good communication skills

  • Leaderships skills

  • Positive attitude towards every situation

  • Strong knowledge to preach the principles of faith. 

  • Connect with people and their problems 

  • Calm and composed


To become a pastor, all these requirements should be necessarily considered to have a prosperous career. With the array of education, experience, and skills gained a pastor will be able to preach and gain a good position in the churches and other organizations. 

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