the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Resume Tips

The task of creating a ministerial resume can be daunting. The Ministry Connections Office is here to help. Take a look at our tips and sample resumes below or schedule an appointment today to get advice on your resume.

Overview

The purpose of a resume is to introduce yourself and your qualifications for a particular job. It is not the only step to finding a job in ministry but it is a very important first step. The goal is to communicate enough about yourself to get you an interview, therefore, you want to succinctly demonstrate your strengths and distinctive qualifications for a particular position.

Before You Start

  • Pray
    • Ask God to make the most of your efforts
    • Ask God to guide you into the place where He would have you to serve
  • Assess your calling and gifts
    • Does this opportunity make sense for you and your family?
    • Are your gifts a good fit for the needs of this ministry?
    • Would this ministry give you an opportunity to be faithful to your calling?
  • Think about your experience and accomplishments
    • What makes you uniquely suited for this position?
    • How can you highlight these qualifications in your resume?
  • Think about your audience
    • Are you submitting your resume to a rural congregation or an urban megachurch?
    • What seems to be the culture and style of this particular church or ministry?
    • Consult your potential employer’s website for ideas
  • Think about your references
    • Do you know anyone who would be known by this congregation or ministry?
    • Do you have anyone who might submit your resume on your behalf?

Tips for Your Resume

A typical ministerial resume will include at minimum the following sections: Personal Information, Education, Ministerial Experience, Other Employment, Personal Statement, and References. Consider the following tips and sample resumes as you are preparing your own resume.

  • Personal Information
    • Include your name and the names of your spouse and children (if applicable)
    • Include your spouse’s educational background and career experience if helpful
    • Include your children’s name(s) and age(s)
    • Include relevant information related to your licensing and ordination
    • Provide updated contact information
    • Consider creating a professional email rather than using a student account
    • Consider including your interests and hobbies but be mindful of your audience
    • Consider including a photo of you and your family but keep it professional and make sure to use a high-quality photo that will look good when printed
  • Education
    • List your most recent degree first
    • Include the school, location, and degree attained
    • Provide your anticipated graduate date if you are a student
    • Do not include your High School or GPA
  • Ministerial Experience
    • Provide your title, the name of the church or ministry, and the dates of service
    • List your most recent ministry experience first
    • Quantify your skills and experience where possible
    • Include noteworthy achievements and responsibilities
    • Use action words to communicate effectively
    • Use short, punchy phrases to keep it simple
    • Make it easy on your reader to skim the information and get the highlights
    • Include both paid and unpaid experience
  • Other Employment
    • Follow the same format as your Ministerial Experience but provide less details
    • Do not include every job you have ever had
    • Demonstrate your work ethic and fill in any gaps in your personal timeline
  • Personal Statement
    • Brief explanation of your conversion and call to ministry
    • Communicate your vision for the ministry that you are applying for or your general ministry objective
  • References
    • Provide 3-4 references from various backgrounds (school, ministry, etc.)
    • Include their relationship to you and updated contact information
    • Obtain their permission before including them on your resume

Sample Resumes

That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.