How to Become a Minister
A minister is the head of a church or religious organization and is authorized to perform several different clergy functions. Ministers usually feel like their profession is a calling from a higher power and they must dedicate their life to faith. Ministers are responsible for performing weddings, baptisms and funerals. They also are responsible for providing spiritual guidance and leadership to the community, researching and studying religion and scripture, praying, and visiting the sick and elderly, among other things.
Minister Education Requirements
There are associate, bachelors, and master’s degrees in religious studies which can help you prepare to become a minister. A degree in religious studies will cover many of the world’s religions, ministry, Christian leadership, theological studies, pastoral counseling, and divinity.
There are also certificates programs for ministry. These programs can be a great option for someone who has already earned a bachelor's in ministry, religious studies, or another related field. A ministry certificate program usually take one year to complete, and teaches people the skills to become ministers, pastors, or other lay workers.
Job Opportunities for Ministers
The average salary for a new minister with one to four years experience ranges from $26,231 - $48,459 annually. Ministers who have been practicing for five to nine years can earn $32,028 - $50,698 annually. The average annual salary as a youth pastor is $32,745, and the average annual salary for a director of music ministry is $32,763.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 20010-2011 Edition, and PayScale.com