Ministry Certificate Career Paths
If you want to pursue a new career with your local church or religious group, you should consider a minister certificate. These certifications are a great start for anyone looking to enter the field of ministry and other entry-level positions. Indeed, it can be difficult to decide what level of education you want to take your next step. You may have already earned an unrelated degree or are not quite sure of the path you’re going to take.
Alternatively, you may be looking to continue your career in education but want to switch to religious education. Instead of going back to school for another degree, you can enhance your credentials with a certificate. This level of education shows you’re serious about the field and have the necessary foundational knowledge to help others.
While you need a college degree to enter many careers in churches and religiously affiliated groups, there are still plenty of jobs you can start without one. Below are our top five job paths you can begin with a minister certificate.
Top 5 Career Paths for a Certificate in Ministry
Higher-level positions require you to earn higher-level degrees, such as a bachelor’s in religious studies or a master’s in divinity. Similarly, you may need an associate’s degree to enter some administrative positions. In this article, we look solely at the jobs you can find with just a high school diploma. Of course, some organizations may require more depending on their preferences.
Regardless, your certification will make you a more appealing candidate and may make finding a job easier. Churches and organizations want to know that their employees are serious and qualified to work in the office and with the congregation.
Of course, the best position you can find with a ministry certificate is that of a minister. These professionals lead worship services, assist their congregation, and conduct weddings.
Some individuals use minister and pastor interchangeably, leading to confusion about qualifications and duties. Indeed, in some churches, these are two very specific positions. A pastor is the head of the church, while the minister performs the religious responsibilities listed above. The pastor may carry out all of the same jobs as a minister, but a minister cannot do all the work that a pastor does.
Additionally, almost all pastors will have a higher-level education. While many ministers do earn a degree, it is not a requirement for this position.
The salary for ministers varies on location and church. However, data shows that the median in the U.S. is about $50,400 as of 2019. As with many other career paths, this number depends heavily on your specific organization. Indeed, consider that some churches have as few as a dozen members in their congregation.
Missionaries travel the country or the world to spread religious doctrine. As with performing ministry at home, a certificate will help you prepare to explain your religion to others.
For this career, you need a deep understanding of your religion, the ability to communicate with others from diverse backgrounds, and a clear expectation of what you’ll run into. Indeed, the job of a missionary is not easy.
Notably, pursuing some level of training or education is highly recommended to prepare to communicate with people of different cultures and backgrounds. Some miscommunications will only insult or otherwise offend others. Before starting this path, you should be prepared to travel the world.
On average, missionaries earn an average of $34,400 each year. Just like ministry work, however, this number varies greatly depending on your agency. Some have reported annual pay up to $60k.
3. Faith-Based Non-Profits
Faith-based non-profits often have employees who have education in another field. These organizations are either directly affiliated with a religious group or are inspired by their beliefs. As such, understanding their faith is vital for success and upholding their values.
A ministry certificate will show hiring managers that you take your faith seriously and understand their mission’s core concepts.
Depending on the job, you may only need a high school diploma or up to a master’s degree to work in a faith-based non-profit. Indeed, there are a variety of positions you can find in these organizations. To name a few, you can work in administration, marketing, community outreach, and more.
Because of the variety of positions, your salary will vary. The average employee at any non-profit can range from $20k to $100k. Thus, it’s hard to pinpoint what you’ll earn.
4. Devotional Writer
Devotional writers create content to inspire and help individuals with their growth and struggles. These articles and stories may be published in blogs, newsletters, and books. Notably, some publishing companies turn devotionals into calendars, cards, and decorations.
You need strong writing skills to excel in this field. Additionally, you must be able to connect to your audience and accurately cite scripture. You may confuse or even offend your audience if you publish incorrect materials. Thus, a certificate in ministry will help you both communicate clearly and ensure you have a thorough understanding of the works you’re citing.
The average salary for devotional writers depends on two criteria: how often you publish and your publishing company. Obviously, a small blog will not be able to pay much, if anything. Larger groups may pay by story or contract.
Indeed, if you plan on creating a lot of content, you can turn this into a career. Many, however, write devotionals as a side gig.
5. Church Administration
Church administrators carry out the same work as typical office administrators. They manage records and documents, oversee payroll and the budget, and may assist with any other business affairs. As a result, many churches prefer someone with a background in office work or customer service.
In addition to your work history, organizations will prefer someone with specialized knowledge of churches, such as church functions. You do not necessarily need to have the same background, but hiring managers will likely choose someone who shares the same values. Thus, a ministry certificate shows you can communicate effectively with the congregation.
The average church administrator makes around $51,462 each year. As before, this number can vary due to your specific organization.
Additional Education for Other Careers
On top of the entry-level positions, a ministry certification opens other pathways. As we mentioned before, if you have an educational background in another field, this credential will help you enter a religious track in your current career.
Below are just two small examples of where this certificate can take you. However, as faith-based careers are endless and varied, so are the opportunities available to you.
As we mentioned earlier, you may need additional education to begin working in a religious school. Some institutions may accept your faith, but others will require further qualifications, such as a certificate.
A ministry certification will show you’re serious about teaching youth and aligning with the school’s values. Additionally, the concepts and skills you learn will better assist you in communicating with a classroom. Similarly, you may find work outside a religious institution as a religion teacher.
Teacher salaries differ between states as well as between private and public schools. However, the average salary for all starting teachers is around $38,617, increasing to $58,950 with experience.
Director – Worship Arts, Camp, etc.
There are several high-level positions you can find in churches and religious organizations. For example, you can work as a worship arts, creative, or camp director.
Worship arts directors are in charge of the choir and music of an organization. As such, these professionals need musical abilities and a strong understanding of their faith. Furthermore, as the music is meant to inspire and accompany the minister’s teachings, they must have ministerial skills. Most individuals in this position have at least a bachelor’s degree. Some programs focus on the skills needed for this specific job. But if you already have musical abilities, you may want to hone your ministry skills.
Lakewood University offers a 16-week online minister certificate program. This course provides the knowledge and skills necessary to help others in your faith-based role. Majorly, you’ll examine the fundamentals of Christianity and move beyond the basics to fully understand the teachings.
Furthermore, this course is asynchronous, meaning there are no weekly lectures. Busy individuals can earn their certificate from the comfort of their homes when convenient for them. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to speak to your instructor, an ordained minister with years of firsthand experience in the field.
If you’re looking to become a minister, don’t hesitate. Reach out to our admissions team today!