How to become a pastor?


I was just wondering how a Protestant becomes a pastor?
ie: learning from an institute and how long?



Depends on the church [denomination]. Some require college theological [or biblical] studies and some require certificate studies…like a correspondence study with an apprenticeship to a pastor, some churches may not require any formal certification.

Are you looking at a specific denomination? Or are you looking at a non - affiliated envangelical or bible church?


I have no idea because I don’t know much about how many denominations out there. The purpose of my question is to find out how much time one spends in learning the Bible and other requirements before becoming a pastor.

Being a pastor is a very important role. A pastor is responsible for helping others to become closer to God and to serve others. If one is well prepared, then those who go to his service will be learning about their faith alot. On the other hands, it could be bad for many.


From my tradition:

  1. Undergrad degree from accredited college/university.
  2. Master of divinity degree from accredited seminary (usually 3-4 years/90 semester hours, including units of clinical pastoral education)
  3. Three years of pastoral work under supervision.
  4. Approval after examinations of doctrine, history, biblical studies, and psychological evaluations by a board of ordained ministry.

Minimum of 10 years.


My brother is a member of a non-denominational, evangelical church. From their tracks I know that they get material from the Assembly’s of God and similar groups. Some time bck [17 years ago +/-] he studied a correspondence coarse and weekly classes lead by his pastor. The time of classes was about a year or two, as I remember. He has a certificate and could pastor his own church. He has assisted and held various posiyions but not been ‘the pastor’ at any church. He has performed weddings, lead bible studies and preached occassionally. He has always worked at a secular position. But as I said, he could pastor a church if he found a church that was looking…

My Uncle is a Church of Christ Elder, he has performed weddings and preached, he was a school teacher before becoming active as a pastor. I do not know that he returned to school at all. When he retired he had years of active church membership…

I have friends who have degrees in biblical studies, pastoral ministry etc. Most of those are either catholic [like me] or a main-line protestant [presbyterian, episcopalian, or lutheran.] They usually have at least a bachelors; many have masters degrees


That sounds pretty solid training and discerning. Thanks for the details O.S. Luke.


I’ll just say that formal education is a fine thing but many very learned poeple have been self taught.

I know people who never finished college who are very good in their chosen fields of study and college eduacaed people who would scare you with how little they know…

And the reverse, there are people who are self delusional about what they know [self taught] with total disdain for fomal education.

For the record I have an Associates degrees, a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree.


My own brother is also a protestant. He was fostered and adopted to a Baptist family living Canada about 25 years ago when he escaped from our country, Vietnam. He is quite solid with the Bible but I am not sure if he ever has any formal training. He’ll be leaving his job and business behind this coming November and going to Cambodia with his family to bring the Word to a group of Vietnamese immigrants there. I hope he and his family is ok there, but Cambodia is not a safe country.


I will pray for your brother!

That is one of the things that amazes me when I hear my fellow catholics make excuses about why they missed mass. In some countries people place their very lives in jepordy just to attend mass, and yet they would never miss.

In the US we can’t go to mass becasue we are on vacation or the superbowl is on…

Your brother is very brave to travel to areas that might be hostile. That he feels the need to bring the Gospel of Jesus [along with his hands and knowledge of so much] will bring priceless fruits of the Holy Spirit to a people in need.

I pray for him;; that he has God’s protection and guiding hand with him always…:gopray2:


Thank you YADA for praying. :slight_smile:
I wish I could do what he is about to, but I guess different person has different call.


To become a pastor you must first be called by God and then He will work out all the details.

Proud to be a Baptist


In most of the non-denominationals, all you have to do to be a Pastor is to grab a Bible and hope you can steal enough sheep from your current church to start your own. Others just are happy to preach once in a while at their own church.

My brother and my cousin are both Bishops for the “Church of God” without one iota of training. Basically they are their own Pope…


God’s call is very important, and time of discerning this call is also very important. I am very greatful for those who are called, and I am very glad that there are priests who are serving God’s people according to His Will.


I agree and amen to that. But in the protestant sense, I just wonder if it is really God calling or is it just the emotionalism…


Amen to that. Or a sense of self - importance. It is an esteemed position.


Question for Catholics…

if The Catholic Church is God’s only church, Does God call pastors to be pastors at their respective churches?


Wow, that’s a good question. :confused:


The “if” part of your question can bring up another debate and it is worth to have a new thread. Therefore, if you want to discuss on that, feel free to open the thread.

For the second part, when a Catholic becomes a priest, his personal life is no long his only - he has given up his life behind and follow God’s call. What this means is that his life involves the lives of those surrounding him. One of those is his superior.

For a Catholic priest, obedience is very crucial - where he goes and what church he will be assigned in are not his choice but the choice of those, who is given authority [apostolic auhtority]. Therefore, it is a yes that God’s call them to a specific parish to serve

  • yes, to serve not to be serverd.

Unfortunately, there are quite few priests who want to do their ways - it is no longer God’s will - thus they broke off from the Church. Pray for them to be obedient as Jesus had obedient to His Mother Virgin Mary, St. Joseph and most of all His Heavenly Father.

You must’ve seen disobidence everywhere - starting from our own family, school, society, and church.


In many Programmed Meetings, becoming a minister is much the same in other groups…calling witness by the meeting, education, study, prayer then request a “recording” of ordination. Friends don’t “ordain” they “record” the ordination.

For some Unprogrammed Meetings, there is no single minister. However if one Friend in particular or several Friends in particular exhibit a “gift of ministry” and the Meeting sees fit to record that the “gift of ministry” has been given to certain Friends…it is recorded with the Clerk for that particular Meeting…many Unprogrammed Meetings have no “clergy” as each Friend is a minister for the Lord.


If it is not God’s calling and just emotionalism then the person that thinks he has been called when in realility has not, God will never provide him with a church to pastor. I have known it to happen.

Proud to be Baptist

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