A priest is responsible for the overall direction of a Christian parish. Not only does the priest write and deliver a lectionary-based sermon each Sunday, he or she coordinates and supervises all of the assistants in the church service from paid subordinates to volunteers. Following the liturgical calendar, the priest leads the congregation in the celebration of various seasons of the church year.
Participating in the life of the parish and its outreach is another duty of a priest. Education and counseling are other services a priest provides. You will want to include the ability to communicate well with a variety of age groups in your priest job description as that skill is necessary to run a successful parish.
An active personal Bible study practice is essential for a priest as well. Refer to this priest job description template to get an idea of the optimal job description format.
Priest Job Summary
If you desire to make a positive difference for a Christian community in the Anglican Communion, you may be just the priest candidate Saint Ephraim’s is looking for. Saint Ephraim of Edessa Episcopal Church is a faith community located in rural Minnesota in the Iron Range area. At almost 100 years old, this parish is rich in traditions but is in need of revitalization. True to the example of its namesake, Saint Ephraim Parish is rich in Christian musical expression and worship. There is ample opportunity for the congregation to grow in this community, especially in the area of youth ministry. We are looking for a priest who will extend our Christian traditions of the last 100 years while creating new ones for the future.
- Plan, write and conduct all elements of the weekly church services, including coordination with the liturgical calendar and in keeping with church tradition
- Revitalize outreach to and retention of all ages of youth in our parish and in the larger community through education, activities and increased involvement of youth in worship life
- As a part of managing the parish education program, redesign the confirmation program for effectiveness and relevance
- Facilitate outreach ministries to the local community or out into the world in response to our Salvation through Jesus Christ
- Conduct baptisms, funerals, weddings and animal blessings on an as needed basis and administer the sacraments at every worship service
- Lead the administration of the parish and report to the bishop of the diocese on a periodic basis as stated by the bishop
- Initiate short-term counseling in times of parishioner crisis or joyful occasions, referring to local mental health professionals as appropriate
Job Skills & Qualifications
- Ordination in the Episcopal Church
- Dedicated to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ
- Excellent verbal and written communication with all age groups
- Previous church youth group experience
- Ability to read music and play an instrument
Priest Job Responsibilities
You shouldn’t have to pray to the heavens to send you a qualified priest, especially when God helps those who help themselves. One way you can help yourself is by writing a substantial and highly effective priest job description that efficiently and succinctly details the general responsibilities and requirements of the role. Use language that attracts potential candidates with an action-oriented focus that galvanizes using strong verbs at the start of each sentence. These verbs should empower jobseekers to visualize themselves in the role and create a sense of accountability and engagement. When qualified applicants are personally invested in the role description, they’re more likely to submit rather than passing you by.
There’s no need to go into excessive detail, either. You can trim your priest job description down to a mere 6-8 bullets. It’s less about how much you say and more about how you say it. You’re likely entirely familiar with the phenomenon of parishioners snoozing through long, droning sermons, and yet shorter, more stirring sermons can have them raising their hands. Follow those same principles to reach out to jobseekers and invite them into your fold.
Here’s a sample of well-written priest job responsibilities
- Lead sermons and group teachings according to church doctrine and standards
- Provide a safe, Christ-focused space for parishioners
- Promote programs and community outreach focused on church teachings
- Forge relationships with families, youth and influencers within the local parish
- Protect the confidentiality and spiritual wellness of all parishioners seeking confession
Priest Job Specifications
You’d never turn away a sinner seeking redemption, but when it comes to job applicants, sometimes you have to cull a few from the flock. It’s less that they’re wholly unqualified and more that they’re just not suited for the role, and the best way to discourage unsuitable applicants is to flesh out your priest job description with a list of job qualifications and skills. These qualifications provide clarity and insight jobseekers can use to determine if this is truly the right path, or if they’re better off seeking other positions where their talents are better suited.
Try to create a list of 5-6 basic requirements. For a priest job description, many of these requirements could revolve around ordainment and theological education, as well as approval by higher tiers of your congregation. You may need to submit your potential selections for review and appointment, so think of the criteria the church will require before building your own based on the type of community you serve.
Try this example of priest job specifications:
Church ordained Educated in theology from Christian university; preferred bachelor’s or master’s degree; secular education potentially acceptable Possess at least 5 years of experience working with a city-level parish Active in the church with a clean record of service as noted by higher-level church authorities; must have zero criminal record Has a stellar track record of volunteer and charity service within local communities