Executive Pastor

Acting as business leader for a church, an executive pastor is the link between a church’s staff and its members. He or she ensures that the church fulfills its mission statement while managing the institution’s business side. The executive pastor may also conduct weddings, funerals and other events.

Job Responsibilities

An executive pastor serves as a leader of a religious institution and oversees the church’s direction, mission and business aspects. He or she manages mission efforts, assists with strategic planning and conducts staff meetings as well as weddings, funerals and other services. Sometimes, he or she may serve as the church’s spokesperson to the public and media. An executive pastor ensures that the church is financially stable and evaluates potential risks, then implements solutions to prevent them.

Additionally, the executive pastor leads others, including the church’s ministry staff, and promotes the staff’s professional growth and oversees performance evaluations. The executive pastor may assist with the hiring process for new church employees. For this career, hours and shifts can vary. An executive pastor generally works in an office within the church but may have to work outside for certain activities.

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Executive Pastor Salary

Salaries for executive pastors may vary depending on location, size of the congregation, experience, and job responsibilities. According to PayScale, executive pastors earn a median salary of $60,979. Entry-level executive pastors with less than five years of experience earn an average salary of $49,000, while those with 20 or more years of experience make an average of $77,000 annually.

Education Requirements

An associate degree is typically the minimum requirement to become an executive pastor. However, sometimes a church will allow those with a high school diploma to take the position if they have previous experience. At least 10 years of religious or administrative experience is usually preferred. Education requirements will vary by congregation, and some congregations may require a bachelor’s degree.

Campbellsville University’s online bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministries gives students an understanding of ministry study and work. Students learn pastoral care, biblical study, church history and more. The program prepares students for a career in areas such as pastoral ministry and missionary work. The fully online degree provides the ability to conveniently work their coursework into their busy personal and professional schedules.