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Career Spotlight: Theology

Today we are exploring the world of religious leaders.

We know them as preachers standing on a pulpit on Sundays and interpreting the Word of God to their congregations. Sometimes it can seem like preachers only work on Sundays, but that is far from the truth. Let’s have a look at what church leaders do during the week.

Preachers are the leaders and managers of their churches and are responsible for attending and leading meetings with church leaders; helping members of the congregation through difficult times like losing a loved one; counseling people and providing spiritual guidance; preparation and serving of sacraments; overseeing church projects such as evangelism, missionaries, charities, Bible school, Bible studies, cell groups, Sunday school, fundraising, and more. They are also available 24/7 to help people who are going through a crisis.

They don’t keep regular office hours, but they do work hard. Apart from their duties and responsibilities already mentioned, they have to prepare interesting and relevant sermons every week.

A church leader’s title is VDM: “Verbi Divini Minister” which is Latin for “Server of the Divine Word”.

Becoming a church leader of your chosen denomination is not a choice to be taken lightly.

In fact, many church leaders will tell you that they did not choose the profession, they were called onto it by God. When considering your future career in the church, you shouldn’t look at your Brain Profile to see whether you are a good fit for being a church leader - if you feel you are called onto the profession, you should look at your Brain Profile to see which areas you need to develop to become the leader God wants you to be.

God uses all people in different ways and it is no different for church leaders. Some are exceptional preachers, others are wonderful teachers, others flourish with compassion and helping people on an interpersonal level, others are selfless missionaries. Being called for God’s Work is a big responsibility and prayer will show you where God wants to use you.

Depending on your denomination church leaders’ undergraduate studies can be as much as 7 years with the option to continue with a masters and doctorate afterwards.

Recommended additional subjects during undergraduate studies include psychology, philosophy, sociology and anthropology.

Admission requirements for studies are generally an NSC score of 24

and 50% in your first language. This can differ from your denomination and institute.

According to a pastor’s salary can range between R49 000 and R420 000 per year with an average of about R200 000 per year.

They are usually supported by the church and given a residence and/or some other compensation.

The salary will vary greatly from church to church since they are non-profit organisations. If you are called onto this profession, you will also have peace in knowing that God will provide for you, regardless of your salary.

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