Associate Pastor

Help the Pastor tend to the flock.
picture of Associate Pastor

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$19,000 – $70,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Associate Pastors do?

An Associate Pastor is a part- or full-time church employee who assists the senior Pastor. Because they manage churches and preach religious teachings, Pastors are considered God’s helpers (and oftentimes his hands). Pastors need help, too, however, which is why they hire you.

As an Associate Pastor, you manage assigned tasks and oversee designated ministries (a ministry is defined as a specific population of churchgoers, such as singles, divorcees, seniors, or youth). No matter your ministry, your most common tasks include planning and managing events for church ministries, including Sunday schools and community service projects. Other tasks include supervising church volunteers, counseling members of the church, and assisting with all church services and ceremonies, like baptisms, weddings, and funerals. You also collaborate with the senior Pastor and church board of Directors on strategic planning and goal-setting, the purpose of which is making sure the church is spiritually relevant and financially viable.

Because you’re essentially a Pastor in training, perhaps your most important duty is filling in for the senior Pastor when he’s away — the most critical part of which is delivering sermons in his absence. Depending on the size of your congregation, other tasks might include attending inter-church activities, participating in inter-church fellowships, or coordinating and leading mission trips. Ultimately, however, you really have just one job: preaching and expounding the word of God!


Should I be an Associate Pastor?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Leader: You're good at taking charge, giving directions, and inspiring other people.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Junior High Pastor, Missions Pastor, Pastoral Assistant, Senior High Pastor, Singles Pastor

    How to become an Associate Pastor

    Associate Pastors often have a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:d7ad9a&chl=no+college+%283%25%29|certificate+%2846%25%29||bachelor%27s+%283%25%29|master%27s+%2848%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,3,48
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