Yes, you can still get great high paying jobs even as a former pastor!

This article reveals as many as 25 best jobs for former pastors to make money.


Why Jobs for Former Pastors? 

According to sources such as, the top five stressful jobs in America are

  • Enlisted military personnel
  • Firefighter
  • Airline pilot
  • Police officer
  • Broadcaster

The stress related to these jobs is due to a variety of reasons.

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Some of those reasons include being in the public eye, the safety of others, etc.

It could also be argued that the role of a pastor is a stressful job.

Their role requires that they care for others.

With that care, the pastor is involved in a number of challenges that people face in their lives.

The pastor provides support and engagement in hurting people’s lives when there is an illness in the family, death, difficult or broken relationships, etc.

This involvement can be physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually draining.

For these reasons and others, pastors either take a break from the ministry or look for other ways to fulfill their calling.

Taking a step back with these pastors let us explore those other ministry opportunities.


Personal Story

The pastoral role that I was involved with was a rather unique blend of ordination in a religious organization that had a significant social service presence in their communities.

My last position required that I have extended administration duties where two separate units in the same city operated under one budget.

I took my role as administrator and pastor seriously.

The friction came when there appeared to me to be a double standard when it came to the finances and holding the other unit accountable.

Our regional headquarters seemed to have turned a “blind” eye to the unauthorized financial actions of the other unit.

Eventually, I resigned from my position because of the frustration and stress that this created along with the seeming double standards demonstrated.


25 Best Jobs for Former Pastors to Keep the Faith & Still Make Money


1. Prison Chaplain

An opportunity to stay within the ministry and yet not have the stress as it relates to constant communication with the parishioners is through the role of being a prison chaplain.

A prison chaplain is an employee of the correctional system and visits those who are incarcerated.

The chaplain’s role would be to provide spiritual encouragement and guidance for those who are in jail, lead support groups, help to facilitate the visiting of outside church groups within the prison walls, etc.


2. School Teacher

Given your previous pastoral role as it relates to instructing people and teaching regarding humanity, religious ideas, and concepts you would be able to use that experience as a teacher and your credentialing to possibly teach in a public school or private school setting.


3. Executive Director Not-For-Profit

The business structure of a church is similar to other not-for-profits and therefore the transition to a leadership role in a not-for-profit or as the executive director would be fairly smooth.

The only aspect of a not-for-profit not needed in this new job role or function would be the Sunday or Saturday preaching.


4. Missionary

A missionary is an individual whose purpose is to take a message of hope and inspiration to other people outside the confines of an established structure.

The structure could be defined as both a physical building as well as a traditional method of action.

Your role as a pastor required that you bring a message of hope and newness. As a missionary, that same message can be delivered in a different way and not be restricted to an established congregation.

As a missionary, you could go abroad and deliver this message, or you could stay within your same geographical area but endeavor to reach others by extending yourself rather than those individuals coming to you.


5. Worship Leader

A change of roles from a pastor to a worship leader may be an appropriate employment move within the church for a former pastor.

A worship leader is charged with leading the congregation in the singing of worship songs and leading the congregation in prayer.

The worship leader may also be called upon to provide direction for the church choir or other music groups.


6. Family Counselor

Another natural lateral or transitional move for a pastor would be to serve in the area of counseling and specifically going into family counseling.

A family counselor helps families to work through challenges that they are experiencing in their lives which could include relationship issues between the parents and the children, helping to resolve conflict, and encouraging the family to be supportive of each other through communication to work through the challenges.

Given your pastoral experience and understanding of human conflict and providing solutions offered through Scriptures, this would be a valuable combination to help others during family counseling sessions.


7. Business Manager

As a pastor, you may have had the role and responsibility of managing the church business.

This included the oversight and management of the finances, adhering to the church budget, working with staff, etc.

These same functions would be needed in moving to the position of a business manager but would not have the spiritual responsibilities associated with them.


8. Social Worker

A social worker is an individual that interacts with individuals and families who are experiencing personal, relationship, and basic necessities of life challenges.

A social worker’s role is to communicate with these individuals to find solutions for the issues that they are facing, protect the vulnerable population (children and seniors), and help find resources needed for the individual to get their lives on track.

This would be a good role for a former pastor as their previous role was to not only meet the spiritual needs of the components of an individual but endeavor to meet, at a practical level, the physical needs as well such as food, clothing, and shelter.


9. Marriage Counselor

A marriage counselor is a professional that understands the dynamics of human conflict and working helping individual to interact with each other in that special relationship known as marriage.

As a pastor, you also understand the conflict that can be created in a marital relationship.

This conflict can be due to lack of communication, differing points of view, not finding common ground, trust issues, etc.

Most likely as a pastor you used your education, insight, and experience to help bring marital relationships into focus and the goal being reconciliation and repair.

As a former pastor, this would be a qualifying position for you to engage in due to your understanding of the importance of communication to resolve conflict and the sacrament of marriage.


10. Fund Raising Director

A pastor is usually outgoing and is able to connect with people and earn their trust due to their sincerity.

Obtaining a fundraising position for an organization could be a good match because these are the qualities that an individual should display in order for people to support a cause that they believe in with financial resources.

It is proven that people give to people and as a pastor, you would bring that increased awareness of confidence in representing a particular not-for-profit agency.

A position with an agency as their fundraising director would bring those elements of trust and resonate with individual stakeholders as well as develop new donors to help support the agency’s mission and service to others.


11. Planned Giving

Many not-for-profits realize the importance of connecting with people and providing an opportunity for those individuals who believe in a cause to provide a legacy to others through their giving beyond their lifespan.

A planned giving director is an individual who realizes that a gift made today to an educational institution or not-for-profit is part of a donor’s will and the estate is a gift that is not constrained by time.

Not only does the donor’s gift provide a legacy for themselves and help others but there are benefits to the donor in the present moment.

Some of those benefits include tax deductions, return on the money donated, etc.


best jobs for former pastors


12. Insurance

Insurance is a critical product that is provided to individuals to meet various challenging circumstances in life.

These challenges can be

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  • Life insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Disability insurance
  • Automobile insurance
  • And so forth

As a pastor, you are familiar with people who have gone through traumatic circumstances and have helped them process these circumstances.

To transition from a pastor into selling insurance would be a good match for your experience and skill set as the offering of insurance premiums is about trust in the agent, understanding the importance of preparedness, drawing upon your real-life experience, etc.


13. Public Speaker

As a previous pastor, more than likely, you have had significant experience as it relates to standing before an audience and presenting a prepared message.

This message or sermon didn’t just happen, but much work and preparation went into this talk to fully engage the audience and deliver the message in a clear, concise, and understandable way.

Building on this skill you could become a public speaker.

Your message could be a motivational one as perhaps you could stand before audiences and talk about life, being prepared, and being motivated to be the best that you can possibly be.


14. Writing

Communication is a critical component in order for a successful pastor to connect with his or her parishioners.

This understanding and skill that you still possess can be utilized beyond your pastoral role as you could pursue a writing career.

You could use your valuable insight and experience and through writing communicate these insights to help others achieve a more successful and powerful life.

Other ways of making money writing include:


15. Hospice Chaplain

A hospice chaplain is an individual with spiritual/pastoral training with special attention given to helping individuals in the remaining days of their lives.

A hospice chaplain provides spiritual and emotional comfort to not only the individual, but the family involved in the dying process as well.

As a previous pastor, with perhaps needed specialized training, you could provide this loving, emotional, and spiritual comfort to an individual as a natural progression of your experience and training as a pastor.


16. Substance Abuse Counselor

A substance abuse counselor is a specially trained individual who utilizes their skill and experience in helping an individual to cope with an addiction.

Addictions could be:

  • Alcohol
  • Nonprescription medication
  • Gambling
  • etc.

As a pastor, you could provide emotional and spiritual support, and help individuals to understand the triggers that create the need that drives them to indulge in these addictive behaviors.


17. Grant Writer

As a pastor, you are familiar with the use of proper words and the persuasive power that words can move individuals to action.

As a pastor, you can utilize your wordsmithing in the area of grant writing to powerfully convey agencies’ need for funding to support a vision and a solution that they have for a challenge being experienced in their community.

Additionally, your words would not only convey the need and the dynamics of the powerful use of money to provide a solution but indicate to the potential granting agency the commitment by the agency of their account of any donated dollars.

Related: Best Websites for Finding Grants For Single Mothers.


18. Helping Pastors Run Businesses

Pastors leave the ministry for a variety of reasons.

With this in mind, you could set up a business to help fellow pastors work through various challenges that they may be experiencing and help them to refocus, recommit, and re-engage with their ministry role.

Pastors can leave the pastorate for a number of reasons.

Some of those reasons could include

  • Burn out
  • Discouragement
  • Lack of support
  • Etc.

Your business as a previous pastor could help other pastors learn from your experience and either re-engage or find other ways to utilize their experience and service through other occupations.


19. Consultant

As a pastor, you could be invited into a church to evaluate its effectiveness to its parishioners, its outreach to others, the services that the church provides, etc.

As a consultant, you would be given the opportunity to observe all of the processes, and the various activities within the church to assess the effectiveness of the programs.

You then would be able to provide a report and give a briefing to the deacons, elders, and pastors of the church as to your findings and make any recommendations.


20. Tutor

As a pastor, you understand the role of tutoring or teaching others through talent or a skill that you may have.

You could tutor others in a variety of activities.

Some of those activities could include:

  • Preparing a bible study
  • Forming a support group
  • Teaching music
  • Etc.


21. eBooks  Writer

Another opportunity that may present itself as a previous pastor is to write ebooks.

The ebook could be your personal story that may be motivational or inspirational and provide a good read to others working through challenges in their lives.

The ebook could be a teaching of a series of Bible studies and the ebook would help an individual with the study of the Bible in general or particular books of the bible.


22. Telecommunications

Many pastors have voices that are golden.

Their training has included how to communicate with others and to deliver messages using the proper tone, inflection, projecting your voice, etc.

An ex-pastor can utilize these oratory skills and utilize their voice on various telecommunication platforms.

You could have your own YouTube channel, conduct podcasts, etc.


23. Personnel Department

Because pastors have the skill set and experience of being able to connect with people a great transitional job outside of the pastorate would be to move into the personnel department.

With a few additional training courses and learning about wage and labor laws coupled with the policies and procedures of a company, you would make a good representative of the employees and advocate for them through the personnel department to management.


24. Life Coach

As a pastor, you understand the importance of vision and focus to achieve one’s dreams and realize goals.

With that in mind you could become a life coach and help individuals work through challenges within their own lives and use those challenges to build character and as a stepping stone to achieving their goals in life.


25. Blogging

Another opportunity that could present itself to you as a previous pastor is to create a blog.

The blog could be on serious portions of the Bible, providing daily devotional thoughts, challenging the reader to increase their walk of faith, etc.

Potential support could come from your followers, through affiliate advertising or possibly gaining a sponsor for your blog site.


Best Paying Jobs for Ex Pastors FAQs


What is the Estimate of the Number of Pastors Who Leave the Ministry?

According to this site 50% of new pastors will not be in that role within 5 years and only 10% will retire after fulfilling their lifetime role as a pastor.


Why Do Many Pastors Leave the Ministry?

There are a variety of reasons why pastors leave the ministry.

Some of those reasons include

  • Overworked
  • Underpaid
  • Unprepared
  • Discouragement
  • Negative impact on families


You Can Do It

You have decided to step away from the ministry.

This could be temporary or permanent.

In either case, there is no shame because you are not turning your pastoral back on anybody.

As a former pastor, you could bring your experience of comforting and caring to an individual as well as their family members in providing powerful support based on your experience and education.

What awaits is a new opportunity for service.

Another door of ministry is opening.



There are many stressful jobs that people perform and often the stress experienced is associated with their interaction with others.

Sometimes, in helping others, we get overburdened and need to take a break from our role in serving others, especially in the role of a pastor.

Ultimately the break is not only for your good but for the good of others receiving help and insight from you with an unburdened heart and mind.

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE

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Apart from being a seasoned Personal Finance expert who has written for top publications around the world, I bring significant personal financial experience. Long story short... through bad financial choices... I found myself $100,000 plus in debt. I was able to dissolve this indebtedness and regain financial solvency. This financial turn around was accomplished through reading, studying and implementing a financial plan. My financial plan included paying down my debt through budgeting, being cognizant of where my financial resources were being spent, changing my attitude about money and understanding the binding chains of the improper use of credit. Today, and for 10 years, I have been debt free and have invested wisely to enjoy my current retirement. This is allowing me to write to help others make, save and grow money wisely!