How to become a religious leader
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
You may need a degree or postgraduate award for some leadership positions. Most subjects are accepted though theology and philosophy may be particularly useful.
You'll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
You could do a church minister degree apprenticeship, if you want to train to be a religious leader within the Christian tradition.
This typically takes 36 months to complete and you will complete a degree in theology and ministry as part of the apprenticeship.
Employers will set their own entry requirements.
The process of becoming a leader can take several years, and is often based on your knowledge, experience and position within the religion.
Each religion has a different way of training its leaders, so the training and the length of time it takes will vary. For many religions the process might include:
- study at a college or religious training centre
- intensive study of your faith's teachings and writings
- time alone in contemplation or meditation
- experience of working with people in the community
- mentoring and supervision from an experienced leader of your religion
In some religions, there are rules on who can become a leader and what duties they can carry out.
If you want to train to become a leader in your faith, the first thing you should do is ask your own religious leader for advice and guidance.
Becoming a religious leader is a serious commitment that can be seen as a calling as much as a career.
As well as a strong belief in your faith and its traditions, you should accept that the work will affect all aspects of your life.