How to become a Religious Leader

Religious leaders are responsible for leading worship, and providing guidance and instruction to members of their faith, sect or tribe. They are also responsible for any associated administrative duties. The term 'religious leader' covers a range of titles and functions such as Aboriginal ceremonial celebrant, chaplain, imam, minister, missionary, monk, nun, pastor, priest, rabbi, religious brother/sister, religion teacher, religious counsellor and religious youth leader.

Personal requirements for a Religious Leader

  • A deep personal commitment to a particular religious calling
  • Enjoy working with people
  • An awareness of the needs of the community
  • An understanding of the behaviour and responsibilities expected of religious leaders.

Duties & Tasks of a Religious Leader

Religious leaders may perform the following tasks, which can vary according to the religion and the denomination:

  • Plan ceremonies and services, including the use of music
  • Conduct services of public worship and administer sacraments as required
  • Participate in and contribute to the social and welfare activities of communities
  • Counsel and encourage people to be aware of their social and religious responsibilities
  • Provide personal support to people undergoing a crisis such as illness, bereavement or family breakdown
  • Conduct classes in religious instruction and organise participation in community projects
  • Supervise prayer and discussion groups, retreats and seminars
  • Conduct baptisms, marriages, funerals and other services
  • Translate, interpret, explain and communicate scripture
  • Keep records as required by civil or church law
  • Visit the sick and elderly.

Working conditions for a Religious Leader

Religious leaders work long hours and extensive travel may be required. Some may operate as missionaries in isolated areas or overseas. Emotional and physical stress can be associated with this occupation.

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