You’re sitting in your office cubicle daydreaming again, aren’t you? You want to build your Catholic resume or portfolio, but simply don’t know where to start.
Your job was rewarding at first. HR did a great job selling you on the company’s mission and the internal opportunities for growth. The pay is good, and the benefits are great. But lately everything’s been feeling mundane, even… meaningless.
You want to do something that really matters, something with eternal significance.
You daydream about bringing souls to Christ — working full-time for His Church and putting your skills and talents at the service of the Gospel. But you have a problem…
You’ve never worked in Catholic ministry.
Heck! You’ve never even volunteered to read at Sunday Mass.
Or maybe you’re concerned because you have no formal education in Catholic theology, catechesis, ministry, evangelization, or apologetics.
In other words, there’s nothing particularly “Catholic” on your resume or in your portfolio. You’ve been looking around at all the opportunities for ministry in your diocese, but you can’t help but wonder: “Why would anyone want to hire me for a ministry job? My current skillset doesn’t fit any of these job descriptions.”
If this sounds familiar, “Be not afraid” (sorry—John Paul II pun…)…
The first helpful tip you can use to build your Catholic resume or portfolio is pretty simple. Determine your skillset!
You have a definite skillset.
Whether you realize it or not, your current skillset can be put to use in the service of the Gospel. The Church needs you… and your skillset! So sit down, write out your skills, and brainstorm how you intend to use them in the service of the Gospel.
Are you good at building websites? As we’ve seen recently with the beatification of Carlo Acutis, the Church needs men and women who are capable of building attractive websites that folks want to come back to again and again.
Is digital marketing your thing? Great! The Church needs marketers and content creators who are adept at creating compelling content for evangelizing on the “digital continent.”
Do you work in sales or corporate coaching? The Church needs men and women like you; capable of creating stunning presentations, building compelling cases, and making persuasive arguments in favor of Catholicism.
The truth is, it doesn’t matter what your current skillset is. The Church needs you and your abilities. So write down what it is that you’ve been trained to do, and start thinking of ways you can use your skills in the service of the Church.
In his First Letter to Corinthians, Saint Paul says:
“There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit … The particular manifestation of the Spirit granted to each one is to be used for the general good” (1Cor. 12:4, 7).
He then goes on to say that, as the body as a whole needs its various parts, so too does the Church need her members to use their various God-given gifts and talents for the sake of spreading the Gospel.
Ask yourself: “What talents has God given me?”
Are you musically inclined? Or maybe you have a gift for the written word. Do you “come alive” when you’re speaking in front of a large crowd? Or maybe one-on-one coaching is more your thing.
You have a talent. Most likely you have several talents. And you can use each talent to build up the Body of Christ. Find out what your talents are. And if you struggle to figure it out (*ahem* you’re not alone), ask a couple close friends or relatives what they think your talent is.
Worried that you have no direct experience working in ministry or in a Church-related role? Not a problem!
Your parish may need RCIA sponsors who are available and knowledgeable enough to answer an RCIA candidate’s questions. Or maybe your parish priest could use some extra help ministering to the Youth Group, even if there is already a full-time Youth Minister employed by the parish.
Does your parish have a blog? Why not volunteer to write weekly or monthly articles?
Ask around. There are more than enough opportunities for you to volunteer and put your unique skills and talents to work, while at the same time building up that Catholic resume or portfolio you’ve been working on.
One great way to get involved as a volunteer is to join your local St. Paul Street Evangelization team!
Who among us hasn’t been put off by the “Master’s Degree in Theology and three years of experience as a catechist or youth minister” requirement for that Director of Religious Education job you know you’d be perfect for!
You’re already working on building your experience by volunteering your time as a catechist, sponsor, street evangelist, or youth minister. Now, thanks to the internet, you have multiple ways to fulfill that education “requirement.”
If you need formal education, there are some amazing Catholic schools that offer Master’s degrees in theology, ministry, or catechetics 100% online! Franciscan University of Steubenville, Catholic Distance University, and the Augustine Institute are three of the best schools out there offering online degrees in theology.
But if you just need to brush up on your knowledge of the Faith, and want a certificate to show for it, there are some great options out there. The St. Paul Evangelization Institute and Catholic Answers School of Apologetics are two great places where you can solidify your knowledge of Catholicism, while also earning a certificate to post on your LinkedIn profile and brag about on your resume.
Building up your Catholic resume or portfolio is great and all. But there’s one thing you can do right now that will launch you into full-time Church-work faster than that perfect resume or portfolio ever could.
Get out there and meet some people, especially the “key players.” Spend time getting to know your parish priest. Go to your local “Theology on Tap” events. Join or start a parish or diocesan book study program.
Get out there and meet people. After all, ministry and evangelization aren’t so much about what you know. They’re all about bringing the Gospel to people.
And if you’re already putting some of the above advice into practice, then you’re well on your way to launching your Church career.
Philip Rolfes is a freelance direct response copywriter, connecting people with the missions they’re passionate about.