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How Do I Become a Church Secretary?

Familiarity with operating standard office equipment such as copiers is an essential administrative skill.
A church secretary might be responsible for maintaining church membership records.
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  • Written By: K. Testa
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2014
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A church secretary typically has similar duties to those of any other secretary or administrative assistant. To become a church secretary, you usually need a minimum level of education, such as a high school diploma or its equivalent, along with some practical office experience. Vocational schools, business schools, community colleges, and four-year universities are all examples of institutions that can train you to become a church secretary. Working in a church office normally requires basic skills, such as organizational abilities, good oral and written communication skills, and experience with computers and related equipment. During your job search, you should research available positions to determine the necessary qualifications for applicants, and then follow the church's procedures for submitting your application.

Usually, the level of education required to become a church secretary is the completion of high school or its equivalent for entry-level jobs. Additional training options can include vocational school courses and degree programs offered by business schools and community colleges. Some employers may have additional requirements, such as proof of a four-year college degree and experience as an executive secretary, depending on the organization.

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When applying to become a church secretary, you will probably be asked to demonstrate your knowledge of basic office procedures, which typically include handling telephone calls, greeting visitors and scheduling appointments. Additional administrative tasks normally include operating a computer as well as a fax machine and copier. Church secretaries also usually manage the mail and the acquisition of supplies.

Church secretaries also need good writing and technical skills to create bulletins and newsletters, and they are sometimes asked to maintain the church's website. If you hope to become a church secretary, you may also need additional training in finances in order to oversee the church's bank account or payroll. These financial skills can also help you with writing annual reports, which may be among the job responsibilities.

One often applies for these secretarial positions through contacts listed on job ads or those found through through a placement agency. Often, it is advantageous to be a member of the church to which you are applying. You should check the application guidelines because, in some cases, the church will require its employees, including secretaries, to be of the same faith.

When you become a church secretary, you also might have specific responsibilities to the church. These could include planning and attending board meetings and committee meetings, keeping minutes and files, and maintaining church membership records. Church secretaries often assist with fundraising activities and church ministries, along with performing additional duties as needed by the church leadership. In order to become a church secretary, other helpful skills and traits to have include a commitment to customer service and a friendly demeanor when dealing with church members and the public.

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serenesurface
Post 3

@turquoise-- You've made a great point. That's why many churches consider church secretaries as part of the ministry. I think the most important quality of a church secretary is problem solving. The church secretary has to be capable of solving a wide variety of issues.

turquoise
Post 2

Church secretaries are very important people. This is the first person that visitors and guests will usually run into and this is also the person from whom people can get information about the church. So it's very important for a church secretary to be friendly and approachable. Public's interaction with the church secretary can make an important impression on those people and what they think of the church.

So the church secretary isn't just someone that answers phones, takes care of the mail, prepares the weekly newsletters and helps organize events. He or she is in part, a part of the identity and image of the church.

ZipLine
Post 1

Our church secretary was already very active in the church as a volunteer. She has been a member of the church for years and never misses any worship or other activities. Since she also had previous office experience, she was offered the job as the church secretary and accepted.

So those who want this job and who want to work at their own church should be more active in the church and get to know everyone who works there. It's a good idea to make it known that one is interested in this position.

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