Difference Between Pastor and Reverend

Pastor vs Reverend

Once you are inside a Church, how do you decide on the title to be used for a particular person belonging to the clergy? They are all men of religion, chosen to serve in different capacities in a church, aren’t they? But the words or nouns used for people being members of clergy keep confusing an ordinary person. If you too do not know how to address people inside church or how is a pastor different from reverend, read on as this articles attempts to highlight their differences.

There is a clear division of the faithful in Christianity between the clergy and laity. Men of religion or those chosen to serve the religion inside a church are referred to as clergy while the remaining faithful form the laity. In Roman Catholic Church, there is a distinction within clergy such as those belonging to the lower order is a simple cleric and those who belong to the higher order is a priest.

Pastor is a title that is reserved for the leader of a church while reverend is just an adjective and not a title. You call a person as reverend when talking to him inside a church and include the name of the person when talking about him with another person inside or outside the church. Pastor is not used for females as it means Father. Reverend is just to show respect to a member of clergy. You can call any priest inside a church as reverend so and so.

Pastor is a title used for a member of the clergy who is in-charge of a congregation. It does not mean Father. It actually means shepherd. If the church is a small one and has just one priest, he is normally the pastor. If the church is large with many priests, the priest in charge is called the pastor. Priests belong to the higher order of clergy but one rung below are Bishops. Pastor being the head of a church ensures that it runs in a proper way.

Reverend being a form of address, it is possible for a priest or a pastor to be called as reverend. There are other qualifications that precede this adjective such as The Right Reverend or the Most Reverend. Using reverend when addressing a pastor or a priest just means showing respect to the person. This is akin to referring to Pope as His Holiness.


What is the difference between Pastor and Reverend?

• Pastor is the head of the church and when there is just one priest, he is the pastor too. In a large church with many priests, the priest who is in charge is called the pastor.

• Reverend is not a title but an adjective to show respect to a person inside the church. You can use it for any ordained minister and certainly for the pastor.