Pastoral Associates

A Pastoral Associate is a qualified professional who is rooted in Gospel values and responsive to Jesus’ call to discipleship. Committed to service within the Church, he or she is able to assist the pastor with the day-to-day pastoral care and administration of the parish and is comfortable ministering in an environment characterized by collaboration and mutual support.

Those interested in working for a parish as a pastoral associate should complete the Information Form.

A list of those individuals who have filed an Information Form and are available to be hired as pastoral associates will be made available to all interested pastors on a periodic basis by the Pastoral Institute.

The decision to hire an individual as a pastoral associate is reserved to each pastor of the diocese who serves as the official employer of the newly hired pastoral associate on behalf of the parish.

A copy of the Diocesan Guidelines for Pastoral Associates is available here and through the Pastoral Institute.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has approved revised National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers.  The Standards and the process for applying for national certification may be found at