Reverend Vs Pastor: What’s the Difference Between Reverend and Pastor?

Most people tend to wonder what’s the difference between Reverend and Pastor. No wonder so many Christians are asking, ‘Reverend vs Pastor, what’s the difference?’

For most people, the names given to spiritual leaders are significant. However, religious titles like ‘Pastor’ and ‘reverend’ have been used interchangeably even by those in the Christian community.

Cute cartoon catholic priest character drawing set, smiling and praying. Isolated vector clip art illustration of religious profession.

Some people only know there’s a difference between these religious titles but don’t know the difference exactly.

For this sole reason, this article was written to explain the difference between reverend and Pastor.

Who is a Reverend or Pastor?

Before we dive into reverend vs pastor, let’s look at their definition.

A Reverend is simply an initial for a member of the clergy. The word “reverend” is a title just like “pastor”. It is used specifically to show respect for a member of the clergy. In some churches, the pastor is called a Reverend to show respect or “reverence him”.

On the other hand, the word “pastor” is a title for a minister or a priest in charge of a church. It originated from the Latin word “pastor” meaning “shepherd”. In a small Church setting, having just one priest, he is usually referred to as the pastor.

Reverend and Pastor are titles for religious leaders just as evangelists, prophets, elders, deacons, priests, popes, etc. However, each title is a function of the roles handled by these religious leaders

They are both in charge of giving spiritual care to a group of believers. Moreso, these religious leaders expect so much; their followers see them as role models. They are expected to set examples for the community by living a life worth emulation.

Reverend and pastors are responsible for accomplishing the church’s goals and objectives.

They oversee the church projects and growth

They also serve as counselors who advise their followers. Pastors and reverends are also expected to be philanthropists; helping the needy and less privileged people in society.

Both Religious leaders are highly influential to the church. In most cases, they act as teachers and are opportune to preach the gospel.

Reverend Vs Pastor — What’s the Difference Between Reverend and Pastor?

Here are some of the notable differences between a Reverend and a pastor.

  • “Reverend” is an adjective while “Pastor” is a noun
  • Reverend is a title for a member of a religious group. It is an adjective that refers to the attributes of a clergy. On the other hand, “pastor” refers to a minister or priest in charge of a church. He is a person providing spiritual care to several people.
  • “Pastor” is simply a clergyman while “Reverend” signifies reverence; worthy of respect and honor.
  • Unlike the word “Pastor”, reverend cannot be used as a stand-alone noun — except in some informal languages. For example, saying, “Mr Peter is my Reverend” is informal and could be considered grammatical incorrect. But you can always say “Mr Peter is my pastor”.
  • While “reverend” is simply a title, “pastor” is an occupation. For instance, Mr. John is the clergyman in your Church, you can call him “Pastor John” if you intend to address him following his position in the church. However, if you intend to address him with honor and respect, you can call him “Reverend John”.
  • Pastor is a title that shows church hierarchy. However, reverend does not necessarily show any church hierarchy.
  • Pastors are reserved for Christian leaders only while reverend can also refer to clergy members in other religions.


It is not always easy to differentiate when it comes to reverend vs Pastor. However, one of the differences between the two terms is that “pastor” is simply a title while “reverend” is a term used to show respect for a religious leader.

Kindly note that a pastor can also be referred to as “reverend” by his congregants when they intend to accolade him.

Lastly, another difference between reverend and pastor is that, unlike pastor, reverend can be used in other religions besides Christianity.

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