Subscribe to our Compelling Mail Newsletter:

Is the role of Pastor Emeritus biblical?

Subscribe to our Compelling Mail Newsletter:

"Pastor Emeritus" is a position granted by a church to show honor to their retiring pastor. "Emeritus" is Latin for someone who has fulfilled his or her required commitment, originally referring to veteran soldiers. It is taken from "ex-merere" meaning "to have earned a release from service." "Emeritus" was first used for college professors in 1794, and can be granted to teachers, clergy (including Pope Benedict), and business and political leaders.

Denominations have different requirements for bestowing the emeritus title. Often, the congregation is led by gratefulness and affection to petition the denomination for approval. Some pastors emeritus are given a salary or honorarium, and many are expected to continue in an advisory role in the church. A pastor emeritus does not have authority over the church like the senior pastor, however, and should submit to the senior pastor like any other church member (Hebrews 13:17).

The Bible mentions neither the emeritus status nor retirement, so the honor is not specifically biblical. It is however, generally biblical, as it shows appreciation for the service of an honorable elder (1 Timothy 5:17).

Related Truth:

Does the Bible talk about church government?

Is the office of pastor taught in the Bible?

Women pastors - what does the Bible say?

What was God's purpose in establishing the church?

Christian ministry - What is it?

Return to:
Truth about Church

Compelling Truth HOME