The Beards of Ministry
A field guide for pastoral facial hair.

Face it, folks: the beard is back in a big way. Along with celebrities, bike messengers, and your local barista, pastors are no exception to the glories of facial hair.

The ministry beard has a long and glorious history among preachers, theologians, and everyday men of the cloth. A skilled observer can identify nuances of theology, polity, and diet from a pastor's beard. Now you can too! A carefully groomed beard can make a powerful spiritual statement, and we're here to interpret for you.

Here's a handy taxonomy to help you identify ministry beards in their natural habitats. (We apologize for the omission of ladies from this list.)

Please copy and share this handy guide with any other beard-spotters who would benefit from it.

February 14, 2013

Displaying 1–10 of 40 comments

James Howard

August 20, 2013  6:54am

So, funny =) I like the Hawg Preacher. Looks so cool =) But I woul personally prefer the Guru. =)

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rcarnstrong

March 04, 2013  1:21pm

This is AWESOME! And, rather fittingly, my own pastor sports a variation on the "Reformer."

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Dave Randall

March 04, 2013  8:50am

There is an aspect of the Guru which should not be overlooked by one aspiring to this image. It is clear in the picture, but not mentioned in the text so the unobservant wanabe may fail to achieve the full effect. This look loses some of its impact if not paired with the shaved bald head.

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Phillip

February 26, 2013  4:42pm

Oops, you forgot the "Junker" Martin Luther look. The perfect beard when you have to go in to hiding in a castle.

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Melissa

February 25, 2013  8:49pm

Hilarious! Thanks for the laugh!

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Rosemari Simmons

February 24, 2013  11:13pm

Revelatory! But you left out the tri-vocational Pastor's facial hair style. Shall I send you a sketch of my husband's noggin?

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Rob

February 20, 2013  3:52pm

Spurgeon's beard should top the list...!

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Karen

February 20, 2013  2:03pm

What? No Santa?! Bill, I think we need you!

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John

February 20, 2013  8:52am

Wow. I'm clean shaven, have been for years, and I kind of like it that way. But Spurgeon has spoken...

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Pablo

February 20, 2013  8:34am

I don't understand why you apologize for omitting women from the list. You should apologize if you had included one in this list.

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