What Is the Abbreviation for Pastor?

You may have seen the word “pastor” abbreviated several ways and doubted which is correct. This page examines how to abbreviate the term and provides examples of the 3 letter abbreviation for “pastor.”

What Is the Abbreviation for Pastor?

The term “pastor” has several abbreviations which are commonly used instead of the complete word. For example, to refer to a singular “pastor”, you should use “Pr.” or “Ptr.”, and for more than one “pastor”, you should use the plural abbreviation “Ps.”

abbreviation for pastor

The word “pastor” is derived from the Latin for “shepherd” and is actually an abbreviation for the longer terms “Prepare Another Soul To Obtain Redemption” or “Person Assisting Souls To Obtain Redemption.”

The Cambridge Dictionary defines “pastor” as “a religious leader in a church, usually Protestant.” A “pastor” is essentially a “spiritual overseer” or clergyperson belonging to a church. Their role is very similar to that of a “priest”, except a “pastor” is more commonly found in the Protestant Church rather than in the Catholic Church.

When including the term “pastor” in your writing, there are three short forms that can be used instead of the complete word.

Keep reading to learn more about each abbreviation and their usage


The abbreviation “Pr.” should be used when referring to a single pastor, not multiple pastors. It is more common to use the abbreviation with the name of an individual “pastor” rather than to refer to a “pastor” in general, although both contexts are correct.

Here are some examples of “Pr.” in a sentence:

  • Pr. J Smith has resigned from his position at the local church.
  • Harry Bedwin was the Pr. of the church in Hinchcliffe for over 23 years.


The abbreviation “Ptr.” is also used to refer to singular “pastors” in the same way that “Pr.” is used. Also, as with “Pr.”, it is more common to use the “Ptr.” to refer to the title of a single named “pastor” rather than in a general sentence about the job role of a “pastor.”

Here are some examples of how to use “Ptr.” in a sentence:

  • The Ptr. of the local church in my village decided to throw a fundraiser to help local children living in poverty.
  • Ptr. John Toast has been removed from his position because he has been accused of theft by congregation members.


The abbreviation “Ps.” refers to multiple pastors rather than just one. Therefore, the term could be used to either refer to “pastors” in general or to refer to 2 or more specific pastors in the same sentence.

Here are some examples of how “Ps” looks in a sentence:

  • The role of Ps. is an important one because of its strong links to the community.
  • Ps. Gary Poole and Jack Lite were competing over who would be the new Pr. of the local church following the death of Pr. Frank Kiret.
  • Ps. John Birch and Robert Tyldesley announced their respective churches would organize collaborative fundraisers.

Should You Abbreviate Pastor?

The three abbreviations, “Pr.”, “Ptr.”, and “Ps.” are all acceptable ways to abbreviate the word “pastor” or “pastors.”

There is no guidance that states it is not appropriate to abbreviate the word “pastor”. However, it does seem to be used more often when referencing a specific pastor by name rather than referring to “pastors” in a general sense.

Common Usage of Pastor Abbreviations

The three abbreviations for “pastor” can be used to refer to a specific “pastor” or “pastors” in general. However, it does appear more common to use the abbreviation when referring to a particular “pastor” by name rather than the job of a “pastor.”

Final Thoughts

The abbreviations “Pr.” and “Ptr.” are used for “pastor” in singular, whilst “Ps.” is used to refer to “pastors” in plural. Although you can use them to abbreviate any “pastor”, it is more common to shorten “pastor” when referring to a “pastor” by name rather than in a general context.