—-Envelope or address block on letter or email:
—-—-The Reverend (Full name), (post-nominal for order if applicable)
—-—-—-Which looks like:
—————-The Reverend James O’Neil, SJ
—————-Our Lady of the Springs
—————-12345 Catholic Way
—————-Gallatin, TN 67890
—————-The Reverend Calvin Trentham
—————-Sumner Bible Church
—————-12345 Protestant Way
—————-Gallatin, TN 67890
—-—-Dear Pastor/Father/Mother/etc. (Surname):
—–Also on this page
———-Pastor and Spouse
—–—–Pastor and Pastor
How to Use The Reverend
The Reverend is a courtesy title used when addressing a Christian cleric such as a pastor or priest. It is the standard courtesy title used in Protestant denominations and is one of the ranked courtesy titles used in hierarchical denominations such as Episcopal, Orthodox and Roman Catholic. In these latter denominations there are stepped courtesy titles for other clerical ranks. Confirm the rank, then check the specific listing (in the list on this page at right) to find the correct form of address.
—-In writing the Reverend is used before a (Full Name) or (Initial[s]) + (Surname). Examples of correct forms include:
—-—-The Reverend Mark M. Phillips
—-—-The Reverend C. M. Phillips
—-‘The Reverend’ describes an individual: The person is a reverend person. It is always followed by a person’s name:
—-—-Correct: The Reverend Mark M. Phillips
—-—-Correct: The Pastor of Grace Church
—-—-Incorrect: The Reverend Pastor of Grace Church
—-In these hierarchical denominations, in direct oral address, one switches over to Pastor (Name), Father (Name), or Dr. (Name), etc.:
—-In less hierarchical denominations and independent congregations ‘Reverend’ is frequently used as an honorific in the manner of ‘Pastor’:
—-Use this form in conversation or in a salutation.
—–The Reverend (Full Name) cab be used in writing but more formally use the Reverend (Full Name) on an envelope or address block of a letter.
The Reverend Around the World
Outside the U.S., and especially in Commonwealth and former-Commonwealth countries, The Reverend and other courtesy titles are combined with honorifics such as professor or Dr. or with personal titles such as ‘sir’ or ‘lord’ to create compound honorifics.
—-—-The Reverend Dr. (Full Name)
—-—-The Reverend Professor (Full Name)
—-—-The Reverend Sir (Full Name)
Combining a courtesy title and an honorific is a British style.
In the USA, it is sometimes used this way – the Reverend Dr. (Full Name) – by Protestant clergy (e.g., the Episcopal Church) which frequently models its forms of address after British styles.