Religious Directors

Religious directors oversee and coordinate the activities of a denominational group's religious education programs. They direct church school programs that promote religious education among church members. A religious director develops goals and plans for religious education.

Religious directors promote religious learning for all age levels. Some religious directors focus on children's and youth religious education programs. They direct activities and programs to meet the religious needs of students.

They work with the church community to grow religious education programs and the congregation. Some religious directors provide counseling regarding financial, religious, marital and health issues. They assist in selecting and implementing social action events and projects.

Churches offer religious education programs such as high school, elementary school and pre-school religious education. Churches also may offer adult religious education and family religious education programs.

A director of religious education may collaborate with others to promote learning in a religious community through classes, programs, family activities and religious services.


  • Choose curricula for education programs
  • Recruit volunteer workers
  • Develop a budget
  • Train and oversee religious education instructional staff members
  • Determine needs for religious education
  • Order materials, schedule speakers, reserve space and take care of other administrative details
  • Work with other ministry members to establish objectives for religious education programs
  • Schedule special events including conferences, camps, retreats and seminars
  • Evaluate resource materials
  • Evaluate religious education personnel

Job Characteristics

Religious directors need good interpersonal and motivational skills. They also need good written and verbal communication skills. They should be highly organized. They need to be able to work with a diverse group of people. A religious director needs to be good at recruiting adult volunteers. Some religious director positions include part-time hours.

Employment Outlook

The employment of religious directors is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations. In 2008 the median annual salary for directors of religious activities and education was $36,100.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

The educational backgrounds of religious directors may vary. Some religious directors have a bachelor's degree whereas others hold a master's degree. Some religious directors have a bachelor's degree or a master's degree in Theology or Religious Education. Some master's degree programs offer certification in the areas of schools, congregations and communities.


Major Employers

The top employers are religious organizations, elementary and secondary schools; colleges, universities and professional schools; and individual and family services.

Schools for Religious Directors are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Religious Directors

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Religious Directors jobs , as of 2016

Metro Area Total Employment Annual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim 1,440 $52,010
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn 650 $35,110
San Diego-Carlsbad 500 $45,040
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward 470 $65,060
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario 400 $37,910
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls 380 $31,130
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell 350 $45,070
Urban Honolulu 320 $57,530
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach 300 $47,490
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson 300 $49,440

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Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Religious Directors

To find out more about building a career as Religious Directors, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Source : 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

Most Popular Industries for
Religious Directors

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

Industry Total Employment Percent Annual Median Salary
Non-profit 12,440 84% $34,780
Education 1,410 9% $41,840
Social Service 220 1% $33,130
Government 190 1% $88,020
Hospital 160 1% $70,130
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Religious Directors.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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