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
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.
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.
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.