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Career and Education Opportunities for Religious Activities Directors in Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for religious activities directors. Currently, 9,760 people work as religious activities directors in Florida. This is expected to grow by 23% to 12,000 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for religious activities directors, which sees this job pool growing by about 12.6% over the next eight years. In general, religious activities directors direct and coordinate activities of a denominational group to meet religious needs of students.

A person working as a religious activities director can expect to earn about $16 hourly or $34,800 per year on average in Florida and about $17 hourly or $36,100 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Religious Services, people working as religious activities directors in Florida earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Religious Services nationally. Religious activities directors work in a variety of jobs, including: youth ministry director, dean, and religious instructor.

The Tampa area is home to fifty-four schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Tampa where you can get a degree as a religious activities director. Religious activities directors usually hold a Master's degree, so you can expect to spend about six years studying to be a religious activities director if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years starting with a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Religious Activities Director

Religious Activities Director video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, religious activities directors direct and coordinate activities of a denominational group to meet religious needs of students. They also plan, direct, or coordinate church school programs designed to promote religious education among church membership.

Religious activities directors attend workshops and conferences to obtain program concepts and resources. They also decide on appropriate curricula and class structures for educational programs. Equally important, religious activities directors have to identify and recruit potential volunteer staff. They are often called upon to implement program plans by ordering needed materials and handling other administrative details. They are expected to collaborate with other ministry members to determine goals and objectives for religious education programs, and to evolve ways to foster program participation. Finally, religious activities directors talk with clergy members and congregation organizations to foster support of and participation in religious education efforts.

Every day, religious activities directors are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to speak clearly. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for religious activities directors to analyze member participation and changes in congregation emphasis to establish needs for religious education. They are often called upon to train and supervise religious education instructional staff. They also counsel individuals regarding interpersonal and religious problems. They are sometimes expected to analyze revenue and program cost data to establish budget priorities. Somewhat less frequently, religious activities directors are also expected to formulate and conduct conferences dealing with the interpretation of religious concepts and convictions.

And finally, they sometimes have to visit congregation members' homes, or manage pastoral visits, in order to furnish data and resources regarding religious education programs.

Like many other jobs, religious activities directors must be able to take change and lead and have a strong social orientation.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Tampa include:

  • Child and Family Services Worker. Provide social services and assistance to improve the social and psychological functioning of children and their families and to maximize the family well-being and the academic functioning of children. May assist single parents, arrange adoptions, and find foster homes for abandoned or abused children. In schools, they address such problems as teenage pregnancy, misbehavior, and truancy. May also advise teachers on how to deal with problem children.
  • Health Education Specialist. Promote, maintain, and improve individual and community health by assisting individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors. Collect and analyze data to identify community needs prior to planning, implementing, and evaluating programs designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, policies and environments. May also serve as a resource to assist individuals, other professionals, or the community, and may administer fiscal resources for health education programs.
  • Minister. Conduct religious worship and perform other spiritual functions associated with beliefs and practices of religious faith or denomination. Provide spiritual and moral guidance and assistance to members.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Religious Activities Director Training

Florida College - Temple Terrace, FL

Florida College, 119 N Glen Arven Ave, Temple Terrace, FL 33617-5578. Florida College is a small college located in Temple Terrace, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 506 students and an admission rate of 72%. Florida College has a bachelor's degree program in Bible/Biblical Studies which graduated four students in 2008.

Trinity College of Florida - Trinity, FL

Trinity College of Florida, 2430 Welbilt Boulevard, Trinity, FL 34655-4401. Trinity College of Florida is a small college located in Trinity, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 180 students and an admission rate of 37%. Trinity College of Florida has 3 areas of study related to Religious Activities Director. They are:

  • Bible/Biblical Studies, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated one and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Missions/Missionary Studies and Missiology, bachelor's degree.
  • Youth Ministry, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.

Southeastern University - Lakeland, FL

Southeastern University, 1000 Longfellow Blvd, Lakeland, FL 33801-6034. Southeastern University is a small university located in Lakeland, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 3,075 students. Southeastern University has 3 areas of study related to Religious Activities Director. They are:

  • Bible/Biblical Studies, bachelor's degree.
  • Missions/Missionary Studies and Missiology, bachelor's degree.
  • Youth Ministry, bachelor's degree.

Clearwater Christian College - Clearwater, FL

Clearwater Christian College, 3400 Gulf to Bay Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33759-4595. Clearwater Christian College is a small college located in Clearwater, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 604 students and an admission rate of 89%. Clearwater Christian College has a bachelor's degree program in Bible/Biblical Studies which graduated four students in 2008.

St. Petersburg Theological Seminary - Saint Petersburg, FL

St. Petersburg Theological Seminary, 10830 Navajo Dr, Saint Petersburg, FL 33708-3116. St. Petersburg Theological Seminary is a small school located in Saint Petersburg, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 46 students. St. Petersburg Theological Seminary has a master's degree program in Religious Education which graduated two students in 2008.

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For more information, see the American Red Cross website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida
Tampa, Florida photo by Caltrop

Tampa is located in Hillsborough County, Florida. It has a population of over 340,882, which has grown by 12.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Tampa, 95, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Tampa are valued at $188,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, six hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Tampa, down from 1,008 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Tampa are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 25.4% of Tampa residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Tampa is 11.8%, which is greater than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Tampa residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, Florida Tampa Mission and Most Holy Redeemer Church are among the churches located in Tampa. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Tampa is home to the Parkers Railroad Station and the Drew Station Railroad Station as well as Ybor City Museum State Park and American Legion Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Northgate Shopping Center, Old Hyde Park Village Shopping Center and Benttree Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Tampa can choose from Backstage Restaurant & Lounge, Baymont Tampa Busch Gardens and Budget Inn for temporary stays in the area.