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Career and Education Opportunities for Religious Activities Directors in Elgin, Illinois

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for religious activities directors in the Elgin, Illinois area. Currently, 6,930 people work as religious activities directors in Illinois. This is expected to grow 21% to 8,360 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. Religious activities directors generally direct and coordinate activities of a denominational group to meet religious needs of students.

Income for religious activities directors is about $17 hourly or $36,110 per year on average in Illinois. Nationally, their income is about $17 hourly or $36,100 per year. Earnings for religious activities directors are better than earnings in the general category of Religious Services in Illinois and better than general Religious Services category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: sunday school superintendent, school headmaster, and school chaplain.

There are sixty-one schools of higher education in the Elgin area, including four within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can get a degree to start your career as a religious activities director. Given that the most common education level for religious activities directors is a Master's degree, it will take about six years to learn 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 Elgin 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

Christian Life College - Mount Prospect, IL

Christian Life College, 400 E Gregory St, Mount Prospect, IL 60056-2522. Christian Life College is a small college located in Mount Prospect, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 45 students and an admission rate of 67%. Christian Life College has 4 areas of study related to Religious Activities Director. They are:

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

Trinity International University - Deerfield, IL

Trinity International University, 2065 Half Day Rd, Deerfield, IL 60015-1283. Trinity International University is a small university located in Deerfield, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,654 students and an admission rate of 63%. Trinity International University has 3 areas of study related to Religious Activities Director. They are:

  • Bible/Biblical Studies, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree which graduated one, zero, and twelve students respectively in 2008.
  • Missions/Missionary Studies and Missiology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated fourteen and ten students respectively in 2008.
  • Religious Education, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated one, zero, and six students respectively in 2008.

Judson University - Elgin, IL

Judson University, 1151 N State St, Elgin, IL 60123-1498. Judson University is a small university located in Elgin, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,226 students. Judson University has 2 areas of study related to Religious Activities Director. They are:

  • Bible/Biblical Studies, bachelor's degree.
  • Youth Ministry, bachelor's degree.

Wheaton College - Wheaton, IL

Wheaton College, 501 College Ave, Wheaton, IL 60187-5593. Wheaton College is a small college located in Wheaton, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,915 students and an admission rate of 62%. Wheaton College has 3 areas of study related to Religious Activities Director. They are:

  • Bible/Biblical Studies, bachelor's degree and postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated eighteen and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Missions/Missionary Studies and Missiology, postbaccalaureate certificate and master's degree.
  • Religious Education, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree which graduated one, two, and zero students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Preventing Disease Transmission: A two-hour training module for employers and employees who, while on the job, may be exposed to blood or other body fluids that could cause infection.

For more information, see the American Red Cross website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.