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

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for religious activities directors in the Naperville, Illinois area. Currently, 6,930 people work as religious activities directors in Illinois. This is expected to grow by 21% to about 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.

A person working as a religious activities director can expect to earn about $17 per hour or $36,110 yearly on average in Illinois and about $17 hourly or $36,100 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Religious activities directors earn more than people working in the category of Religious Services generally in Illinois and more than people in the Religious Services category nationally. People working as religious activities directors can fill a number of jobs, such as: department head, choir teacher, and dean.

There are nine schools within twenty-five miles of Naperville where you can study to be a religious activities director, among 166 schools of higher education total in the Naperville area. Given that the most common education level for religious activities directors is a Master's degree, you can expect to spend about six years training to become a religious activities director if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years if you have 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 Naperville 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

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.

Concordia University - River Forest, IL

Concordia University, 7400 Augusta, River Forest, IL 60305-1499. Concordia University is a small university located in River Forest, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,185 students and an admission rate of 58%. Concordia University has a master's degree program in Religious Education.

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.

Catholic Theological Union at Chicago - Chicago, IL

Catholic Theological Union at Chicago, 5416 S Cornell Ave, Chicago, IL 60615-5698. Catholic Theological Union at Chicago is a small school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 481 students. Catholic Theological Union at Chicago has 2 areas of study related to Religious Activities Director. They are:

  • Bible/Biblical Studies, postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Missions/Missionary Studies and Missiology, postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated 1 student in 2008.

North Park University - Chicago, IL

North Park University, 3225 W Foster Ave, Chicago, IL 60625-4895. North Park University is a small university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,255 students and an admission rate of 30%. North Park University has 3 areas of study related to Religious Activities Director. They are:

  • Bible/Biblical Studies, bachelor's degree.
  • Religious Education, bachelor's degree and master's degree.
  • Youth Ministry, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.

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.

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.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary - Evanston, IL

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, 2121 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60201-3298. Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is a small school located in Evanston, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 362 students. Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary has a master's degree program in Religious Education which graduated three students in 2008.

Loyola University Chicago - Chicago, IL

Loyola University Chicago, 820 N. Michigan, Chicago, IL 60611-9810. Loyola University Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,670 students and an admission rate of 74%. Loyola University Chicago has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Religious Education which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.

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LOCATION INFORMATION: Naperville, Illinois

Naperville, Illinois
Naperville, Illinois photo by JohnDBuell

Naperville is located in Dupage County, Illinois. It has a population of over 143,117, which has grown by 11.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Naperville, 107, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Naperville are valued at $401,600 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty-four new homes were built in Naperville, down from two hundred eighty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Naperville are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, finance and insurance, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 33 minutes. More than 60.6% of Naperville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 23.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Naperville is 8.1%, which is less than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Naperville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church, Saint Thomas The Apostle Church and Bethany Church are some of the churches located in Naperville. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Naperville is home to the High Grove Business Park and the Spring Brook Golf Course as well as Du Page River Park and Winding Creek Park. Shopping malls in the area include Pebblewood Plaza Shopping Center, Cress Creek Square Shopping Center and Cress Creek Shopping Center. Visitors to Naperville can choose from Fairfield Inn by Marriott, EXEL Inns of Chicago and Country Inn Suites Naperville for temporary stays in the area.