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Career and Education Opportunities for Religious Activities Directors in Columbia, Maryland

Religious activities directors can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Columbia, Maryland area. There are currently 300 working religious activities directors in Maryland; this should grow by 36% to 400 working religious activities directors in the state 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.

Income for religious activities directors is about $20 hourly or $42,310 yearly on average in Maryland. Nationally, their income is about $17 per hour or $36,100 annually. Religious activities directors earn more than people working in the category of Religious Services generally in Maryland and more than people in the Religious Services category nationally. People working as religious activities directors can fill a number of jobs, such as: missions pastor, district superintendent, and educational director.

There are 109 schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including four within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career 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 Columbia 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

Maple Springs Baptist Bible College and Seminary - Capitol Heights, MD

Maple Springs Baptist Bible College and Seminary, 4130 Belt Rd, Capitol Heights, MD 20743. Maple Springs Baptist Bible College and Seminary is a small college located in Capitol Heights, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 185 students. Maple Springs Baptist Bible College and Seminary has 2 areas of study related to Religious Activities Director. They are:

  • Bible/Biblical Studies, one to two year, associate's degree, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree which graduated two, two, one, zero, and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Religious Education, master's degree.

Catholic University of America - Washington, DC

Catholic University of America, 620 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20064. Catholic University of America is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,705 students and an admission rate of 81%. Catholic University of America has 2 areas of study related to Religious Activities Director. They are:

  • Bible/Biblical Studies, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated one and five students respectively in 2008.
  • Religious Education, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated four and five students respectively in 2008.

Wesley Theological Seminary - Washington, DC

Wesley Theological Seminary, 4500 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016-5690. Wesley Theological Seminary is a small school located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 457 students. Wesley Theological Seminary has a master's degree program in Religious Education which graduated five students in 2008.

Washington Bible College-Capital Bible Seminary - Lanham, MD

Washington Bible College-Capital Bible Seminary, 6511 Princess Garden Pky, Lanham, MD 20706-3599. Washington Bible College-Capital Bible Seminary is a small college located in Lanham, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 572 students and an admission rate of 53%. Washington Bible College-Capital Bible Seminary has one to two year, associate's degree, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree programs in Bible/Biblical Studies which graduated two, one, thirty-two, six, and eleven 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: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.