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Career and Education Opportunities for Religious Activities Directors in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for religious activities directors in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. There are currently 2,550 working religious activities directors in Michigan; this should grow 14% to 2,910 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.

Religious activities directors earn about $16 hourly or $34,880 yearly on average in Michigan and about $17 per hour or $36,100 annually on average nationally. Incomes for religious activities directors are better than in the overall category of Religious Services in Michigan, and better than the overall Religious Services category nationally. Jobs in this field include: educational director, program director, and district superintendent.

The Grand Rapids area is home to nineteen schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Grand Rapids where you can get a degree 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 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 Grand Rapids 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.
  • 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

Grace Bible College - Wyoming, MI

Grace Bible College, 1011 Aldon SW, Wyoming, MI 49509. Grace Bible College is a small college located in Wyoming, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 177 students and an admission rate of 65%. Grace Bible College has 4 areas of study related to Religious Activities Director. They are:

  • Bible/Biblical Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Missions/Missionary Studies and Missiology, bachelor's degree.
  • Religious Education, bachelor's degree which graduated 9 students in 2008.
  • Youth Ministry, bachelor's degree.

Kuyper College - Grand Rapids, MI

Kuyper College, 3333 East Beltline N.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49525-9781. Kuyper College is a small college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 322 students and an admission rate of 86%. Kuyper College has 4 areas of study related to Religious Activities Director. They are:

  • Bible/Biblical Studies, one to two year, associate's degree, bachelor's degree, and postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated one, three, two, and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Missions/Missionary Studies and Missiology, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Religious Education, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Youth Ministry, bachelor's degree which graduated 12 students in 2008.

Calvin Theological Seminary - Grand Rapids, MI

Calvin Theological Seminary, 3233 Burton St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546-4387. Calvin Theological Seminary is a small school located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 280 students. Calvin Theological Seminary has 2 areas of study related to Religious Activities Director. They are:

  • Missions/Missionary Studies and Missiology, master's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Religious Education, master's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.

Cornerstone University - Grand Rapids, MI

Cornerstone University, 1001 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525-5897. Cornerstone University is a small university located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,759 students and an admission rate of 75%. Cornerstone University has 4 areas of study related to Religious Activities Director. They are:

  • Bible/Biblical Studies, master's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Missions/Missionary Studies and Missiology, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Religious Education, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated two and eight students respectively in 2008.
  • Youth Ministry, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated seventeen and two 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: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan photo by Grguy2011

Grand Rapids is located in Kent County, Michigan. It has a population of over 193,396, which has shrunk by 2.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Grand Rapids, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Grand Rapids cost $98,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were built in Grand Rapids, down from ninety-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Grand Rapids are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 23.8% of Grand Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Grand Rapids is 15.4%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Grand Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Church of Jesus Christ, Immanuel Church and Trinity Church are among the churches located in Grand Rapids. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America.

Grand Rapids is home to the Kent Country Club and the Walker Juvenile Court as well as Comstock Riverside Park and Richmond Park. Visitors to Grand Rapids can choose from Hampton Inn Grand Rapids, Hampton Inn Grand Rapids/North- Mi and Hampton Inn Fax for temporary stays in the area.