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Career and Education Opportunities for Religious Activities Directors in Seattle, Washington

Religious activities director career and educational opportunities abound in Seattle, Washington. There are currently 2,310 working religious activities directors in Washington; this should grow by 9% to about 2,520 working religious activities directors in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for religious activities directors are expected to grow by about 12.6%. Religious activities directors generally direct and coordinate activities of a denominational group to meet religious needs of students.

Religious activities directors earn about $20 hourly or $42,080 annually on average in Washington 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 Washington, and better than the overall Religious Services category nationally. People working as religious activities directors can fill a number of jobs, such as: middle school minister, college ministry pastor, and sunday school superintendent.

The Seattle area is home to sixty-five schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Seattle 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, 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 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 Seattle 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

Trinity Lutheran College - Everett, WA

Trinity Lutheran College, 2802 Wetmore Ave., Everett, WA 98206. Trinity Lutheran College is a small college located in Everett, Washington. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 91 students and an admission rate of 60%. Trinity Lutheran College has 4 areas of study related to Religious Activities Director. They are:

  • Bible/Biblical Studies, associate's degree, bachelor's degree, and postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated zero, three, and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Missions/Missionary Studies and Missiology, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Religious Education, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Youth Ministry, bachelor's degree which graduated 9 students in 2008.

Northwest University - Kirkland, WA

Northwest University, 5520 108th Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98083-0579. Northwest University is a small university located in Kirkland, Washington. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,310 students and an admission rate of 79%. Northwest University has 4 areas of study related to Religious Activities Director. They are:

  • Bible/Biblical Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 10 students in 2008.
  • Missions/Missionary Studies and Missiology, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Religious Education, bachelor's degree.
  • Youth Ministry, bachelor's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.

Seattle Pacific University - Seattle, WA

Seattle Pacific University, 3307 3rd Ave W, Seattle, WA 98119-1997. Seattle Pacific University is a small university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,891 students and an admission rate of 84%. Seattle Pacific University has 2 areas of study related to Religious Activities Director. They are:

  • Missions/Missionary Studies and Missiology, bachelor's degree.
  • Religious Education, bachelor's degree which graduated 28 students in 2008.

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For more information, see the American Red Cross website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.