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

For those living in the Vancouver, Washington area, there are many career and education opportunities for religious activities directors. Currently, 2,310 people work as religious activities directors in Washington. This is expected to grow 9% to 2,520 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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 $20 hourly or $42,080 yearly on average in Washington and about $17 per hour or $36,100 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Religious Services, people working as religious activities directors in Washington earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Religious Services nationally. People working as religious activities directors can fill a number of jobs, such as: parish religious education director, minister of education, and youth worker.

The Vancouver area is home to forty-eight schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Vancouver where you can get a degree as a religious activities director. The most common level of education 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 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 Vancouver 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

Concordia University - Portland, OR

Concordia University, 2811 NE Holman Street, Portland, OR 97211-6099. Concordia University is a small university located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,709 students and an admission rate of 65%. Concordia University has a bachelor's degree and a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Religious Education which graduated two and seven students respectively in 2008.

Western Seminary - Portland, OR

Western Seminary, 5511 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97215-3367. Western Seminary is a small school located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 725 students. Western Seminary has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Missions/Missionary Studies and Missiology which graduated three and six students respectively in 2008.

Cascade College - Portland, OR

Cascade College, 9101 E Burnside Street, Portland, OR 97216-1515. Cascade College is a small college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 282 students. Cascade College has 2 areas of study related to Religious Activities Director. They are:

  • Bible/Biblical Studies, bachelor's degree.
  • Youth Ministry, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

George Fox University - Newberg, OR

George Fox University, 414 N Meridian St, Newberg, OR 97132. George Fox University is a small university located in Newberg, Oregon. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,382 students and an admission rate of 83%. George Fox University has a bachelor's degree program in Bible/Biblical Studies which graduated three students in 2008.

Multnomah University - Portland, OR

Multnomah University, 8435 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97220. Multnomah University is a small university located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 845 students and an admission rate of 71%. Multnomah University has bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree programs in Bible/Biblical Studies which graduated fifty-five, forty-nine, and thirty-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: Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver, Washington photo by Matthiasb

Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

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

The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.