The Director of Religious Education provides vision, leadership, and inspiration to the Children’s Religious Education (RE) program consistent with the principles of Unitarian Universalism, the overall mission and vision of the congregation, and the congregation’s formal policies and procedures. As a professional leader of our congregation, the DRE works to create a welcoming, safe, stimulating, and rich educational program for children, from birth to young adults, and their families. As a senior staff member, the DRE also works in close collaboration with worship leaders, the Religious Education Team, music leaders, and Senior Staff Team in connecting the RE Program to Sunday worship and other activities of the church. The DRE will supervise RE and Youth Coordinators & Nursery/Childcare staff, either paid or volunteer. The position is part-time, 25 hours weekly, with a flexible schedule developed in collaboration with the congregational staff and the First Parish governing board.
- Lead and manage our RE program that currently includes Children’s RE, OWL for multiple age groups, as well as justice learning and activities.
- Support Religious Education Team leaders as they define volunteer roles within the RE program and help them to recruit volunteers to fill those roles.
- Ensure the RE program has reliable, skilled teachers each Sunday. This may mean helping volunteers from the congregation build their skills for working with young people; working with RE Team leaders to create job descriptions and hire contract teachers for RE programs; or some combination of the two.
- Train and support volunteers and RE support staff (often with assistance from members of the Religious Education Team) that include RE teachers, Youth Advisors, RE Team members, and adults assisting special event activities with children and youth.
- Track the RE budget.
- With the RE Team, communicate with families, the congregation, and the greater community as needed.
- Work with the RE Team to select and develop curriculum (utilizing UUA resources).
- Collaborate with the Ministerial staff, Worship Arts Committee, RE Team (which you co-lead) and other staff to integrate congregational values in worship services. These have included a Story for All Ages, child/youth participation, and multi-generational worship.
- Ensure compliance with Safe Congregation Policies and practices including accessibility and inclusion ministry
- Commit to ongoing learning opportunities for you and the congregation that support justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) ministry.
- Ensure that RE activities are welcoming, strive for accessibility and Inclusion, and prioritize environmental stewardship, and demonstrate best practices for inclusive, humane, and respectful programming.
- Participate in opportunities for your own professional development and service to the wider UU RE community, including maintaining membership in good standing in the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) and engaging, as time allows, with UUA national and regional offices.
- Additional responsibilities/duties as assigned and acknowledged within the scope of the overall position and hours per week that represents
- Religious background and enthusiastic commitment to Unitarian Universalist principles.
- Experience teaching children and youth in an educational setting that may or may not have been spiritual in nature.
- Commitment to culturally-affirming and sustaining practices in the classroom and to sustaining an inclusive and affirming environment for all participants.
- Experience with and an understanding of youth and Youth Ministry; An energetic and creative approach to child and youth engagement.
- Good understanding of learning environments that support different learning styles and developmental stages of children and youth.
- An articulated philosophy of education and congregational life and knowledge of congregational dynamics and commitment to social justice and to diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Ability to organize, direct, motivate and work collaboratively with highly skilled professional staff and volunteers.
- Ability to maintain confidentiality.
- Ability to work a flexible work week, including most Sundays and some evenings during the church year.
- Ability to handle a wide variety of tasks, to determine priorities, and to meet deadlines.
- Strong writing and communication skills, including in person, email, and phone, Google Suite, Zoom, and social media platforms.