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Guide to Creating a DRE Job Description Advertisement

"The Search for Religious Education Leadership: Best Practices for Unitarian Universalist Congregations (PDF, 43 pages)" recommends including the following elements in a job description advertisement for the search for a Director of Religious Education (DRE):

Congregation and Position Information

  • Name & address of congregation
  • Title of Position: make it descriptive of the functions and roles within the congregation.
  • Time Frame: Is it a full-, half-, or less than half-time position? Describe it in hours or units, based on congregational personnel policy. Is it a permanent, acting, or interim position?
  • Goal: Briefly state the overall purpose of the position as it relates to your congregation's mission.
  • Statement of Accountability: In the organizational structure, to whom does the employee report and how? Will there be a supervisory body or person?
  • Responsibilities: Describe the categories and population for which the person in this position will have responsibility. Be sure to include only what can be accomplished realistically within the time frame of the position as you have designed it and for the compensation that has been designated.
  • Experience, Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: State the kinds of experiences, academic background, knowledge, skills and abilities needed to do the job you want done. This is especially important when advertising the position. Be as clear as you can about what you are seeking.

Compensation

  • Salary: If you do not wish to state a specific figure, indicate a range and whether it meets the current salary guidelines of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).
  • Benefits: These may include full or partial payment of health, dental, long-term disability, and life insurance premiums, contributions to a retirement plan, etc.
  • Vacation, Study time, Sundays off per year
  • Professional Expenses: These are non-taxable funds to be used by the religious educator for such things as continuing education workshops, professional organization conferences, UUA General Assembly, travel, and books and periodicals.

Include Addition Information

  • Additional information about your congregation and RE program: size of membership, size of children & youth population; mission or focus of congregation and RE program; unique characteristics of the congregation; if the congregation desires little change in the structure of the RE program/church school, the religious educator will want to know something about that basic structure.
  • What are the supervisory responsibilities for this position, if any?
  • Distinguish between what qualifications, skills, credentials, and other intangible characteristics are required for this position, and what are hoped for.
  • Contact information for a person interested in this position.

The market for experienced religious educators is very competitive. The more your congregation can do to make this position, and the way it is presented, attractive, the better off you will be. Be honest and straightforward, but keep in mind that your congregation may well have to "sell" itself a bit to prospective candidates.

It will be worth your while to make things as easy as possible for prospective candidates. This may mean adding more information to your job description, as long as it is clear, well-organized, and not over-whelming. You don't need to add all the details of the responsibilities: a summary in each category would do fine.

Please note that some congregations prefer to distribute a shorter summarized advertisement, with a full job description available by request or on the congregation's website.

For more information contact recredentialing @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Tuesday, April 16, 2013.

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