Director of Religious Education - Chicago, IL


Listed 07-31-2017
First Unitarian Church of Chicago, 5650 S. Woodlawn Ave., Chicago, IL 60637. Phone: 773-324-4100 Web site:
Chicago, IL
Start Date
Part Time

Want to build a progressive religious education program in a growing, multiracial, multicultural church? Want to help kids to grow their spirits and serve the world?

You can do it at First Unitarian Church of Chicago: we’re seeking a new Director of Religious Education to begin this summer.

Director of Religious Education – First Unitarian Church of Chicago

This is a three-quarter time (30 hrs/week) position which begins 7/1/17.

First Unitarian Church of Chicago is a vibrant multiracial and multicultural congregation of 150 members and 55 children and youth located six miles south of downtown Chicago in the Hyde Park neighborhood. We are in a time of change: energized and growing. We are seeking someone to be part of the First Unitarian leadership team, to collaborate, partner with, and complement our ministers. The incoming DRE will have significant ability to shape and grow our program.

Our ministers and leadership believe strongly this is a cornerstone position for the church to live its mission. We’re at a moment in time where the RE program is poised to expand: it needs a leader who brings an entrepreneurial sense and is energized by building a program. Our co-ministers will work closely with you and deeply support your leadership in “re-planting” the RE program over a period of years.

Our Religious Education Program currently serves 55 children and youth and is an integral part of the congregation.  Curriculum-based classes serving preschoolers through 5th grade and the junior youth group (6th through 8th grade) run concurrently with worship services from September through June. Children are in the sanctuary for the first 15 minutes of the service, then go to 60-minute classes. Summer programming serves pre-K through 8th graders. Nursery care is year round. A High School youth group has been inactive several years.

ACCOUNTABILITY: The DRE is supervised by the Senior Co-Ministers.

HOURS: Three-quarter time (30 hrs./week), including Sunday mornings, weekly meetings with the Senior Ministers, and some evening meetings.

COMPENSATION: We offer a competitive salary and benefits that meet the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Fair Compensation Guidelines.


The core goal of this position is to develop a vibrant religious education program that takes seriously the spiritual and moral development of children.

Leading Programming

Building our RE programs will require an effective administrator as well as educator and leader. The DRE creates strategy, develops content as needed, coordinates and supports volunteers in implementing current programming: weekly classes; a Coming of Age program; childcare for infants and toddlers (including supervision of paid caregivers); support of intergenerational activities; summer RE program.

Program Support and Administration

Recruit, train, support, oversee, and recognize volunteer teachers. Work collaboratively with and support the RE Council. Communicate with families and the congregation as a whole. Develop, submit, and manage the RE budget. Report monthly to the Board of Trustees.

Professional Development

Continuing education experiences and mentorship. Membership and participation in collegial professional development groups. If not credentialed by LREDA, the church will support you in the credentialing process.


Collaborate with the Senior Ministers to develop, implement, and lead the Time for All Ages in each service, multigenerational services, and periodic children’s chapels.

Strategic Program Development

There are a number of areas to (re)build in the RE program. Not all of these can be solved in a single year, but they will need to be addressed over the first few years:

  1. Evaluate current curricula and programming. Select and implement new curricula and programming as appropriate.
  2. Develop communication and engagement strategy for families and children
  3. Develop best practices and processes for teacher recruitment
  4. Develop strategy to maximize RE Council effectiveness and evolve council’s role
  5. Develop outreach strategies to make our programs visible in the larger community
  6. Launch high school youth group.
  7. Develop strategy for OWL comprehensive sexuality education programming for children and youth
  8. Leadership, with the Senior Minister, RE Council, and Board of Trustees, to develop and implement a comprehensive Safe Congregation Policy.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS Bachelor’s Degree in related field; experience and comfort working independently and collaboratively in teams; demonstrates an ability to supervise others; effective communication; volunteer management; process and strategy development; project management skills; ability to work autonomous and independently; familiarity and appreciation for liberal religion.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS Unitarian Universalist affiliation. BA or Masters in education-related field. Education leadership and management experience. Experience in teaching, administration, supervision of staff and volunteers. Credentialing as a religious education professional under the UUA, or a ministerial candidate or in fellowship as a Unitarian Universalist minister.

APPLICATIONS Please send cover letter, resume, a document sharing your philosophy of religious education, contact information for 2-3 references, and any other supporting documents to by April 24, 2017.

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