Director of Religious Exploration
South Valley Unitarian Universalist Society
Contact name: Rev. Lora Young
Email: [email protected]
Application Deadline: August 1, 2021
Guided by our Unitarian Universalist principles, sources and tradition, the Director of Religious Exploration (DRE) directs the religious exploration (RE) programs for the children and youth of the church, ranging in age from birth to 18 years old, and provides support for adult RE. This includes planning and administering a comprehensive program that nurtures the spiritual and religious growth of the children and youth and that fosters their UU identity.
Our RE program is a core program of our community and South Valley has a strong history of supporting this program. During the pandemic we maintained connection with children and youth via online offerings. We currently plan to begin in-person programming in late August 2021 with the goal of rebuilding connections and providing comprehensive programming once again.
Our Whole Lives (comprehensive, developmentally based reproductive health and justice curricula) is an additional cornerstone of our programming. During the pandemic we were unable to offer this program but look forward to doing so in the coming church year. We also offer two seasons (18-20 weeks total) of community-wide weeknight RE engagement called Wellspring Wednesdays. There is a supportive volunteer RE Council made up of congregants who help administer these various ministries within RE.
Hours: 20-25 hours a week with variations as the workload and RE program require. Option to expand hours (up to 30) as the program returns to full capacity. Contract will be reviewed at 6 month intervals for the first two years to ensure adequate staffing and program vitality. Sunday mornings are essential, although there is one Sunday off a month. Hours are flexible but availability for some nights and evenings for meetings is expected to accommodate volunteer availability for meetings and events. This position is part-time, non-exempt with an hourly rate of $17-20.
The DRE is welcome to participate in the many activities of our community but participation in church events does not count as work hours unless approved in writing in advance.
Reports to: Minister
Benefits: Paid holidays, paid vacation, paid sick leave, health insurance with employer contribution, annual professional expenses, and sabbatical opportunity (after 5 years of service).
Roles and Responsibilities
The DRE will work in collaboration with a group of volunteers to accomplish the following:
● Oversee religious exploration programming for children and youth, including special programs such as OWL and youth groups.
● Recruit, train, and support volunteer teachers.
● Oversee curriculum mapping and provide support for lesson planning.
● Collaborate with the minister and staff to provide intergenerational worship experiences.
● Oversee and train volunteers in safe congregation policies and practices and ensure compliance.
● Attend bi-weekly staff meetings and weekly 11 meetings with the minister.
● Maintain administrative records, including program registration and attendance, background checks for RE teachers and volunteers and RE calendar.
● Track and manage the RE budget over the course of the year.
● Communicate RE planning and programming in a timely manner with the minister, staff, teachers, volunteers, parents and congregation.
● Welcome new families.
● Pursue professional development and connect with RE colleagues from other congregations in the UUA Mountain Desert District. Professional membership in LREDA (UU Religious Professionals organization strongly encouraged.)
● Supervise child care workers and RE Assistant/Lead Teacher.
● Supervise and support the members of the RE Council with their portfolios: Special Events, OWL, Youth Group, Sunday Programming, Summer Programming, and Adult RE (portfolio jointly supervised with minister).
The ideal DRE is an emotionally and spiritually mature team player and consensus builder. They have emotional intelligence and like children of all ages. They are flexible, organized, time-efficient, and are able to prioritize demands with attention to detail. They are comfortable with public speaking. The DRE is open to learning and identifying different approaches, and is comfortable with the possibility that experiments might fail. As the center of the RE community within the church, the DRE will build consensus and enthusiasm while fostering a welcoming, anti-oppressive community. The DRE will abide by the code of professional conduct and guidelines set forth by the Liberal Religious Educators Association. (https://www.lreda.org/code-of-professional-practices)
● Experience working with children and families.
● Teaching experience (volunteer or professional).
● Familiarity with and comfort teaching Unitarian Universalism (i.e. polity, history, and theology).
● Sunday availability with one Sunday off a month.
● Must pass a background check.
● Experience with children who have special needs.
● Experience supervising (either volunteers or professionals).
● Experience in religious education in a liberal religious congregation.
● Familiarity with UU curricula for children and youth, and evolving UU faith formation.
● UUA religious educator credentialing or willingness to pursue RE professional development.
To apply: Applications will be accepted until August 1, 2021 and qualified applicants will be contacted after August 10th for screening and interviews. At some point in the process, applicants will be asked to provide 2-3 professional references. People with disabilities, people of color, indigenous people, Hispanic/Latinx, and LGBTQ candidates are encouraged to apply. South Valley Unitarian Universalist Society is committed to developing a diverse and talented staff team. If you are excited about this role, but unsure whether you meet 100% of its requirements, we encourage you to inquire and/or apply. Send you your cover letter and resume- indicating “DRE” in the subject line to Rev. Lora Young at [email protected] No calls please. South Valley UU Society does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental ability, genetic predisposition, ancestry, or national origin.