Central Unitarian Church seeks Director of Religious Education

3/4-time Director of Religious Education, Paramus, N.J. Central Unitarian Church seeks a 3/4-time Director of Religious Education beginning on August 1. Three to five years of staff or volunteer experience in religious education or children and youth setting preferred. Bachelor’s degree in education or related field. Strong interpersonal, volunteer management, organizational, writing, and communications skills. Computer, online, and social media proficiency. Familiarity with Unitarian Universalist Association curricula and resources preferred. Commitment to liberal religion and progressive social causes. Starting salary is $37,000 plus benefit’s package. Send letter and resume to David M. Horst, Minister, Central Unitarian Church, 156 Forest Avenue, Paramus, N.J. at revhorst@cucparamus.org.

 Job Description

Director of Religious Education

Central Unitarian Church

156 Forest Avenue Paramus, N.J. 07652

Telephone: 201-262-6300


Central Unitarian Church, founded in 1897 and a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, is Bergen County’s liberal religious community serving approximately 190 members and 70 children and youth in programs and ministries year round. The congregation also partners with a variety of human service, education, and advocacy organizations to serve the larger community of Bergen County and northern New Jersey.

Congregational members and professional staff collaborate on four programs and ministries – music and worship, social action, pastoral care, and lifespan religious education – each directed by volunteer committees with budget and program responsibilities. Support committees oversee membership, leadership development, stewardship, finance, and building and grounds. The elected Board of Trustees and Officers have overall governance and fiscal responsibilities. The congregation is governed by a Constitution and adheres to a Mission Statement, Vision Statement, and Congregational Covenant.

Supervision and committee responsibilities

The 3/4 time (30 hours weekly) Director of Religious Education (DRE) reports to the Minister and is a member of the professional ministry team in partnership with the Minister. The DRE participates in weekly supervisory meetings, weekly in-house staff meetings, monthly program staff meetings, the annual retreat of the Board of Trustees, Program Council meetings, and monthly meetings of the Board as requested.

The DRE collaborates with the Children and Youth Religious Education Committee in budgeting; volunteer recruitment and management; and program planning, implementation, and assessment. The DRE participates in the regularly scheduled monthly committee meeting.

The DRE assists the Minister and Office Administrator in providing staff support to the Music and Worship, Adult Religious Education, Membership, and Stewardship Committees.

Qualifications and experience

  • Minimum of three to five years of staff or volunteer experience in religious education or children and youth programs preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree in education or related field.
  • Familiarity with Unitarian Universalist Association curricula and resources preferred.
  • Strong interpersonal, organizational, writing, and communications skills.
  • Computer, online, and social media proficiency.
  • Commitment to liberal religion and progressive social causes.

Hours of work

  • Office hours: Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Up to six work-at-home or committee hours weekly.
  • Program hours: Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., plus occasional Saturdays and Sunday afternoons.
  • Participation in meetings and workshops of the Liberal Religious Educators Association and/or other Unitarian Universalist-affiliated committees or organizations.

Compensation and benefits

The compensation package is subject to negotiation with the Minister, approved by the Board, and detailed in a Letter of Hire. Benefits for tier II employees (25 to 35 hours per week) are detailed in the Employee Handbook. The DRE may take up to seven non-vacation Sundays off. In addition to weekly supervisory sessions, a performance review is conducted at the conclusion of each church year in June. Professional development time and funding is provided, scheduled with and at the mutual convenience of the Minister. The salary is based on credentials and experience. Total compensation of the 3/4 time DRE position is in compliance with the Unitarian Universalist Association “Fair Compensation” guidelines.

Religious education responsibilities

  • Ensure the successful visioning, planning, implementation, and growth of the Children and Youth Religious Education Program in collaboration with the Minister and Chairs and Members of the Children and Youth RE Committee:
  1. Attend monthly Children and Youth RE Committee meetings.
  2. Submit, in collaboration with the Children and Youth RE Committee, an annual budget for children and youth programs, excluding staff compensation.
  3. Set program priorities and goals no later than June 1 of the preceding program year for the cooperative Sunday School and Youth Group programs in collaboration with the Children and Youth RE Committee and the Minister.
  4. Determine, in concert with the RE Committee leadership, which tasks of the children and youth program are appropriate to be completed by volunteers and/or staff.
  5. Create an annual program and communications plan, class and event schedule, and community service project within the approved budget.
  6. Select, schedule, and adapt curriculum for all grade levels. Maintain year-to-year curriculum map.
  7. Recruit, train, coordinate, and recognize teachers, committee members, and program volunteers for the cooperative Sunday School and Youth Group programs. Organize and facilitate Teacher/Advisor Orientation and Training programs two times annually.
  8. Supervise Sunday School classes and special programs on Sundays, September through June. Assist teachers, prepare lesson plans and supplies, assist with discipline, oversee classroom clean up, and obtain required attendance forms. Maintain attendance records.
  9. Oversee and supervise specialized children and youth learning programs including, but not limited to, Our Whole Lives, Youth Group, and Coming of Age.
  10. Schedule additional parent, teacher, committee, and volunteer meetings as needed.
  • Supervise the part-time Youth Program Coordinator, in concert with the Director of Religious Education at the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood. Set goals and objectives for the Youth Program. Conduct annual performance evaluation and compensation review.
  • Maintain timely and effective communications with teachers, advisors, and parents via e-mail, telephone, and social media. Contribute to the weekly newsletter, Sunday bulletin, and postings on the website and social media.
  • Assist the Children and Youth RE Committee with Fun Nights and other community-building activities for all ages.
  • Oversee compliance with Safe Congregation policies for volunteers and students and obtain criminal background checks for all adult volunteers.
  • Provide pastoral care to children, youth, and families in coordination with the Minister.
  • Supervise and evaluate Sunday morning Childcare Providers. Make new hires as needed in accordance with current hiring policies, procedures, and compensation guidelines.
  • Manage administrative tasks, including, but not limited to, database management, class lists, classroom supplies and inventory, budget monitoring, enrollment data, permission forms, and e-mail lists.
  • Assist the Minister in coordinating Adult RE program planning and scheduling. Facilitate one or two parent and/or adult education courses annually.
  • Serve the wider Unitarian Universalist religious education community and pursue professional growth and networking through participation in the Liberal Religious Educators Association. The DRE agrees to be a member of the continental and Metro N.Y. Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) and be bound by the LREDA Code of Professional Ethics.

Music and worship responsibilities

  • Work in collaboration with the Minister in weekly worship planning, especially presentations related to children, youth, and families.
  • Present weekly Time for All Ages and collaborate with Minister on monthly multigenerational worship services.
  • Option of preaching and leading worship once or twice each church year.
  • Attend monthly Music and Worship Committee meetings as requested.

Reporting and evaluation

Provide monthly reports to the Minister and Board of Trustees with attendance and other relevant data and assessments. Provide annual report to the congregation.

Nondiscrimination policy

Central Unitarian Church does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion or creed, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, members, volunteers, contractors, and vendors.