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Education: Director of Christian Education

Tracy Nerem

Tell us about your work---what do you do? Planning, administration and execution of Christian education programs for children and youth ages 2-18 in a church congregation of 1800 members. What skills are needed? - Comfortable with all types of people . - Skilled with computers and the Internet . -Good phone skills . -Familiarity with Christian theology. - Excellent writing ability . - Organizational skills and the ability to multi-task on an ongoing basis. What was your major? B.S. in English/Biology , a double major, with minors in music and chemistry. Masters (M.A.) in Religion. How did you get started in your career? -Lots of volunteer work in the field. - Mentored by an experienced youth worker. -Interviewed and employed right out of college. What experience do you need in this job? Volunteer experience with children and youth as a teacher and/or event sponsor. Most churches appreciate a college graduate, since you need to be older than the youth you work with. Camp counseling, mission work and child development classes are also helpful. Describe your "typical" workday: Depends on the season: answer calls and email; staff meetings; volunteer recruitment; event and program planning; writing curriculum or music; sponsoring fellowship events for youth; teaching classes for students from age 2-18. What is the hardest aspect of your job? -The work is continuous---planning six months in advance. -Working with volunteers can be unpredictable. -People expect a very high moral standard when you are a church employee. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? -Watching children and youth grow in knowledge. - Meeting people from all walks of life and providing support for them. -Mission work all over the world. What are your suggestions for someone considering this field? -Be a person who is strong in faith and able to articulate it. -Work on your communication skills ---verbal and written. -Practice flexibility and patience . -Hook up with a good mentor to provide guidance and accountability. -Get as much experience as possible in activities that teach or respond to the needs of others.
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