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Careers in Church Administration: Options and Job Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a church administrator. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, training and job duties to find out if this is the career for you.

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A career in church administration is very similar to any type of administrative career. While the responsibilities may vary, training and experience as a business administrator or an administrative assistant is a good start to seek employment working in church administration.

Essential Information

Careers in church administration include business administrators and administrative assistants. Business administrators manage the financial and operational aspects of a church. Church administrative assistants manage communications and support other church employees. They must be organized and personable, but they're not required to have a post-secondary education.

Career Business Administrator Church Administrative Assistant
Required Education Bachelor's degree or higher High school diploma or equivalent
Other Requirements Many employees attend a religious university as knowledge of theology is often required Experience with the church; computer and typing skills
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 8% (for all administrative service managers) 3% (for all secretaries and administrative assistants)
Median Salary (2015)* $86,110 (for all administrative service managers) $33,910 (for all secretaries and administrative assistants except legal, medical and executive)

Source: *US Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Options

The work that a business administrator or administrative assistant might do for a business or other type of organization is essentially the same one would perform for a church. Read below for descriptions of the two positions, as well as some more specifics as to what a career in the church might look like.

Business Administrator

Church business administrators manage all business aspects of a church. They may be called a treasurer, financial manager or administrative pastor. Administrators manage the church's finances, oversee facilities and assist with outreach.

Church business administrators oversee the church budget. They may perform accounting, conduct audits and manage donations, including tithes and financial offerings. Administrators are often responsible for the salaries and benefits of other church employees.

Facility oversight is also the responsibility of a church administrator. They may conduct small repairs as needed and coordinate larger projects and installations. Administrators also oversee building security and event logistics.

Salary and Employment Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that all administrative services managers, the career group that most closely relates to church business administrators, were expected to see employment increase by 8% from 2014 until 2024. However, this was the report for for-profit employers, while churches are usually non-profit. The median salary for administrative services managers was $86,110 as reported by the BLS in May 2015.

Business Administrator Requirements

Church business administrators typically need a bachelor's degree or higher. They may study finance or accounting; however, business administration is the most relevant major. Coursework includes accounting, management, communication and tax matters. Many prospective administrators attend a religious university. These schools add theology, stewardship and biblical studies to the class load. Church business administrators must be strong communicators and able to work with church employees and members. They must have an eye for detail and be analytical thinkers.

Administrative Assistant

Church administrative assistants work in secretarial positions. They may support a single pastor or all church leaders. Their duties include answering calls, organizing files and maintaining the church calendar. Administrative assistants manage church communications. They field phone inquiries from church and community members, schedule appointments and prepare the church bulletin. Increasingly, church administrative assistants handle the online presence of a church. They may respond to and write e-mails, update the church's website and manage social media.

Salary and Employment Outlook

Secretaries and administrative assistants in for-profit businesses were expected to see a 3% growth in employment during the 2014-2024 decade, the BLS noted. Their median salary was $33,910 as of May 2015, per the BLS.

Administrative Assistant Requirements

Church administrative assistants must have a high school diploma or GED. Depending on the size of the church and requirements of the position, experience may be needed. Administrative assistants must have strong writing, typing and communication skills. Some knowledge of computer software programs may be required. Assistants must be able to multi-task, possess sound-judgment and be able to work independently.

Church administrators usually need no more than a high school diploma but should have experience in secretarial skills, such as computers, multi-tasking, and effective communication. A bachelor's degree or higher in a business subject or business administration is required for management positions, and ideally may be earned from a religious university.

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