Finding A Spiritual Career

What are the available spiritual jobs in America?In this holy season of Easter and Passover when so many Americans are focused on faith, some of them likely are even considering a religious calling. Those thinking of making religion a life's work are probably not surprised that religious organizations are far from the typical U.S. workplace. But this also makes those working for religious organizations exempt from many of the laws that apply to most other working Americans and, as employers, faith groups tend to be much less transparent about their inner workings.

While the spiritual rewards of a life in the ministry can be incalculable, a recent article in Slate looked at that calling in earthly terms and found that many religious leaders -- such as rabbis, and pastors at megachurches -- may earn six figures per year. Imams, on the other hand, average much less -- around $30,000. Overall, the average salary among members of the clergy, however is $47,880, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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These are jobs that of course require special training, and also often offer free housing. Yet just like nearly every other avocation out there, they are posted on jobs boards. We've combed CareerBuilder (an AOL Jobs partner) to get a sampling of available jobs in the ministry or related to religion, including educators as well as those who lead congregations.

1. Chaplain: A member of a ministry who's officially attached to some kind of institution, chaplains commonly serve branches of the military, at hospitals and in prisons.

• Tyson Food Inc., is looking for a director of chaplain services for the company based out of Springdale, Ark.

Hospice Plus, is looking for a full-time hospice chaplain in Greenville, Texas.

2. Pastor: Probably what we usually think of when we think of members of the clergy, these are men or women in leadership roles in a church or parish.

• The O'Fallon Church, in O'Fallon, Ill., is looking to fill the position of children's pastor.

• Community Health Systems, in Bethlehem, Pa., is looking to fill the position of pastor for its hospice.

More: The 10 Happiest Jobs In America

3. Rabbi:​ In Judaism, a rabbi is one who studies or teaches the Torah -- Jewish law -- but also frequently functions in the same kind of leadership role as a priest or pastor.

• The Milestone Community Hospice, in Philadelphia, Penn., is looking for a rabbi.

Vitas Innovative Hospice Care, in Fort Worth, Tex., is looking for a rabbi.

4. Theologian: As scholars who specialize in the study of religion, they might in fact be ordained members of a faith but frequently are not.

The Diocese of Allentown, in Allentown, Pa., is looking for a director of religious education.

Barry University, in Miami, Fla., is looking for an adjunct faculty member.

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Dan Fastenberg

Dan Fastenberg

Associate Editor

Dan Fastenberg was most recently a reporter with TIME Magazine. Previously, he was a writer for the Thomson Reuters news service's Latin America desk. He was also a reporter and associate editor for the Buenos Aires Herald while living in South America.

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• Tyson Food Inc., is looking for a director of chaplain services for the company based out of Springdale, Ark.


April 03 2013 at 4:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

healer, anyone?

April 01 2013 at 11:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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