Great Plains Congregational Recruitment & Engagement Director

Start Date: Summer 2022 – December 2024 (with option of renewal)
Schedule: Full-time
Location: Topeka, Lawrence, Johnson County or Kansas City, Kansas

Geographical Scope of Responsibilities:

  1. Wichita/Sedgwick County, KS 
  2. Topeka/Shawnee County, KS 
  3. Lawrence/Douglas County, KS 
  4. Kansas City/Wyandotte County, KS 
  5. Johnson County, KS 
  6. Lincoln/Lancaster County, Nebraska

Who we Are 

The Direct Action and Research Training Center (DART) is one of the largest faith-based community organizing networks in the country. DART’s 28 affiliated organizations span 10 states. By harnessing the power of organized people, our local organizations hold political and economic systems accountable for acting fairly—pressing them to become more equitable and just. Since 1982 our network has fought for and won policy changes that have addressed systemic failures which disproportionately harm low-income communities as well as communities of color. Some of our victories include: 

  • 450 million dollars invested in affordable housing 
  • Implementation of fair discipline policies in 650 schools, breaking the school-to-prison pipeline 
  • Nearly $950 million invested in public transportation 
  • Criminal justice reforms resulting in 30,000 fewer arrests of children each yea

Why Choose DART 

DART is a network of doers. We understand that the road to a society free of racism and economic injustice is a long one that requires dedication and persistence. To create lasting change, we must do work that extends beyond charity and advocacy—while important, these efforts generally only serve as temporary solutions to permanent, systemic problems. In a world where the interests of the wealthy are prioritized, DART seeks to create communities that honor people power as the true catalyst for change. 

DART makes a significant investment in the training and development of people in the field. During your first year, DART will provide intensive professional development through an initial five-day classroom-style training, one-on-one mentoring from an experienced DART consultant,  and three multi-day trainings with other organizers across the country. You will learn basic  organizing principles while gaining concrete skills, such as identifying and developing  volunteer leaders, planning effective meetings, researching problems, driving forward issue campaigns, conducting a power analysis, fundraising from grassroots, corporate, and  foundation sources, and developing and managing an organizational budget. Ongoing professional development will continue well beyond your first year through individualized coaching and mentoring, as well as local, regional, and national staff trainings and retreats.

About the Call to Justice 

DART organizers and staff take seriously the call of people of  faith to do justice. We believe that the sacred texts of all major religions require people of faith to stand in the gap for justice and equity. We also recognize that doing justice requires power, which comes only when large  numbers of people decide to get organized and assert their values for justice and fairness in the public arena. Among the five largest metropolitan areas of Kansas there are a total of 1,200 religious  institutions in good standing with the Kansas Secretary of State. In these same cities, only 76  churches, synagogues, and mosques have joined their local DART justice ministry organization  in seeking justice. This means more than 90% of the congregations in our cities have not yet found their  way into our work. The role of the Great Plains Congregational Recruitment & Engagement Director is to enlist churches, synagogues, and mosques to join their local justice ministry organization to powerfully and effectively do justice in their cities.

Objectives of this Role 

  • With oversight from DART staff and area justice ministry organizers, develop and  implement a recruitment plan to be carried out in each metropolitan area  
  • Generate strong referrals by working with existing member clergy, judicatory leaders, and  local justice ministry organizers  
  • Build relationships with clergy that lead to congregational membership among the  targeted DART organizations
  • Engage clergy around their deepest values for justice and fairness
  • Meet short-term weekly, monthly, and annual congregational recruitment objectives to  meet the goals above including: one-on-ones, well-attended and excellent new member  orientations, proposals before congregational decision-making bodies, etc.
  • Professionally represent DART justice ministry organizations to local clergy by  communicating a deep and comprehensive understanding of the scriptural mandates to  do justice, the steps DART organizations take to successfully do justice, accomplishments applicable to different situations in the field as expressions of God’s  witness in the world 
  • Ensure a strong handoff to local organizer during and after the membership appeal
  • Send clergy and local leaders to DART’s national training workshops 

Daily and Monthly Responsibilities 

  • Maintain working relationships with DART staff, local justice ministry organizers,  judicatories, and clergy to identify high-potential prospective members  
  • Make effective introductory calls to schedule appointments 
  • Conduct an average of 10-15 one-on-one meetings/week 
  • Utilize the standard local organizing cycles of our local organizations as opportunities for  new members to be integrated into the life of the organization 
  • Possess in-depth scriptural knowledge on God’s call to do justice and be able to relay  impact of doing justice on congregations and community
  • Prepare professional, complete, concise and accurate weekly work reports to DART Staff and the Great Plains Coordinator 
  • Relationally propose membership to congregational decision-making bodies with the  clergy’s approval 
  • Meet weekly with their direct supervisor, the Great Plains Coordinator, for the first six  months, then twice a month 
  • Meet once a month with all area justice ministry organizers to grow, coordinate, and  ensure recruitment goals are being met 

Who You Are 

DART staff come from a wide variety of backgrounds. The common denominators are a passion  for justice, belief that faith communities have a unique responsibility to do justice, and strong relationship building skills. As an ideal candidate, you are naturally curious, capable of developing strong professional relationships, and energized by the prospect of uniting  people of faith around a common cause. You should be able to demonstrate a strong work ethic  and ability to produce results through previous positions or other endeavors. You are open to  close monitoring and training until demonstrating the capacity to produce results. Then, you are  expected to do whatever’s necessary to achieve your goals while granted high autonomy. The ideal candidate has a strong background of working within a religious setting and has a genuine  respect for the faith traditions different from your own. 

Qualifications: 

  • Core passion for justice and equity 
  • Excellent relationship-building skills 
  • Exceptional work ethic 
  • Enthusiasm for working with diverse faith communities 
  • An in-depth scriptural knowledge of God’s call to do justice 
  • Master of Divinity or Master of Arts (or similar) degree from an accredited seminary or Bible College preferred 
  • Possession of a valid driver’s license and access to a car 
  • Fluency in Spanish a plus

Compensation and Benefits: 

Starting salary is $67,500-$70,000 annually. Additional benefits include: paid vacation and  holidays,healthcare coverage, a 15% retirement contribution to a SEP IRA, parental leave, and reimbursements for work-related travel. 

The DART Center is a diverse coalition that includes communities of color, low-to-moderate income communities and immigrant communities. We strongly encourage people from these  backgrounds, as well as fluent Spanish speakers and DACA recipients, to apply. The DART Center is an equal opportunity employer. 

How to apply:

To apply, email your resume and cover letter to ben [at] thedartcenter [dot] org with the subject “Great Plains Congregational Recruitment & Engagement Director”