Intersecting Social Work Practice, Education, and Spirituality: A Conceptual Model

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Faith Integration, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning


The relationship between spirituality, social work, and social work education is complicated and often difficult to teach. Though social work has significant religious roots, it distanced itself at the turn of the 20th century in pursuit of professionalism and scientific respectability. Today the NASW and the CSWE recognize spirituality and religion as aspects of client diversity; however, few strategies exist for integrating this content into social work curriculum. This paper offers a conceptual framework for understanding the spirituality-social work relationship based on person-in-environment. Educators can use this framework as a tool for integrating spirituality content across core social work courses.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.