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Page history last edited by Todd Stanfield 11 years ago




Course 1: Module 1


  1. Watch this Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYdD-Qc7lbY

  2. View this presentation: Module 1 Slideset 1.pdf

  3. Complete the quizzes below and write a 1 paragraph summary of the results from both of the quizzes combined. Include your own thoughts on the results you got.

    1. http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Quizzes/BeliefOMatic.aspx
    2. http://www.beliefnet.com/section/quiz/index.asp?surveyID=27
  4. Read this article: Article 1.pdf


Course 1: Module 2


A survey found that 73% of social workers graduated from universities that did not cover religions & spiritual aspects of social work practice (Canda & Furman, 1999).


That has changed tremendously in the last 5 years, although the knowledge base related to spiritual and religious aspects of social work practice is still developing. Much of what we know comes from the research work of professionals in other disciplines.


Religion in the US


To begin to understand how religion & spirituality influence social work practice, we need to explore the spiritual and religious landscape of the United States. Later we will look at international issues.


So to begin with, let's examine the demographics related to religion and spirituality in the U.S. Proceed to 3.2 - Pew Video to learn how the Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life conducted the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey. After watching the video, continue on with 3.3 - Survey Results.


3.2  Pew Video


3.3 Now let's look at the results of the survey.  Click on 3.3.1. 3.3.2, etc. to visit each of the survey result webpages.  Read the content on each webpage.

  • 3.3.1  Affiliations Chart     
  • 3.3.2  Major Findings
  • 3.3.3  Maps:  Go to the link below and from the "Select A Topic" dropdown menu underneath the Beliefs & Practices category select "Importance of Religion In One's Life". Notice the statistics for the U.S., then select Tennessee from the dropdown box to the right and note the statistics. Take time to explore any other states that interest you.   http://religions.pewforum.org/maps
  • 3.3.4 RENW Video


Affiliated with A Religious Body

The map 3.4.1 Map of Adherents labeled shows the percentage of people in the US that say they are affiliated with a local religious group (i.e.; church, synagogue, mosque, etc.).

Take a moment and explore that map. 3.4.1 - 


Predominant Religious Group by County

3.5.1 (Predominant Groups) is a map of the US that reflects the predominant group in each county. Take a moment to explore that map as well, particularly noting how the US is defined by regional pockets of specific religious influences.


Therefore, your work as a social worker would be heavily influenced by the most predominant religious influences in the particular part of the country in which you work. More specifically, the lives of your clients would be shaped by these more dominant religious traditions.




Frameworks for Study

As we examine how religion and spirituality influence social work practice, we need to think of a couple different frameworks.

First, we need to think about the overall mission of social work. According to the NASW Code of Ethics, the primary mission of the profession of social work is to "enhance human well being and help meet the basic human needs of all people". With that goal in mind, we can think about how religious and spiritual influences can either improve wellbeing and help meet basic needs or be deleterious to wellbeing and prevent the meeting of basic needs. To simplify this, we will refer to these to possible influences as "help" and "harm". So as we examine spiritual and religious aspects of social work practice, we will analyze whether a particular phenomenon is helpful or hurtful. Secondly, we will use the stages of the helping process to explore how particular religious and spiritual phenomenon effect assessment, planning, intervention, evaluation, and termination. Some aspects will influence each of these, while others are of particular interest at a specific stage in the helping process. First, let's watch three videos about a recent story from the news that many might describe as a potentially "harmful" influence of religion and spirituality. 



Spirituality/Religion & Health


Watch the video 4.2.1 on the Center for Spirituality, Theology, & Health at Duke University. It describes how work is continually being done to examine how spirituality and religion influence health outcomes. We will be examining religion and spirituality, as much as possible, from a strengths-based perspective, so we will be using examples of helpful influences of religion and spirituality throughout the course.


After watching the Duke video, read the Summary of Latest Duke Research, then proceed to the NPR story on forgiveness and health. You will need to click on the "Listen Now" link at the top of the page to hear the story.

Comments (1)

Todd Stanfield said

at 1:49 pm on Sep 10, 2009

Let me know if you have any problems with Module 1.

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