The Center for Spirituality and Social Work (CSSW) is a continuing education and research center within the National Catholic School of Social Service, which is dedicated to promoting knowledge, values, and skills for spiritually sensitive practice. CSSW strives to increase awareness of the role of both religious and non-religious expressions of spirituality in all aspects of life. Part of this commitment is to deepen respect and understanding across diverse spiritual traditions and worldviews. Spiritually-sensitive social work entails practice at all levels of practice – with individuals, couples, families, groups, organizations, and communities. It also includes attention to the natural environment as well, focusing on eco-justice and sustainability as spiritual issues. Spiritually-sensitive practice also requires attention to the growth and development of the individual practitioner, recognizing that nurturing our spiritual selves not only benefits us, but also those we serve.
Our Continuing Education events address these goals through offering a range of learning opportunities to social work practitioners, educators, and students, as well as members of the broader community. This includes events developed through the Center as well as continuing education opportunities co-sponsored with other community partners. A centerpiece is our Continuing Education Certificate Program on Spiritually Sensitive Program, which includes three full-day Workshops, plus participation in a five-session Clinical Practice Seminar Series. The three Workshops can be attended individually as well as part of the larger Certificate Program. Click here for Spring 2013 CSSW continuing education events.
Our Research initiatives focus on engaging in state-of-the-art study of the role spirituality in the human condition, as well as its inclusion in social work practice and education. Most recently, the Center completed a two-year study on religion and spirituality as health protective factors for African American caregivers of elders. This research was one of only 7 national research projects funded under the John Templeton Foundation’s initiative on spirituality and health. The Center was also involved in producing a special edition of the Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work, which focused on the connection between "Spirituality and Social Justice." Click here for information regarding previous and ongoing research projects and scholarly contributions.
Other Important Organizations
The Center is connected to a variety of other organizations congruent with its mission. Read about these valuable resources below.
The U.S. Society for Spirituality and Social Work (SSSW), is a network of social workers and other helping professional dedicated to spiritually sensitive practice and education. Founded in 1990, its purpose is to create connections and mutual support among social work scholars, practitioners, and students of diverse religious and nonreligious spiritual perspectives in order to encourage development and innovative approaches to spiritually sensitive social work practice, education, and research. You can become a member of SSSW through this website - just click on the “Join the Society” link for membership. Annual membership includes discounts for Society conferences and events, and a subscription to the Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, which is published by Francis and Taylor quarterly.
Our Center hosted the 6th North American Conference on Spirituality and Social Work in June, 2011, which was attended by over 250 people from the DC area and around the world, and participated in the 7th North American Conference held in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. The 8th North American Spirituality and Social Work Conference will be held June 20-22, 2013 in Puerto Rico on the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. The theme this year is "Spirituality: Controversies and Opportunities." Click on the links below for the Call for Abstracts and Form for Speakers. Hope to see you there!
NSSSW 2013 Conference - Call for Abstracts!
The Canadian Society for Spirituality and Social Work (formerly the Network for Spirituality and Social Work), was created in 2001. Since its inception, the CSSSW has hosted four national Canadian conferences and seven North American conferences co-sponsored with the Society for Spirituality and Social Work (USA). At present, the CSSSW provides a website, a listserve for members wishing to receive e-mail updates about conferences and educational events across Canada, and organizes annual conferences. See what our neighbors to the North are doing by clicking on the link embedded in the title above!
Our Director is also a member of the Religion and Spirituality Working Group of the Council on Social Work Education, which has launched the “Religion and Spirituality Clearinghouse,” an online repository of peer-reviewed educational resources for academic and professional continuing education settings. This is an excellent resource for educators and trainers interested in infusing materials on spirituality into their courses or continuing education events. Check it out through the embedded link above!
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We are located in Shahan Hall on Catholic University's campus.
Most of our Continuing Education Workshops are held in Caldwell Hall at CUA. Here is a map of our campus: CUAMAP